Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Amy and the big bad nemesis part II

So, as I mentioned in the previous post, I recently faced down one of my biggest fears: Real Estate

Just like every other person who watches the occasional HGTV episode of House Hunters, My First Place, or Property Virgins, I dream of my own home.  Of course I want to be able to paint and decorate and have my own space.  But more than that, I want equity, and I want a permanent place to live without the worry of my rent increasing exponentially every year. Furthermore, I always thought I would wait until I was married to buy a home.  Except that marriage is not even on the radar, and I really want my own place.  And the more research I do, the more I realize that I CAN do this by myself and do not need to be married to fulfill this particular dream. 

So, I did what every person does when they want to learn more about something.  Go online to do some research, and get my hot little hands on a copy of a "dummies" book.

To me, real estate seems to have its own language: Pre-qualification, pre-approval, appreciation, depreciation, closing, brokers, lenders, points, underwriting, FHA, APR, PMI, GFE, it goes on an on.  Yikes!

As a side note, I vividly remember one of my first years in High School as I was studying for the SAT.  For me, preparing to enter College was sort of the beginning of growing up.  I remember getting overwhelmed by the prospect of graduating college, finding a job, owning a car, saving for retirement, and buying a home.  Now, I have done or started all of those things with the exception of buying  a home. 

So, fortunately for me, Boulder county has a number of programs available for first time home buyers.  The biggest hurdle for most first time home buyers is having enough money for a good down payment and closing costs.  With this program, first time home buyers with certain income qualifications can apply for down payment assistance.  This program also makes applicants participate in real estate education classes and demonstrate financial literacy.  Not that this is a way that I relish spending my Saturday, but honestly a great idea for those of us that have little idea of what we are doing. 

So who knows how long it will be before I have a home of my own, but right now I have the pre-approval and am in the process of applying for the first time home buyers program.  And in the meantime, I am deriving a certain enjoyment from learning something new.  Oh, and mentally decorating my first home. 

Amy conquers a big bad nemesis

As we enter into month 11 of 2010, I find myself reflecting back on the new year's resolutions I made for this year. 

Remember these resolutions?

I did teach myself how to knit, and since I made the resolution, I knitted three pairs of mittens, two hats and two pairs of felted slippers.  (I never do anything halfway!)

As for adhering to the gluten free diet, I am doing okay.  Not great, but better than I was a year ago.  I have found reasonable substitutes for most of my favorite foods and have adapted quite a few of my favorite recipes so I no longer feel slighted.  The day that my dear friend Becca showed up with gluten free beer was one of my favorites in recent memory.  I still get a little bummed out when I cannot find something good to eat at restaurants or everyone else gets to eat something fun, but most of the time I am okay.  I had a huge craving last week for bread, so I ate a piece of french bread, and regretted it later while curled up with excruciating stomach pain.  So further confirmation why I am doing this.  

But, what I am most excited about is my resolution to save money for some big purchases, namely a house.  The world of home buying and mortgages has always intimidated me, but much like many things in life, when you gather knowledge about them, they become less intimidating.  Which is why the title of this post is "Amy conquers a big bad nemesis."   In fact, I am so impressed by myself that I am going to write another post about what I learned!