Wednesday, July 21, 2010

5 Years Ago Yesterday...

Yesterday I celebrated 5 years of home ownership. It's pretty hard to believe that I bought my little condo 5 years ago. I mean, I was 24 years old. It kind of blows my mind to think that I had my act together enough at that age to buy something on my own! I remember feeling very proud of the fact that I could buy this condo all by myself - no co-signors, no co-borrowers, just me!

Now this has certainly not been my best purchase. Yes, it has been wonderful to have a place to call home - and I do not miss moving once a year... nor do my parents, I am sure. They schlepped my stuff around a few too many times and my dad did grumble a bit and recommended I invest in a library card instead of amassing books like I have in my 20s. So yes, there have been some perks to owning a home.

But I definitely feel like my home owns me instead of vice versa. I unfortunately bought at a terrible time so the value of my little condo has nose dived. I try not to think about it because it is out of my control. When I do get frustrated, I remind myself that I am in good company - there were plenty other older and wiser people who also invested in real estate and are stuck in their homes, waiting for the market to rebound a bit.

All that aside, I do really like my little condo. I love that I have a wood burning fireplace. I love the wood floors that my cousin put in for me a couple of years ago. I love that I have underground, heated parking. I love the winding, tree lined road that my condo is located on.

Right now, I do not have the option of moving out of my small condo, so I am trying to embrace it and focus on the positive aspects of my living situation.

To give you an idea of where I live, here's a snapshot of my living room area. I have a desk in my bedroom, but I never use it. Instead, all of my blog posts are written from the comfort of that small love seat!! I also read in that over-sized reading chair on lazy afternoons.

I'd love to hear where you live! Do you rent or own? Are you happy with your current residence?

24 comments:

Abby said...

I think you have a great condo - and I still can't believe I haven't been there since you redid your flooring!!!! The area you live in is great, too! I love that gorgeous tree-lined road!

I don't like where we live. From the outside - you probably think I'm crazy. And yes, I know - our community is safe, and that is a huge perk. I do like our cute little house. I'm not going to get into my long list of reasons. Just can't wait to move out of this area!

Charbelle said...

I'm so jealous of your parking!! My place would sell for slightly more than what I paid for it but since I did the refi I would barely break even. You had no way of knowing back then what the market would do! I love it though. Your living room looks cozy!! Those floors are gorgeous!! The nice thing about a smaller place is it's way easier to keep clean!!!

Emily Jane said...

I don't like the city too much that I live in but I love our house. I've been in many an apartment and D & I have been in this house for about a year and a half now, and we're renting it, but it's barely more than the cost of a big apartment and I absolutely love it to death :)

Mandy said...

You should be incredibly proud that you were able to buy your own condo at 24! Thats awesome. I moved home after graduation not intending to stay long, then things changed, I took my current job and have been there ever since. Renting doesn't make sense for me because there arent a whole lot of complexes or anything like that and I'd be at home anyway.

That said, I would love to move to a fun little place in a bigger. city.

I'maNolaGirl said...

We are in your very same boat. I adore the condo we bought in Habersham, but now that we're moving, there is no way we can sell it right now. Patience, patience, my friend! I kepp telling myself, it'll turn around some day!

Amber @ A Little Pink in the Cornfields said...

I rent. I have thought about buying a townhome many times and I know this is going to sound nuts but I just don't want to buy something by myself. I always pictured myself buying a home with my husband. I know, it's silly and not smart at all. You're the smart one! I'm hoping to buy in the next few years because I know I am throwing away my money on rent.

Amber (Girl with the red hair) said...

I think your condo is super cute!!! And the best part is you OWN IT!

I don't mind the location of where I live now. My apartment is actually a shoebox - but the rent is dirt cheap. I have been watching Craigslist and the newspaper and you can't get a place in my area with this cheap of rent EVER, so I'm glad I secured this place. Since Kamloops is such a university town, landlords majorly overcharge, especially during the school year.

I am hoping we will be in the position to buy in the next year or two! I am currently saving money for that very thing!! :)

PS: Congrats on 5 years of home ownership!

abbi said...

Congrats on having your place for 5 years. It was 5 years ago that I bought our house too, so guess I was 24 too. I was pretty clueless about the whole process so had to ask my parents lots of questions but I love the fact that we now longer have to pay rent. Just can't wait for the day when the mortgage is completely paid off!

Jess said...

I think your condo looks so nice! I love hardwood..and the fireplace is great.

I'm a renter - and there's things I love and hate about my place. My current HATE is that new neighbours moved in below me (I live in a house and rent out the top floor) are smokers and despite my pleas to my landlord, he says there's nothing he can do about it. So, I get to be hit with the strong smell of smoke as soon as I walk into my apartment! (Thankfully my living room and bedroom remain smoke smell free, at least for now.)

I'd love to own one day, but I know with all the debt I managed to accumulate during school, it won't be happening anytime soon. I look forward to that time though!!

Gracie (Complicated Day) said...

Good for you! My husband and I still rent, and the funny thing is that for years he was a real estate attorney and closed home loans every day. But we didn't own our own home! For us, however, it makes more sense to rent. The houses and insurance in our area are astronomical, and we would be taking on a large risk to buy in New Orleans. I guess Katrina jaded us a little.

J said...

So cute! Hopefully the market will get better so you can sell if you want to. I am living at home. I have a nice bedroom filled with all my stuff. I have to share the rest of the house with my roommates/parents. They aren't too bad.

Leigh said...

I agree with Amber...your condo is super cute and you own it! No paying rent to someone else.

I am very happy with where I live as it's finally our own place. We rented for the first two years that we lived together and so happy that we finally own something of our own. Still lots of decorating to do, but that will come with time

Kyla Roma said...

It looks like a beautiful space! I'm a big fan of owning where I live- no more worrying about hearing my neighbors through the walls or having the grass go unmowed for weeks :)

While our house is really tiny, I love having a space that I know is just ours & we can stay as long as we like. Something about that is kind of wonderful.

ps - if you can't sell & you really want to move, could you rent it out? :)

Cherry Blossoms said...

Your place is perfect for you! The pool and underground parking is a major perk, its in a great area with lot of trails and trees, and... no need for a security system when you have overprotective neighborhoods! Can't beat that!

Nora said...

Love the way your living room looks! As you know I currently live at home and while I don't monetary rent I do pay in other ways (mowing the lawn, cleaning, sometimes the stress of living with my parents is grief enough!) but I'm SO THANKFUL I have this opportunity to squirrel away money. I'm hoping to buy late this year/early next year, market & what I'm looking for depending :)

Kelly said...

Congrats on 5 years of owning your condo! A lot of Eric's friends had the same problem as you with buying condos about 5 years ago...luckily I was still in school so I obviously wasn't buying a house then :) Of course they were not as smart as you and most of the them did not stick with their purchases for various reasons. Even though it's frustrating to have to stay where you are I think its probably the best thing to do :) Plus I love the pictures!

Eric and I bought our house a year and a half ago. I love love love my house, especially compared to the apartment we lived in for a year haha, but I also like the location I'm 7 minutes from work and 20 from Boston.

Ally said...

My husband and I are stuck upside down in a house in Las Vegas with no real end in sight. Houses around it are selling/auctioning for almost $100,000 less than what we still owe. We're renting it out which helps, but it doesn't make up the full monthly mortgage payment. We pay about $450 extra a month above and beyond the income from rent.

I can't wait for the day we can sell it and at least break even. I feel like we really got screwed because we did everything right (regular, 30 year fixed, made all the payments). We would be completely fine to buy something here if we hadn't made that awful decision six years ago.

Nilsa @ SoMi Speaks said...

When I bought my first condo, one of the things that sold me on it was placement of the fireplace. It was tucked into a corner, like yours. And compared to all those small condos where the main wall was taken up by a huge and unsightly fireplace, well, let's just say I was super happy with mine!

That said, I've moved on from that place. And now own a slightly bigger, slightly more expensive condo with Sweets. For now, I love our home, though I know we'll grow out of it one day.

Sassy Molassy said...

Love your couches! ANd I'm totally impressed that you bought at age 24! That's awesome. Manfriend owns his house. It's small (just under 1,000 sq ft), but big enough for us...for now. 2bdrms, 1 bath, dining room where I do my yoga and we occasionally have a meal. :)

pinkflipflops said...

We will have owned our home for 4 years next month. Also, not our best purchase. Mainly we wanted a house and had a month to find one/move in before we were about to have to pay another year of rent somewhere. So yeah ha. But we have 2.5 acres, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, an upstairs and downstairs and a man room so I cannot complain. We have redone our kitchen which I keep saying I will post photos of and haven't yet, perhaps soon ha. We bought a pool and this week/weekend we will have it all set up to go with a new privacy fence and by labor day we should have a tiki bar attached to the man room by the pool. Our next project is the bathroom. It's sad to know that I will be here for a long time, possibly forever because I would love to move into a new house but hey, like you, we bought a house when we were 23 freaking years old (well my hubby was 24) by ourselves. heck ya.

Lisa-Marie said...

Your flat is lovely! As you know, I am both. Like yours, my flat is worth quite a bit less than what we 'paid' for it. The one we rent is expensive too, but the combination of having two flats is not too bad!

Stephany said...

Currently, I rent an apartment & I live with my mother. I don't make enough income to live by myself, but am hopeful to do that when I graduate in December. :)

Anyway, your condo is lovely & it's awesome that you bought it when you were 24!

Shoshanah said...

I can't imagine buying a home completely on my own. Last year when my boyfriend had the idea that we should buy a house I was pretty skeptical about the idea. But luckily it worked it. We've still kind of in the honeymoon phase with the house, and there's a lot a love about it. I wouldn't say its my dream house, or the place where I picture raising future children, but for now it really works!

Becky said...

You might think you're "owned" by your condo, but I'm totally jealous you were able to buy it at 24!!! (And your hardwood floors ARE amazing!)