We bought below our means.
Colorado Springs is expensive. In order for us to get the kind of house I wanted, we'd have to apply for at least a $300,000 mortgage. In order for us to get the kind of house I wanted on more than a quarter of an acre, we'd have to have a mortgage of at least $350-$375,000. That is not in the cards when we would like to be able to sleep at night. Plus, I don't think they'd have given us that anyway. We'd applied for our mortgage on just Scott's income because, at the time, I didn't have a job lined up.
We purposely bought a house that was well below our budget so we could renovate it. They ended up dropping the price right before we made an offer and we still low-balled them because the place needed a lot of work.
We've been able to take all that money we didn't use to pay for the structure of the house and put it into the house.
Scott knew the kinds of houses I would look at if I house-shopped online…I would find pretty ones, already done up with what I wanted. Or I would find houses that were like our past two rentals: builder-grade with basic fixtures/features that I would want to improve upon. But when a builder-grade house already costs $300,000 in Colorado Springs, there's no way we could ever afford to put any money into it. That's why I let him house-shop for us. It was incredibly nerve-wracking, but I do trust him and, even if there were moments of doubt about this place (uh, a lot of them), he's made good on his word.
This is actually the second house we've bought and the first one was paid off within 5 years due to the fact that Scott should've gone to school to be an accountant or something.
Also on our side is that fact that Scott is doing all the work himself. From the carpentry to the electrical to the plumbing…the only thing we've had done professionally is the installation of the countertops. Just because they're very heavy and accuracy is key and he didn't have anyone with arm strength to help him.
Scott also mentioned that whenever we get around to the garage, we'd have to call someone in to pour the foundation. But that is a LONG way off.
I suppose the point is that if you're wondering how we're paying for new stuff for this house, it's because our housing allowance more than covers our mortgage, so we're able to take what's left over and use it for the important stuff. Like copper sinks. (which actually didn't cost more than a really nice stainless sink…sinks in general are just annoyingly expensive). Does that make sense? My advice is that if you're looking to put money into house, lower your price bracket by $50,000.
With that being said…
Aside from the a forth-coming slate floor, I'm done with the master bathroom. You'll remember that one of the very first changes I insisted we make in this house was the removal of the terrible wood toilet seat and the addition of a towel rack. I've had plans to paint it ever since I saw this bathroom, and I've spent the better chunk of two weekends doing just that.
However, there's already tile in the bathroom and while it may not have been the exact colors we'd have chosen, it's better than laminate countertops so it's not a deal-breaker. Also, I think this will come together when we put in the slate floor and I think I'm going to paint the doors. There are two doors and I think they need to be painted off-white.
I don't have a million "before" pictures simply because sometimes taking "before" pictures makes me overly sad and anxious. But, I mean, it's just a bathroom.
I do realize that it's not the worst color in the world, but I gave an explanation here. Plus, those cabinets with the white knobs…I need to do something with them. They make my head hurt.
One more thing taken care of, right?