Millennial Monday: Fixer uppers and financial freedom
I promise, I won’t only post about being a homeowner and all that comes with it for the rest of my days. However, that is the season my husband and I are in, so I’m going to have to ask you to endure another home-owner blog!
Previously on Millennial Monday, I discussed the stressful process of buying a home. It was a roller coaster of emotions and hearing “No” from the Lord more than once was something I don’t want to quickly experience again.
This week, I am going to address whether to buy that fixer upper or that new construction home and how being a good steward with our money, as the Lord commands, should be a deciding factor in this process.
The Lord challenged me early in our house hunting. The temptation to always want more and the best of everything is something we as Americans and first-world citizens need to confront rather than ignore.
Those who have been pre-approved to buy a home know, when you apply for a home loan, you are generally approved for a loan much larger than what you might be able to afford. This is where that greedy monster can sneak into your thoughts and wallets.
For my husband and me, we wrestled with buying a brand new home and having to be on really tight budget vs. buying an older home and putting some TLC into it, making it our own in that way.
Have you heard the phrase “house poor”? House poor usually means the home you are in costs so much that you can afford to do little else besides make your monthly mortgage payment. Due to guidance and wise advice from those we respect, Casey and I were able to avoid this. Praise the Lord!
In Titus 1:7-9, the many traits of Godly wisdom and discernment are discussed saying, “Since an overseer manages God’s household, he must be blameless—not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined. He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it.”
We are managers and overseers of God’s household, which includes our finances. In how we handle our finances and make decisions, we are called to be blameless, not overbearing, not pursuing dishonest gain, etc. These were things Casey and I took into account when we bought our home.
Our home was built in 1983, with the kitchen and bathrooms being remodeled in recent years. All the house truly needs is a fresh coat of paint and some small updates here and there. Even with this smaller amount of work (which, trust me, does not seem small as you are painting a 1,500 square foot home) we were tempted to throw caution to the wind and buy a brand new home.
This is when my mom brought sound advice to the table. She asked us if we want to pay one time for the updates we wanted or pay for the already updated home throughout the duration of our home loan?
We did the math and over time, the amount of money which might seem small to look at monthly, was astounding how much we would save by buying a most affordable home.
Have you ever found yourself in this kind of position? To spend more and get what you want when you want it or to patiently wait and do it yourself was the question we had to ask ourselves.
We feel 100 percent at peace with our decision, to buy the most cost-effective home. Our home is so lovely and bursting at the seams with character and now, our very own personal touch!
None of this is to say that if you buy a brand new home you aren’t being a good steward with your money. In our case, to get everything we wanted in a home, it meant the home we would purchase new would be a pretty penny. That is why we chose the latter.
I encourage you, if you’re making a big financial decision that will impact your finances and day-to-day life for years down the road, prayerfully consider all options. Are you being a good steward with what the Lord has given you? Can you call yourself blameless and free of not pursuing dishonest gain?
I hope you can, friend! That’s all the time I have—there’s a paint brush calling my name at my new home!