We Paid Off Our House!

Y’all, I’m having so much fun and looking forward to it. Matt and I paid off our house yesterday! We own our house. And since we don’t plan on moving, that means no more mortgage paymentsโ€ฆever!

And that, my friends, is why nine and a half years ago, I saw a house like thisโ€ฆ

And instead of turning my nose up at it, or running in panic, I saw the possibility. I know that it can become a beautiful thing with a lot of hard work and determination, and I know that if we buy this house and gradually make it our home, it will give us a lot of freedom that the buy a new one, turn around. house key no.

There are sacrifices in doing it this way, though. This means we have to live through years of construction, which is impractical for many people. And there are times when I wonder if I will ever see the light at the end of the tunnel.

And while on the other hand, these past nine and a half years seem to creep up while I’m in the thick of it, up to my eyeballs in old drywall, insulation, construction dust, and piles of tools and cans paint, now looking back on it, those years seem to have passed in the blink of an eye.

Matt and I bought this house on an acre of land in August 2013 for $83,000. While we were living in the condo, we were only able to save $20,000 as a downpayment, so we only financed $63,000. That’s the benefit of buying a home in our condition!! ๐Ÿ˜€

I remember many people, including my mom and brother, thinking we were out of our minds to buy this house. (You can see the whole house in this post where I shared all the pictures right after we bought the house.) When my brother saw it, he said, “Well, I’m just glad it’s you and not me.” When my mom saw this for the first time, she looked at me with horror and worry on her face, and asked, โ€œKristi, are you sure?! Are you sure this is what you want? Are you sure you can do this?โ€

I was sure. I trust. I am surplus confident, but I need that more than confidence and stupidity, because if I knew exactly what I was getting myself into, I might have skipped this house and moved to another one.

Our plan was to pay off the house faster than we did, but we also didn’t have realistic expectations of how much it would cost to remodel the house. So while we didn’t finance much, and we thought we were going to make double and triple and quadruple payments every month to pay it off in just a few years, that didn’t work out at all.

Let’s just say we’re very grateful for our low $320/month mortgage payment, because it allows us to put more money aside each month for home renovations. (Try finding a rental for $320/month! ๐Ÿ˜€ )

The house has great bones, but aesthetically, it’s in pretty rough shape. All rooms should be lowered to the studs and ceiling joists, and three areas should also be lowered to the floor joists. It needs a new roof, new HVAC system (it has an old furnace and window air conditioners), all new electrical, all new drywall, new flooring in some rooms. , all new windows, window and door trim, new siding, and the list goes on and on.

But from the very beginning, we were determined not to borrow money to do projects at home. No matter what room or what project I’m working on, we pay it in cash as we go. That made some projects take longer than we expected, but with larger projects, it also made it more feasible.

The very first big change I made to this house was the kitchen.

I did the entire renovation at a cost of $10,000. At the time, that amount of money was an absolute fortune for us, and if we hired a contractor and needed to pay that amount (or half the amount) up front, there was a way we could do it.

But I did the whole transformation myself (with some help here and there from family members) in seven months. So spreading the $10,000 over seven months made things a little tight for us at the time, but it was doable.

I won’t say that it wasn’t difficult to live through construction for a long time, but when I finished all the main “public” rooms of the house, life seemed easierโ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹โ€‹ nice for us.

When construction is done only in places that can be hidden behind closed doors, while the main areas of the house can be comfortably used and lived in, the house begins to feel like home for to us.

So in retrospect, those challenges paid off. Living for a few years through construction, hassle, DIYing, and paying as we go, staying committed to not going into debt to fix the house was worth it. Because now, here we are nine and a half years later, with a beautiful (our) house that is almost completely (currently) inside, and we own it. No more mortgage paymentsโ€ฆEVER!!

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn’t change a thing. I’d still buy a cheap 70-year-old fixer upper, live with a lower mortgage payment, put the extra money that would have gone toward a higher mortgage or rent payment into slowly fixing up the fixer-upper. up with my own blood, sweat and tears, make more mortgage payments when the opportunity arises, and own a beautiful home and be mortgage free in less than 10 years.

Now don’t get me wrong. When I’m scrolling through Instagram and I see these people building their huge, spacious 6000+-square-foot homes with their four-car garages with all the latest finishes , do I find myself longing for that? Yes, but it only lasts for a few seconds. Because it only takes me a few seconds to look up from my phone, look around my house and what my two hands are doing, and be thankful for my rather modest but beautiful home. And now it is a modest but beautiful house that we own. That freedom is exactly what I’ve worked so hard for these past nine and a half years.

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