How Traveling for Work Led to an Unexpected Housing Expense

I feel like I am just stuck in a rut right now.   A lot of exciting things are going on at the moment, and I know that I should be enjoying them.  We finally closed on our house and the title is in our name.  The thought of home-ownership was at one point a dream and now it is a reality.   Now the projects begin.  We have an apartment to pack, wallpaper to tear down, walls to pain, hardwood floors to re-finish, and other projects that will emerge at the blink of an eye.   This should be fun; this should be exciting.  But something feels off right now as I write this article from my hotel room.  After sitting at the same looking desk that I have sat at so many times at every Hampton Inn in “you name it” city, it finally it me.  The reason I am feeling off right now is not because of the volume of work that has to be done on my house, but rather, the fact that I will be traveling a lot for work over the next few months  is having negative impact on my ability to complete these projects and even worse, my savings account.

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Buying Our First Used Car

We had an insane month of May, no questions asked.  We bought a house, we attended a couple of weddings, and traveled to Boston for a graduation.  A lot going on!  If you recall, in what feels like forever ago by now, I wrote an article about how we were also going to have to purchase a car for my wife since her lease was set to end in May.  So on top of all of it, we added buying a car to the mix!   This time, something was different, we changed our plans at the last second and decided to purchase our first ever used car.  Now, here is the “thrilling” story about one of my least favorite processes ever, buying a car.

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Cancelling Our Gym Membership

With the purchase of our first home, my wife and I are looking to find any monthly expenses that we can cut back on in order to offset the impact of our new mortgage, tax, and insurance payment.  There isn’t a one size fits all answer or one expense that will magically offset this impact; however, we are going to do everything we can to collect a series of small victories to lessen the blow.  We found one piece of low hanging fruit, our gym membership, and decided to take a look at whether the expense was necessary or a luxury.

gym membership

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Fears of Being a First Time Homeowner

My wife and I just purchased a house…it is still settling in.  I can’t believe I am taking the plunge into home ownership.  This is the largest asset we ever purchased, and it most likely will be the largest one for the remainder of our life.  Last week, I tried to give an in depth account of the purchase in an article. Some of our frustrations, how we stumbled on our house, and the bidding/acceptance process.  At the end of the article, I left a cliff hanger about some of the parts of being a first time homeowner that I am still struggling with.

pay down the mortgage or invest

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Holy $%!? We Bought a House

Today is another chapter in the Dividend Diplomats mortgage series.   Time flies and surprises pop up where you least expect them.  I’ve written a lot about my house hunt recently, starting with reasons why my wife and I were not in a hurry to purchase a house all the way to the process of finding the institution that will provide us with the best mortgage.   We were always told that lightning strikes and when you find the right house, you need to move quickly.  Well, that was the case here and I could not believe how quickly things moved.  In all honesty, I’m a little shocked about it all here and I’m still finding myself trying to process what went down.  Mostly happy, with some doubts (as always), but her is the story about how my wife and I found our house.   I’m going to have a two-part series about this process – one about the purchase and one about some of my emotions/feelings after the offer was accepted.  So here is Part 1 of my mini-series!

pay down the mortgage or invest

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Finding the Right Mortgage

It shouldn’t be a secret for too many of you.  After nearly a year of marriage and our desire to wait as long as possible to purchase a house, my wife and I are now actively searching for our first home.  We have toured over a dozen houses within the last two weeks and we have not found one that we like enough yet to make the plunge.  It may be another three years before we find one that checks all of our boxes at this rate.  This will be a long process and I’ll have a lot of different topics to write about along this journey.  So today, I wanted to write about my recent process for finding the perfect mortgage and finally getting our pre-approval.

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Three Painful Housing Expense Increases

Ah, the house never ends!  I seem to find myself writing quite a bit about the cost of living in a house and the controllable/sometimes not so controllable costs associated with home ownership as well.  After various discussions with people and bills being paid – I’ve decided to write about the surprising increase in housing expense over three areas of living in a house – Insurance, Property Tax & select Utilities!  Come check out the “fun”!

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