Buying Our First Home

Posted on June 13, 2022 by Corey Olson

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We closed on our first home about two weeks ago, and immediately after had to drive out to South Dakota to visit family. Back now, we are slowly improving the house.

The previous owner let the yard go pretty badly so I have been pulling weeds almost daily for two weeks. It's finally starting to look somewhat acceptable. My kids and wife like to spend a lot of time outside, so this is important to me despite never really being one of those "yard guys" ha. But it gives me a lot of pleasure to look at the house and know I kept that yard up, I must have pulled several hundred dandelions and counting, yea maybe even thousands. My Apple Watch said I burned ~1150 calories one day.

Being on a 0.3 acre, corner lot (decent privacy) with a lake view is nice too. The bike trail literally across the street goes through a small forest preserve directly leading to Starbucks. It is a pretty perfect house, despite the small fixes needed. Since my wife consults for Empire carpet company we were able to get carpet installed quickly and more affordably. They are wrapping up the install now, it looks great.

Unfortunately the previous owner burned incense and / or candles (among other smelly things), and I had to get the air ducts cleaned completely. We almost have all the smells out and should be able to move in fairly soon. I have a guy coming to finish drywall plus insulation and electrical in the garage; mainly so my kids don't get hurt on any exposed nails in the unfinished garage. It's all coming together nicely.

Zillow has even estimated some higher valuation on the house since purchasing (and we paid way over list price.) There were nearly zero 4-bedroom houses available in all of Chicago and suburbs for under $400k; and, we had to beat out 25 other offers for this house in particular. Overall it's great being more rural but still close enough to Chicago to service customers and run my business. I have customers in this area somewhat frequent enough; one last night, one this Friday, and another in 2-3 weeks.

Overall we did pretty well and this house fits our lifestyle, being somewhat outdoorsy and fond of hiking, the fresh air and open farmland is good for the soul. And I think the price paid is great (for 4-bedroom, 2.5 bath, home office, unfinished basement, great location, good neighborhood and lake view.) The Fed getting crazy with rates really prompted me to act and we got locked in at 5.075%. Rates are 6.250% today.

Inflation will likely work in our favor. Everybody seems to think there will be a housing crash, and they are most likely wrong for reasons I won't get into. Just in the last few weeks we have already probably put in another $20k to the house, or house related expenses (cleaning, tools, contractors, etc.) People trying to run a landlord business with single family homes are silly. It's a poor business to be in.

But anyways I am really happy to finally have a home and hope to get it paid off within the next 5-10 years with aggressive prepayments. I put over ten years into my small business and sacrificed so much, only for the world to shut down for these last two years. Several of my employees purchased homes while I had continued plowing time and money into the business, forgoing things like buying my own home.

It is good to finally be reaching this goal. Wife, two kids, dog, small business and finally a place to call home. The future is looking very bright for us. Thank God.