Today we’re going to hear from two people that are very important to us – Matt’s brother- and sister-in-law, Brian and YuRa Kimm. They will be completing the formalities of a great achievement this week and we’re very proud of them. Brian and Yu Ra are two fun-loving, generous people and we couldn’t be happier for them. We also wanted to have a TGIF interview related to a financial goal, since we know that’s so important to many of our readers. Check out their story!
My wife and I are young professionals working in the DC metropolitan area. We have been married for almost a year and a half and are the proud sister- and brother-in-law of a certain Matthew Leedham!
Our original goal was to save enough money to put towards the down payment of a home by Spring of 2010. This required us to sell our current condo and to time it so that we wouldn’t be stuck with paying two mortgages.
Why This Goal
Being newlyweds, we were looking to expand our living quarters from a one bedroom condo to a more sizable place. Also, for those familiar with the DC area, the Potomac River seems to be the Great Divide that is seldom crossed when it comes to living situations. You see, I displaced a Virginian. We Marylanders are a little more cool and collected if the need to cross the border ever arises (she’ll argue it’s because everyone wants to move to VA). The lesson is, never force a Virginian to move to Maryland.
The First Step
We calculated exactly how much money we needed to put aside each month to reach our target down payment amount and began depositing this amount into our “House Fund”. This required us to really clamp down on our spending habits while still remembering to enjoy our young marriage. Next we put our condo on the market hoping to put the earned equity towards our new home.
YuRa and I attempted unsuccessfully to sell our condo. With the housing market in a continuous downturn and the number of foreclosures and short sales nearly in the double digits just within our own neighborhood, it wasn’t looking pretty. The highs from finding potential homes to the lows of not being able to put in an offer because we needed the sale for the down payment became tiresome after a few months and after looking at some 60-70 houses. After being unable to sell even with several price drops we took a hiatus from the home search for about 6 months. But trust me, the yearning to move never left during the time off. We had to accept the fact that it simply wasn’t our time. We had to wait.
So we had to change our mindset (more me than her) to rent out the condo. As a guy, I like keeping things simple…meaning, sell the condo and only worry about one mortgage. The horror stories I had heard about renting scared me and I didn’t want to deal with the potential headache.
Renting our condo meant no longer applying the equity of the condo towards the new home, which set us back one year to Spring of 2011. We had to budget even more to reach our target down payment amount. This meant on a monthly basis, figuring out our income and itemizing our expenses and setting aside the rest for our savings. This required a focused, constant, and frequent check, update, and revision of our budget. YuRa will tell you that I never let her shop (I love her so much for cutting back as much as she did, but she still shopped.)
I set up a spreadsheet to track our current savings and projections for growth. To see where we currently stood as well as where we would be in the upcoming timeframe made it feel our goal was more tangible. Seeing that we were meeting our monthly savings goal and seeing where we could be at various points in the future kept us on track.
God provided when we placed our trust in Him. We tried to do everything our way and within our timeline but God made us wait and taught us to stay patient. In the end, we saved enough money for the down payment, found the perfect home and found a tenant to rent our condo all in His perfect timing.
Our family was definitely our support system and encouraged us to stay focused and to remain patient.
TGIF – Celebrate!
Once we were close to reaching our financial goal we tried our second attempt at house hunting and immediately found the perfect house for us. We put in an offer on the house and we’re closing on the property next week. We also placed our condo on the rental market and within 2 weeks, found a tenant! We are ecstatic. This is our first big purchase together and YuRa can’t wait to return back to VA.
Stay patient and stay focused. Don’t feel discouraged when things don’t go exactly according to plans. Sometimes these obstacles are in the way because there is something even better waiting for you in the end.