Being the “True You”

Do you ever wonder if you are the true you?

If you were to look back at the last ten years of your life could you say that you have been the real you? Being the “true you” is something that has become more and more important as I have grown older. As people in today’s world we run through many different seasons. Many times, these seasons of life change our outlook on just about everything. For years I had always assumed I would continue my job in banking, get married, have children and live in a cul-de-sac. I mean that’s what you are supposed to do right?

This may work for some people but it didn’t always appeal to me. After getting married to a man with little worries in this world, I realized my life has been full of anxiety. Keeping up this persona of who I thought I was supposed to be had gotten exhausting. Coming to the realization, was the first step but making changes was much harder. I owe a lot of my confidence to my husband. He is a man that would love me through anything. If I told him I wanted to live in a cardboard box he would say, “Okay babe, I’ll pick one up on the way home.” Those are the kind of people you need in your life.

Start Somewhere…

A few years ago, I made some major decisions to start taking control of my life. I started taking control of my health, we made decisions about how we would add to our family and paid off a substantial amount of debt. Each of those tasks were all leading up to the next phase of our life. Hopefully, the next phase that will finally help me feel at ease.

With less then three days until the closing on our property I have spent this week doing some sole searching. When people ask us why we are moving to the middle of nowhere we jokingly say “Well, we hate being around people.” Here’s the thing… we don’t hate people… we hate chaos. It’s the pressures of day to day life that has caused stress where there doesn’t need to be. Since I travel for work when I am home I was to be in a place that brings me peace. That peace may come in the form of dogs barking, chores needing to be completed or dinner needing to be cooked. I’m okay with that kind of peace.

For you to be the true you, that person you are meant to be, many times you need to make changes. Not everyone agrees with those changes and that’s okay. Do what makes you happy. One of my favorite bloggers, Erin from http://www.Cottonstem.com always says, “You Do You!” Because there is so much truth to that statement I wouldn’t even know where to begin.

What does this all mean to us?

For us a simpler way of life is us “Doing You”. For you it may be a house on the beach, or a loft downtown. Live where you are happiest, don’t just vacation there. This life is way to short to worry about making everyone happy. It has taken me way to long to figure that out.

Hopefully by the time I am writing our next blog post we will be the proud owners of our very own little piece of paradise. Take a chance, we did, and I think it’s going to work out perfectly!

For more on our story be sure to visit our About Us page:

About Us

 

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How to Pay for a New Roof

Is it raining in your living room?

If you have been following along then you all know we are getting ready to close on Our Florida Farmhouse. We have spent years looking for the perfect property and although it needs some work, we have our heart set on it. We have known from the beginning that it needs a new roof. So, the question of how to pay for a new roof, became one that lived in the back of my mind. A roof if a large expense for any homeowner. However, we don’t even own the property yet and on top of down payment and closing costs, we need to find the money for a roof.

New Roof for a New Purchase

If you are in the process of purchasing a home that needs a new roof the best scenario is that you get the seller to complete it prior to the inspections and appraisal. That doesn’t always work out. In our case the seller was recently widowed and simply does not have the money or energy to do this. That leaves us looking at some different options.

1. Foreclosure Financing- If you are buying a foreclosure there are some mortgage options out there that will allow you to have cash back at closing or add on an additional line of credit for repairs. I recommend speaking to a mortgage specialist about this!

2. Conventional Financing with Cash Out at Closing- Although not common some conventional lenders will provide you up to 6% cash back at closing for a roof repair. This means you would account for the price of the roof in your offer and the appraisal needs to come in high enough to allow for it. Again, get with those mortgage people!

3. Escrow – Closing with funds in escrow is a great option if you have the cash already set aside. The way this works is you close on the home and your title company holds the funds for the roof until the work is completed. Typically, you need to set aside 1.5% of the total cost. Which means if you roof estimate is $10,000 then they will hold $15,000 until completed. Many lenders will require it to be done this way.

4. Financing After Closing- If you qualify for what is considered conventional financing (not VA, FHA or HUD) your lender may allow you to close and then complete the roof. The problem then becomes homeowner’s insurance. Our insurance company is requiring us to have ours done in 30 days. You have a couple different financing options, look below for what to do when you already own your home.

Confused Yet?

Roof’s are not cheap! We have had estimates from around $15,000 all the way up to $36,000 for a metal roof. Our home is covered in 100+ year old Grandfather Oak trees. Many people have recommended metal however it turns out with a good shingle and craftsman warranty, shingle may work fine. We decided to go with shingle and to start a sinking fund for a future metal roof. Knowing it won’t last forever, I would rather have less out of pocket now. Then we can pay cash in the future for a metal roof.


So, what do you do if you already own your home? Well you need to consider if a repair is worthwhile or if you need a re-roof. In our situation not only, the roof but the roof decking also needed to be replaced. The roof decking is basically plywood that the shingles are applied to. It’s still costly though!

New Roof or Repairs for a Home You Own

1. Pay Cash- By far the best option is always going to be pay cash. If it is a repair and you have enough in the emergency fund use it. But only if it is an emergency! If it is something you can save for quickly then create yourself a sinking fund (See www.Daveramsey.com for more) and pay cash. No debt is always going to be the best option.

2. Roofer Financing- Many larger roofing companies have financing specialist that can help you decide on the best way to pay. Home Depot even offers what is called Project Financing that can be used for roof replacement. Be careful though! Remember that these terms are not going to be the best, and the rates will be high. The finance person you are taking to is another sales person!

3. Bank Financing- If you must take out a loan then your best option is always going to be your bank. A Home Equity Line of Credit or Home Equity Loan is going to be the best bang for your buck. However, if you don’t have equity in your home you can also look at an Unsecured Personal Loan to complete the project. Talk to your banker, they may have even more options available to you.

Ultimately, this is a big, time consuming, costly project for any home owner. If this is your first time handling a re-roof then talk to friends and family. Get recommendations of who to use. Here in Florida, in the middle of hurricane season prices are sky high. If you have the time to plan, then work around what is going on in your area. Not only are prices high right now, but roofers are backed up with work. Be sure if you are working on a time constraint that you ask how far out they are booking prior to having them come out for an estimate.
Good Luck!

Fall Favorites

It’s that time of year…pumpkin everything, cooler temperatures and all the fabulous fall décor. With the holiday’s quickly approaching one can’t help but enjoy the change of décor and fashion. With Florida’s weather still humid and over ninety, cozy sweaters are out.  This means I typically focus all my efforts on fun fall décor. Since we are moving next month, our fall favorites are packed away. This means I get to live vicariously through all of you!

Lately I enjoy Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook posts loaded with everyone’s fall favorites. Following people like Gentle Thrifty Mama, Old World Home and the DIY Mommy on social media I get to see creative finds such as their $5 Goodwill Challenge creations. Getting creative is the best part of this season. I recommend following them all on You Tube. Below you will find links to each of their pages:

Gentle Thrifty Mama

Old World Home

The DIY Mommy

Since decor is on hold for me, I have spent some time on Amazon looking for some great new items that may work for our new home. A natural looking fall seems to be taking storm this year. It’s easy to see why with beauties like these gracing the shelves. Check out some of these awesome finds below:

 

 

 

Throw pillows are one of my absolute favorite ways to decorate for holidays. The ones we have linked above are at a great price. A few small pieces here and there can do wonders for a house. Check out these fun finds and more on Amazon while your planning your holiday look. Don’t forget to check out the awesome You Tubers who are making over their homes as we speak!

Check out our other Amazon Holiday Favorites below:

9 Patriotic Decor Favorites

Home Inspection Results

So, you got your home inspection results… now what?

If your home inspection report looked anything like mine it’s about 100+ pages of confusing findings. When our inspector left he told me about the roof, and some minor problems. Then I pulled the report up and started panicking. Everything was listed from a hot water heater he couldn’t find to a light fixture that needed replacement. After I read through the entire document, I needed some time to let it soak in. At the end of the day I simply love the property we are about to buy, and we knew from the beginning it was going to need some work.

We originally opted in for a home inspection which also included a wind mitigation inspection, 4 points inspection and termite inspection. All of these are very important here in Florida. The 4 point is what is required by insurance offices. Where wind is for storm and hurricane information and termites… well its Florida and we have bugs.

The first thing you need to do is figure out how to read your inspection report. Most of them look similar and have a grid or directions at the beginning explaining what you see. On ours we had four different classifications.

IN – Inspected

NI – Not Inspected

NP – Not Present

RR – Repair or Replace

Each line item on the inspection is categorized with one of these four codes. Some examples of what you might see would be NP (Not Present) if the home does not have an alarm system. We had NI (Not Inspected) listed for the hot water heater. Turns out it is in the attic and due to an addition. The home the inspector could not get to it due to a wall. Otherwise if it’s there, expect it to be inspected. He even took pictures of the A/C filter because it needed to be changed!

You may be thinking why do I need all of this? Well, once we had a full report that covered things we knew about, like the roof, and things we didn’t we were able to put together a to do list. When you are purchasing a home that is a bit of a fixer upper you need to be able to prioritize the projects. If you don’t then you would end up very overwhelmed.

Replace a roof or take down a wall?

One of the biggest things we had already known about was the roof that needed to be replaced. Because the roof was in bad shape, there was a previous leak which has caused water damage. What we didn’t know was there is also dry rot from water damage in an exterior wall that was part of an addition that wasn’t done correctly. My dream of moving in and knocking down an annoying wall in the middle of the house has taken the back burner. Now we will be spending our time replacing the roof, water damaged ceiling, and exterior wall before we make any progress with aesthetic changes to the house.

The home inspection for us was worth every penny. It’s easy to consider all the things you want to do to make a house your home, but it does take some patience. Now that we have an inspection we have an action plan, and a super long list of new wants and needs. However, these wants and needs all apply to our new Florida farmhouse.

For more information on the pricing of a home inspection check out last week’s blog post:

New Home Inspections

 

New Home Inspections

Buying a new home and need a inspection? Read on!

This was the week of home inspections! One of the many steps to buying a new home is getting it inspected. Some mortgage programs such as Federal Housing Administration (FHA) or VA Loans, which are loans guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans require home inspections for approval. Our situation was a bit different.

Due to some issues with the roof we already knew that we needed conventional financing. This type of financing typically does not require a new home inspection however, it’s still smart to have one. We went ahead and scheduled a regular home inspection. This was a four-point inspection, which is often required by insurance, and included termites. Living here in Florida, termites as well as most bugs can be a huge problem.

In addition to a traditional home inspection we also hired two additional companies. One was a well company to do a complete inspection on our well and the second was a septic inspection. The well inspection was super easy, in fact by the time we got to the house they were already done. The septic was a completely different situation. For the septic system to be inspected and certified, which is required by the Department of Health, it needs to be pumped. So, we had to pay for both, on a house that we don’t own yet.

I know this may all sound crazy and I’m sure you can negotiate for the current home owner to pay for some of it however we have interesting situation with the current owner. We ultimately decided that it was worth the investment to have everything done. Oh, what an investment it all ended up being.

How much do home inspections cost?

Let’s talk about cost. Home inspections typically cost between $300 – $500. Ours was $480, and that was due to the size of the house, the inclusion of the termite inspection and the fact that we wanted it to be a four-point.

Well inspections can get quite costly, especially if it includes water testing. So, here’s a trick, many local Home Depots have kits for water testing. Ultimately, they are trying to sell you a water purification system however they will test the water for free. Because of this we went with a standard water inspection which cost us $200 and then we mailed off our own sample of water from the well.

Lastly was the septic system. Total cost there was $405.00 for pumping and inspection which seems to be in line with the average costs between $200 – $500. A septic system needs to be pumped every 3 years, so we will need to count on the cost of that in our home budget.

All and all it was not a terrible experience. I will share more about the findings next week however I’m happy to say the well is perfect… everything else seems to be another story!

 

Finding Your Dream Home

So, you thought the hunt was hard, just wait!

Over the past couple of years my husband and I have been casually and not so casually looking for the perfect property. Well it finally happened, we found it! Finding your dream home for some is a house that is move in ready and picture perfect. For us, it was the perfect property and a house that was livable while we slowly renovate it. We lucked out big time and found a home that checks a whole lot of boxes for us.

But, just when I thought things were going to get easier they got even more stressful. When the estimated closing costs are higher then expected, you have a leaky roof, and the home inspector can’t make it for over a week you start stressing. I realized this weekend when Friday turned into Saturday and the emails finally slowed down that I needed to slow down too.

As a potential new home owner your mind will start running a million miles a minute. It doesn’t matter how many houses you have purchased you forget things. Things like the amount of the first deposit (Which just so you know, is typically 1% of the asking price). You also may not know that most contracts still provide you as the buyer a 15-day cancellation period.

Why is all this stuff important you ask?

Well it’s simple, if you are like me then you want it to appear that you know what’s going. In fact, if it looks like you know what you’re doing then that’s even better. If nothing else, then I’m just here to say it is okay to be freaked the heck out! This week I learned there are two main things you can do to help along this situation.

  1. Trust your people: You hired your realtor for a reason. Hopefully at this point you trust their opinion and they won’t steer you wrong.
  2. Ask questions: There is nothing wrong with asking questions. People don’t buy homes every day. For some it has been years since they have purchased a home and there are many unknowns. Give yourself a break and ask what’s needed of you.

All I can say is mid-week and mid-freak out I was really wishing someone would have just sat me down and said, “It’s all going to be okay.” I love my husband to death but when it comes to something like this his head would explode if I pull him into all the details. Just because I happen to be the person making the major decisions it doesn’t mean I know what I’m doing!!

If your interested in learning more about how this whole thing got started check out our first post below.

The First Steps to Our Newest Adventure