Jan 15 2008

Our plan to become homeowners by age 30


My husband and I have put together a plan for buying our first house. Not just buying it in the “take out a mortgage” sense–we want the house to be paid off.

In short, we’ll:

  • Continue building our emergency fund (expected completion date sometime this summer)
  • Save every extra amount in a high-interest savings account or short-term CD for two to three years
  • Put at least 20 percent down on a home, but probably closer to 30+ percent
  • Take out a 15-year fixed rate mortgage on the remaining balance
  • Make extra payments each month until the house is ours
  • Our goal is to have the house entirely paid for by June 2015–the month I turn 30.

Right now, we rent an apartment. I like being a renter–when things break, the apartment company fixes it on their dime. I don’t have to deal with maintenance issues.

We don’t know how long we’ll be living in Pittsburgh, so buying a house right now wouldn’t make sense.

At this moment, we don’t have a dime saved for a down payment. We have no business trying to take out a mortgage at this time (and probably wouldn’t qualify, anyway).

We don’t have credit card debt to deal with, so money left over at the end of the month is building up our emergency fund. Once we get it nice and healthy we’ll continue saving toward a down payment.

We’ll tighten our belts and save as much as possible over the next two to three years, using high-interest savings accounts or short-term CDs to let compound interest work to our advantage.

If in 2-3 years from now, the location of my husband’s job is permanent (and if we’re ready), we plan to put a down payment on a house.

Real estate in Pittsburgh is affordable, as are homes in Indiana and other places in the Midwest. I hope to live there, but if we end up living in an expensive real estate market, our plans will have to change.

Anything could happen in this two-year time period. House prices could drop even further, or they could go up. I looked at the Sunday classified ads to take a peek at the asking prices of homes I might like. The average price for what I’m looking for in today’s market is $135,000.

That will buy us a decent-sized house in a good neighborhood. It’s not the fanciest thing here or the largest, but it would be a wonderful first home. We’ll choose a home that we can live in for at least 5-10 years without outgrowing, and then if we need to move to a bigger or smaller house, we’ll sell our house, take all of the money from its sale, and put it toward a better place.

By the way, head over to My Journey to Eliminate Debt to see the impact making extra payments can have.

Now, why do I want to have a paid-for house in seven and a half years?

  • The peace of mind! How cool to not have to worry about a mortgage payment, ya know?
  • We’ll have plenty of extra money each month to put toward home improvements, saving, and investing
  • My husband will be able to retire from his job at much younger than age 67 or something ridiculous
  • We’ll save a ton of money on interest

Only time will tell if our goals are doable or laughable. Stick with me, and watch me make it happen (or not).

Do you have a plan to be a homeowner? I’d love to hear about it!

Posted under Uncategorized | 16 Comments »

16 Responses to “Our plan to become homeowners by age 30”

  1. Kacie,
    I don’t think your plan is laughable, I think it looks good. If you stick with it, I’m sure you can own your house by 30. I love the idea of completely paying off a house!

    We were paying extra to our mortgage, but then we discovered Dave Ramsey, and started to feel bad about the student loan debt we have. We have a house payment, 1 car payment and student loan debt.

    For us, we had to switch gears and get working on the student loan debt, but in the two years we were sending extra to our mortgage, we paid off over $50,000 dollars.

    I think your plan is totally feasible! Good luck.

  2. We are hoping to buy a house within the next five years. Right now we are working hard to pay off some debt (dr bills etc.) and get our school loans and car loan down drastically. Then we will start saving. We don’t feel right considering making a purchase like that until we have other bills paid off.

    Your plan looks great, hopefully in a few years we can try it!

  3. You plan is amazing! More young people should look at homeownership the way you do! Most just want the biggest fanciest house they can get into and then worry about the finance later! So congrats to you for having such a positive plan and outlook!

    As for us, we are currently working on paying off our mortgage, yet we need a bigger house, so we are also adding to a separate fund to save for a down payment on a new house, this may not happen for a while so we continue to pay down our principal as much as we can, this saves us on interest and will increase our equity, so when it comes time to sell, we will have more of a down payment for the next house, our ultimate goal is to buy the next house free and clear from the start, but that may just be impossible if the real estate market goes back up.

    Good luck to you on your journey! With your plan, I am sure you will be successful!

    Take Care


  4. Great looking plan Kacie! Sometimes I think the point is to have a plan. Whether it works perfectly or not, at least you have a plan and have made progress towards your goal.

  5. Some great tips!
    My husband works for a manufactured home dealership so he deals with people everyday buying homes. And I am always shocked as to what people will settle for for the rest of there life’s as a house payment JUST barely getting by. He tells them all the time. Just making a few extra dollars into that payment besides the normal payment and that will lower the years “this much” depending on what the payment is… Its crazy. Stop eating out and that will save a year off your house!!!!!

    We are buying a home right now and everything is in the process of being put in right now. Its exciting. To be land owners at such a young age!!!
    We have out land paid for so its so nice to think of no payments! We bought it outright with cash. The best way to go! No payments!
    And are buying our brand new home with a very nice down payment and only about 5 years of payments if that. I always find it interesting that people who say they are home owners but have 30 years of payments left. Thats not owning it yet!!!

    We are excited!!!

  6. Buying a home was the single best financial investment we ever made. You’re definitely on the right track.

  7. Your plan definately sounds great. You are headed in the right direction to own that house by the time you are 30.

    You should feel lucky that you live in a less expensive area. We just “bought” our first home last year and for the town we live in it was in the lower end price wise. But, it still had a hefty price tag of 320,000. I honestly don’t know how the same house could be so much more expensive here…if just is rediculous.

    We definately want to get it paid off asap. Extra payments as much as possible and no HELOC!!!

    Good luck!

  8. I agree with Amy’s comment. The point is to have a plan and have your spouse on board with it. I am a (single) homeowner. It took 7 years to save for a downpayment. I started saving $20 a week (making slightly above minimum wage)and increased the amount as my income grew. It is now 10 years later and I upgraded to a slightly bigger home 5 years ago closer to work. I started with a 30 year fixed mortgage and refinanced within the 1st year to a 15 year loan. I now only have 11 years left. There are alot of sacrifices to owning a home and I feel they are worth it.

    Good luck! I know if you put your mind to it, you will succeed!

  9. I think you are already half way there to your goal just by having a plan in place. I like that you have been very specific in it, so that makes it easier to accomplish. I know you will reach it.

  10. Thanks, everyone!

    It’s empowering to put my goals out there for you all to see. Makes me feel like, “well, they know about it…and they’re rooting for me…now I need to get busy making it happen.”

    I’ll update from time to time on how it’s going.

  11. That’s a great idea! Having a plan is great. It may change with time, but saving for something like that is a necessity if it’s in your foreseeable future.

  12. your plan sounds good, and entirely do-able, especially when you don’t have any credit card debt to pay off.
    I think it’s great that you have both planned it all out and are saving for a deposit, good luck with it, I look forward to watching your progress and thanks for the mention :)

  13. I have a suggestion for you. Especially since you are both young and no children yet, and you are not working outside the home. This is something my husband and i did to save up for a sizable downpayment on our home.
    Look for a opportunity to be assistant managers or managers of an apartment complex. We did this for 3 years. We got the apartment free and also free heat! All we had to do was keep the halls and laundry areas clean and my husband would do some simple repair jobs maybe 2-4 times a week. We were also able to make extra money on the side by cleaning and painting the vacant apartments. We learned alot about maintaining a home in the process and that saves us money even today. My husband does many if not all the plumbing and electrical work on our home and appliance repair/maintenence. We had a baby at the time and I was able to stay home and raise him and save on childcare costs too! It was a great opportunity. We were able to save nearly $25,000 for the 3 years we did this and during that time my husband was unemployed for 8 months.

  14. How refreshing to hear someone young have a debt-free plan! I wish that we had such plans when we were younger (we’re 39). We fell into the yuppie trap years ago with the fancy houses and cars. A year ago we moved for my husband’s career to the Midwest and were able to put 75% down on a 188,000 house. We also paid off our cars. Our mortgage is less than a lot of people’s car payments. When we were looking for a new house our agent was surprised that we did not want a house in the 400-500,000 range because we could get the mortgage. Our current house is cute and adequate for our family. Most importantly, it will be paid off in 2 years. Good luck to you. Making such wise decisions at your age will reap you great rewards financially in the future.

  15. This is great and I think that you are so wise and have the right outlook. Things may change which may cause you to readjust, but you need to start with some sort of goals and I love these!

    You are really encouraging to me and many others. As I commented before, we do have our debt paid off, but not our home.

    We actually are in need of a “new” car, and we have put it off for a very long time. We do not want to go in to debt again, so we are trying to save as much as we can so that we can pay for most, if not all of it in cash. The really hard thing that we have been talking and praying about is the type of car that we should get – we would like a minivan b/c of the traveling that we do every year, but we are praying and asking the Lord is this is the right timing for it or not. That may be something down the road. So, we are still seeking God about this.

    By the way, would you send me a referral for the ING account. I am seriously thinking about opening it to stash our emergency fund and other savings into it. I am looking forward to learning more about it. Did you have a post that talk about that in more detail? If you do, could you send me the link?


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Hey! I'm Kacie, wife and mother of 3. I write about my family's finance: how we save money, improve our spending, and plan for the future.

I hope I can inspire and encourage you to improve your situation. See disclosure.

I'm adopting a much slower-paced posting schedule, and treating this as a hobby blog now.

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