The next huge step in our financial journey really came in 2004 when the housing market in Phoenix went absolutely crazy.
The house that we bought for $199,900 over a year earlier was suddenly worth about $350,000. Crazy right? So of course Mark starts talking about selling and I start rolling my eyes at him.
At this point we’ve been married 11 years and moved 7 times. I was tired of moving. Plus I loved our house and our neighborhood.
And, as I was quick to point out, what was the point of moving when everything was hugely over inflated.
So we did some research and began to look at new housing developments that were a little further west (the city of Phoenix just keeps spreading out) and had not yet peaked like the rest of the city.
And I learned something. I shouldn’t look at model homes unless I want to move. Because of course once you look you find something you love.
It didn’t take us too long to decide to make the leap and we signed on the dotted line for the construction of a new home. We downsized a bit (going from 3300 sq ft to 2700 sq ft) and after our construction options I think our final sticker price was $215,000.
They told us construction would take 6-8 months.
It took about 12.
Of course all that time we were praying that the market would hold because we weren’t going to put our current house on the market until we were closer to the move time. The market had been so crazy that houses were literally being bought within hours and I was NOT going to have to deal with a whole temporary move thing.
When it finally came time to sell we listed the house and sold it within a few days for $385,000.
From the proceeds we held back money for movers (my stipulation although we packed all the boxes ourselves), paint, landscaping, window treatments, etc.
But everything else was spent on the down payment which left us with a $65,000 mortgage.
And then we started to do some math. By this time we were making more money and we had continued to keep our budget pretty simple so we moved money around and figured out that by dumping everything extra at it, we could pay off the mortgage in 2 1/2 years.
And so we cheated. We totally skipped baby steps 4 & 5 and went straight to paying off the mortgage. We were so motivated because we could see the light at the end of the tunnel and could almost grasp total financial freedom.
Only later would we realize how important that freedom would be.
…to be continued
- Part 1: The Early Years: In Love and In Debt
- Part 2: Joining Financial Baggage
- Part 3: Driving Our Debt Around
- Part 4: The Baby Years: Baby Steps, Baby Boy
- Part 5: The “B” Word: B-U-D-G-E-T
- Part 6: The Envelope System – It Makes Your Budget Work
- Part 7: The ever-important emergency fund
- Part 8: Dumping Debt
- Part 9: Freedom to Make BIG Changes
- Part 10: Facing Setbacks – Meet Murphy
- Part 11: I Met Dave