Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Sneaky Kids and Real Estate. :)

Gracie is going through one of those wonderful awkward hair stages. Her little pixie strands poof out on the sides, earning her a new nickname: Willy Wonka Head.

You see the resemblance, yes? 

Of course, our Gracie girl is much much cuter than Gene Wilder. Especially in that purple get up. :)

Hehe. Love her and her ketchup stains. Pretty sure my children think that ketchup is its very own side dish. 

So this morning as I was sitting down to do my normal blogging thing, I heard the sound of rushing water coming from the bathroom. Grace is super stealthy, and both of my children are currently obsessed with hand washing. It's no surprise that Gracie discovered a way to help herself. If she puts the toilet seat down and uses it as a step, she can easily climb up onto the bathroom vanity, turn on the lights, and gain access to the world o' fun that is the guest bathroom countertop.

As soon as I heard that familiar sound I just assumed my baby girl was up to her usual antics and slowly made my way to rescue the bathroom from the great flood of 2012. But what I found was not the normal scene of my daughter leaning over to put her hands into the sink. No, simple hand washing is no longer good enough. She had decided to set up her own little spa experience. 

Create your own bubble bath, anyone?

And of course big sister was right there to cheer her on. Haha...Oh. Brother. With Evie's new ability to open any door and Gracie's fearlessness I am in for a loooong few years. 

I apologize to my third child for all that you will see and hear in your first months of life. It's a good thing that you won't remember any of it. :)

Last night was our second-to-last Financial Peace class. I'm not going to lie, I'm going to be a little sad when it's all over. It's probably my favorite small-group study ever. Give us a couple of years and I'm sure Eric and I will want to do it again, haha. Four times doesn't make us weird, does it? Promise we are not Dave Ramsey stalkers. 

Lesson 12: Real Estate and Mortgages

The title of last night's lesson was pretty straightforward! I've been looking forward to this lesson, because as many of you know, Eric and I are excited to be homeowners someday, and we intend to make our first home purchase a blessing and not a curse. Unfortunately, I had to miss the first half because my oldest child was missing her mommy and I had to come to the rescue. But I did get to sit in for part of it, and I was able to hear the reassuring words that Dave always says about why it can be a GOOD thing to rent for a time. Very few people in the world seem to realize this, so it's comforting to hear someone else say it, haha.

If I'm remembering correctly from the past, I believe what I missed was all of Dave's advice and tricks for when you are buying or selling a home. But I did get the meat of the lesson, which is all of Dave's guidelines for mortgages, and what is an acceptable amount of debt to take on. I'm sure by now you know that Dave is anti-debt. Period. While he doesn't encourage a mortgage at all, it is the one kind of debt that he lets slide. But how much house can someone really afford? Here's a hint: It's probably not as much as the bank tells you you can. You can afford a home if you can buy one within these guidelines:

*You have at least a 10% down payment - 20% is recommended to avoid any fees.
*You take out a 15 year fixed rate mortgage 
*Your monthly mortgage payment is not more than 25% of your take-home pay.

I don't have time to argue these points. But trust me. There were plenty of charts and figures and stories and sage advice as to why all of these things are crucial to insuring that the buyer does not become "house poor" someday. These are the guidelines Eric and I will be following in the future, and therefore, no...we can not afford a home right now. We haven't even BEGUN to save up for a down payment, because we are still on baby step 2: Paying off debt. If there is one thing we've taken from this class over and over again it's, "Patience, young grasshopper." :)

We are lucky that in our class we have people from all walks of life and in all stages of life who can share their personal experiences with us. One of the couples that has been going through this study paid off their home when they were in their mid-thirties and they are now retired. It was SO encouraging to hear their story last night! They have been debt free for YEARS, and they have certainly "changed their family tree" because of it. The gentlemen shared that throughout the rest of his working years he was able to work part time whenever he wanted, travel...pretty much do whatever he wanted. They were able to give each of their children a downpayment for their first homes. They have been able to help their family and others in times of need, all because they didn't owe anyone anything. . <-- THAT is exactly the reason that Eric and I want to be debt free. It can be done! It has been done, and it is being done. 

Next week's lesson ties it all together. It's the BEST lesson of all. It will remind us all of why we want to be good stewards of our personal finances and what we can do with it to help others. I can't wait!


Cassie said...

ha - how you have time to sit down is beyond me! lol.

one thing i tell myself with just about every day that has stuck with me from dave's class is - we want now what it took our parents 30 years to get. SO TRUE.

i LOVE hearing from people who see this and realize this.
MAN i would LOVE to be able to give my children their downpayment on their house. WOW. What a gift!

The Pettijohn's said...

That sink picture is the cutest!!! You for sure have your hands full.

Ashley Mitchell said...

Willy wonka..too funny


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