I always knew I wanted to buy a home before I turned 30, but never planned on buying two — especially in two years. But that’s exactly what happened.
A few months after getting married, I felt inspired to move back home to South Carolina and grow the business that I had started right after my wedding. Little did I know that moving back home would allow me to buy a second home sooner than I’d planned, become a landlord and launch my digital lifestyle brand. Here’s how that whirlwind of events happened.
My then-fiancé and I knew we wanted to buy a home while also planning our wedding. That might sound challenging (and it was), but it was important for us to not only have a great wedding but a great life together, and for us, that involved homeownership. To save for our first home, we found ways to combine expenses, like adding each other to our phone bills, insurance policies and various subscription services.
One of our favorite hobbies (and biggest expenses) was trying the newest restaurants. So, for a year, instead of dining out all the time, we would review the menus of our favorite restaurants and then try to re-create the meal at home. This made saving a fun process and didn’t force us to give up on our foodie date nights.
Living With My Parents
When we first moved to South Carolina, my husband knew nothing about the area. Plus, we wanted to take a few months to see what neighborhoods we both liked and what would fit our lifestyle best. Instead of renting an apartment, we decided to live with my parents to keep our overhead low and allow us to save more money after our wedding.
This is now a tactic I would employ whenever looking for a new property. In fact, I plan on renting my home as a vacation property as I start to look for my next properties to buy, so this is something I’ll be doing again. Plus, as a new mom, staying with my parents while we house-hunt saves on childcare — and keeps me and my husband sane.
When it came to saving for our wedding and our second home, the smartest thing we did was have a renter in our basement. This passive income allowed us to save more quickly. Renting a room also allowed us to have more tax deductions for property maintenance, as we were now property managers. Then, when we moved to South Carolina after our wedding and were able to completely rent out our first home, we were able to deduct even more property expenses.
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I had to think about life very differently when I wanted to buy two homes. My plans for retirement, career and homeownership all had to become more fluid to be able to manage all of the changes. Being flexible is the key to saving more money and making more money. Whether it was deciding that I wanted to have rental properties as my retirement plan or living with my parents, I had to let go of societal norms and focus on what was important for my family in the long run.
Moving to a Cheaper Market
As a new business owner, I wanted to own a home but needed to keep my fixed life expenses as cheap as possible. The best way to do this was to choose to live in a much cheaper market. That worked out just fine — we enjoy the fun of small-town living. Admittedly, I also like nice things, so moving to a cheaper market allowed me to maintain my lifestyle.
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