You know what? I’ve decided to switch up my approach to the A to Z Challenge. I initially chose a travel theme, and was excited to write a post a day about the many wonderful places I’d like to visit sometime during my life.
But then I got bored with it. And I realized that if I don’t even look forward to writing those posts each day, it’s no surprise that no one else has been reading them. I decided to participate in this challenge because I wanted to expand my readership (and by that, I mean that I wanted at least one human being who isn’t me to read one of my posts each day). To some extent, I’ve been successful. But according to my site stats, the first week of this challenge (when everyone was excited and was visiting other blogs and leaving comments) was by far my best-ever week for traffic. But it’s dropped off significantly since then.
I’ve written a handful of non-travel-related posts since the A to Z Challenge began, and I like those better, because they’re truer to what I want my blog to be about. (I’m still new to this whole blogging thing, but I don’t aspire only to write about travel, as travel isn’t the only thing I do.)
So I’ve decided to try something different. I don’t know what I’ll be posting about for the remaining 10 days of the challenge, and that’s okay with me right now. (As far as I can tell, there’s no rule about changing your theme. The point is just to write every day, right?)
For today, however, I’m writing about purchasing my first house. Having my own house has been my #1 life goal since I was, oh…about 5 years old? I wanted to be an architect from the time I could draw. I used to dream about houses and wake up and draw the floorplans and sketch the elevations before they vanished from my mind. I was the kid who watched This Old House, TLC’s Trading Spaces, and HGTV in favor of cartoons or MTV. HGTV is still my go-to network. As I grew up, my focus changed from architecture to interior design, and not majoring in one of the two is one of my biggest regrets.
Since graduating from college and grad school, my biggest focus has been on paying down my student loan debt and ferreting away all the money I can save for a down payment. I check the local MLS for new listings daily, and I’ve kept a finger on the pulse of the market for years. (My mom and grandma were both Realtors, so looking at and talking about houses has been part of my life forever.)
I started talking with a Realtor and a few lenders last summer, and got an idea of what I would be pre-approved for. That helped make my searching more realistic. A year later, the money I’ve saved for my down payment has more than doubled and interest rates have continued to be low, and as a result I can now afford a house that’s nearly $100,000 more expensive.
I looked at a few houses last summer, and I’ve gone to look at a few here and there through the last 6 months or so. But I finally feel like I’m really ready (financially and emotionally) to step it up and buy one. So I’m going to look at two houses today!
I look forward to being able to blog about the home-buying process more during the upcoming months! (It’s something I wanted my blog to be about from the very beginning, anyway…)