Eighteen years ago thins June 3, we bought our first house. My boys were two and a half and one. We didn’t look at 23 different homes over six months. We bought the first one we looked at.
My husband was working at a paper mill. The rumors were flying that they were going to close their doors after over 100 years of operation. So we decided that if we wanted to buy, we needed to do it now.
That was RIGHT before the prices in Upstate, NY, went through the roof. So we bought a little cape style, two bedrooms, one bath on 1.5 acres. It was sweet and had so much potential. We paid $60K for it.
Oh, it was 1100 square feet. We were cool before the Tiny House Movement made us cool.
And then taxes. So much lower on a smaller house.
Our boys shared a room for 17 years. It was small, and they turned out ok. For family Thanksgiving dinners, we set up a long folding table in the living room because our dining room only fits six on a round table.
Showers needed to be short because there was only one toilet. And having two people in the kitchen at the same time was risky.
I can’t even talk about the lack of closet space without tearing up. Our bedroom was upstairs in an attic space with poor ventilation and even worse insulation.
There are so many benefits to living in a small house.
You have to learn to communicate.
It’s too small of a space to be selfish. So generosity is a must.
There is no room for clutter, and you must think before you make a purchase.
As the years went on and our income increased, we made improvements.
It is now a four-bedroom two-bath with plans for a large dining room/great room off the back soon.
It was a decision based on the big picture. We knew we could add on. We knew it could be upgraded as we saved up our money. And we knew that we could live here for the rest of our lives.
There are increasing benefits to buying under your budget.
-Setting yourself up to pay it off in 10-15 years instead of 30.
-Allowing yourself the finances to invest and manage other properties.
-Not having any debt and traveling the world.
-Building a legacy for your family.
Our little house is paid off. It’s been added on and had continuous upgrades. This year, it gets a pool.
Buying this little cottage in “The Hollow” (as the neighborhood is called) was the very best financial decision we have ever made. It took quite a while to make it what we envisioned back in 2002, and it’s not quite there yet.
Grabbing the little house in a great neighborhood allowed us to pay it off quickly and, in turn, invest in other neighboring properties in cash. Setting us up for financial stability and reliable retirement.
As a financial coach, I strongly encourage my clients to live below their means, weigh the risk, and don’t buy it just because you like it. Look at the bigger picture - discover the potential of not only your most significant investment but your financial future and the freedom of what could be.
For more tips on living in a small house and see some photos, check out this article This Is Why I Love Living In A Small House