I’ve been following your words of wisdom since I graduated college in 1999. That’s when I first picked up Smart Women Finish Rich. With your book’s help and some diligent work on my part, I invested in my 401K and, on a meager entry-level journalist’s salary, was able to move into my own apartment – a big item in my dream basket. When I was laid off from my first job, I rolled the 401K into an IRA, had no debt except a low-interest college loan and, because I had kept enough liquid, was able to stay on my feet until steady employment returned.
Since then, I bought a house with my fiancé at age 26 on Long Island’s North Shore (I know you live in Manhattan and know this is no easy feat), got married and have added Smart Couples Finish Rich to my library. LOL, in fact, I read it before we left for our honeymoon.
We moved into our home in November 2003, which had great bones but was pretty awful to look at. That allowed us to make an offer below asking price. Because of that, and the fact that the sellers wanted to move quickly, we secure the house for $30k less than market value. That was something we hoped to do from the start. Patience played a big role here – it took us more than 9 months to find this house!
We’re still in the process of shaping the place up, little by little each month, using money that we no longer apply to “lattes” and the like. According to Bankrate, our area has gone up 15 percent a year in real estate value. We estimate slightly more than that on our home, because of the small interior design changes we are making (paint, finishing the basement, fixing up the yard).
This isn’t the dream house, mind you, but it’s a great 4 bedroom in a prime school district and family-friendly neighborhood, which we think will add a lot to the resale value. Plus, there was no way we were going to continue to pay the outrageous rent here on LI. We hope to move in 3 to 5 years (life elements, depending) to the dream house that we couldn’t afford now. Paying ourselves first and keeping on top of our mortgage should help us do that. Meanwhile, we love watching house values go up and smile every time our real estate agent turned friend comments on how tight the market in our town.
Looking forward to your new book-