the ladder & the GovJobs

Hi Readers!

I want to give a little background so that people have some context while reading this blog.

My husband and I met in 2010 in the Pacific Northwest, where we still live today. I had graduated from undergrad and my husband had gotten his first post-Masters career position in the town we now live (prior to us meeting). When we met I had just moved back to my hometown with my parents. I had tried for a year after graduating to get a career-oriented job in my college town, but I had only managed to get babysitting and barista jobs. But it was 2009-2010, and finding a job was a challenge, though I was extremely fortunate to graduate without student loans. That was the most valued gift I have ever been given.

When I met Al, he had a salary of about $50k/year at his GovJob, and about $35k of student loan debt. Our relationship was moving along, and about 6 months in, my mom got a fantastic job opportunity in her hometown, out of state. So, Al and I made the decision that I would move in to his 690 sq.ft. apartment. Immediately, with the money that I payed him for rent, he started saving. He was also paying toward the principal on his highest loans. He paid his car and his loans off in at an astonishing rate. I had gotten in a car accident, bought a used car, and paid it off in a couple years with the settlement money in addition to my regular payments.

After a couple years of dating and living together, he asked whether I’d like to focus on getting married or buying a house. Since we had some time before we wanted kids, I responded that I wanted to start with a house. By this time, we had no debt, and we started saving rapidly for a down payment. I also had some investments (around $10k) that were handed over to me. By this time, after a short stint in private industry, I also had acquired a GovJob.

After a year and a half of house hunting, and a a few turned-down offers in a complete sellers market, we finally purchased a foreclosure home for $340k in 2015. We put $72k down to avoid PMI, and that was every last cent we had. We made just under $100k that year.

And this, dear reader, was how we got into our house. Since buying our house, life has been a wild, fulfilling, and extremely expensive ride. Our house, and our lives, look drastically different than they did in our sub-700 sq.ft. apartment.

What type of living situations have you been in, reader? Did you make these decisions with intent? What types of decision-making processes did you go through to arrive where you are?



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