What I Learned From Buying My First Home At 25

“Home” looks different to everyone.

Photo by Nubia Navarro on Pexels

I grew up, for the most part, in a house in the suburbs. Backyard with a swing set. Big oak tree full of squirrels in the front. Mailbox at the end of the driveway. Very typical “American dream” living. I didn’t think much of it as a kid. It was just a normal house to me.

After graduating from college, I faced many of the same dismal job prospects and student loan anxieties that a lot of twenty-somethings are facing. When it appeared that I wouldn’t be fully employed within a few weeks of getting my degree (as I had hoped), I moved back home with my parents and started the long process of trying to figure my life out.

It took about two years.

Once I got a full-time job and was able to start saving, it didn’t take long for me to realize that I wanted to live on my own. I’ve always been a highly independent person, and having control over my own space and environment means a lot to me. I knew from prior experience that I didn’t want to rent…but buying a house? Was that really the only other option?

I took the picture I had of my future and, for the first time, realize it was a blank canvas.

I don’t really like grass or trees, and the thought of keeping up any sort of lawn exhausts and irritates me. I don’t have or intend to have kids, so the idea of lots of bedrooms seems superfluous. I don’t even like the idea of staying in one place that much, which made buying a full-blown house and the laying down of roots that comes with it an outright mistake.

(I also wasn’t keen on getting a loan for a quarter-million dollars to finance a home I didn’t really want anyway.)

Thinking about where I could see myself living forced me to take the picture I had of my future and, for the first time, realize it was a blank canvas.

Then I thought about how I wanted to paint it.

Once I learned how to really figure out what I wanted for myself, buying the place was the easy part.

I like cities. I like being close to places where there’s a lot to do and see all year-round. I like walkable areas where I don’t have to get in the car just to pickup some milk. I like a bit of hustle and bustle, noise and all.

Once I learned how to really figure out what I wanted for myself, which only came from time spent getting to know who I was, buying the place was the easy part.

I live in a condo, a nice walkable distance from my job near the center of the city. I have just as much space as I need to be comfortable without feeling overwhelmed. It’s not the expectation I had when I was a kid, thinking I would live in a home similar to the one I grew up in. But it’s the kind of lifestyle that actually makes me happy.

“Home” looks different to everyone, and I think anyone considering buying one should think about what they truly want in life. Don’t look at a traditional single-family house as a marker of success if that’s not where you actually want to be. There are far more options than just that, and all of them are worth exploring when it comes to painting the picture of your own life.

What does “home” look like to you?

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CeJayCe

CeJayCe

Travel | Languages | Personal Finance | Writing | Life Lessons