We’ve been living a life of complete bliss being debt free for several years now. However, 2017 hit us hard. On July 2017 our house was targeted for a shooting, it was 11pm and I was doing my night devotional in my living room. The vandals shot several rounds of bullets to my house, luckily none of them penetrated and were stuck in our impact resistant door. Even with security cameras, the police informed us that they couldn’t do anything as the shooters removed the plates and covered their faces with hoodies. Needless to say, my husband and I did not feel safe at all. Not only we experienced shooting at our front door, we also started seeing some weird Santeria going on in the neighborhood and drug dealings happening right in front of our property; hence we decided it was time to move. It was not our intention to raise our two children in this kind of environment. Our house was completely paid off, upgraded and beautifully maintained so we knew it was going to be an easy sell. And so it was, we received 5 offers within 3 days in the market.
We had clear goals of what we wanted in a property: 4 bed/3 baths, family room (which we never had before), 2 car garage, nice front and backyards, updated kitchen, established neighborhood. However, in Miami, such a property can run up the $400K and we wanted to pay cash for it if all possible.
We were very confused as to what to do since we’ve been debt free including the house but kept praying to God to guide us and find the perfect house in a secure neighborhood for us. We put offers through our realtor in 2 houses, but the deals became a bidding war and we ended up not getting those houses. I started looking on my own and found a neighborhood that I like with a house that required me to carry a small mortgage and a need for a second car for my husband (we currently have only 1 car).
I paid for inspections on this house, secured a lender for the mortgage and while on inspection we got a heavy downpour in which part of the ceiling of this house collapsed. Needless to say, we abandoned that contract.
We kept praying for an answer and guidance. As were driving by a neighborhood near my husband’s job we saw a realtor sign at a house that had all the things we wanted, two car garage, 4 rooms 3 baths, nice curb appeal and a small yard. We call the realtor and she said she was going on vacation and if we wanted to see the house it had to be that evening. When we went inside, I knew that it was the house for us. The price was right so that we didn’t need a loan, we used our savings and the sale of our house proceeds to buy and close in cash for our new house! We made an offer on the spot, and it was accepted within hours.
As blissful as the move was to our perfect house we got hit with another surprise. Prior to the closing we got visited by Hurricane Irma. The house we owned for 17 years stood perfectly with minor damage to the side hedge so the selling was not disrupted. Our perfect new house didn’t carry the same faith. We lost the back fence, had extensive tree trimming work to do, a small leak in the garage, a broken window, a faulty garage door and an air conditioner unit that had seem better days. Regardless of those things we move to our new house, depleting completely our savings and emergency fund.
Heavy downpours were happening around the area, and the new neighborhood was full of debris from the hurricane. But we loved the new house. Little by little we fixed the window, the garage door, the leak in the garage, the air conditioner but we still have no fence. At this time we were netting $0, but still not in debt. Around the second week of living here, the toilets started bubbling up. We call a plumbing company and found that when the cable company installed the fiber optic, they impaled the sewer line right smack in the middle. This in turn caused a sink hole in our driveway. This new emergency put us in the red and now we are in debt again. The advantage that I have is that with no mortgage payment, we feel we have a bigger shovel to cover this hole.
As a write this I’m implementing my strategy of budget. I’m following my own advise and developing the plan to be debt free again. My target day is May 21, 2019, just in time for our 20th year wedding anniversary. What a great gift to have that day, the day that I once again become debt free!