A dream deferred: it took me ten years to get the “cottage” of my dreams. I didn’t plan it that way of course. But I must admit that every moment was worth the wait because it exceeded my expectations in every area.
I’ve always been a woman with a vision. I begin at the end of what I want or where I want to be and work my way back to the beginning. So when I first imagined a “cottage” I knew I wanted it to have a French Country feel. So before I ever looked at a piece of real estate, I of course started buying furniture and accessories! LOL. That meant that my current bedrooms, basement, garage and mom’s living room were holding extra dressers and nightstands and sofas and a dining room table that I knew would be great for “the cottage.” It also meant that everything that is now in my “cottage” is there because I love it!
I always knew I needed to take this process in Pink Elephant small bites. I’ve never understood why people move into a space and then leave the majority of the rooms empty for years to come. So I didn’t think twice about collecting things along the way, rather than find myself at the doorsteps of a cavernous empty space that needed filling. As I took my trips around the world over that ten year period, I was always thinking of my “cottage.” My favorite phrase became, “OMG that would be great for the cottage!” My son, who was 10 when we started this, would roll his eyes at me and say in exasperation, “Mom, we don’t HAVE a cottage!” (He had no vision, y’all!). In LA, as I made a wild U-turn in the middle of the street when I saw a quaint French day bed in an antique shop’s window, squealing, while I made the turn on two wheels, about how perfect it would be, he was yelling back as he held on, “but we don’t HAVE a cottage!” But I’m gonna tell you that I found my flatware in Dubai, a stunning candelabra at a flea market in Spain, and a super cute cork French-looking cork board on a road trip to Amish town. (Yes, Amish town!) In fact, it was this trip that convinced me that Al was the guy for me. We stopped at a Cracker Barrel restaurant right outside of Amish town on one of our first dates, and he held up the cork board and said, “This would be great for the cottage!” #Love #Vision
Now, we know that getting a second home, or even your first home, isn’t about dressers and cork boards. It is about responsibility, m-o-n-e-y. And credit. And timing. And patience!
So to break it into small bites for you, here are some things to help you get your ducks in a row so that you can buy your dream home:
- Do you have the money to spend? This is more than just having the money for a house. Tons of fees can add up really quickly when you start this process, and don’t forget about taxes! Another money grabber falls under even the smallest of renovations, improvements and repairs. Some inspector always says something has to be replaced. There’s paint that you’ll want to change. “The cottage” only needed to be repainted on the inside because I didn’t like the beige color the previous owners had used. This ended up being a $10,000 improvement. Your hands will itch to renovate. Do your homework and get a really good ballpark figure for the money you will need.
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Cheryl Grace is the sassy aunt, best friend, and mentor you’ve always needed in your life. The successful jet-setting, global corporate executive founded the aspirational lifestyle brand Powerful Penny LLC. Her products, workshops and speeches probe, inspire and empower to ensure those who really want to can get to their next level of best. Her blogs on careers, prosperity, relationships, family, looking and living fabulously, and living a five-star life can be found at www.powerfulpenny.com.