Quite often little girls grow up playing house, playing with Barbie and Ken, and playing with dolls.
It seems to be the nature of what most girls do. They think surely some day the toys would no longer be make believe, but reality. How quickly time goes by and the young girls become teens and some become boy crazy beyond words. Boys, boys, boys. … What else is there, what else really matters? And, before you know it, the boys are now men and you wonder what happened?
Days have turned into months, and months have turned into years, and still no husband and no house. How could this be? Your dreams of being married and living in your dream home look like an impossibility. You’re still single living in what appears to be a couple’s world. A world that asks the question, “Why aren’t you married?”
I certainly can relate to every bit of this. I was one boy crazy little girl, teenager, and young woman. I use to think that a husband and a house was a package deal. I always thought the two went together. You get married, you buy a house. This is how it works, so I thought.
Was I ever wrong! Last year, single women purchased one of every five homes sold. That’s nearly 1.5 million, and if you’re counting that’s twice as many as single men bought, according to the National Association of Realtors. I finally made the jump and joined this group of home owners.
I never thought I would do this alone. I never really thought I could. I was a bit scared, freaked out, excited – all wrapped up in one. I took the big leap, and I’m so glad I did. I prayed hard. I sought the Lord’s guidance all along the way. My strongest prayer was “God, not my will but yours. Close the doors if this is not what you have for me.” God confirmed it at every turn and, yes, it was a process.
This did not happen the first time I looked for a home. Nothing was right. It was not God’s timing. Waiting can be so hard, but it’s always worth it. This time around, the right house, at the right time, in the right neighborhood all fell into place. I wasn’t even looking for a house; it just happened.
Are you like I was – a little scared to make the jump? I’m not necessarily encouraging you to purchase a home. Many of you are way ahead of me, and you did this years ago. You didn’t wait until you were in your forties to buy a home. If you have a strong desire to own your own home, begin praying about it. Mine was a very long wait, and then it happened fast.
Not only do you need to pray, but there are things you need to do on your end. Before you ever start the process of purchasing a house, be sure your finances are in order. Here are a few things to consider:
- How is your credit rating? The higher your score the better for you in every aspect of this important decision.
- Find out up front how much you can borrow, and get pre-qualified.
- Do you have high credit card debt? Work towards getting out of debt as much as possible.
- Consider the entire cost for the purchase. Taxes, home insurance, the mortgage rate, interest rates, a home inspection, and the closing costs.
- Be sure you work with a realtor you can trust. I worked with my mother who is a realtor. Not everyone can be quite this fortunate.
- Consider everything you will need when you move. There will be things that you will probably need to purchase, like a refrigerator, washer and dryer, furniture, and lawn mower. I had to purchase all these things. I had some furniture, but not enough to fill up a house. And, think about the cost of the move.
- Consider using a mortgage company that will not sell your loan.
- There will be expenses such as putting in phone lines, possibly cable or satellite television. Do you want high-speed Internet or Internet access at all?
- You may decide you need an alarm system. Many singles won’t live without one. Typically there is an installation cost, and then the monthly bills.
- Your house may need to be treated for bugs. Not just once, but possibly on a regular basis.
- If you’re purchasing an older home there may be many hidden problems with the house. New or old, NEVER purchase a home without having a good quality home inspection.
- Pray, pray, pray.
These are just a few simple things I’ve learned along the way. There are many great Web sites and books on purchasing your first home. God knows your future. Be smart; don’t buy beyond your means. This may mean changing how you spend your money. You should live on a budget, if you don’t already. Don’t wait.
You may be thinking, with your salary, purchasing a home will never happen. Never say, “Never.” But no matter what happens, remember God has built our ultimate dream home, one beyond our wildest imagination, one that nothing here on earth will even begin to compare. Things may be very hard for you right now financially. Keep seeking the Lord for His provision. Do your part; take baby steps towards becoming smarter with your finances.
God has a plan; He has a purpose, He has a place that is perfect just for you. Keep pressing on. Keep believing His precepts, and He will bless you as you continue to walk in His ways and trusting Him with your life
“In my Father’s house are many mansions; and if it were not so, I would have told you. For I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2-3).
Kathleen Hardaway is an author and speaker with a passion to encourage and equip women to be all that God calls them to be. She exhorts women to never give up, dream big, and live the life God created them to live.
She has been featured on "At Home Live" and "Celebrations" television programs. She has also been the guest on Midday Connection and many other radio broadcasts. Kathleen is on staff at Precept Ministries International. She has been the producer and director of Kay Arthur’s nationally syndicated television program, “How Can I Live?”