Please pardon my absence!
I wish I was exaggerating when I say our life has been crazy, but, no, really, it's been CRAZY. We've had an unusually emotional week, and I've done absolutely NOTHING creative since finishing Dru's quilt. (Which I'm taking pictures of tomorrow, if it doesn't rain!!) The baby threw up one day driving into work, my mom spontaneously ripped up her carpet in a cat-pee induced rage (that's Laney helping pick our potential carpet), and my grandpa died. :( BUT, work at the print shop has been busy for me, we're working on the new website for Pilates Napa Valley, and I got to have a long-overdue lunch with a great friend today.
Also, we've abandoned the rental-home search. After a marathon of My First Place, I checked out our credit scores against the FHA requirements. While our credit isn't awesome, we're right at the cusp of being eligible for a FHA loan. Like, 30 points away. So, after talking to a mortgage broker today, we're going the buckle down, repair our credit, and actually buy a home in the summer/fall! This is huge huge news, and will definitely take some hard work and sacrifice to clean up years of neglect of our financial resume, but it's nothing unmanageable.
The idea of owning my home before I'm 25 is something I never really considered as an option. But, I'm a hardworking mama, with a great hardworking man at my side, who's to say we can't have that American Dream as our own? City of / County of Napa has some incredible Homebuyer Assistance Programs to help us along the way, and prices in Napa are low low low right now. We could buy a larger home, and have our total monthly payment (mortgage, insurance, taxes) be $400-$700 LESS than we're paying to someone else's mortgage.
So, we're taking the money we set aside to move, and putting it towards a secured credit card for each of us. Then, paying off the smaller debts (stupid, utility type bills of $100ish), to encourage positive credit reporting. We're resetting our budget, based on our new incomes and gas prices (boo), and following some of John and Sherry's advice.
More good news is that now I have time to finish Mom and Randy's quilts before their May due-dates, without worrying about a move in the meantime. True adulthood awaits! Stay tuned for the inevitable trials and tribulations.