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Purchase of Our New Home

So exited to finally be sharing this part of my Person buying a home in a shopping cartjourney with you guys! It is official, just about a month ago me and my wife became proud homeowners of a condo. I know, I know, you guys were probably thinking I was going to get this large and fancy house, but me and my wife don’t require much room. Also, the more we would have payed for our home, the more we would have spent for our living expenses and that is just simply due to associated living lifestyle costs. So we ended up going with a condo that still was relatively cheap at current home price levels.

The Story

It has been long awaited and my wife can vouch for that, since we have been looking for our home for quite some time now. We had a few, lets just say subpar realtors here and there that we ended up switching out of and narrowing down location wise was not the easiest thing in the world. Eventually, we did end up visiting dozens of places and looked over probably thousands of places through MLS. The thing is that we didn’t want to rush into a home ownership and buying a place we wouldn’t be happy living at and large part because to me mortgage is one of the scariest things to have, so savings is crucial. I am just talking from experience when I was working as a mortgage broker before the 2008 meltdown years (ahh, good times). But anyways, we ended up finding a great realtor that was honest and sincere which did a great job all around and just a few days later with her we found our dream home. Here it is guys!

photo0Property Details

Location – Palos Hills, Illinois

Property Type – Condo

Year Built – 1974

Size – 1,333 sq/ft

Total Units – 4

Exterior – Brick

Parking – Attached 1 Car Garagephoto1

Basement – No

Balcony – Yes

Room Details

2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms

Living Room – 21′ x 15′

Kitchen – 10′ x 10′

Dining Room – 11′ x 10′photo3

Laundry Room – 8′ x 8′photo4

Master Bedroom – 15′ x 15

Guest Bedroom – 12′ x 12′


Subdivision: The Timbers

Includes Pool and Clubhouse

1 Free Party  🙂

Type of Loan – Conventional Loan

Sale Price – $109,000

Loan Amount – $81,750

Term – 30 Years

Rate – 4.25%

Downpayment – $23,000

The Illinois Welcome Home Heroes Grant – $10,000


Monthly Liabilitiesphoto9

Principle & Interest – $402.16

Taxes & Insurance – $96.08

Association – $217

Total – $715.24




As you can see the place needs a bit of updating here and there. The pictures are from the original listing, so they are not the best by any means. I used them so perhaps one day I can do the before and after comparison after remodeling of the condo. That is not going to be anytime soon since we need to paint the whole place, remove the rug, install hardwood flooring and some other smaller projects on the side. Overall, we are very happy to have our own place in a great community with a very affordable mortgage.











Thank you for reading



  1. writing2reality on February 24, 2015 at 13:21

    Congratulations. Pretty affordable housing situation, and the $10,000 grant is a great incentive for you as well. Best wishes to you and the wife as you build this condo into a place to call home.

    • DividendVet on February 24, 2015 at 22:11

      Thank you. Yeah you know we didn’t want a huge mortgage payment so we ended up putting a nice downpayment. Plus, the Welcome Home Heroes Grant was an awesome bonus downpayment, one hell of a program here in Illinois. That gave us a lower payment which is much cheaper than we would have rented.

      Much appreciated and best wishes to you too.

  2. walletengineers on February 24, 2015 at 14:34

    My home was twice the purchase price it’s just must paying. However, once I’ve paid down my 20% (4.5 years or so), my P&I + taxes + insurance will be $975 give or take $25.

    I’m happy, though, because I can do things like install solar panels, or retrofit radiant floor heating. I would settle for a condo, though!

    Another benefit is that your energy bills should be substantially lower than a single family home. Exterior maintenance is lower. Maintenance, in general.

    You should write an update on privacy, dealing with the association, neighbors, whether the association cash reserve is adequately covered (usually not which leads to large one-time assessments for various upkeep).


    • DividendVet on February 24, 2015 at 22:34

      I agree, putting a large downpayment is paramount to get the lowest interest rate and not having to pay PMI ends up to be a huge savings. I think 20% should be a minimum downpayment for a property and if you can’t do that you are buying above your means.

      Having a single family house is the goal down the road, we will see, maybe we can rent this place out later on and convert it to an investment property. Might be tough because community allows only 10% of the units to be rented out. But we will see down the road.

      Our energy bills are quite low and run around $100 give or take, though we do need to buy more energy efficient light bulbs and thinking of spraying polyurethane foam in the attic, though need to get a few estimates on such work.

      As far as maintenance is concerned, it is $0 since the association takes care of everything, including snow removal, cleaning inside and outside, landscaping, pool and anything outside of the property. I guess that is one of the reasons why our homeowners insurance is so cheap, only $15 a month.

      Glad you mentioned the association, we received their budget several times already and it looks sharp to say the least. Plenty of reserves and not hiding anything which I liked.

      Thanks for the feedback.

  3. DivHut on February 24, 2015 at 14:59

    Congrats on the new purchase. Your excitement really comes through in your writing and I wish you the best. This home seems to have everything you were looking for as a place to live as well as everything you were looking for from a financial perspective as your mortgage seems quite reasonable and manageable going forward. Look forward to your before and after updates as well as how condo life is treating you.

    • DividendVet on February 24, 2015 at 22:43

      Thank you, it really is exciting to have a place I can call home. Everything just aligned perfectly for us, down housing market, low interest rates, great realtor, found a grant, and got the price well bellow of some comparable in the area.

      It really is everything we were looking for and much more, I think I forgot to mention a walk in closet in master bedroom which is still in great condition. 😉

      Glad to have you stop by.

  4. Dividend Hustler on February 24, 2015 at 15:23

    Congratulations DV. Awesome purchase. That’s great. Keep up the great work and keep working towards financial independence my friend.

    • DividendVet on February 24, 2015 at 22:57

      Much appreciated! Hey thanks for the kind words. As far as investing goes, I have been stuck on 60K portfolio value seems like for the longest. Need to tighten up that belt and get myself going.

      • Dividend Hustler on February 25, 2015 at 02:19

        You’re doing fine. What’s the rush? You just bought a condo. You 2 are having a great time. Let things settle and when you have peace… Then you’ll be prosperous. Life’s Great! I will be checking up on you often. So keep Hustling.

        • DividendVet on February 25, 2015 at 19:05

          I wish it was that easy… Peace comes and goes, but prosperity takes action to accomplish.

          All the best.

  5. DivGuy on February 25, 2015 at 10:59

    Congrats! I like the style. Not a fancy house, but still a large condo… with a garage on top of that! Don’t worry about the upgrades here and there, always some to do in a house! Enjoy home!

    • DividendVet on February 25, 2015 at 16:54

      Thanks, It has a unique style, every time I come home I feel like coming back to a resort. It just has a different vibe to it. I like it. Plus, it is definitely much larger than we used to live in the past thumbs up to that.

      Yeah, we will be taking our time with the upgrades as we progress, though we do want the rug out pretty soon due to it being so old. Who knows what kind of things live in that thing.

      Take care.

  6. Dividend Mantra on February 25, 2015 at 16:18


    Congrats! Sounds like it’s everything you and the missus wanted. Fantastic!

    Very affordable, all in all. That’ll make the experience even better. I’ve heard of too many people chasing a big house thinking it’d buy them happiness; instead, it only brought them misery. Enjoy it. Make it yours. 🙂

    Best regards.

    • DividendVet on February 25, 2015 at 17:08

      Absolutely, as mentioned we been looking for quite some time and good thing we did, we saw this place and we knew it so we ran with it.

      Can’t argue on affordability, and we never needed a big house, just our own little nest. Oh man, just thinking about a huge mortgage payment forever brings me anxiety. I don’t know how so many people get into so much debt without ever thinking.

      We slowly making it our own. The other day we bought some really nice looking furniture for cheap on Craigslist, so we been flexing our frugal muscles. I think in todays day and age there is no need to pay retail price for anything, internet is a wonderful thing if you know how to use it.

      Thanks for visiting.

  7. Dividend for Starters on February 26, 2015 at 03:21

    Hi DividendVet,

    Congratulations on your purchase!
    Just to put it in perspective, I set these parameters to our biggest search engine for properties in The Netherlands: condo, built in the 70’s, 4 rooms, garage. Cheapest: €340k, most expensive: €900k.. 🙂

    There are a lot more factors needed to create a correct comparison, but I think you get the idea.

    Good luck with the renovations!

    Best wishes, DfS

    • DividendVet on February 26, 2015 at 11:16

      Thank you so much!

      Oh wow, those values make me cringe. Not sure if you are including the living room and dining room as part of the 4 rooms, but wow that is some expensive real estate out there in Netherlands. I guess the demand must be really high our there.

      Love the international comparison!

      Best wishes.

  8. FerdiS on February 26, 2015 at 10:00

    Congratulations! I’m a little envious that you can get a place like that at such an affordable price… that’s impossible in the Bay Area where we live. Good luck and have a great time in your new place. “Making it your own” through upgrades will be really fun — we’re doing the same with our new place.

    Take care!

    • DividendVet on February 26, 2015 at 11:50

      I appreciate it! Well you know is a big difference between South-West of Chicago and the Bay Area of California. You are paying for a much better location. We don’t have the beautiful sunshine year round and that spectacular coast speaks for itself. Though, there is a pretty big forrest preserve just few blocks away that have all kinds of lakes and trails and if I am not mistaken, it is the biggest one in the county.

      So far I am enjoying doing some of the smaller upgrades, we will see with the rug…

      Thank for stopping by.

  9. A Frugal Family's Journey on March 1, 2015 at 00:01

    Congrats on the new purchase DividendVet! Good to hear you didn’t over-extend yourself…that should allow your most powerful asset building tool (your income) to keep working for you, instead of paying bills! 🙂

    Enjoy homeownership…and take your time fixing it up. If there is anything I have learned through the years is that you’re never done fixing and changing things in your house. So why rush? Do what is most critical, what you can afford, and most importantly, do it at your own pace. 🙂


    • DividendVet on March 1, 2015 at 19:19

      Thank you. Absolutely, liabilities are huge weights weighting people down in the form of bills and/or debt, I try to minimize my liabilities or to diminish them altogether, though some are impossible. I try to see it this way, either I am building liabilities or I am building assets. I found out that building assets is much more rewarding and pleasing for me to do.

      Yeah, I am going to have to take your and few other advices on renovating. Awesome points!

      Good hearing from you.

  10. Dividend Dreams on March 1, 2015 at 12:00

    Congrats on you home purchase. Never apologize for owning a condo. I’ve owned many homes and the bigger the house, the bigger the yard. I’ll take a condo over a house any day. My largest home was 5500 square feet in Utah. I spent my weekends trying and failing to maintain the home and the huge yard.

    I am happy you received a grant, in my opinion, all veterans deserve incentives for their service. You should consider 1 extra payment a year or dividing 1 extra payment by 12 and paying down your principal. This one easy steps takes a 30 year mortgage to a 21 year.

    • DividendVet on March 1, 2015 at 19:38

      Thank you. Oh wow, 5,500 square feet house is a castle and don’t look forward owning anything as big as such. Taking care of the font and back yard are definitely some of the worries a homeowner may have, though I think all property types have their pluses and minuses. For instance, we have $217 association cost that needs to be payed on monthly basis, that is $2,604 per year, to some that may be expensive, though the worry free mindset is definitely nice.

      As far as paying off a mortgage goes, we do have a plan set up of contributing 5K each, every year, which would eliminate the mortgage in total of 8 years. We can definitely save that much and have some leftover toward investment funds, though I wonder if just investing perhaps would be better return wise, since dividend growth or other funds would outperform the 4.25% mortgage yield, plus mortgage interest is tax deductible.

      Thanks for the support!

  11. George on March 5, 2015 at 21:26

    Concrats on your purchase.
    Awesome is all I can say.
    In my country you pay for your house at least $ 235.000.
    I am not kidding sir.
    If i had bought your home I would prefer real wood floors or laminate.
    I should also have invest in led lights as well double glazing.

    Enjoy your new home in your great country.

    The Lightening Twins

    • DividendVet on March 6, 2015 at 13:55

      Thank you very much. Wow, this is second time hearing about really high prices in Netherlands. Must be tough for people to save up or even taking out these huge sums of money on a mortgage. Can’t imagine myself doing anything as that unless I can leverage it to make a profit.

      We are planning to instal wood floors, though its hard to find a good deal at this time. I would like to spend no more than $2 per sq ft so in the mean time I will continue looking until opportunity arises. We have led energy efficient lights and double glazed windows already.

      Good hearing from the other side of the world!

      Take care sir.

      • George on March 6, 2015 at 22:50

        For young people in The Netherlands it is tough to save I have to admit.

        In the Netherlands the personal savings rate is still over 12%, but it is falling.
        Our Pension assets are greater than 1400 billion Euros.

        See equation US versus Netherlands

        Total Pension Assets 2013 (USD billion) % GDP in bn USD*
        Netherlands 1,400 172%
        US 18,878 113%

        The Pension system in The Netherlands is one of the best in the World.

        Last but not least I like your photos you have taken and some are gorgeous.

        Enjoy your bought home and enjoy the spring.

        The Lightening Twins,
        Met vriendelijke groet,

        George T
        The Netherlands


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