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Home Budget: The Pastor’s House (Updated)

Mint’s note: Below is the follow-up we received from the Tuesday Train Wreck posted two weeks ago, entitled The Pastor’s House. In this story, the submitter purchased a house from their pastor, who exploited their trust in him to sell them a house that required major improvements, under an unfavorable contract. It looked like it would lead to a home budget nightmare. Although the Tuesday Train Wreck series usually involves uh-oh stories, we are supremely glad to share a more-than-happy ending to our readers.

My wife and I have some news worth sharing. This Saturday we moved out of our Train Wreck House and into our new house as first-time home buyers (complete with mortgage). I subscribe to the mint blog — and other personal finance weblogs — because our resolution for 2007 was to get out of that house and “take back our wallet.”

As part of our resolution, earlier this year we reviewed our Land Lease Contract and noticed something very interesting: an expiration date. The contract was only good for two years, which meant it was no longer valid. Our status was horizontally shifted to renters and we hadn’t noticed. This gave us a great deal of freedom and piece of mind.

We started searching for the house we wanted in mid-February and we found it by March. Six weeks later and we’re tired, sore, and “in.” As for the Train Wreck House, we’ve returned it to the owner. Because we moved so quickly we felt it was right to give one extra month of rent to the owner, our former Pastor, and just move on.

This time we did our research. We found a great FSBO right in the middle of our target area. I read many books, blogs, and statistics, and was prepared for presenting the sales agreement and negotiating specifics. Often the worst situations are the ones we learn from and, in the end, we couldn’t be happier.

Thanks for posting my story. It was cathartic to write. I feel like I could let it go. Buying “the home of our dreams” and having it fall into the home budget helps a lot, too. 🙂

Mint: We’re glad posting the story helps you (if just a bit) in burying the past. Thanks for sharing!

Train Wreck Tuesdays are a weekly post of horrible financial mistakes. They are posted anonymously. Submit your story; if you’re selected, you get a free personal finance book. The best comment gets the same prize!

Further Reading

  • Personal Budget Management
  • Expense Tracking and Planner
  • Household Budget Software