My Home Story: Finding Affordable Tranquility With a View
June is American Housing Month, and to celebrate we’re featuring your stories on renting, buying, or refinancing a home. If you’d like to participate, tweet us a short story and a photo of your home by using the #TheHomeStoryAHM hashtag.
Nancy Beard, 60, had always wanted a home in the countryside outside of Seattle, but the demands of her husband’s city job and raising two soccer-playing daughters kept her in the Seattle suburbs for most of her adult life.
Once her daughters left home for college and got married (while she divorced), Beard purchased a small “fixer home” that she hoped to renovate and sell for a profit. Two years into the project, though, she lost her job — and quickly ran through what was left of her savings.
Beard was forced to sell that home, but fortunately she soon found an affordable studio apartment nearby and a new job in the aerospace industry. By keeping her expenses low while steadily working her way up at work, she was able to set enough money aside for a down payment on a home.
“By 2014, I was financially ready for homeownership, knowing I could make the monthly mortgage payments without tapping my savings,” she says.
No longer interested in living in the “right” neighborhoods or the hot parts of town, Beard decided to explore rural properties for sale in King County that would offer her healthier way of life. She didn’t want a large home, or one that would demand a lot of upkeep. Another key requirement: having a stable nearby for Faith, her rescue horse.
Using Fannie Mae’s HomePath.com website, Beard found a three-bedroom townhome in Black Diamond (located roughly 33 miles from Seattle). She worked with a real estate agent to view the property and found that it was “perfect” for her lifestyle. It was “move in” ready with fresh paint and carpets and also near a highway that would make commuting to and from work a breeze.
Beard moved in and started to enjoy her outdoors lifestyle from day one, she says, taking in a view of Mt. Rainer with her morning coffee. Faith is also living her dream of safety at a local boarding stable just minutes away.
“The twists and turns that led me here are acceptable because I am gainfully employed and the future looks secure in the industry,” she says. “I am also cautiously optimistic because life has shown me that ‘anything can happen’ in pursuit of homeownership. But for now, I am living my rural dream and loving it.”