Buying My First Home
My half-brother and his wife are truly an inspiration for me. I had the opportunity to stay with them for several months back in 2005, and they taught me the importance of investing and making smart financial decisions from a young age.
The first property they purchased was a three-story foreclosure with four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a pool. They used student loans to renovate the entire thing and slapped on an additional bed/bath for good measure. They proceeded to rent out the rooms (keeping the master suite for themselves), which would cover their mortgage and bills while they both went to school. My sister-in-law is now an attorney for the federal government and my brother completed his MBA and works in the housing market.
"Buy a condo," he would drill into my little brain: "Buy a foreclosure. Buy something--anything, but buy a property."
As a practicing Muslim, I had to tweak their pure genius in a few ways: first, my father insisted that purchasing foreclosures was not something I should do, as it meant (hypothetically) profiting off of the tragedy of a family. Secondly, the topic of mortgage is a very heated one in the Muslim community, so I did my research and crossed my fingers (figuratively speaking). The opinions that I researched are beyond the scope of this post, but I intend to write about them in greater detail here, God-willing.
Either way, I furiously searched the internet and tried every way imaginable to save up for a cash deal, find an owner-financing property, or qualify for an Islamic (or even traditional) mortgage, but my searches were unfruitful for years.
Finally, in 2012, upon returning from Saudi Arabia, I was blessed to sign off on a fixer-upper duplex in Nashville, TN, where my sister was doing her sonography rotations at the time. Ever since, we've been slowly making headway with the payments and the DIY renovations. The biggest blessing, however, is being able to have a place for family to get together in the summertime--there is enough room for all of us to visit and for the kids to run around and play.