This Goal Is Finished
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Today’s TGIF achiever is Karly Davis. We are very proud of Karly for achieving a number of great things in 2011 and it’s only April! Karly attended our Velocity Workshop back in December and had a lot of BIG goals to tackle in 2011. As you can see below, she’s doing quite well!
My name is Karly Davis. I’m 29 years old and live (now) in Springfield, VA. I am originally from Harrisburg, PA and am a proud Penn State graduate! I work for an awesome association called the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO)—at EO, we work to provide our members (leading entrepreneurs) with the tools, resources and expert connections they need to grow their businesses.
I have 3 goals for the year. The goal I am highlighting today was to purchase my first home. I defined my goal in early December 2010. I indicated that I wanted to work closely with my realtor throughout the year (or however long it took!), search MLS listings, and continually educate myself on the home-buying process. I did not define success on this goal by ending 2011 as a homeowner, but instead wanted to be sure I found the right home and not “settle” just to say I accomplished the goal.
Why This Goal?
Purchasing a home has been in the back of my mind for a long time, I frequently thought about it, but the time never seemed “right” until now. Although it wasn’t a goal at the time, I had been building a savings account for this very purpose since I graduated college in 2004. I always said, someday…someday I’ll actually use that money for MY first house. The timing was right, my life situation was right and the money was in place, so this was the year I was ready to make it a reality. At almost 30 years old, I decided it was the time to put down real roots in the DC area and purchase a home!
The First Step
The first step I took was to connect with a real estate agent. My parents have bought and sold many of their own homes in Pennsylvania, so their realtor, Patrick, was my first contact. He gave me a brief overview of the industry and process then referred me to my realtor, Brenda, a very experienced agent here in DC/Northern VA. She and I talked on the phone about what I was looking for, what areas I was interested in, what was a “must” and a “definitely not,” and of course, my price range. She signed me up for the MLS email alerts based on my criteria and I began my search for my first home.
One of the biggest hurdles I had to overcome was my own fear of the process. Being a first time home buyer, I felt very overwhelmed several times and even thought, “this is just too much, I don’t have time, or I have a great apartment—I’ll just forget this and keep renting.” It was hard to regroup after those overwhelming days but I had the right support in place to keep my goal alive. My parents, boyfriend and real estate agent helped me keep things in perspective.
I stayed motivated toward my goal by continually telling myself that people do this every day…If everyone else can do it, why can’t I? It’s overwhelming, yes, but there were plenty of resources and tools to help me learn and feel more comfortable with continuing to move forward.
My real estate agent, and my parents were the essential mentors I needed to help me “trust the process.” They helped me learn about financing, interest rates, types of sales, inspections, contracts… the whole nine yards! I had a young, fun, creative agent on my side and the contract process was clearly her forte. Also, my lender, John, was a critical element to helping me understand all the financials with purchasing a home.
TGIF – Celebrate!
I was so excited! I put in my offer on the house on Friday March 11th and after only 1 counter offer, we finalized everything that same night. It was fast! I almost didn’t believe it. I started mapping out everything I wanted to do in the house, where my furniture would go, and how I’d decorate to make it “mine!” My boyfriend and I went to dinner the following night to celebrate!
Karly and Supporters at the signing!
Make sure you have the proper support in place, and educate yourself on the process. Ask questions of people you trust (friends, co-workers) and be aware that there are many different ways to achieve the goal of purchasing a home. There are different types of sales (regular sales, foreclosures, etc.) and many different types of loans (conventional, FHA, VA, etc.). There are also lots of different routes, financially, so don’t let ‘lack of money’ hold you back. Be aware that as a first timer, it will be overwhelming at times, but continue to tell yourself that you can do it. Also, be sure to pick an agent that fits your personality and is willing to fight for you, you may need that during the contract process. And lastly, don’t be afraid to ask lots of questions, even if they seem silly. Your agent and lender will expect lots of questions and they’ll gladly answer them - that’s their job!
Next up is getting settled in the house and personalizing it! Closing was on April 14th and thankfully, my boyfriend and I now have all our furniture and belongings moved in. We’re getting comfortable and making minor upgrades. A few larger upgrades will come with time (new windows!), but everything is great. The house was a “flip” so most items are new (kitchen, carpet, paint, bathrooms, HVAC, heat pump, etc.).
I am also working on another goal of losing 40 lbs by September 2011. I am halfway to that goal, which I am also very proud of. I began this process in early December 2010. To date, I have lost 21.8 lbs and I feel great. I achieved this goal through Weight Watchers online, regular exercise, and an EO office competition called… The Biggest Loser! I organized the competition and it was a huge success! We had 13 participants and I ended the competition in 4th place. Here’s to losing 20 more lbs!