I met my husband in my early 20s when he was in the process of purchasing his grandmother’s old house in Milford, Connecticut.  Excited to keep the house in the family, his grandmother let him buy the house for a very decent price. It was an exciting time for him, and for us.  

It was a modest size Cape about one mile from the beach and we considered it our starter home.  I remember my first visit to the house.  As I entered the front door, all I saw was pink – pink carpet, pink walls, and a pink ceiling.  The house was indeed a handyman special.  It needed new, well, everything, including insulation, sheetrock, flooring, kitchen cabinets, and the wiring needed to be brought up to code.

I suggested hiring contractors to do the work, but after learning how expensive it was, we decided to do most the work ourselves.  We put a plan and a timeline together, before applying for a Sikorsky Credit Union home equity loan.  We sunk all our time and money into this house, while our friends were purchasing big, beautiful homes that were move-in ready. However, along with their big, beautiful home, came a big and not so beautiful mortgage payment.

Over time my feelings for this house quickly changed from excitement to annoyance. It was a thorn in my side. While our friends were out having fun evenings, we were spending our time grouting tiles. After 2 years of hard work, our home was finally done!  Looking back, it was a fun project to take on with my husband.  I learned a lot about sheetrocking and tongue & groove flooring, plus we saved a lot of money doing the work ourselves.  

In more recent years, I’ve heard financial experts say it’s a sound financial decision to “keep your starter home, as your forever home” and we did just that. 15 years and 3 kids later, we currently live mortgage free! 

If you're looking to renovate your home, consider taking out a Sikorsky Credit Union home loan or home equity line of credit (HELOC). It's a good choice with no closing costs and low, competitive rates.