How We Turned Our Dream of Home Ownership into a Reality

by Erika Torres

home ownership, purchasing a home, buying a home

Eric and I have known for a long time that our ultimate dream was to one day own a home. Living in an expensive housing market like Southern California where three-bedroom single family homes start at half a million dollars, we knew that it would take us a while to reach this goal.


So we started our journey to getting our finances in order and working our way up in our careers. It took us five years, but we managed to pay off $45,000 of debt, and triple our annual take-home pay in that same time frame.

A lot of sacrifices were made. We have lived well below our means, saving between 20-50% of our take-home pay. Once we finished paying off our debt, we put all those debt payments toward savings rather than increase our style of living. This huge savings rate helped us save $50,000 in less than a year to help us put 10% down on our single-family home on a 5,500 sq.ft. lot in central Orange County, CA.


Through all this time, we’ve depended heavily on CapitalOne 360 savings accounts to help us reach our savings goals, so it only made sense that we would look to them for help with our home loan.

Capital One’s goal is help first-time homebuyers understand how the home loan process works, which is why they’ve launched a new online learning center that features the know-how first-time homeowners will need to become the savviest homeowners on the block. Capital One offers the Capital One Home Loans Online Neighborhood as a tool for potential home buyers.

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The Capital One Home Loans Online Neighborhood is a free online resource where you can learn all about home buying. They’ve gathered easy-to-understand articles and helpful videos, as well as information about Capital One’s Home Loans offerings. The online neighborhood covers all stages of the home buying process – from deciding whether now is even the right time to buy and how much home you can afford, to the documents you need to apply for a mortgage.

For more information on home buying, review Capital One’s Tips for First-Time Homebuyers on the Home Loans Online Neighborhood.

I think that making the step toward becoming homeowners takes a lot of sacrifices but is well worth it if it’s what you really want. It wasn’t easy for us–it would have been a lot easier if we had used the money to live a bigger, grander lifestyle filled with new cars and fancy trips to Europe. But for us, sacrificing these things was worth it so we could achieve our dream of home ownership.

We’ve been homeowners for six months now, and we absolutely love it. We take so much pride in our home and we love spending our free time fixing it up.

I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

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Giulia May 29, 2015 - 3:25 am

Congratulations, sacrifices about savings are hard but when you see goal every day a little bit more near is so nice!!! CONGRATS!!!

Jayson @ Monster Piggy Bank May 29, 2015 - 1:41 am

Congratulations to you both. It’s really great to know that you finally got your own dream house. It is more enjoying because you have someone who can help you with to make the house be better and more comfortable.


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