I landed a job that paid 50% more than my previous job on April 30, 2018. I had some money in the bank and my kids wanted me out of the old neighborhood. It was getting bad, my house was broken into 2 times and I nearly got mugged 3 times. My neighbors house was broken into 5 times and one neighbor was shot. He lived but it could have been so much worse. So I decided I would move out of the county. I had a little money, no bragging rights I tell you.
At first I thought I would look for something around 100k. No luck there. Then I upped it to 120k. Nothing! Then 140k, nope. Finally I drew the line at 150k. This is the extreme end of my budget. Still nothing pre-existing. So I thought I would build. That's a 6 month process.
My old house needed work. My realtor said to move out while the contractor does the work. The kitchen was dysfunctional. I had all of 18 inches of counter space. It was a galley kitchen and no place to eat. While the contractor was working on the house I rented an apartment in a nice community, very nice by my standards. Heck my apartment was bigger than my house and with a balcony overlooking a lake. It was beautiful! Now I'm paying the mortgage on the house and the rent on an apartment.
Meanwhile I was negotiating with the builder but the builder didn't negotiate. Why should they, homes would sell within days of listing. My home on the other hand was stagnating. Finally on October 26 the house was finished and I signed the mortgage papers. The new home was twice the size of my old home, 850 square feet vs. 1611. It seems the new house ended going over 165k by the time you add a front door and windows. Actually, I added a walk-in shower, extended the garage by 2 feet in length and 2 feet in width, more cabinets, more electrical outlets, larger patio, upgraded sink and appliances.
I wish I could have done more but that was it, no more loot. By the grace of God I sold my old home for 6k more than listed. In fact I had accepted an offer below the asking price but they were late with the down payment and the great offer came in the meantime.
As it turns out that offer saved my butt. On January 4th, 2019 I was laid off. The company had financial issues. I wasn't sad at all. Instead I was counting my blessings. I worked a couple of odd jobs and then found another job that paid even more. Then comes the coronavirus. Laid off again. During the 9 months I had that job I paid off 22k in debt. The last job never felt right. Once again I just wasn't all that sad about it.
These days I think, wow, the only chance in my life I had a chance to buy a new home and it worked out. It was such a short window of opportunity.