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Make the Best of What you Have 
By Monica Resinger

For quite a while now I had been thinking that I wanted a new home, one that 
was bigger, one that would solve all my storage problems. I wanted one extra ro
om for office/collecting, and I wanted an extra bathroom. I did a little 
research and found out the house of my dreams runs $125,000 and up. It doesn't 
take a rocket scientist to figure out that the monthly payment on a mortgage of 
this amount is going to be pretty high. After much debate, I finally came down 
to this important question: Is it worth it?

I'm a homemaker with a husband that works very hard to support us and I am 
very lucky to be able to stay at home. I contribute part of this luck to our 
monthly mortgage payments. If we were to indulge and buy the house of our 
dreams, I would have to get a full time job to afford it. No, not me, I'd 
make the best of what I have. It would be much more affordable for us to save 
and fix up (and I won't have to get a job either). We decided that what we 
need is to manage our space more efficiently and some cosmetic fix ups. 

My husband and I had a conversation about how we could get going on making 
our current house the house of our dreams, and what we decided is this: 

1. Plan ahead. We will sit down together and discuss each problem beforehand 
and talk about ways to improve the problem. For example, this morning we 
talked about the fact that we have very little closet space (one closet in the 
whole house). We decided that we will first go through all that we need to 
in the closet and pare down. Next we will remove the contents of the closet and 
take out the plaster walls and replace with sheetrock walls. Lastly, we will 
look into a custom made closet storage system. Planning will also include 
materials needed and an estimate of how much money will be required for the 
project. We are the do it yourself types, so we won't have to plan on paying 
services, but you may want to include this in your plan. 

2. Save. We will begin a savings plan to get to the required amount of money 
and estimate how long it will take to get it. 

3. Action. Do all that is possible without required materials such as paring 
down and preparation work while saving for materials. When we get to our 
required amount of money, we will then buy the materials and go to work. 

We will put this plan into action on each and every one of our problems 
including decorating blahs, storage problems, landscaping and lack of space. We 
will also use it for luxuries such as a hot tub! One important thing to 
when you are fixing up your own house is that it is a continual process, and 
you have to learn how to make the best of what you have. 

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Check out the 56 home, garden and recipe e-books full of reader tips that 
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