Well we closed on our house on Friday. First we closed on the condo (sold for $245,000 - attorney's and realtor's fees) and then close on our first home (bought for $325,000). We traded a condo and a $149,000 mortgage, for a house and a $250,000 mortgage. I plan to pay off the mortgage in 20 years. Currently we have a fixed rate of 6% for 30 years, with taxes the mortgage payment will be roughly $2050 a month. Not bad for NJ. I'm pretty excited about the house, but there's a lot to fix up. This is really the first large investment that will appreciate in value that I've been a part of. It's a 4 bedroom colonial house with a nice sized backyard. It's in a smalltown close to the school and many other shops and stores. The street we're on is a historic street, many of the houses are over 100 years old. The house we bought was built in 1988 by a contractor, but it was built in the same style as the other houses on the street. Moving with the holiday season so close was a hassle, but in the long run will probably save us some money. We shopped around for a moving company and got the whole job done for a little over $500. Cut my cable bill from Comast down to $66 a month for internet and tv, and signed up for Sunrocket so my phone bill is down to $17 a month. New cell phone plan from Verizon with discount through work cut the cell phone bill from $80 to $60. So hopefully these small cut backs will counter act the estimated 20% increase for utilities like electric, gas and water. Eventually I will research and try to implement solar panels on the backside of the roof and make as many energy star saving improvements as I can with purchase of new appliances (when the old ones break). I believe there are some tax deductions for buying energy saving products. Now I must go out and rake up the leaves in the backyard that has been neglected for sometime. The most difficult thing with the purchase of this house will be pacing ourselves with improvements (we would like to paint, replace and fix up a bunch of things). It seems like a never ending process.