Just Moved: Jenna & Carl

How much does a home-to-call-your-own go for in these neighborhoods? This couple gives us the lowdown and a sneak peek at their new place.

Location: Helmetta, NJ
Square Feet:
Price Paid:
Around $280,000
The Deal:
My husband’s parents own the house. My husband’s name is on the title, and we pay rent every month of about $1,100.

When did you start looking (month/year)? We started looking about five to six months before the wedding, so about March 2009, I believe.

When did you close on your new home? We rent our house from my husband’s family, and they closed on the house in June or July of 2009.

How many homes did you visit and look at? We looked at probably half a dozen houses before picking the one we currently live in.

What was the hardest part about finding your new home? Finding an affordable place where mortgage and rent were reasonable enough for us to be able to still afford utilities and other expenses.

What was the best part? Moving in after the wedding and realizing we had a home together.

Was it hard to compromise and find a home you both loved? Yes and no. We both knew we wanted to stay close to our families, but we needed to find a house that was affordable. It was easy to look past the decorating because we made it ours. We had to compromise on how we were going put our names on the title; I wanted to own, but we compromised to rent.

Do you have any advice for Nesties who are still looking for their first home? Don’t get something you can’t afford; it’s still a beginner home. Get something in your price range and make the inside you. Save and get your own place down the road. And remember, it’s about having a home with your husband, not a huge mansion to show off to your friends. At the end of the night, as long as you’re together, everything else won’t matter.

What’s your favorite thing about your new home? I love that it’s our home, we come home to each other there every night, and we’ve left our fingerprints on it.

-- Samantha Leal