Adventures in First-Time Home Buying

I've been meaning to gather my thoughts since March on this topic to share my adventures in first-time home buying. Yes, at 42-years-old, I have not had the pleasure of owning my residence and going through the process of becoming a homeowner honestly scares me. Both from a long-term commitment and financial perspectives. A 30-year mortgage means I'm tied to it 'til I'm 72???

Since leaving home for college, I haven't lived in one place for more than four years, right now I've just hit my four-year anniversary with both my employer and residence. Am I ready to plant some roots?

I'm in the inspection and assessment process right now of a Southwest Florida home. Since I'm seeking a USDA loan (yes, the United States Department of Agriculture offers 100 percent loans for those looking to live in what they consider "rural" areas), the process is a little more "regiment" (i.e.: nerve-wracking!) compared to if I was a cash-buyer or conventional loan. Since the Southwest Florida real estate market is hot, I was lucky to have an offer accepted.

Stay tuned for cheers and tears from this first-time home buyer.