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It has been a crazy couple of weeks and I am so sorry for not blogging sooner! I promise to do another post to update you on all of the craziness.

When it comes to making smart decisions with my finances, I’d say I’ve done a pretty good job over the last decade or so. I think a huge part of this comes from the fact that I’ve always had a job since I was 14 years old. Both of my parents, grew up poor. My dad grew up even worse off than my mom. It was my dads life mission to make sure that my sister and I grew up with all of the luxuries that he didn’t have. Some said he spoiled us too much and at times spent his money foolishly but he didn’t care. It’s probably one of the things I admire most about him, he is wise beyond his years and I swear when you look into his dark brown, caring eyes you instantly see these qualities. He spent his hard earned money doing the things that he had always dreamed of doing someday with his family. He took us on vacations all over the world- Hawaii, Italy, Caribbean cruises and we ate amazing cuisines and spent time together as a family. That is what’s most important to my father, his family and not just his immediate family but our whole BIG italian family.

Growing up, I did have everything that I not only needed but wanted and very often we forget the difference between these. We weren’t rich but we were well off. Upper-middle class would probably best describe us. We had nice clothes but nothing designer. Both of my parents were adamantly against buying anything because of it’s brand name. When I turned 16, they helped me buy a car but I gave them money every week from my paycheck toward paying it off. My dad went from being a high school dropout to a reputable plumber and general contractor and that is something to be very proud of. Although my parents gave me a wonderful life growing up they also taught me the value of hard work. I think that I was born with an extra dose of ambition because I have always wanted to make my family proud.

For some reason, my financial planning has always involved real estate not on purpose but mostly due to timing. I bought my first place when I was 23 years old. It was a one-bedroom condo in Westchester county, NY. I only stayed there for a year but did some renovations and ended up turning a little profit. Then in September of 2010 my parents approached me with an offer that I couldn’t turn down. My cousin had passed away two years earlier and left his beautiful home to my parents. Unfortunately, he had a reverse mortgage on the house and the housing market was in shambles. My parents were in a very difficult situation. We sat down and I agreed to purchase the house to at least cover the reverse mortgage. Now normally at 24 years old myself or almost all people this age are not buying a 4,400 square foot custom teak and cedar house with a wine cellar and bar (just to name a few of the perks) but timing was on my side. The house is older and it definitely needed a lot of updating but it was a challenge I was ready to take on. So I bought the house and the renovations began. Now let’s fast forward. It’s present day and I’ve had the house for two and a half years now and almost everything that I had set out to renovate has been done…except for a few smaller projects. It has been a very long few years of renovations which took a lot of time, energy and money. I am so happy with the end result. I am even happier however, that we just accepted an AMAZING offer on the house and my fiancé and I will start construction on our new house soon! Over the next few posts, I will share all of my tips on saving money on renovations and before and after pictures of some of our rooms.