How Buying a Home Helped One Couple Prosper

From rental living to owning a farmhouse on 22 acres, Tasha and William Kornegay are using homeownship to help build financial security.

(Image credit: NATALIA WEEDY)

Tasha and William Kornegay had been living in a rental in Apex, N.C., near Raleigh, for a decade when they decided it was time to buy a home. But the real estate market in their area had been booming, and many homes were out of their price range. So they set their sights farther from the city, and in 2017, they purchased a farmhouse on 22 acres in Sanford, about 45 minutes outside of Raleigh, for $180,000. “A lot of our friends thought we were crazy” for moving to a more rural area, says Tasha, a mental health therapist. But now, Sanford is gaining more interest from home buyers, she says, and their property’s value is going up. William, who used to work in marketing, grows sweet potatoes on the farm.

Tasha, 47, and William, 49, spent $150,000 in savings remodeling the home, and then they began focusing on paying off the mortgage as quickly as possible. To come up with extra cash, they cut down spending on eating out, entertainment, clothes and other extras. Now, they’re on track to pay off the house well before 2020 is over. “We are later starters, but we have our skates on,” says Tasha.

Their home purchase has been such a success that it inspired them to buy a $300,000 vacation property in Gulfport, Fla., last year. When they’re not visiting it, they plan to rent it out for income. The Kornegays have two sons, and “it feels good to create some financial security for the future of our children,” says Tasha.

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Lisa Gerstner
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

Lisa has spent more than15 years with Kiplinger’s Personal Finance and heads up the magazine’s annual rankings of the best banks, best rewards credit cards, and financial-services firms with the best customer service. She reports on a variety of other topics, too, from retirement to health care to money concerns for millennials. She has shared her expertise as a guest on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, NPR, Cheddar and many other media outlets around the nation. Lisa graduated from Ball State University and received the school’s “Graduate of the Last Decade” award in 2014. A military spouse, she has moved around the U.S. and currently lives in the Philadelphia area with her husband and two sons.