The Buying vs Renting Debate

Sometimes in life, the greatest blessings are the simplest – clothes on our back, food in our bellies and a roof over our heads! Our home could be a one bedroom studio apartment in the city or a sprawling “mcmansion” in the ‘burbs… but the real question is does it make more sense for you to purchase or rent your home? 

Buying a home is quite the stressful experience – you’ll sign your life away on hundreds of documents, and then there will be lots of expenses like a mortgage payment, insurance, maintenance, repairs and property tax that you need to take care of not to mention the cost of putting down a lot of cash for your down payment. Renting your home might seem easier in comparison, but there are costs that still need to be factored in like renter’s insurance, a security deposit, and the possibility of financial repercussions to breaking a lease. 

As a newly engaged woman, building a home where my fiance and I can create our new life together as husband and wife is on our minds! But in the midst of the stress of planning a wedding, is buying a home right now the best idea or should we continue to rent, but in a place of our own? Time to consider the pros & cons of each: 

Pros and Cons of Owning A Home 

There are many costs that go into owning a home but there are SO many benefits to having a place that completely belongs to you! One – you get a chance to build equity! Equity represents the amount of your home and you own it. Once you pay off your mortgage completely, you’ll have 100% equity in that particular property. If your home value raises over time and you sell it for more than what you paid, you’re also able to make money. Another great reason to own your home is that it grants you stability. As long as you keep up with your mortgage payments, you are not allowed to get evicted from your home. If you rent, there may be nothing to stop your landlord from renewing your lease. This stability can be extremely important to families, especially those with small children. You also are able to make your own rules. Do you want a dog? You’re allowed too. If you’re thinking about renting a room in your home, you have that option to do so. By owning your home property, it allows you the freedom you would be limited to somebody else’s terms ie, your landlord. 


Image: AON Innovation 

Of course there are some cons when it comes to own your home. You are in charge of fixing all the repairs within your home. This can be anything with your heating system or if your foundation starts to sink. If you had cracks in your drywall, you’ll need to call a professional to come help you. If you live in the local area of Allen Texas there is a company you must call to help called AON Innovation. The drywall team is their specialty and it’s because they take such pride in making the drywall look as if it was never repaired in the first place. No matter what size, small or large, they help repair and match any texture for you! Their service, professionalism, and workmanship is the core of their success. Worried about licensing? They are able to do both residential and commercial work no matter if your home is new construction or a remodel. 

Having your repairs done by professionals may cost you some money but it’s money well spent to have it done correctly and the right way one time. If you are renting your home, your landlord is the one to do it and it might not be their speciality so after hours of work and labor, they may still need to call a professional to come help.

Pros and Cons of Renting

Just as buying a home has its benefits, so does renting. I currently rent my home and I love it. My roommate has an incredible eye for interior decorating, and it doesn’t hurt AT ALL that her mom is an interior decorating GODDESS! 

When you rent, there’s no need to sink a huge chunk of your savings into a down payment. Typically, you’ll be required to pay a month of rent up front along with a security deposit. In some areas, you may be required to come up with your first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and that deposit. Either way, you’re generally not talking about nearly the same amount as a down payment, which means your money isn’t tied up. Another benefit is it also gives you the flexibility to pick up and move if you need to rather then if you owned your home. When you rent, you’re able to sign a shorter lease with a one year term and if you suddenly get a job in another state, you have the option to break your lease within about 30 days and move without having any sort of financial penalty or the hassle of putting your home up for sale. 

There are a few cons is that if someone breaks into your home, you are the mercy of the landlord to have them fix it. This means that maybe your hot water stops working and you’re forced to find another place to shower for a little while until the repair is finished. You also are working with someone else’s rules perhaps not able to paint the walls or not get a dog that you really want. There are many pros and cons to owning a home as well as renting but the most important thing to focus on is what works best for you and your lifestyle right now. You can’t go wrong with either option because at the end of the day, it’s the simple blessings that count! 

Summer Makeup – Favorites & Not So Favorites

Legit worked pretty much my entire summer.

I started a new job, and unfortunately in America, taking anything longer than a straight week vacation is looked at as shocking, unless there’s “tenure” involved. Which, is understandable, however, we gotta take truly unplugged breaks every once in a while, even if you’re the new kid on the block.

The highlight of my summer was shopping for makeup at the beginning – picking out products that I try to see if they stand the test of time : the hot and humid Houston summers. Brutal.

Starting from the Top, clockwise : Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch setting powder, Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Gel and Brow Wiz, MorrocanOil Treatment, Anastasia Beverly Hills Riviera palette, Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick
  • Fenty Beauty Pro Filt’r Instant Retouch Powder – that Caribbean honey, Rihanna, knows what it’s like to deal with those sweaty, humid days and nights. This powder is worth the try if you’re worried about your face melting off the moment you walk out the door.
  • ABH Dipbrow Gel – On the fence about this product! Did I love it? No, But would I buy it again? For sure. I like it better than regular brow gel because of the small, tapered applicator and thicker, darker product, but it was kinda gloppy (is this a word?) and doesn’t feel like it brushes as evenly through my brows as the regular ol’ gel. But, boy does it stay ON! Through sweat and… yeah, that’s all I did this summer, but brows never rubbed off.
  • ABH Brow Wiz – Love this product. Will re-buy again and again. I just happened to include it in this early summer’s haul!
  • Moroccan Oil Treatment – The Original Moroccan oil treatment, the brand’s name is literally Moroccanoil. I love this stuff! I use this about every 3 times I wash my hair, and it tames the curls and combats the frizz that I love so much…
  • ABH Riviera Palette – I’m going to be completely honest, I haven’t actually used this palette yet. This is tragic… I know, but maybe I’ll do a post separately for this beautiful summery palette??
  • Huda Beauty Liquid Lipstick – I tried out Sugar Mama and Trophy Wife a while back and Trophy Wife has to be ONE OF MY TIP TOP VERY FAVORITE LIP COLORS EVERRRRRR!!! But it’s dark, reddish mauve makes Trophy Wife perfect for fall, and left me wanting something similar for Spring/Summer. Gossip Girl is described as the perfect everyday pink, and I have to agree with that! It’s got a hint of Barbie while also being normal enough to wear to the office. Cheerleader, “a delicately muted red”?? It was a deep red like lots of other lipsticks in my repertoire, BUT the formula SUCKED! It was watery, slippery and bled once it finally dried. I returned it immediately.

In all, I hardly did ANY painting of the sort this summer. I spent it perfecting my craft of the “quick, looked really pulled together” makeup look. Which I now rock some sort of variation of on the daily for my werkin-woman boss-babe vibes! No complaints there, but I’m ready to get my hands on the Riviera palette and get some COLOR in my life!

PSA : I just got Sephora’s 20% Summer VIB Sale in my emails! Going on from 8/19 – 8/23! Feel free to leave any suggestions for what to get in my upcoming haul!

xoxo,

Maria

Happy New Half Year!

Kalo Mina!!! Today is exactly 6 months to a brand new year! 2020 is coming in as quick as the first half of the year has passed, so naturally it’s time for a reality check.

Resolution : a firm decision to do or not to do something, something that is resolved
Goal : an aim or a desired result

The very definition of resolution itself sets me up for failure before I can even come up with a new year’s resolution amidst the holiday chaos. So I make goals! And here’s the thing about New Year’s “Goals” – if your goal is to lose weight, then if you fall a little short of the goal, it’s not like you’re a TOTAL failure. On the contrary with resolutions; if that isn’t resolved by the end of the year – done. You did not complete the task, and you suck.

Just kidding, at the end of the day, it’s really not that serious. For me, it’s a mindset. A goal is something that I constantly work for, but now’s the time to check myself, where am I at with what I had aimed for at the beginning of the year.

  • Change of Scenery
    • I felt I had reached a dead end at work, so I knew I needed to finally take the jump and explore something bigger. In March, I got a really amazing call and started a new gig in May! Check!
  • Be & Stay More Organized.
    • Sooo… I have not been consistent with my day to day planner that I throw in my bag to stay organized, BUT I have been pretty good with the TimeTree app! I use it with my boyfriend to keep up with extremely busy social and work calendars. Now if I could just keep up with the personal reminders… That’ll be second half of the year
  • Clean Up Eating & Cut Back on # of Glasses of Wine
    • I started a new relationship last year, and when you first start dating, it’s all fun and games until you can’t fit in your pants. Then the holidays came around, and I just wasn’t ready to fully commit against drinking a good glass or two of wine, especially after a truly hectic day! Now, I’ve finally tried Whole30, and have only a couple days left in my first round! Check!
  • Purge Makeup Stash & Reorganizing
    • I’ve bought bins from Container Store to organize makeup in my Ikea Alex drawers. That’s about as far as I’ve gotten.
  • Create Gallery Wall for Bathroom & Bedroom
    • I have acquired a couple of frames, etc… That’s about it
  • Be More Aware of My Finances
    • Spreadsheets!!! I never thought Excel would become my favorite Microsoft Office application, especially since I use it everyday for work. I haven’t solved all my financial questions, but I’m in the baby steps to a great habit none-the-less. I consider this a win.

If you have work left to do towards any resolutions or goals you had for the year, I’m right there with you. It’s not time to give up yet! Don’t let anyone stop you or get in your way, you’ve come so far already. We’ve got this.

xoxo

LaGlamGreek

hoUSTon Alumni

Makeup artist, blogger, R+F Consultant, Account Manager at one of the largest Insurance Brokerages in the world… but one of my favorite (quasi) professional titles is UST Alumna! I didn’t always feel this way though, because my dream school was University of Texas in Austin. As a young girl growing up in Cypress, TX – a suburb of Houston – I wanted to explore a brand new city for 4 years! But God had other plans for me. And I’m so happy I had the opportunity to live, explore & study in one of the best cities in this country.

I could make this post about how Texas (and specifically Houston) is the best place to live, work, and study, but I pretty much summed that up in this post here. Instead, it’s about how many opportunities came from taking a chance on a small university right in my own backyard.

UST is an opportunity to “Be Your Bold Self” – a slogan that encompasses the core of what the University of St. Thomas has to offer. College is an experience where you find out more about yourself and uncovering who you’ve been all along! UST incorporates academics with other fundamental parts of learning like the arts, culture, diversity and even faith to develop on the skills you already have and the person you already are!

UST is an opportunity to explore one of the most diverse cities in the world – Located in the heart of Montrose, you are situated within minutes of anything you could think of. Downtown, Discovery Green, museums, parks, the largest and most renowned Medical Center in the world, shopping centers, restaurants (name a food, any food… you’re within 15 minutes of anything you want!), and bars!

UST is an opportunity to learn how to keep yourself accountable by working closely together with a small team – because when you enter the workforce, you’re not in a large auditorium with hundreds of your colleagues. You work closely with your peers and your boss to learn and collaborate. My largest class, except for one rare, auditorium style class I had Freshman year, was about 25 people. And that was a sophomore English class. Other than that, my classes averaged no more than about 10 students. It was like we were having meetings each class, which is going to prep you for the workforce better than a large auditorium style class where you hope your professor doesn’t realize you missed half the semester.

UST is an opportunity to learn how to live in a REAL working city – how many universities overtake the towns that they’re located in? College towns are friendly to college students… but that ain’t life honey! And I’m sorry to deliver this message, but you will not be a young, dumb college student forever. Majority of the students that attend UST commute (please don’t get me started on the availability and selection of student housing at UST, not all schools are perfect…), learning to sit in morning and evening rush hours is necessary and incredibly beneficial to know before the rude awakening of joining the workforce post graduation. Studying in Houston means you take your classes and focus on your subjects for that semester, but all the while, you get to observe and absorb what the next chapter will be like.

There’s so much more to life than the college that you attended. In a fast changing world, an education is VERY important, but your diploma doesn’t define your very being. I had some doubts in my first couple of semesters, if I made the right choice by going to and staying at the University of St. Thomas instead of transferring to my “dream school”. Sometimes (when I sit in traffic) I daydream about how different my life would’ve been, and then I think about how I would have never lived my life now any differently! I’m a University of St. Thomas alumni, but I’m also a hoUSTon alumni.

If you’re a hoUSTon alumni too, there are so many ways to give back to the school that has taught us so much. This year’s UST Rocks my Socks campaign brought us so much closer to the alumni participation goal and is a great way to give to the next wave of those wanting to become Celt Alumni! To find out more information on this campaign and other Alumni events to score some really cool Celt swag, visit the UST Alumni page (here!) or follow them on Instagram!

To learn more about the University of St. Thomas, click here!

xoxo
La Glam Greek

Lessons from my Mother

A day late (okay, a couple days…) and a buck short, but a mother’s love is ceaseless, unwavering and forever. So, I do want to personally apologize and shout out to my wonderful mama; she knows, better than anyone on this planet that procrastination is my favorite sport, and that the timeline that I run on is arbitrary (in my defense, time is an abstract concept, so really who’s to say what is right and who’s clock is wrong, ALSO – life is short, so I will spend my time on this planet the way I want to).

In any case, honoring our mothers should be done ALL the time (see this Valentine’s Day posts for my feelings on that holiday as well…), not just on one day, so in honor of Mother’s Day this past weekend, whether you celebrate the Latino version on Friday or the American one on Sunday, it’s a long, love-filled weekend to remember, think of and honor your mother in any way you can.

Celebrating my final year of my twenties has been both a terrifying and liberating excursion – I’m finding my own way, finding my own footing in this crazy world, and especially my own footing as an adult in this crazy world. None of who I am today would’ve been possible without the love and guidance from my mother, so this year’s Mother’s Day got me to thinking about my favorite lessons I’ve learned from my mother and bonus lessons from mother figures in my life who are no longer here in person, but with me always in spirit.

  1. Mom is always right
    • I know I’ve said this before, because it’s true. You are the cornerstone of their being, your best intentions are always at their heart
  2. In your toughest and most trying times, give it ALL to God
  3. Learn to love yourself, God put you here as a blessing. Love yourself and show the rest of the world how to love you.
  4. BE the light and love the world needs.
  5. Live and Love selflessly
  6. It’s okay to beat to the sound of your own drum
    • “So you’re just going to jump off a bridge if everyone else does it?” makes so much more sense now that I’m older
  7. Men aint $hit!! (JK!) But for real, my momma taught me what being a “lady boss” meant before it was even a thing:
    • A man will not save you. A man will not teach you to love yourself. You need something done? DO it yourself. Don’t know how to do it yourself? Learn it. You are NOT a Damsel in distress.
  8. Looks fade, but a beautiful mind is forever
    • My mom stressed the importance of education over everything else, this turned out to be useful in my ugly duckling phase of life. Now I’m a smart freaking swan, with a degree
  9. Laughter. Laughter is absolutely the best medicine.
  10. Everything is going to be OK in the end. If it’s not OK, it’s not the end.

Bonus Lessons :

  • Never leave the house or take a picture without applying your “lippie-stick”
    • Mi guelita linda
  • Always dress like a lady
    • Yiayia mou glykia
  • A positive attitude will take you farther than you ever thought you could make it
    • Nona mou, memory eternal

I’m too emotional for this!! I am so thankful for the lessons I’ve learned from the amazing women and mother figures in my life, especially the lessons I’ve learned from my own mother. This list is only a fraction of the many I’ve acquired over the years, but I can tell you all that I’ve learned stays with me always.

Mom – thank you for your love, your guidance, your patience, your support, your tenderness, your kindness, your fortitude, your courage, your determination and everything else you’ve given to me so whole-heartedly. I would be so lost without you, but know that you’ve given me the best foundation for which to live my life. Yesterday, today, tomorrow and forever, you are so precious to me.

What are some of your favorite lessons you’ve learned from your mother or the mother figures in your life? Do you celebrate Mexican Mother’s Day or American? Do you not celebrate Mother’s Day because you like to honor your mother every day in other ways? Hoping ALL the mothers – past, present, future, mother figures, grandmothers, tias, aunts, godmothers, hopeful mothers, yearning mothers, non-mothers, fur-moms, and every mother in between – had a WONDERFUL Mother’s Day 2019.

xoxo,

The Glam Greek