For the past 10 years I have lived in 14 different places, so I have moved to a different place on an average of every 8.5 months. I honestly don’t mind moving, and my 5 year old daughter loves it, she gets so excited every time we move. However, my 2 year old son does not handle change well at all, and to be perfectly honest, I’m ready to be able to paint my kitchen any color I want and be able to have a dog without paying an outrageous pet deposit. This has led us to exploring buying a house.
I took the recommendation of a coworker on who to use for a real estate agent, and she was fantastic. I loved Ruthie, she was helpful through the whole process and really listened to what I was looking for in a house, which was somewhat specific. There were difficulties with the seller and the title and she was all in fighting for me to get me the house I wanted. Which leads me to the first steps to home ownership:
- Narrow down what you want in a house and prioritize. The prioritizing portion is important, obviously we all have our dream house list, but depending on your financial and work situation, everything you want might not be practical. I’m both very specific about what I like and I hate being wasteful, so we opted to look for a fixer upper (because I can’t justify repainting a house that was just painted even I hate the color). This worked well, we found a house that needed all new paint and all new floors, so I could totally justify changing to exactly what I wanted!
- Pick a good real estate agent. I’m not going to lie, at first I was like we have the internet, I can do it on my own, I don’t want an agent trying to push me into something I don’t want! I am so glad I listened to my coworker and talked to a real estate agent! Be sure to find an expert in their field and someone you enjoy being around, you might spend more time together than you would think!
- Getting Pre-Approved for a Mortgage. These 2 steps will actually be done together, in my case I actually spoke with the real estate agent first and she referred me to a mortgage broker she had worked with before who she knew and trusted. However, don’t fall in love with a specific house until you know what you can afford. Same idea here, find someone who is an expert in the field (he had been in home lending for 20 years) and who you feel comfortable with because in some cases they will have to dig pretty deep in your finances and it might feel personal.
Get ready for a bumpy ride. I’ve heard a few home lenders begin the process with “By the way, at the end of this, you will probably hate me, and I’m so sorry!” It’s probably a good idea to set expectations low. That way if you are prepared for the worst, you can handle it, and if it ends up being a breeze, you will be on cloud nine! It’s a win-win.
From beginning to end, the process ended up taking almost 3 months by the time the title issues was cleared up. But we could not be happier, I love having my own home and the joys and challenges that come a long with it!
Follow my blog to learn some great ways to upgrade and fix your home on a budget! We will have a lot of new projects!