Here is a quick list of a few things I learned while we searched for our first home. Like I said previously, I was CLUELESS about house-hunting before we started. Thanks to our realtor, lender, and friends who have recently bought their first home – I now understand it better. This is just a short list of my advice to anyone else who will be looking for their first home soon. If I were to make a true list of everything I have learned along the way – it would literaly take hours to write out!
1. Be realistic in how much you are willing to spend a month on mortgage. Do not even walk into houses that you know are out of your budget. Try to stay as far from your absolute max as possible to ensure that you can still live comfortably.
2. If a nice house comes on the market – it is NOT going to last long. If you are serious about seeing the house go that same day in order to make sure you don’t lose the house before you even get to see it.
3. When making an offer on a house – be realistic. If it has been on the market a while, you may be able to give a lower offer. On the first house we bid asking price a few days after the house went on the market and we were still outbid.
4. Don’t be afraid of fixer uppers. Realstically, if this is your first home, you aren’t going to be able to afford that dream house you have in your head! As long as the house is in a decent neighborhood (and if the price is right) then it might be worth it to offer a lower bid and use the money you saved towards fixing the house. On the other hand – if the house seems like too big of a project (especially as your FIRST home) then it probably is. We visited many houses that would need work – but in the end the house we chose was move-in-ready, and honestly for us that is the best solution because we both have very busy schedules.
5. Location, Location, Location – when buying your first home, make sure you check out the neighborhood facts and crime levels. When you go to walk-through the house also observe your neighborhood to see if it seems like a good fit for you. If you notice trash in your neighbor’s yards, loud noises/music, yapping dogs, etc. – though you do not notice it now, it might become a problem when you move in.
6. The settlement process takes a long time. Like I said in my last post, we are still waiting to hear if we officially have the house. After talking to our lender yesterday, we found that we might not know officially until a few days prior to settlement. Though we are confident that we will get the house, it is still a bit frustrating not knowing OFFICIALLY if we should start packing our things!
love & lots of whit – jen xo
Do you have any advice for first time home-buyers?