Buying my first home was much deeper than just owning property. For me, it was breaking a generational curse. My parents never owned homes, neither did my husband’s parents. It felt like a childhood dream that felt tangible yet unreachable. So, when I married my husband and we started to expand our family, we prioritized not only finding the perfect home for our family, but also ending the cycle of renting within our family.
Unlike what’s seen on television, purchasing a home is a stressful and tedious process! However, on the day you sign what feels like a trillion papers, and you’re officially handed the keys to your new home, the stress you were once anxious to neglect, becomes a faded minuscule moment.
Because this was our first time buying a house, we experienced a few stressful moments that we could’ve avoided if we were more knowledgeable about the home-buying process. Now that all our boxes are unpacked, and we’re comfortably settled in, let’s go over some essential nuggets I wish I new before buying our home!
1. Find the perfect lender!
What’s a lender? Your lender is the financial institution that finances your home with the expectation that you’ll pay them back. After a credit check and an extensive loan application, your lender tells you what you’re qualified to borrow. Researching what lender is best for you is pertinent. Different lenders have different interest rates and some lenders even offer incentives. Don’t get caught up in JUST being qualified for a loan, search around and make sure you’re using a lender with the best benefits for you!
My family chose to use veterans united for our lender. Using them guaranteed us not only one of the lowest interest rates, but they also supplied us with a realtor. A perk of using their realtor was an additional credit for an even lower interest rate.
2. Find the best realtor for YOU!
Find a realtor that is willing to fight for what you want! Don’t feel pressured to use any realtor. Use someone who understands your wants and is willing to go above and beyond to find them for you! The realtor we originally started the process with turned out not to be the realtor we stuck with. While searching around for the best realtor, remember to be honest about what you want and your wariness about not wanting to commit to one person upfront. For example, before fully committing to the realtor we closed with, we worked with someone else. Thankfully, we didn’t sign any paperwork binding us to our first realtor, because of that, when we decided they weren’t the best fit for us, we were able to use another person.
3. Understand the housing market!
Is it a buyers market or sellers market? This determines how much power you hold as a buyer. When we purchased our house, it was a seller’s market. This meant that the seller had the upper hand. Houses were selling fast and because of this, we had to not only act fast in putting in an offer, but be willing to compromise on certain upgrades.
4.Just say NO!
Be willing to walk away from bad deals. Remember, buying a house is a serious commitment. Stay within your budget, and be willing to walk away if the price and home aren’t up to par. Separate your emotions from your reality. Take a step back and consider life after your emotions have settled. Is the house worth the cost? Can you see yourself in this home forever?
5.What’s Earnest money and why do you have to pay it?
Earnest money is the money you put down when you make an offer. The amount can be as little as $500. The amount you put down shows the seller how serious you are about purchasing. In the end, your earnest money is used towards your closing cost!
6. Find the perfect inspector!
When making a serious purchase like purchasing a home, getting an inspection is important. You want to ensure that the home you’re purchasing is quality! The worst thing that could happen is finding out your dream home is more than you bargained for after already closing. Finding a good inspector is easy! My realtor provided me with a list of prospect inspectors. I selected the inspector that provided the best price. I urge you to find an inspector that bundles the first inspection and re-inspection in one price. This tidbit can save you a few $100. At this point, you’ve probably already shelled out a lot of money not to mention the money you’ll have to pay at closing. Cut all frivolous cost!
5. Check every corner of your house at the final walk through!
So far, you’ve had an inspection performed by a professional inspector and an appraisal (another inspection to dictate the home’s worth.) You’re probably tired of hearing about inspections but take heed of the final walk through! This is your FINAL opportunity to have anything rectified before you officially own the home!
Everyone doesn’t have the liesure to take a homebuyers class, I get it. Or maybe you didn’t expect to be buying a house so soon; so, you didn’t have the proper time to educate yourself on the process. Look, buying your house doesn’t have to be stressful, utilize these tips to your advantage! I hope you find your dream house!