CELEBRATING 8 YEARS OF BEING HOMEOWNERS
Would you believe me if I told you I was just 20 years old when we started our home buying process and 21 when we finally got our house keys. This week we celebrate 8 years since our house was done being build, closed on it, and moved in. I am in disbelieve on how fast the time has passed. I MEAN EIGHT FREAKIN YEARS AGO! Ryan was just a baby, who had just turned one and was learning to walk. We started as a family of 3 and over the years it has become so much more. A place where memories have been created, a place where we brought two tiny newborns home, so many cherished memories here as a family of five.
I always knew I wanted to be a homeowner at a young age. It is a scary feeling to take on all this responsibility but it is also so rewarding and amazing to have a place you can call your own. Before we got pregnant with Ryan we were leaving in a townhouse that we were renting and soon after when we found out we were expecting our place got broken into while we were both at work when I was just 6 months old. The feeling and emotions of coming in to your own place and finding out it has been invaded and loosing all of our hard earned items was too much for me. I no longer felt secured and lost the feeling of calling that place “home” knowing someone out there invaded our privacy and could come back at any moment.
After that incident we continued to pay our rent because we could not afford breaking our contract and we definitely did not want to ruin our credit either. We continued to pay for rent for those 14 months even though we were no longer there while we stayed with my in laws. We were so fortunate they took us while I was pregnant and gave us that comfort and security I had lost.
HOW TO GET STARTED
We started getting serious about getting a house right after Ryan was born. At that time I felt we had already started a family and it was time we gave our son a place of his own where he could grown in and have his own room and his own space. We started working on our credit. If you don’t know now- know this– CREDIT IS KEY if you plan to have a mortgage on your home.
HERE ARE 5 TIPS TO BUYING A HOME
START EXPLORING YOUR OPTIONS
I think the funnest part for me was the starting process when we started looking into neighborhoods. Looking into subdivisions/neighbors/what area/what home design/the number of rooms we would want. All these are important questions to ask yourself to save time when visiting open houses.
SET YOUR BUDGET
Be realistic and set a budget for yourself that will not cost you stress later paying mortgage throughout the years. Stay in your price range and be outspoken to your real estate agent if the price exceeds your limit. Also the toughest one- avoid looking at homes outside your budget. They might be dreamy and beautiful but know your price and stick to it.
GET PRE- APPROVED
This is in important step in the process. A pre approval is a deeper dive into your finances and credit score that requires an official mortgage application. Your financial information will be reviewed, including debt, income, and assets. All are factors to gather information on an estimate of the amount you qualify for and possibly payment amounts. Once approved you will receive an official written document that outlines the loan amount that you qualify for and this sets the tone on what you will be shopping for out in the market.
PICK OUT THE RIGHT LENDER WHO IS GOING TO HELP YOU
We got so lucky with this because the neighborhood we had set our minds to was under development and the subdivision in our price range was not done being build. Actually our street was the first one that got build, so we were one of the first families that moved. The real estate agent working for our subdivision was helpful and very informative in our process that we decided to stick with her and take advantage of the incentives for working with their lenders versus going elsewhere.
So make sure to ask all the questions before you make a decision. Be patient and confident in your decision, you need someone with experience that is going to educate you.
KNOW WHAT YOU NEED VERSUS WHAT YOU WANT
Again back to what had I said before about setting a budget and sticking with it.
This is the thing- You have found the perfect house that fits your needs but is it what you want or what you need? This is something you have to ask yourself over and over. When we decided to build our home instead of buying an older house we looked at the pros and cons and investing in an older home just seemed far more out of our budget versus building one from the bottom. Plus going with a a brand new subdivision gave us the opportunity to add a lot of upgrades to our home with no extra cost (of course we had a spending limit) but it was worth it for us.
And finally when that final day comes be prepared to walk and inspect your home and look at every detail before closing. Do not sign if your needs have not been meet. Remember there is always room for negotiating before signing.