First-Time Home Buyer Tips

Happy snow day! It’s very rare that I get an adult snow day so hubby and I are pretty excited to be in bed with our laptops for the day instead of the office.

We bought our first home back in August and can’t believe it’s been nearly 6 months since closing! I came up with a few tips that we figured out along the way/wish we would’ve done differently in the process for anyone on the housing market for the first time.

  1. Start saving for a down-payment EARLY and set aside money for closing closts (more than you think the costs will be) as well as extra money for after you move in–there are ALWAYS going to be extra, unplanned costs in moving into a home regardless of how new it is. 
  2. Set boundaries as to how long the seller has to accept an offer once you find a property you love–our sellers tended to be delayed on everything and that included accepting our offer. We also were not as assertive as we should’ve been when our sellers kept delaying closing. They even tried to delay it the day before we were moving in. Let’s just say, our apartment was in boxes for weeks.
  3. While this is not something I thought needed to be done or that we did, I would never purchase a home without having it professionally cleaned before move-in. I love to clean and we bought a 1 year old home so this was not something I worried about. As it turns out, the previous owners were very good at hiding an extremely dirty home during the tours. We spent days cleaning floors, walls and appliances (😷😷😷) before being able to actually be comfortable and I would not go through that again. 
  4. Take your time. This seems like an obvious one but so many people in our area end up in situations where they have to move very quickly. Houses sell in days our even hours at times in my city and this can make a buyer feel so rushed. We looked at homes online for months so that we felt knowledgable and prepared for the market. 
  5. Find a real estate agent that you truly trust and feel 100% comfortable around–I can’t imagine the process without such a great agent and loan officer… We definitely lucked out in this area! 
  6. Speaking of loan officers, make sure to REALLY research what company is going to be best for your situation in terms of rates and the size/type of company. We ended up so much better off by getting our home loan through the bank we have been with for years. But always get multiple quotes no matter what! 
  7. Compromise on the cosmetics that can be changed down the road but NOT on the location. We refused to look at any home outside our target neighborhoods regardless of how nice they seemed. However, do note that cosmetic projects add up quickly and are almost always more costly than what you’d think. Just keep that in mind if you feel like you’d wanna gut a home in order to be happy there.

We are so thankful that we found a home that we love so much and can grow into with our little family and I hope the same for any of you on the hunt right now. 

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