A few months before our rental lease was up, my partner and I made the decision to buy a house instead of renting. We researched the market in our area, kept an eye on interest rates, watched housing prices, and created a budget to know what we could afford. All the stars seemed to align for us, and we began home-shopping in earnest.
Buying a home was an educational experience for both of us. Here are just a few things I learned along this journey to put down roots:
Get a Buyer's Agent
When we went to look at our first house, we set up an appointment through Zillow. An agent was assigned to us and we first met at the showing. This agent would be our representative for all the houses we looked at and would help us cross the finish line. He helped us not only set up appointments to see houses, but also assisted in setting up inspections, and provided guidance. I would especially recommend hiring a buyer's agent for those who are shopping for their first home.
Talk to Multiple Lenders
While talking to a lender for pre-approval BEFORE house-hunting is recommended, this was our next step after looking at our first house. We had decided we wanted to work with a local lender instead of a national corporation. Not all lenders are the same and talking to multiple before committing to one can help save you money in the long run.
Get All The Inspections You Can
We purchased a house that was built in the late 70s. It was expected to have a few repairs that would need to be done. Our buyer's agent helped us book reputable inspectors for different things including our well and septic inspection. Spending the money on an inspector can save you money in the long run.
Bonus tip: check under rugs and bathmats for any hidden damage.
Remodeling in Progress? Get it in Writing!
During our first viewing of the home, the stove and oven set was in the progress of being replaced. We were told it would be completed in closing. My partner requested that this be added to our contract when we put an offer in on the house.
Ultimately the new stove and oven set was not done before closing. As a result, we were able to get concessions for that specific item due to our contract. While something like this would have been a deal breaker for some, we loved the house and at this point had remodeling plans of our own.
Buying a home is always a big milestone in anyone's life. However, there is nothing more satisfying than finding a place to call home. Hopefully, our journey can help you find your own place to put down roots too.