If you didn’t hear, me and Cody are now home owners and it is such a surreal feeling! It was definitely not an easy decision knowing if we should buy the house together or if we wanted one of us to buy it and the other rent until we were married but that will be for another blog!
I always thought that when it was time to buy a house, it would be so easy and if you had the money saved, you’d just get a realtor and then look around and find one right away and it would be over. Boy was I wrong.
Me and Cody started this process about a year ago and because we are first time home buyers and recently out of school, we had to jump through a few hoops to get preapproved and wait for things to all fall in place which took a good 6-8 months, I lose track of time now looking back but here’s a quick 4 step process to buying your first house! You can probably do these a little out of order, especially the first few, but this is just the way me and Cody went!
STEP #1: SAVE YO MONEY & GET PREAPPAROVED
Easily the most crucial step because buying a house (or moving) in general is so dang expensive even with the low interest rates right now. We got very lucky how low we were able to lock in our interest rate, so the money down was not as expensive but no matter what, you’re going to have to have a decent amount saved up!
You will also want to find a mortgage company to help you get preapproved. Because the companies can vary, I’d suggest getting a few different quotes from places, or choosing someone you trust, to help get the best options for you! Cody and I went through a few different places before landing on our last one! From there, the lender will help support you with anything that they need and guide you through the process.
STEP #2: FIND A REALTOR
You don’t need a realtor, but Cody and I had no idea what we were doing and 100/10 would recommend having one! If you live in the Twin Cities area and are looking for one, let me know because I will share who we used because she was amazing! It was so nice not to have to do any of the behind the scenes work and let someone else take care of setting up walk throughs, do all the paperwork, tell us the ins and outs of the process and make sure we were getting a good price for the house.
STEP #3: FIGURE OUT YOUR BUDGET & LOOK AROUND
You will want to be pretty strategic in the way you look at houses. When you watch HGTV shows, they make it look so easy and fun but in reality it’s not so glamorous. We knew that we didn’t want to be house broke but wanted to be able to still do and buy things that we wanted without being strapped for money. Especially since this is what we are calling our ‘starting home’ we didn’t want to pour all our money into it.
There’s a lot of other expenses too as you have your own place that adds up quickly: any repairs are all on you, water, gas, wifi, garbage, groceries, etc. so we factored all of that in when we were looking for a price range.
Also, think about if you want something more move in ready or closer to a fixer-upper. Then obviously where you will want to buy your house and how far of a radius you’re willing to look in. I know many of us are working from home right now so it may not be a big deal where your house is, but like for me as a teacher, I wanted something close to school because I hate commuting!
STEP 4: LOOK, OFFER, REPEAT, BUY
At the end of the day, you may need to look at many houses and put in many offers before you land on one that you love and fits your wish list. We ended up looking at so many houses with the market being so hot, the houses we would have loved to have were so expensive! And if they weren’t, they’d have tons of offers above listing price that we couldn’t compete with or didn’t think was worth it.
As you walk through houses, you definitely find out what your money can get you in your area and then it’s just honestly a matter of luck if they take your offer or not.
Don’t settle for a house either though. That is a lot of money and a big commitment to get into a house for a long time to just settle with something even though you don’t love it, just to own a house. Keep looking and as hard as it was to hear when you’re going through it, all the houses that you get turned down on, there is a reason for it. Cody and I got outbid on so many houses we thought we loved but since finding the house we’re in, we are so thankful we didn’t get any of them because we can’t imagine living anywhere else!
This house definitely needs some TLC but it is perfect for us and where we are in life and I can’t wait to take ya’ll on this journey with us! Now we got to decide when to get that dog! 😉