This will be the first house we really decorate together. The first house we fix up together. The house we bring our future children home too. In this house we will celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, celebrations and all the day-to-day events. We will do life together in this house.
I'm so excited.
House hunting was cool, but boy oh boy, it was hard, frustrating and time consuming.
This whole adulting thing is not always what it's cracked up to be. There is so much stuff people don't tell you. Buy a house, they said. It'll be fun, they said. No-one told us about hidden fees, pre-qual letters or back-up offers. No-one told me I would actually come to hate house hunting before we found the one.
9 Tips for Buying a House:
- Get your financials in order. This is huge people. (a) Start saving. (b) Run a credit check. See what's going on and correct anything that might be going on. You never know really whats on your credit until you pull it. (c) get your money in your bank account.
- Talk to your spouse or yourself about what you want. Make a checklist. Talk about what you really want. It's time to get honest with yourself. Set a budget. It's super easy when you're looking to say, oh it's just a little more expensive. No. Set a budget and stick to it.
- Be realistic. When we started looking I thought we were going to buy this big ole house in the best neighborhood in Denver, walking distance to the best schools, next to our church and down the street from Trader Joes. Well, it turns out only Peyton Manning and Vonn Miller can afford those types of houses. Be realistic with your goals. This goes along with #2 in setting your budget.
- Pick a realtor who makes you feel comfortable. We picked a realtor based on some familial and friendly connections and boy am I glad we did. Our first meeting was over cocktails and appetizers. She made us feel relaxed, excited and laid it all out on the table. A big part of this relationship is honesty. There were times we hated a house and we were comfortable to tell her that. She walked us through disappointment, disgust and a multitude of other feelings during this process. She also had our best interest at heart. She helped us with a back up offer that actually secured us getting our dream house.
- Find a great lender. The lending process is the biggest part of this process. (a) Shop around. Some lenders can offer you certain rates and benefits that are different from others. Once you find a lender, (b) talk money. (d) ask about all the fees that go into a loan. origination fees, inspection fees, taxes, appraisal fees. There's more than just the loan amount, make sure you know the entire picture (e) get pre-qualified. this way you know exactly what you can and cannot afford.
- Be open minded. I had my mind set on exactly what I thought I wanted. I wanted a 5 mile by 5 mile radius and I HAD to have certain things. Welp, the house I fell in love with was outside that radius, totally different than I pictured and everything I never knew I wanted. Be open minded. Look at houses. Explore.
- Always be ready. We had this timeline set out. December 1 we will start looking. Well due to Thanksgiving we met with our realtor right before and she set us up with an MLS portal. Two days later we found a dream home, we looked at and the next day we put an offer in. Sometimes the perfect house comes along at the perfect time and you have to be ready. Wanna know the irony? Our dream house offer fell through. Our great realtor suggested a back up offer which we did. A month later, our backup offer was accepted and in a matter of 3 seconds we were under contract. Be ready.
- Do all the inspections. Luckily for us we had friends purchase a house a few months before us and they gave us great suggestions. Do all the inspections. (a) whole house inspection (b) sewer inspection and if you live in Colorado (c) radon. I've even heard people do (d) pest inspections. Spend the money upfront.
- Close the deal. Pay the money, read the documents, sign the documents and take your picture with the sale sign. Now go and enjoy your house!
Have you bought a house? What tips do you have?