At the beginning we couldn’t decide on whether we wanted to go straight into our dream home OR a starter home.
Now what does that really mean?
Starter home for us:
- Enough for what we would need in the near 5-7 years.
- Minimal requirements 3 bd 2-3 ba at least or more than 1400 sqft.
- Needs some improvements but not THAT much.
- Price would have to be reasonable.
- Neighborhood isn’t our favorite but also not a bad area.
- Home not as new as we would like but also not extremely outdated.
We weren’t looking for a fixer upper on a starter home.
Dream home for us:
Realistically our dream home would be one that we can buy a specific lot for and build with a company. We looked into Gerber homes, Ryan homes etc.
Let’s be real— those are a pretty penny. Currently we don’t have a huge down payment for a house in the 350k range especially on a single household income (I’m still on the job hunt — sigh)
We put out three offers, all of which were more than 10k above asking price and still didn’t get them. One was accepted and then someone came in and stole it hours later. That sucked. REMINDER TO NOT CELEBRATE UNTIL YOU HAVE THE KEYS TO YOUR HOME.
The fourth and last home we took our agent to was the one accepted.
OPEN HOUSES AND ONLINE HOME HUNTING:
- Plan Saturdays and Sundays to view a few homes in the area you’d like to purchase. It’s okay to view homes above your budget. Those are useful for comparison of the market and what some homes are valued at. You’ll be surprised of ugly houses, smelly houses you’ll encounter at an outrageous asking price. LOCATION PEOPLE.
- Buy a notebook!
- Take notes of what you like and dislike in a notebook.
- Attach the property details paper provided at the open house to your notes for later revision. — this is especially helpful when you want to put an offer on a house or where you see a house with similar specs but the prices vary greatly.
- Look at more than one online real estate website. We personally love the ease of Zillow but Redfin is great as well. You can always find out more about the property the more you research it.
- Make sure you have an agent that will be able to inform you and is available for you to ask questions. You have to be able to get along with them.
- If you see a house that you like and know you might have a chance at putting and offer, ask your agent to schedule a showing before any open house to assure you can put and offer before anyone else gets in.
I’m not going to lie. The process is stressful, heartbreaking and frustrating. A lot of finances go into this of course so if you’re in a relationship it can take a strain here and there.
Never forget your why. Don’t get frustrated and buy just any house either. Whichever house you decide to purchase as your first home will involve a process.
To be continued….