A little while back I shared with you all how I put an offer in on a house with my boyfriend and it was accepted. Well what an adventure it has been going through the whole process of working with attorneys, mortgage people, appraisers and on and on the list goes. Partially the reason for the slowed down posts on my end (sorry xo)
After a ton of work finding a gazillion and one documents for the mortgage people, we finally found out today our locked in rate for the house. That lead me down a rabbits hole of thinking about all of the work that got us to this amazing point in our life.
If you asked me three years ago if I was interested in buying a house I would have looked at you like you just told a joke and most likely would have laughed in your face. Something happened to me that year that I wasn’t expecting and definitely didn’t see coming. It was like I woke up one day really really wanting to buy a house with Kyle. To own something that we could call ours, only we didn’t have anything saved- let alone own a single piece of furniture together!
The story is not romantic really. Our apartment was amazing at that time but then the house went on the market and was snatched up pretty quickly with the new owner wanting to live in our unit. Without us wanting to move, we all the sudden were forced to find a new home and hadn’t really planned for it. While looking for a new place we kept saying if only we had bought the house we were in. We said that over and over and over. The thing is that the house was not really for us anyways, it just sparked this journey we have been on for about 2 and a half years.
Out of nowhere this burning desire was there to spend an ungodly amount of money, more then I have ever spent before, on this piece of property that we could love and grow into.
In thinking about this for the last few days, a lot, I thought I would share a few pointers I learned along the way that I strongly would credit for putting us in a position to actually be talking about closing on what is kind of our dream home.
- Listen to the people in your life who have bought property in the past. Ask about the horror stories and don’t be naive enough to think it wouldn’t ever happen to you. It is amazing the stories your friends, family and coworkers will tell you when you ask them about home ownership.
- Get a team of trusted advisors! For me this started with a financial planner who reviewed our finances and broke the news to me over a glass of wine (big enough to be a half bottle) that I needed to cut back on my shopping. It took time but we made a plan to save and stuck with it. It is amazing how quickly little bits of money can add up.
- Go to every open house. All of them. See the neighborhoods and styles. Learn what you like and also what you do not like. The year when we didn’t have savings for a house was great for this. It was like window shopping for houses. We knew that we couldn’t afford one yet so no matter what a realtor said or how much we loved it, we knew the next good one would come along. Open houses are fun, trust me!
- Remember that people fall in love with houses everyday. The right house (in your budget) will come along and when you are ready you will find it.
- Don’t fall for stores trying to get you to sign up for a credit card to save 5% on your purchase right then and there. Credit is a blessing or a killer. My favorite line, which I will happily loan you, is “I am sorry I can’t because I am applying for a mortgage and can’t take out anymore cards” … when you say that to the checkout clerk they just shower you with congrats instead of asking if you are sure you don’t want to save the money with a new card!
- Know what you want. We went back and forth between a fixer upper, a multi-family and a single family. There are different options for different people so I wont try to convince you on what is right for you but I will say talk about pros and cons. For me living through a renovation sounds like a nightmare and even worse evicting a tenant is just something I would have a hard time with. We chose a move in ready single family and will consider a multi-family later on…
I hope you guys find this to be a helpful list of lessons I learned during this process… next up for me is a journey of learning how to keep the expenses down once we move in, which I am sure will be a lesson that will take a while to learn!! I already have trained myself to delete one junk email subscription each week that would tend to drive me to a purchase I really don’t need. I also have made a new email address just for friends and family so that all of my favorite stores and concert emails go into one account and important communications are in another. I found those two really helpful so far to keep the impulse purchases at bay!
So here’s to backyard barbecues, spending the first year discovering what flowers are planted in the yard and finding just the right mix of decor to blend our styles together into one perfect home!
Currently listening to: Apogee (RJD2 Remix) by Tycho