So you’ve decided that you’re going to take the plunge and become a homeowner. Congratulations! Somewhere along the line, you listened to all the lectures from your parents on how to manage your money or back-to-back reruns of Millionaire Dollar Listing left you dreaming of your own pad.
When I turned 25, I decided that I was going to buy a house, condo or basically any box that I could afford in the DMV. I set the week before my 26th birthday as the deadline to find my ultimate Carrie Bradshaw meets Joan Clayton home. I am a few months past that deadline and almost a year into the actual process of buying a home. I’ve learned a significant amount along the way. I wish someone would’ve told me all that I know now.
Before you run to get the hottest realtor (looks do apply) or to ask the parents for some down-payment assistance, take some time to consider the following things:
You’ll go through cycles of emotions, and then happiness.
Buying a home is stressful, I mean seriously stressful. Some days you’ll laugh, but they’ll be days when you’ll cry or at least want to. I’m looking forward to feeling happy for .05 seconds after I sign all the paper work.
Miscommunication and clerical errors are costly.
Make sure that you double check with your lender, and realtor about any special programs you would like to participate in. I would’ve saved a bit of money and lots of time had I known ahead of time that my condo wasn’t 203k qualified. Also, getting a re-inspection is going to cost you so hope that everything goes right the first time.
Advocate for what you want.
Going through the process of buying your first place is a stressful endeavor. It is even more stressful if you do not have people supporting your choice(s). I changed my original goal of buying a single family three-bedroom home, to a one-bedroom condo. I was fortunate to have a supportive realtor throughout the process. However, there were several times throughout my process that people wanted to pull the okey doke on me. Don’t be afraid to let someone know where you stand. Be confident in your decisions.
You’ll want to fire everyone at least once throughout the process.
You’ll get very tired of makings calls, signing paperwork and meeting with multiple people. You might even encounter moments when you’ll want to let everyone go or just give up.
You’ll be incredibly proud of yourself.
Stress and emotions aside, I’m pretty excited about closing on my first place. I’m really proud that I established a goal and worked on having it completely finish. You bought a house, that’s a major step. Now pour yourself a glass of some good wine and celebrate.
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