Its finally said and done. I am officially a home owner, for whatever it is worth. This goes to show you that if I can get a damn house, pretty much any one can. I shouldn’t even be writing on a blog considering that I have to pack boxes soon. Most of this stuff in my apartment I plan on throwing away anyhow.
Things that I have learned that you can take from me:
- If you are serious about getting a home someday, focus on putting your money to the side via savings account. Do not touch the savings account for 2 years or however long it takes you to get a decent amount of money saved up. My guess is at least 10k to start off. If you have a partner that you live with, preferably a husband or wife that you plan on spend 30 years with, add them on and bring their resources with you. The more help that you have, the better chances you have of getting a higher loan.
- Get pre-qualified — This is very important before you even step in an open house and put in an offer. If you aren’t pre-qualified, you will most likely waste your time looking at a home in a neighborhood that you cannot reasonably afford. Pre-qualification gives you a ball park estimate of the price range you need to home search for. Now you can decide if you will choose a condo in a decent area, or a home in a bad area. You can decide whether you will travel further for better options in a far town, or decide to purchase a fixer-upper. If you are balling like the Golden State Warriors and have money up the ass, the world is yours.
- Find a compatible real estate agent that can accommodate your schedule — I have already written at length about this, but yeah. Just do it. A bad agent will cost you a few homes. Ask if the agent is a seller or a buyers agent, most will tell you that they are both, but that is no acceptable answer. Make them commit to one straight answer. If you have a genuine buyers agent, you are in the game.
- Look for Homes and BE VERY AGGRESSIVE– Ladies and gentleman, in this housing market it is a seller’s market. Buyers have little, if any power without liquid capital. Do not go searching for homes in open houses twiddling your thumbs if you half way like a home “But have to think about it”, NO. It does not work like this :
Trust me it doesn’t go down like this! Each house that you will go in will have multiple offers — sometimes even blind offers — before you can “think about it”, so do not play around if you like a house. Put in an offer as soon as possible, you can always change your mind if you find something else better.
- Put in an offer — Go through the process of negotiations, hopefully you get your offer accepted. You will get turned down multiple times by cash offers, or offers with less contingencies or caveats that hold up the deal.
- Offer accepted — Get pre-approved from whatever bank gives you the best deal. My opinion would be to ask the real estate agent to give a reference for a solid loan officer.
- Get approved
- Start Escrow and complete contingencies that were mutually agreed upon
- Sign papers like crazy, almost like perusing an entire bible full of x_________ symbols
- Wait for the underwriter to complete process
- Wait some more, just because.
- Ok, meet with notary to sign some more documents.
- Wire funds and wait.
- Documents recorded, you are now living the dream
Ask me if it’s worth it, I guess we’ll find out around tax season next year. But the expenses are much higher than renting. I will probably search for power saving hacks on pinterest, because everything costs.