Caley and I recently closed on our first home back in December. A long and successful journey of saving, planning, and praying, which came to an exciting end. The home buying process can be stressful but it’s worth every second. When Caley and I sat down a year ago and totally revamped our budget, we were ready and confident it was our time to purchase home. With the current state of the economy we knew the time to buy was now. So one of the first things I did was head to Google and the library to grab some resources. So I thought I would share some of my favorites:
▪ Dave Ramsey’s Financial Peace was a great read and all credit goes to home for getting our budget in shape. His website and app offer discussions and articles on saving and real estate that helped us along the way.
▪ Clark Howard’s book Clark Smart Real Estate was published before the economic crash, but offers great insight into the home buying process in a way that is easy to understand. For us, the real estate game, including short sales, were completely new to us, but Clark helped us understand each step of the process.
▪ Home Buying For Dummies is like any “for dummies” text- it is exactly what it describes itself as. It is a great text for those trying to figure out where to buy and not, how to get your financials in order, and what you can or cannot afford. It also discusses the step-by-step procedure of what to do once you find a property you are interested in. This helped us plan for all the details that come into buying home. It was extremely helpful when it came to items like inspections.
▪ Buy, Close, Move IN! by Ilyce Glink was released in 2010 so it is up to date to an extent with the home mortgage crisis. It was a great text that helped us understand what has changed and hasn’t changed in the real estate industry. It also had great information on short sales and foreclosures.
▪ Realtor.com and Zillow.com are priceless when it comes to purchasing a home. When we began the process I had the idea that my real estate broker would do all the work and bring homes to us to check out. He did to an extent, but the power is ultimately in our hands. The house we purchased, I found online and even though it was in the diameters of what my real estate broker was looking for, it wasn’t in his MLS search results. There were even times I knew more about a potential home from information off of these websites. You never know if it’s all factual or not, but these sites give a great picture into what the house you’re looking at was worth when it was bought or previously sold.
▪ Get a great realtor. We loved ours and would recommend them to anyone. You can check them out here.
If I could give any advice to those who are purchasing for the first time it would be this:
1. Be patient. We waited 4 months to hear if Wells Fargo had even accepted our offer. So if you’re in love with your potential house, it’s worth the wait.
2. Go with what you are comfortable with. We offered something lower than our broker was originally comfortable with and they accepted our first offer. Never let the business of buying a home get you out of your comfort zone. Only do what you think is right for your family.
3. Do not get attached to the home until you have signed on the dotted line. Our offer almost fell through numerous times because of items out of our control. The less attached you are the better you will be until you sign and it becomes yours.
4. Believe in yourself. I was determined to get us into a home we love and that was in our budget and we did. Your home is out there. Just start looking…