First-Time Home Buyers

For years I have wanted a place that I could make my own and make all my Pinterest dreams come true. The beginning of 2019 brought a major turn of events that led us to what we now call home.

My husband was a professional soccer player so the plan was to move wherever his next contract would be. We were ready for it. I quit my job (before we knew for sure where we were going). Like I said, I don’t do things small. All in, baby. January came around and things were still so up in the air. Long story short, Parker made the decision to officially retire from the soccer life. Tough decision but everything happens for a reason. I got my job back as a NICU nurse, thank the lord. And the job hunt began for Parker.

So what better time to look for a house than when we had one stable income, right?

Okay first of all, you don’t learn squat about buying a house in school, which I think needs to become a requirement. Thankfully we stumbled upon the most amazing realtor which held our hand every step of the way.

Let me just tell you the market is CRAZY. And we were even looking early spring before it was peak time. Every year that we have moved has either been in the dead of winter, freezing cold and snowing. Or pouring down rain. This time we got both. Maybe we’ll get it right for the next move.

Our goal going into this was to get a real fixer upper, something we needed to gut completely. I wanted to channel my inner Joanna Gaines, like every other girl in their mid-20s. Well this changed quickly after seeing about 2 real fixer uppers. Holy money pit. And zero-background in home renovations and maintenance. Not a good combo for a couple who currently had one income.

Long story short, we found a house that we both fell in love with, put an offer down, and it got accepted! I think this was largely due to the fact we wrote this detailed letter about how much we loved the house, topped with a picture of us with Flint. Who knows if that’s what sealed the deal or not but how can you say no to that face??

Here’s what we learned in our house hunting ventures:

  1. Find a good realtor. This is a huge decision. Find someone who will treat you right and be upfront with you. Preferably a neutral party and not a friend/family member. No need to burn bridges in the process.
  2. Tour AT LEAST 20 houses and don’t get attached to any of them until you close.
  3. Pick out certain features you can’t live without. If the house doesn’t have those non-negotiables, don’t bother touring it. Ours had to have a two car attached garage, two full bathrooms, and three bedrooms.
  4. Decide on a price range (we ended up going a little higher than we expected and put less down than planned).
  5. If you can’t put 20% down, you might as well put the minimum amount down if money is a little tight so you have some extra cushion for furnishing that bad boy.
  6. IKEA. Amazon. TJMaxx. Home Depot Online. For all your furnishing needs and won’t break the bank (& Nebraska Furniture Mart if you live in the Midwest).
  7. I also highly recommend getting a POD if you have to move out of your current place while house hunting. So easy and affordable.

I’m sure I’m forgetting some but I’ll update it as they come to mind. It’s a whirlwind but enjoy the process. Don’t settle. It’s your home and you’re the one that’s going to have to live in it.

-A

Here’s the pic we added to our letter for the sellers.
Had to get Flint in there to seal the deal.

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