Monday, November 9, 2015

List: Ten things to do before even looking for a home.

I know that I’ve mentioned this a few times now, but my husband and I are buying a house.
…and believe me when I say this is the most stressful thing I’ve ever done…
Something that should be an exciting and enjoyable task is actually real complicated and excruciating.
We wanted stability for our daughter and we were quickly growing out of our apartment.
Those two reasons started us on the journey for the search of our home.
By journey I mean a very tedious and obstacle filled road that gives you lots and lots of pimples!

We knew that we were very naïve to the entire process from beginning to end.
Since we knew this, we decided to reach out for help before diving into the biggest decision of our life.
I called my rockin’ life coach to give me her next bit of life changing advice!

Ten important things to do prior to house hunting.

1.  Educate yourself.
There are multiple resources for home buyers to educate themselves on the complete process.
We went to two classes and they were both very informative with information from all perspectives!

2.  Research grants.
There are numerous different grants out there for all different types of people in different situations.
We found multiple first time home buyer grants.  Any amount of free money helps, so, yes please!

3.  Make a budget.
Total your income and subtract your expenses to see how much of a mortgage your could afford.
Remember affordability means being comfortable.  You want to own a home AND have a life!

4.  Research areas of interest.
Become an expert in school district ratings, crime statistics, and other points of interest to you.
The best advice I got was to be several different towns that we’d be comfortable purchasing in.

5.  Hire a knowledgeable team.
Work off of referrals and make sure that they are always within reach to answer all questions.
I got lucky with this since one of the classes I took gave us great referrals!

6.  Become well versed in mortgage products.
Learn the ins and outs of different mortgages and decide which one best fits your needs.
There are several state or federal funded loans that really are great.  Look into those too!

7.  Check your credit score.
You should be very familiar with your credit score and all of the relating variables.
Despite my original belief, a credit score doesn’t have a very high impact on your mortgage amount.

8.  Familiarize yourself with taxes.
Learn the ins and outs of property taxes because they impact everything when it comes to a home.
Taxes not only increase your monthly mortgage payments, but they also impact closing costs.

9.  Build up your savings accounts
If you’re serious about getting a home, you’ll never have enough money.  Bulk up the savings now!
This was the hardest part for us!  It seems like every time we have extra cash, we spend it.

10.  List your non-negotiable items.
These could be anything.  Maybe you must have a large backyard or you require gas heating.
My counselor is huge on this!  She knows that picking non-negotiables will point you in the right direction. 

What are your tips for preparing for home ownership?


  1. Interview the neighbors. Your home is the biggest purchase you will ever buy, and if you get stuck beside crazy ass neighbors, it can be a nightmare.

  2. I'm with Debs, not just interview them, but spy on the potential neighbours, because sometimes with tha house come demons or swines living next door! And triple check everything within the house, from walls to heating to windows to plumbing... everything...

  3. Add in additional costs - for example, furniture. Most people who buy their first home are moving from a smaller place (apartment) and dont have a whole house worth of furniture. It's expensive to buy furniture!

  4. Yep, buying your first house is scary. Then it just become a pain in the rear because of all the paperwork. "I faxed and emailed my pay stubs yesterday." "I didn't get them, can you send them again, along with the your report card from first grade?" It gets ridiculous and I was in the real estate business. :) But, once it's all said and done, it's worth it. Lots and lots of memories to be made. Good luck!!

  5. What a great list! We aren't ready to buy a house yet, but these all seem like great tips. Happy house hunting!

  6. Watch out for neighbors, even the best place can be ruined by crackpot neighbors. I know all the ins and outs as I've worked there. Some realtors will say "lake view" when really it's a cow pond lol

  7. #3 is a given. You always want get less than what the bank says you can "afford"

  8. omg i need to save this! such great tips for someone looking to buy a house.just thinking about it stresses me out. thanks to you, i won't be as much when that time comes!

  9. #2 is a great pointer I hadn't thought of!!! And geez, I'm scared to embark on this adventure whenever it comes to pass. I bet it's so stressful and it'd be hard to not get attached to a house!!!

  10. I don't think I'll ever own a home...unless I make it big publishing :P. But these are all great things to remember if someone ever considers it or plans on it in the future.

  11. I've started looking for a new home. This post will be so helpful!


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