My First Home

So I’ve started the ball rolling in buying my first home. I am so excited and just wanted to share what, at least to me, is good news! I spent all weekend browsing available homes and got my loan pre-approval completed this morning.

Now to winnow down the list of candidates and see if there is one I absolutely adore.

Best wishes on your housing endeavor, Zyanthia. There seem to be some great values available currently.


Congratulations! There have been a couple of threads on home-buying here lately - there is some excellent advice in them. Don’t hesitate to come ask us anything you like - there are some of us here who love to talk real estate. :slight_smile:

Be sure to ask if its haunted. They have to tell you if it is right? Ask to spend a night there before buying, just in case

Well, if she’s not buying in San Diego, it shouldn’t be a problem. :slight_smile:

Don’t let the thrill of the moment make you grab something that seems “well, its been weeks, so I guess this is close enough”.

Lots of people go to the new batch of tract houses, look at the 3 or 4 models and pick one.

Very few find houses they really love.

As with anything involving long-term commitment, look them over, take your time.
p.s. - yes, you will probably miss a couple and will kick yourself a time or two - that is to be expected if you are serious.

Hmm, haunted isn’t an option on my search criteria. I never thought of requesting a haunted house, but that’s a great idea! Maybe I could get a visit from the Winchesters.

I only found one house that I absolutely loved so far, and I put an offer in, but so did like 8 other people. But by finding one I love, I think I have a better idea of what I’m looking for in a house now :slight_smile:

I bought my first place a couple months ago. I only have one major piece of advice from something I didn’t consider.

Don’t schedule the closing Friday afternoon before a long weekend. :smack:
There was a mistake on the paperwork, and finding someone still at the bank to fix it and re-fax everything put us way behind schedule. And when we did get going the closing agent was in a hurry to get out of town and started talking at light speed’ “Thispapersaysthatyouknowyouarepayingpropertytaxesthroughescrowsignhere” She wasn’t really very happy that I actually wanted to read over my documents before signing my life away. :wink:

You know what you have to do now: Dress up like a monster or ghost and convince the other buyers the house is haunted so they’ll abandon it. Just be careful if one of the buyers has a large talking dog and a green van

Yay for you! I bought my house about 6 years ago and I think it is still my most satisfying achievement ever. I looked at a lot of houses and a lot of weird kitchens and terrible remodels before I found my little place…right in my price range, the neighborhood I wanted, and with a normal, workable layout.

Rats, out bid on my first house. The hunt continues!

searches for spooky costume

Ah, too bad. Oh well - it wasn’t meant to be then. Off to bigger and better things! :slight_smile:

Another thing:

If you are planning on staying any length of time:

  1. You WILL re-paint just about every room.
  2. You WILL replace the carpet.
  3. You WILL replace the roof.

Remembering this, why exactly did the fact that the paint was ugly/carpet was old/roof was looking ratty convince you to pass on an otherwise adorable house?

Yes, having one that is exactly the right colors in every room with everything new is nice.

I can put up with ugly until I can afford the replacement.

Cosmetics mean nothing compared to location and structure.

A move-in-ready small house stays a small house forever.
An ugly large house becomes a move-in-ready large house with time.

Yup. Location really is about the most key thing in the house you buy - with enough time, money, and effort you can change just about everything else about a house.

As for painting, never think you can just paint one room, either. We tried that; we’ll have the whole upstairs finished in a couple of weeks (2/3rds done now). :slight_smile:

Also, if Mike Holmes is to be believed? Never use the home inspector recommended by your realtor. After watching a few of his shows, it sounds like you should shop around as diligently for a good inspector as you will for your new home. (And, judging by the rental home we lived in recently, that really isn’t an exaggeration. The flippers who sold to our absolutely lovely landlords butchered their house. Everything beneath the surface was completely half-assed, from no p-trap when the fancy new tub was plumbed, to ceramic tile installed over uneven concrete, to aluminum wiring left untouched, except for adding a dozen new recessed lights and such. No permits pulled for any of the work. Looks pretty, but it’s a money pit, or a disaster waiting to happen.)

We also learned when selling a house to have your own inspector inspect your house before selling - it’s usually a condition of sale here that a buyer will want an inspection, but our first potential buyers brought in a scam artist inspector who made up lies about the condition of our house to try to get us to reduce the price. Next time we sell, we’ll pay the $200-300 up front and offer the buyers a look at the inspection - they can have their own inspector come in, but we won’t be listening to them if they try to say there are serious flaws with the house that our inspector didn’t find.

Hmm, I don’t think I’ve let paint /carpet affect my decision, but I’ll start over my search trying to keep an open mind that I can change things pretty easy.

I was trying to look more at the style of the house, the size of the lot it was on, if it had a garage, and if not, is there room to add one? That’s the sort of stuff I was trying to make sure I was focusing on.

That’s good. Also consider what your commute to work, the grocery store, etc., will be like -especially in bad weather. And pay attention to where the lot is tied as well as it’s size; a house set in a hollow will have more problems with basement leaks and foundation issues than a house set on top of a hill.

Get an Angie’s List membership right now. Use it to find a reputable home and termite inspector. ID a few quality contractors, plumbers, carpenters, etc. so you have a list of people to contact. You may even want to bring in individual plumbers, electricians, other specialists to check over a prospective house’s systems rather, or in addition to, a general home inspector.

But that stuff is a ways down the road for you right now.

Congratulations, and good luck!