If you have been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that Chris and I are both still living at home. As much as we have wanted to move in together or get an apartment, financially that was never in the cards for us. Being in school fulltime and working part-time makes it hard to afford anything, especially an apartment. Chris has been successfully working in his field for just over a year and I have been lucky enough to find a job as a librarian immediately after graduating. We have been saving and saving for the last few months and are finally making steps in the direction of home ownership.
Some of the things that I have learned so far include:
- Make sure you have your stuff together– once you begin the pre approval process, banks are going to want to see pay stubs, years of W2’s and a good idea on what you are spending monthly now (car loans, student loans, rent, etc.).
- Knowing where you want to live is also important. If you are looking to live in a range of different counties, there will be a range of different property taxes and mortgage taxes. These things add up!
- Know what you are willing to spend, and have an idea of what your budget will look like. Chris and I know what we each make, what our monthly spending looks like and know what we want in a house.
- Don’t fall in love with something you see online. Because we knew that we would (hopefully) be house hunting in the next few months, I have already been seeing what is available in my area with apps like Zillow and Trulia. These apps make it SO easy to narrow down available homes, BUT they make it easy to fall in love with something. If you aren’t willing to drop money right away, use these apps as a guide for what MAY be available when you are really looking. Other wise, you may get your heart broken!
- Seeing what your money can buy in different areas is nice a great feature of apps like Zillow and Trulia. Chris and I originally wanted to look in one town near by, but with the help of apps like this we realized that there really wasn’t anything we were interested in. We now know what areas look good to us.
- Know your stuff! If you are looking to get a First Time Home Buyers loan (FHA), have an understanding of what types of fees and insurances are required. Sometimes, it may be more beneficial to get a traditional mortgage if you have a large enough down payment.
- ALSO- If you are looking to get a FHA loan, you will probably be required to be in the home for a certain amount of time (about 5 years). Make sure that the home you are looking at will be enough house for you in that amount of time! Having a 2 bedroom 1 bathroom home may be ideal now- but down the line, that may not be enough space!
- If you do hear the pitter patter of little feet in your future, know what school district the home you are looking at is in.
- DO NOT go through the process alone. Find a parent or friend that has done this before. They will be able to help you think of all of the things that are important when shopping around. Does the home you are looking at have well water? city water? community water? If you are looking at a condo, what types of fees will you be paying a month? Is the home you are looking at structurally sound? Is it on a high water table? These crazy questions are just a few of what I have had run though my brain the past couple of weeks.
- Do multiple drive-bys. If you find a home you like, drive by it at all times of the day. Maybe traffic is HORRIBLE near the neighborhood in the morning, maybe the house is on a truck route that is hoppin’ at all times of the night. Knowing this information will be critical once you move in!
This app was not sponsored or anything by anyone- just a few tips that I have learned over the past couple of months! Once we actually get a place of our own I will make sure to recap the entire process.