Welcome to part one of how to buy a house! The number of parts in this series is TBD...I'll let you know once it's all said and done!
Step one: Get pre-approved for a loan
Even if you’re only casually looking, I highly suggest getting pre-approved. This will give you an actual price range for your budget as well as let you know how much money you need to have saved for closing costs, appraisals, etc.
Step two: Find a realtor
The best way to do this is simply by word of mouth. Our realtor was recommended to us by our loan officer who actually bought a house from him. Working with people who already have established business relationships with each other is seriously the way to go. Information doesn’t get lost in translation and they’re more than happy to help each other out.
Step three: Nail down a location
This was rather difficult for us as the hubs and I work in two different towns about 15 miles from each other. Ultimately we decided on a location that will take hubs about 30 minutes to drive to work and me about 15. We picked the location because it is right off the interstate but is far enough away you don’t hear any of the traffic. The town also reminds us both of the town we’re from and has everything we want shopping and entertainment wise.
Step four: Decide new construction or older home
This was fairly easy for us. As first time home buyers, we didn’t want anything we would have to go to the trouble of renovating or potentially have to pay out of pocket for any necessary repairs. Plus my taste runs more toward granite countertops and dark wood cabinets which pretty much comes standard in new construction these days.
Step five: Find a house!
I suggest making a must have list and a wish list. This will help you separate the necessities (for us, minimum of three bedrooms, two car garage, etc) from the wants (four bedrooms, three car garage, etc). Then start looking! For us, it took no time at all (one day). For others, it may take months. If there’s even a small doubt in your mind about the house, it is not the one for you. For me finding the right house was like finding the right wedding dress-I knew as soon as I saw it.
UPDATE: More pics! The builders have made A LOT of progress in the last two days!
We have cabinets!
And a loft that just needs floors!
This shower and bath... :D