Post # 1
Hi! So, we’re getting ready to buy our first house, and we’re a bit confused. We want to like it, obviously, but it’s not our forever house. We just need to start building equity. We were told that we would “know,” so even though we saw a couple we liked, we didn’t make an offer until we “felt it” with house #7. Didn’t get the house. We’ve now seen 13, and feel like we keep going back to the first house we saw in person, which we liked, but didn’t “feel” anything with. It seems perfect, and we figure it’d be good for a few years, and will feel like home once we put our stuff in it. We’re just not sure, and don’t know if that’s good enough, I guess. Opinions appreciated!
Post # 2
I went into house hunting looking for a house that I could live in for a very long time. I think “starter houses” are a waste of time and money. You don’t build all that much equity in the first however many years because the bulk of your mortgage payment goes towards interest. I say keep looking and shift your focus to looking for something that you will be happy in for an indeterminate amount of time. Don’t just settle for something that is “good for now” to start building equity. Buying a house is a huge investment so I think you should be totally happy with your purchase.
Post # 3
if you keep going back to that first house, I suggest you go and see it again.
That illusive feeling may just come back or you may see why you didn’t like it in the first place. (expecting to know during your first ever expection is alot of pressure)
and as for the ‘first house’ everyone has to start of somewhere – never despise humble beginnings !
Post # 4
sweetpea87: When Darling Husband and I started house hunting, we looked at tons of houses (20ish), and we got to the point were pressure was mounting because our wedding was coming up and our lease on our townhouse was ending soon. When we finally found a house that met 90% of our “must-have” criteria, we went back to see it a couple weeks later and then finally put in an offer, even though we didn’t love it. It was more like a, “yeah, I guess this’ll do” type moment. Long story short, the deal fell through. We were disappointed, and even though I didn’t love the house to begin with, I’d become emotionally attached in the weeks following our offer acceptance. Everyone kept telling us something better would come along, it wasn’t meant to be, yada yada. A few weeks later, I spotted a house that had gone on the market 2 days prior. Had our agent book the viewing for later that day, walked through one time, and Darling Husband and I both fell in love with it. We put an offer in that same day, because we were terrified we would lose it otherwise. We love our house. Granted, we were looking for a forever home, not a starter house, but I am still now a believer in “when you know, you know.” We are so glad that first deal fell through.
Good luck, OP!
Post # 5
What is best for one couple may not be the best for you. Some people buy their forever house because they know they are not going to be moving either in their work of the city in which they live. Others who may be subject to transfer, military or corporate, need to take other things into consideration when they buy- like what will sell at short notice.
I don’t think you need to fall in love with a prospective home, but it does need to meet all of the “must haves” and some of the “nice to haves” on my checklist.
Post # 6
We are in our starter home right now (soon to be moving to our forever home tho!). When my husband bought the house we currently live in I wasn’t too thrilled about moving in because I didn’t love it. However we painted the walls and I got to decorate it and now I love our little house!
Post # 7
sweetpea87: My opinion is that a house purchase should not be based on emotion at all. It’s a huge investment, I would make the choice based on factors like location, price, amount of work needed, etc. The memories and happy feelings will come after you live there 🙂
Post # 8
Even with a starter home, plan to be there 5-7 years. I can’t tell you how many people I know that thought they would be in a home for less than 5 years and 10 years later are still there. So buy big enough that if you are planning on having kids soon, you can be there for a few years after they are born.
When we first saw our house, I hated it. Walked in, took one look and said NO WAY. It was being run as a bording house and was just messy, dirty and not kept well. But we had a list of criteria and it met all of them but one (and it was minor, not enough sunny spots for growing tomatoes because of trees). So Darling Husband made me go back and see it again. He made me look past all the grime to see the bones of the house. I had to agree he was right about the criteria and I let him talk me into the house. 2.5 years later–I love it! We’ve had to do more work on it than we hoped, but for the size and location we got it for a steal!
So make a list of criteria and try to rank them based on importance or weight. Then got into every house using that list and look past the cosmetic. You can alway paint, but you can’t magically put in another bedroom (without some major$$) or make it closer to work.
Dont lose hope, the right and perfect home is right around the corner!
Post # 9
Try to see it as your “first house”, not your “forever home”.
Think with your head, not your heart. Is it a good deal? Will you be able to afford the repayments? What are the council rates for that area? How much is insurance for that area? Is it close enough to work/school (whatever you do at the moment)? What’s the turnover like in that area (how fast can you sell if you choose to do so and will you lose money or make a profit)?
I bought my townhouse when I was 19 and at the time it wasn’t what I expected. I didn’t love the way it looked, it wasn’t “big enough”, and I didn’t “feel” anything for it. But I put my emotions aside and made a business decision. It was a great price for the area, 10 minutes from the heart of town and about 5 minutes from our biggest shopping centre. It’s close to a main road but still a bit back so you can’t hear traffic. It’s also close to a couple of great schools and as our town is short on rental properties with 3+ bedrooms, I have never had an issue finding tenants to rent it. Best investment I’ve ever made. SO will buy a small place before we get married and then in the future, when we have enough equity in both and a little extra money, the plan is for us to either buy or build our dream forever home.
As life goes on, you make more money and grow equity, you can always buy a place that’s just that little bit nicer, little bit bigger, and feels like “home” and where you can see yourself growing old in.
Good luck with your search!!
Post # 10
- Wedding: January 2011 - Midland, TX
I personally do not think buying a starter home is a waste of time and money because if that is all you can afford at the moment, it’s alot better than paying rent! I say have at least 2 criteria that you “must have” and narrow it down that way. For example my personal “must have” was a master bath with a separate tub and shower and I did not want a galley style kitchen. We ended up choosing the “cheapest” house that fit my criteria and in the part of town we wanted to be in.
Post # 11
sweetpea87: Sometimes people fall in love with a house, and sometimes others find a house that may not be/have everything, but will work. AT the end of the day, you have to decide if you can see yourself there for xx number of years. If not, then keep looking. 🙂
Keep in mind, most houses won’t have EVERYTHING you want. For example, my house was the exact layout that I wanted, but there were cosmetic issues (ugly paint and wallpaper). But I knew that would be an easy fix, and all things considered, it was what I wanted. So I didn’t let something like cosmetics ruin the deal.
Another thing to keep in mind is that what may be a starter home might be your home for longer. You never know the circumstances life will throw your way later down the road. In any case, I think building equity is important – and why pay someone else’s mortgage when you can pay your own. 🙂
Post # 12
When you keep thinking about a particular house, that’s “the feeling” 😉 At least, it was for me.
Nothing will fit all criteria, and it’s not necessarily an OMG feeling – but if you can see yourself there and even from a criteria point of view if it has more than any other house, go for it.
When looking at apartments my Fiance and I had a weighted spreadsheet where we’d say 3 pts was a garage, 2 pts was a dishwasher, -3 pts was a long commute. We’d add up all the points and whichever had the most, we knew was a good fit for us.
But it can be as simple as just it sticking in your head, as has seemed to have happened this time!
Post # 13
You definetly should have that feeling. However, I’m sure that feeling can be different for everyone.
We bought our first home a year and a half ago. When we saw it I defiently had the best feeling out of all the houses we saw (we looked at ton’s between open houses and private viewings).
As much as we aren’t sure if this was going to be a starter home or a forever home. We tried to find something that we could imagine ourselves in for long time. You never know what might happen down the road and you might have to stay there for whatever reason. While we don’t have any kids, we made sure it had enough rooms, etc. for when we do.
I guess my point is, don’t just settle for a home because you want to buy now and if you aren’t sure you love it. You never know how long you may stay there. Good luck!