1. What step are you at in the home buying process? (looking at houses but not pre-approval, pre-approved and now visiting homes, offer submited, waiting to hear back, counter-offer received, home inspection, closing, keys received!… etc.)
We have been pre-approved for a couple of months, looking semi-casually and then more seriously, and last Sunday after looking at 9 houses we fell in love with 2 and had to make the decision on which one we wanted. We put offers in on both, received counters, countered back, and both were accepted! We decided on house #1 after 1.5 days of discussion. Our offer was accepted, and escrow is open. The bank has everything they need so far. We had a termite inspection last night, and tomorrow we have a house and pool inspection. Later in the week the bank is sending out an appraiser.
2. Is this your first home?
3. What are type of home are you looking for? How many beds/baths? What are your other requirements or wants? You don’t have to share the price, if you don’t want to.
We were looking for a 3-4BR/2 bath single-family detached house with a garage and a pool, for $200k or under. The house we are in escrow on is 3 BR + a den, 2 full bathrooms, and an open concept eat-in kitchen with an open layout family/living room. It has a 2 car garage and a pool, desert landscaping front, pretty blank slate in the back, and about 2000 sq ft.
4. How are you feeling? (Happy, anxious, pissed off… etc)
I’m… tentatively excited. We’ve been through this process before and had to pull out after the inspection. I’m fairly confident that will not happen again, because this house is only 10 years old and has a brand new pool pump, and the last house was built in 1960 – but you just never know. I think I will feel better after our inspection tomorrow, but I also feel like I won’t be 100% happy and excited until I have the key in my hand and we close on 03/25. We’ve been in the market for almost 3 years now (with an 8 month break in the middle), and I’m a little jaded.
5. Any advice for other bees buying a home?
There is no such thing as a perfect house, unless you have an unlimited budget and build your own dream home. I’ve found that in house hunting, you need to just have a basic list (3 bedroom, pool, garage, general area) instead of being too specific (4 bedroom split floorplan with a pebbletec pool, open floorplan). Just look for a house with good bones that has 80% of your criteria, including (obviously) the things that are most important to you.
-House hunting is like finding someone you want to marry and then being broken up with and then recovering from it and then doing it all again. And again. You have to be prepared for sellers to accept other offers (especially if it’s anywhere like here, where the market is inundated with investors paying cash), or for offers to fall through, or for their counters to be outrageous, or things to come up in inspections, etc.
-If you do get an accepted offer, be ready to answer the same question from the bank about a $200 deposit twenty different times to 5 different people.
-Be open to making changes. It’s pretty easy to knock down or build a wall or change flooring or paint or moldings. I see so many people who are so set on something being move-in ready/turn-key and unwilling to make any changes whatsoever, and that just seems impossible to me.
-Be upfront with your lender AND your realtor about what you can afford and what your expectations are. Be firm. Do not see anything out of your price range. No matter what you realtor says, there is NO way the seller is coming down far enough for it to be comfortable for you.
-If you’re not clicking with your realtor, get a new one. You won’t lose anything by doing this. We had to do it and it made our whole process so much better.
-TRY to have fun. It is really stressful and confusing sometimes, but buying your first home is obviously a once in a lifetime experience. I can’t speak on this personally yet, but I have a feeling that once you get that key and step into the home as YOURS for the first time, it will all be worth it.