5 tips for buying your first house!

Buying your first house is an amazing feeling. Not only is it an accomplishment (saving for a downpayment, having good credit, etc.) but a solid financial investment for the future. Here are five things that were really helpful for us when buying our house:

1. Find an agent you can trust

Our agent was incredible. She is a family friend I have known since I was little, so I knew I could trust that she was making decisions that were in our best interest. She also showed us as many houses we wanted to see (maybe like 25?) and actually convinced me to look in the town we bought our house in, I was super against this town before she convinced me to just try it.

2. Know your budget and don't look at anything outside of it

We went to a mortgage company prior to getting pre-approved to see what they thought our price range would be based on our incomes and credit history before we went looking seriously for houses. This was incredibly helpful! They had several projection sheets and explained the pros and cons of the different loans we could take out on our house.

Another helpful formula several people told me is to make sure you are not spending more than 33% of your monthly income on your mortgage. Spending more than that can be stressful. Even if the bank offers more, don't go to the top of the range they give.

Also, looking outside your budget when you are seriously considering houses will just set you up for disappointment. Don't do it. You don't want to fall in love with something you cannot afford.

3. Make a list of must haves

Travis and I made a spreadsheet giving weights to our highest priorities (my husband is a nerd with exel) and it helped cut some houses out from the get go. Really tho I knew what house I wanted right when I walked into ours. I was a nightmare because I couldn't contain my excitement and the builders real estate agent knew he had us.

4. Your dream home probably isn't going to be your first home

I absolutely love our first home, but its not my dream home, it doesnt have every single thing I want, but its close! Just keep in mind that if you aren't building, and even if you are, you probably can't get everything perfect (because you can't afford to) and thats okay. For example, I don't love the outside color of our home, but I deal cuz I like that our neighborhood is colorful in general!

5. Have everything organized before you need it

When you are getting approved for the loan on your house you need a lot of documentation. Keep everything organized in one place. Our mortgage people asked me to submit the same documents at least 3 times each (don't ask me why, they like to be difficult) and their online submission site super sucked. Keeping everything organized will help you not go insane when this happens. Things you will definitely need (Pay stubs, taxes, old W-2's, work history, forms of ID, bank statements, etc).

Buying a house can be overwhelming but so exciting!

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