Our Experience Buying Our First (& Forever) Home
We are officially home owners!!! I can't believe I'm actually typing those words. When we began this process, closing day seemed so far away, but it really came in the blink of an eye. I am so excited that we are starting the next chapter of our lives and I CAN'T wait for you guys to see how we transform this house into our home!
Before we start, I want you to know that our situation is very unique. I truly believe that timing is everything and what's meant to be will always find it's way. This is a prime example of why I believe in those two clichés.
So first things first. The back story.
This process started back in mid March. At the time, we weren't even looking for a house. Our plan had always been to build a home on property that Rob already owns. I can't tell you how often Rob & I would talk about our future home and everything we wanted it to have. Where on the property it would be; the open floor plan with plenty of room to entertain; not to mention the laundry room of my dreams. This was a regular conversation for us and something we were so looking forward to after our wedding. But it wouldn't be fun and exciting if things went according to plan, right?!
Here's what changed our entire plan. Back in March, the previous homeowners had another baby and were in the process of buying a new home to better accommodate their needs. In passing, the previous homeowner mentioned to Rob's grandfather that they were going to be moving and wanted to sell the house, preferably without a realtor since he hadn't yet listed it.
Rob's grandfather told us about the situation and we knew we had to try to buy the house because it's located directly across the street from the property Rob already owns. Talk about the perfect situation that we never saw coming. SO the process of buying our first and forever home began!
the process itself
*disclaimer: I'm not an expert and don't know much about real estate; I am simply sharing the process as it unfolded for us.
So0, what does someone do when they want to buy a house? First, you have to get pre approved. We reached out to a recommended mortgage company and gave them our info to see if we would qualify. Let me warn you. From the time you submit your information to the time you find out if you qualify is BEYOND stressful. I mean - this was our first time doing this, so would we even be pre approved? I had no idea. But once everything came back and we found out we were pre approved, we were so relieved and ready to move forward.
After that, it was just a lot of paperwork. Because we did not use a realtor, everything basically went through our mortgage rep. We had to get a contract written up by a real estate lawyer to protect both us and the seller. Once that was singed and sent to the mortgage company, we had a ton of other documents to sign and send over. We also had to start looking into home owners insurance since we would need it for the day of closing.
Once we reached the underwriting stage (don't ask me what that is because I still don't really know 🙃) it was a lot of back and forth, making sure they had all the documents they needed to submit the loan for approval. Once everything was officially approved and ready to go, we felt a huge weight lifted off of our shoulders!
The next step was closing day. We set it for the end of June because the previous homeowner needed time to get his new house ready, and it gave us more time to save a little more money since it happened unexpectedly. As we waited for this day to come, I couldn’t help but feel all the feels. I’m the most emotional person I know so you bet I cried a ton. Between the last minute papers that had to be sent through when I thought everything was already taken care of, and just knowing everything was about to change, I couldn’t help it! Now just imagine what I’m going to be like on our wedding day. Can you say #emotionalwreck? Lolll.
what we learned from not using a realtor
Now, I can only give you one side of the story here. Since this was our first time purchasing a home, I have no idea how it would have been with a realtor, BUT I do imagine it being easier than it was.
Because we didn't have a realtor, everything was up to us. As far as all the paperwork, I'm sure it's all the same either way; however, I would imagine a realtor is constantly communicating with you and making sure you're doing what needs to be done in a timely fashion. I found relying solely on our mortgage rep to be a bit frustrating at times, especially as first time home buyers. Sometimes I felt like I had no idea what we needed to be doing and waiting for a response seemed like I was waiting forever. I just felt like we could have used a bit more guidance and I'm sure we would have gotten that had a realtor been involved.
Even though the process was a headache at times, we saved a lot of money by not using a realtor. For that alone, the headache was worth it! We now have more money in our budget for projects we want to do and things we need to get!
If you end up taking the same route we did, my advice would be to ask a TON of questions and stay on top of your mortgage rep. YOU are the priority and that's how they should treat you. If we used a realtor I'm sure that's what they would have done, so in this scenario we had to be a little tough and advocate for ourselves.
All in all, it was such a process (that I never want to have to do again 🤦🏻♀️), but we are beyond happy and ready to start this new chapter!! I’m so excited to take you guys along on this journey and share the transformation of making our house a home 💗
If you have any questions at all, don't hesitate to comment on this post or reach out via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). I would love to chat!
As always, thanks so much for reading!