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What I Learned As A First Time Home Buyer
Years ago when I purchased my first home I was 8 months pregnant and in a hurry to find anything that would meet our needs. My requirements included 3 bedrooms and move in ready. While I considered a fixer upper, I knew that we wouldn’t have enough time on our hands to handle raising our first born and painting walls. For us, the best option was to go with a planned community. Looking back now I realize that there are things I could have done differently as a first time home buyer that would have made the home buying process a little easier. Here are a few things I took away after buying our first home.
1. Shop around for your lender. This could be key when purchasing your first house. When we started looking for homes I remember putting an offer down on a house I loved and losing the deal because of our loan terms. When we switched lenders we not only pre-qualified for a larger loan, but we also got a better rate. If we had shopped around and found our second lender the first time around then we would have gotten the house we loved and saved a lot of time.
2. Don’t pigeon hole yourself in to one area. A lot of first time home buyers find a zip code or neighborhood that they have their heart set on and close themselves off to other possibilities-I know I was guilty of this. After spending months looking for a house in our price point in the area we wanted, we decided to look 1.5 miles east from our desired neighborhood. We ended up getting a larger house for a cheaper price!
3. Be realistic about the market and don’t let it discourage you. Yes, Austin’s market is hot. On average 140 people move here per day. You are going to find a house that you like and may get out bid on it. Don’t let this discourage you from continuing your search for your perfect house. When I started my search I lost out on 3 homes before I closed on our current house.
4. And finally, have fun. Home buying can be a stressful process, especially when you’re a first time home buyer. Let your realtor do the grunt work. Have fun house hunting, but make sure you have realistic expectations. The more open minded you are the less stressful the process will be.
Good luck on your home search!
Stephanie is a proud mother and lifelong resident of central Texas. She grew up eating BBQ, frequenting Zilker Park, and exploring the many Green Belts Austin has to offer. After graduating from Texas....
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