Part: 1 From an Home Buyer!

My Home First Time Home Purchasing Experience
By: Jessica Faison

I was honored when Stacie asked me to be a guest blogger on her Southern Savvy Connections blog.  I mean, me?  Little ol’ me?  Would anyone even want to read what I had to say? 

Then she reminded me how awesome I am and well yeah she’s right I am pretty amazing so of course everyone in the triangle is going to be super stoked about my series.  Note the key word SERIES.  Now may be a great time to bring up the fact that I’m a little wordy.  I can’t help it.  It’s a part of being awesome.

So if you want to read about the first time home purchasing experience for the impatient and overly stressed working woman then you’ve come to the right place.  I can guarantee you a good laugh and some good pointers if you are thinking of purchasing your first home.

Now let’s get this party started….

Part 1: Pre Gamin’ The Situation

I dreamed of home ownership my entire life but did not get really invested in making it become a reality until I turned 28.  I was like two steps away from 30 and about to have an emotional break down over that thinking I hadn’t even begun retirement planning, I don’t own anything, not even my car, and I felt like I was too old to be renting a one bedroom apartment any longer.  It was also about this time I started a new job which motivated me to spend more time looking at my finances and getting in better shape.  I wasn’t a young dumb post graduate anymore.  I mean hello, 30 was right around the corner and I was supposed to be a real adult or something, right?

It was at this time I was forced to sit down and get a reality check on where I was financially.  Five bottles of wine later after I calmed myself from having a panic attack from the harsh reality that was my credit and debt situation I picked myself up, brushed myself off, and made some changes.  They were small at first but they were changes nonetheless. 

So here’s where I started to get where I am and where I would encourage all first time homebuyers to start.
  1. Get a copy of your credit report – there are many sites that allow you to obtain this for FREE
  2. Make a detailed list of all the money you owe and break it out by category (credit cards, loans, school debt, car payment, etc)
  3. Take a deep breath don’t have a panic attack
  4. Don’t drink 5 bottles of wine that was just a joke (I totally only had three)
  5. Take a look at your bank statements for the last 90 days and track where your money was spent ($30 a week at Starbucks?  Yep, that’s me right here)
  6. Create a realistic budget plan to reduce your monthly expenses and allow additional funds to be transferred to paying off debt and allow yourself to only spend a certain amount per category (example: groceries = $40.00 a week)
  7. Cut out all unnecessary spending!  Period!  No excuses.  It doesn’t matter that purse is on sale 60% off, you DON’T need it, it’s so last season anyway.
  8. As you obtain extra cash flow from your reduced spending, save some of it in a savings account for your future down payment, and put the rest towards paying off debt
  9. As you pay off an account mark it off your list.  Being able to mark something off will make you feel so so good!
  10. Look at some of the homes for sale in your desired neighborhood/areas to get an idea of how much the homes are selling for.  Then use one of the many only “How Much Home Can I Afford” calculators to figure out how much you can realistically afford.  I did this and actually was dead on correct and what I pre-qualified for was exactly what I had researched I should be able to quality for.
  11. Know your credit score.  Aim to increase it as much as possible.  The more you pay off debt the higher the score will go.  Do not open new accounts as this will lower your score and do NOT close your current accounts as you pay them off as this will also lower your score.
And then…..

Wait…wait some more, and most importantly stick to your budget!  You can look at home listings online if you have to but you don’t want to get too attached yet to any particular home especially since you still have a lot of debt clean up to do.  Trust me on this.  For real. 

Since I’m overly busy and impatient I felt like I would never get through this first year to year and a half but trust me when I tell you that it passed by super fast and helped me purchase the perfect house and it was totally worth the work and wait!

Stay tuned for Part 2: I’ve reduced my debt, now what?


  1. I feel famous! I hope everyone enjoys the series...

    1. You are Famous and Fabulous! Thank You for taking the time to do this!