My First Time Home Purchasing Experience by Jessica Faison Part 2

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

Well I’m finally back to share part 2 of the journey of first time home ownership with you.  I know you are really excited to see me back on Stacie’s blog.  I would be too if I were you.  I know I’m pretty entertaining and that I was missed by all.  It’s OK.  You don’t have to tell me.

So where did we leave off?  Oh yeah, I shared with you step one of this process…taking a hard look at your finances, reducing debt, budget planning, and then waiting until it’s the right time.  Well fast forward a couple of years and here you are.  You’ve stuck to your budget religiously.  You’ve reduced your debt, maybe even paid off a couple of credit cards completely along the way, and have increased your credit score 15 to 20 points, maybe even more.  You’ve got a huge feeling of accomplishment and wish someone could pat you on the back to give you that “good job” validation you think you need.  If you are like me it will be at this time you scratch your head in wonderment.  I thought to myself, well now what?  I didn’t know where to turn or what to do.

So let me tell you what you do now.  Ready?

It’s at this point that you just have to get out there and find your dream home.  It’s a grueling journey for some but its well worth the time.  What worked for me was starting my journey by spending countless hours looking at listings on line comparing houses in our desired area to our needs and our visions of what we wanted for our immediate future.  I also spent my weekends watching HGTV.  I think I’ve seen every episode of Property Virgins, and My First Home that was ever produced.

This process was kind of tedious but it taught me a lot.  Yes, reality TV can teach you something.  It taught me what questions to ask, what to look for in a new home, understanding what I wanted, and how the negotiation process works.   I also learned a lot about online listings and how key words in a listing can tell you a great deal.  “Quaint or Cozy” means small!  “Homey or Comfortable” means outdated!  Move in ready really usually does mean move in ready.  I was able to quickly weed out which houses I wanted to go look at just by the keywords and photos in the listings on line.

I also advise you at this point that the good houses go quick and you will need to stay on top of new listings and updates to existing listings or you will truly miss out on something great.  This is the part of the journey where you need to be on your game if you are serious about buying a house.  There are many online listing websites that you can subscribe to that will send you email notifications of new listings that match your search criteria.  This is probably one of the best things I did during my home search process.  Had I have met my awesome realtor before this I could have had her do all the work for me.  Your realtor can send you daily or weekly updates on new or updated listings that meet your search criteria as well by the way.

Whether you do this on your own or with the assistance of your realtor, at the end of the day you get the same result; a specific home, or quite a few specific homes that you want to move on to the next step with.  The face-to-face step.  The most exciting step and the make it or break it step.  But I shall warn you, have no expectations going in or you could be let down.

Stay tuned for part 3: Home Shopping Realities

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