It may seem like we jumped the gun on the new house because everything happened so fast. To be honest, this has been a long time in the making, and we came into this process prepared this time around. It was simply a matter of finding the right house.
Today I thought I’d share some of the wisdom we’ve acquired through our second experience of buying a home.
We knew which city we wanted to move to all along, but we spent months and months researching specific neighborhoods. We were very strategic, and I touched on this briefly in a previous post.
Knowing all this beforehand made it easier to narrow houses down when they started coming through our queue. There was a particular area of our city that we knew would not be an option, so we were able to quickly mark no on those homes.
It was super important to us that we were financially ready to buy a new home before we got in touch with a real estate agent.
We weren’t the first time around, and it caused a lot of stress, which definitely took the joy out of being a new homeowner. At the time we didn’t know about Dave Ramsey, so I think this second time around we’re a lot wiser.
Part of this will be taking into account what you want in a house and how much that goes for in the area you want to live in. The other part is getting pre-approved with a lender (assuming you’re not paying all cash) to know how much you work with.
Be realistic too! My budget started out high, and then I kept lowering it to the point where we couldn’t find the house we wanted unless we stuck with our original budget. Luckily our house came in under budget, but it was because I had to face the facts that we weren’t going to get the house we wanted with me being such a cheapy. 😆
One of the things that really helped us both when we made and offer and when we closed escrow was the fact we got pre-approved with a lender. Since we started the pre-approval process right away we had a better chance of getting firm numbers in our offer and closing early (both of which happened).
The majority of our house purchase was in cash, and we took out a small 15-year, fixed-rate mortgage to cover us until we can sell our old house (then we can pay it off and be debt free). We got this all figured out in advance, and it made a huge difference in our offer because there were no contingencies.
We had no doubt in our mind that when it came to finding a realtor we were going to go with a Dave Ramsey ELP. We wanted someone that was going to respect and understand our financial situation AKA being on the Dave Ramsey plan. We knew that by going with an ELP we were going to get the exact service we needed.
We also wanted someone that had our best interests and was 100% on our side. That meant not having a realtor that represented the seller AND the buyer, something we’ve had in the past. We wanted someone to be totally dedicated to us to make sure we were not getting taken advantage of in any way.
And most importantly, we wanted someone that was going to walk us through every step and educate us to make the best purchase possible. We wanted a person we could trust and that had the heart of a teacher.
We got ALL of that and more with our ELP, Cynthia! We can’t recommend her enough!
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The Lovely Geek is a one-woman studio based in Sacramento, CA working with small businesses throughout the United States.