It's been 4 months since JT and I closed on our first home together and WHAT an experience it has been. Let's just say JT has become Mr. Fix It, lol. Before we moved in I wouldn't have considered him a "handy-man" lol, sorry babe. BUT when you're faced with little fixes that could cost you an arm + a leg to hire someone, you just learn how to do it yourself. Thankfully, JT is very careful and does his research before making things worse. He has managed to fix our AC unit, install 3 light fixtures, cut down a tree that was hitting our roof, and replaced our guest bathroom toilet that was constantly running. As for putting together all of the new furniture...I am taking credit for that!
Anyways, let's get to the point of this post...
The home buying process was a huge learning experience for us. Being first time home buyers we were clueless, but we were lucky to have an amazing realtor, mortgage broker, and family to give us advice. So here are a few tips we think will be useful for first time home buyers.
Observe the area/neighborhood. Do you feel safe in the area? Are you close to markets and restaurants? Or in our case, THE BEACH.
Keep in mind the resale value. Location, layout, curb appeal, and views are a big plus.
Stay on top of your credit.Even just one point can make your monthly mortgage payment go up as much as $40/mo...
Don't get your hopes up EVEN IF YOU'RE UNDER CONTRACT. JT and I were told this a million times, but it's important not to get your hopes up after putting in an offer or signing a contract because there is still a possibility you will run into problems after getting an appraisal and inspection.
Get the inspection before the appraisal. If you think you are getting the house for the right price go ahead and schedule the inspection ASAP because you usually only have about a 10-15 day inspection period and if there are any issues that come up during inspection you can get some estimates for repairs to show the seller for a credit.
If repairs are necessary start getting estimates ASAP. This helps you get an idea of costs, so you can start budgeting for fixes ahead of time.
Overestimate utility bills so that you aren't surprised if your bills are more than you expected, and you are relieved when they come in lower than expected.
Set money asideto get ahead of any big repairs you may not know about, yet.