Remember the ending of 13 Going on 30, when Jenna and Matt move into their pink(!) house that looks astonishingly similar to the dollhouse Jenna had outfitted with her teenaged fantasy life? Now, imagine that instead of hopping on the couch in the front yard to eat Razzles, Jenna and Matt were filmed hopping onto a couch in the new home they just purchased looking out the window enjoying their new neighborhood. Thankfully, Jenna and Matt followed this list of first-time home buyer tips and lived happily ever after. Here’s what they did:
Jenna and Matt Got Their Finances in Order: While Jenna was a bit of a spendthrift during their apartment-dwelling days, she and Matt had still been carefully stashing away emergency funds until they had three-to-six months of expenses covered. Once Jenna saw that they were close to affording her pink dream house, she began carefully documenting their spending, establishing a clear budget that would tell them exactly how much house they could afford.
And Then They Arranged Pre-Approval: Jenna saw on her list of first-time home buying tips that most sellers and lenders aren’t super motivated to work with buyers that aren’t pre-approved. It forced Jenna and Matt to get their tax returns, paycheck stubs and other documents organized for pre-approval.
They Crunched Numbers and Crunched Again: Even though they’d found their dreamy pink house, Jenna and Matt knew it wasn’t just the house payment that would impact their budget going forward. They asked for a year’s worth of utility records on the house, plus they factored in items like a longer commute, lawn care costs and the furniture purchases and decorating that would naturally follow the purchase of a new home. They also determined the cost of private mortgage insurance and taxes.
Jenna and Matt Had a Back-Up Plan: They had been pre-approved, but Matt knew that one of the first-time home buyer tips he’d heard was that sometimes a lender would freeze the funding for a particular program. He and Jenna were sure to keep their pink house secured with a second pre-approval, in case their first lender had an unforeseen issue.
They Insisted on a Good Inspection: Jenna had heard enough horror stories of mold in the basement, cracked lateral pipes and windows that looked sparkling clean at the open house, but wouldn’t budge at inspection. She and the realtor worked together to hire an inspection team that would check every detail from the foundation to the roof and recommend repairs.
Matt and Jenna may be fictional, but it’s fun to imagine them all cozy in their cotton candy-colored home. It’s even more fun to picture yourself enjoying your first home, but don’t miss the step of seriously considering the parts that could go awry if you aren’t following these first-time home buyer tips.
Fortunately, Dani Beyer Real Estate lives firmly in reality while also enjoying the fun of helping you find your first home. Contact us today to get started!