Homebuying 101: Kelz’s Takeaways from the Process

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Hello Hello! Whew! It has been busy busy busy the past two months, but I finally came up for air to get some of these thoughts out my head and on paper…well on my blog typed up lol. The journey was long and tedious, but I can finally say I (along with my husband) are home owners! We closed on our first primary residence home May 1st! I learned so much, and I wanted to share my experience for those interested in buying a home but you have no clue where to start!

Making the decision to buy was interesting for my husband and me. Finding out I was unexpectedly pregnant, we knew we wanted our child to be raised in a home. I am and always have been a go with the flow roll with the punches kind of girl. I live in an optimistic mindset that God wont bring me to it and not bring me through it OKAAAY! My husband, on the other hand, is a very thought out, needs all his ducks in a row, doesn’t like to go out on a whim kind of guy. In his mind, if it doesn’t make sense logically, then it cannot be done. (Can yall imagine our convos and how different our mindsets are on things in life?!?! Opposites really do attract!) We knew our salaries and apartment rent reflected roughly what we could afford on a monthly basis, but you never know what your buying power is until you get preapproved. Getting preapproved shows you what to shop for rather than shopping for a home not knowing if you will even be approved for that amount. I recommend going to banks you have a relationship with already to check out rates and your credit. In my experience, credit unions definitely had the best interest rates, but commercial banks had better incentives (i.e. lender credits, money towards closing costs, etc.)

Once we got preapproved, we were online constantly looking at homes all over Houston! Sending one another link after link to look at fixtures, set up, and square feet. Our choice of location changed so much throughout this process. We both worked downtown when we originally started looking, but then I started working from home and my husband worked out in West Houston (Energy Corridor) so we started looking out there. Then, my husband realized his coworkers lived all over Houston, so he opened back up to living close to downtown. Needless to say, it helps to zone in on the location you want to live in. The more specific you can be on where and what you are looking for, the more efficient the search can be.

We had a hiccup back in January! Lesson learned! We found a home earlier this year in the same neighborhood we moved into. Loved the space, saw potential, put in an offer, and it was accepted. We paid earnest money and started moving forward with the lender and then…we gave our apartment leasing office our notice that we were breaking our lease early. We thought 2 months rent that’s pretty standard, we can budget for that…BIG MISTAKE! Our leasing office came back with “Sure thing, we just need 2 months rent AS WELL AS reimbursement of all Concession discounts received throughout your lease.” Concession discounts are the discounts they give you when you sign so that you are not paying market rate for your apartment. Long story short, they wanted us to dish out over $10,000 to break our lease! We had to say nevermind, and lose earnest money on a home we wanted! The lesson…be aware of all upfront costs with your current situation before moving forward to buy. Had we checked that out, we definitely would have waited on buying anything!

Fast forward to March…we start back looking with a deadline of closing and moving in by end of May/early June (Ya girl is getting bigger by the month!) We circled back with the same builder we had planned to buy from in January and they had a second phase of homes that would possibly be ready by August/September. My baby is due in August, but we would get to customize from the ground up. We were prepared to buy a home with them, but another builder in the same neighborhood had a last minute home come back on my the market after the buyer couldn’t sell their current home. I personally loved this builder and I knew I was settling for the other builder cause I loved this new subdivision. When the house came back, my husband and I went and looked at the home that Saturday morning and put in an offer that Saturday afternoon! When you see what you want ACT FAST! 

God truly blessed us with the home we closed on! He knew all along what I wanted and HIS timing made it so that we got just that! I sit here typing this blog from my family room and I could not be happier with the choice we made. I am moved in and enjoying the pressure of decorating and organizing my home. Can’t wait to share with you all the final look in my rooms including the nursery!

In summary,

  1. Make the decision to buy
  2. Get preapproved
  3. Zone in on a location
  4. Know your upfront costs on current living arrangement
  5. Act fast when you see what you want
  6. Enjoy decorating your new home!

Thank you for reading!!!

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