After years of renting, my husband and I decided to take the plunge like several others and get in the home purchasing game in Louisville. We weren’t necessarily scared to take the plunge, we were more curious and interested in how the process worked. Of course, we heard from family and friends how stressful it can be, but that it was a necessary investment and of course the “American Dream.”
We read numerous articles on what to expect, and what ‘first time homebuyers should know,’ but reading about it and living it are two different things. This is why we were so lucky to have our realtor. She’s been in real estate for about 15 years and was very familiar with the neighborhoods and the market (something you don’t get when searching alone).
She thoroughly explained the purchase process to us and made us feel prepared for what was to occur during our journey. The pre-approval wasn’t too scary as we haven’t racked up much debt and we both had good credit scores. Since 90% of buyers find their future homes using the internet (1), the home search process wasn’t too bad either.
We were so excited to attend our first open house and look around at various houses within our price range. We probably visited around 10 homes and made about three offers before we found the home that best fit our needs. I have to admit, our expectations were fairly realistic (our realtor might have a different opinion :)), but for the most part, we knew what we could afford, and knew the comparable home prices in the neighborhood. The search process was a bit easier on us because we weren’t in a hurry to move, but I could see how this could greatly affect the moving process for some.
What was most frustrating to us were the solid offers we felt we made that weren’t even being viewed. This is consistent across many home buyers because it is a seller’s market and they are receiving multiple competitive offers. We were also competing with cash buyers, home flippers, and investors. One word of advice I will give you is to not get discouraged. After making an offer on a house we really liked that was not accepted, we decided we were going to continue looking online, but not tour homes.
And what do you know, the next day we saw the house we wanted while searching online. Interesting how life works, right? We immediately toured the home and made an offer the same day. We were in contract the next day! The next week, we scheduled inspections, and we were well on our way to purchasing a home. Again, it would’ve been extremely difficult to navigate this journey without our realtor. She took care of all the paperwork, developing offers, and guiding us through the entire process. It would’ve been overwhelming without her to say the least.
After the inspections, repair requests, and paper signing, we were one step closer to homeownership. We began asking family and friends for boxes and started packing up belongings in our rental home. I have to say packing was efficient since I could “declutter” and get rid of unused items, but it was overwhelming to see all the boxes, packed and unpacked in our home.
Within a little over 30 days, we were ready to sign on the dotted line and make one of the biggest purchases of our lives. On the day of closing, I was a bit nervous and had butterflies in my stomach! This was such a big purchase, so it was somewhat terrifying. Having our realty team there made all the difference in the world. I felt like I had so much support. Once the title company started discussing the forms to sign (which are a lot of forms, by the way), I started to feel at ease and was overcome with excitement! The closing took about an hour and just like that, we became homeowners!
So often you hear of horror stories in regards to buying a home, but our experience wasn’t like that. It was a smooth, fun transition and something we will cherish together! I attribute that to our realistic expectations, our realty team, and our willingness to let go. Life is about a journey and in that journey there are good times, bad times, and uneventful times. This part of the journey was a good time and I can’t wait to fill our new home with so much love and laughter!
1 (National Association of Realtors, 2017)