it’s official

After 2 and 1/2 years of marriage, 1 year-long deployment (in which we actually saved money), a 6-month-long hiring process with a police force (in which he was recently hired), and living with my parents separate and apart for almost 2 of those 2 and 1/2 years, Husband and I will be starting the long, arduous process of purchasing our first home.

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, finally.

I really shouldn’t say long and arduous. We couldn’t be first-time home-buyers at a more perfect time. A great tax credit, low prices, and houses that keep getting bigger and bigger (in our particular price range) as the market continues to slump are in store for us. I’ve already found several that I LOVE, but we have to hook up with a lender first.

That should be fun.

I’ll actually have to learn what escrow means, instead of just nodding and smiling while everyone around me discusses it. I also think that I’ll have to stop arbitrarily buying shoes and purses whenever the urge hits me, and since I barely use the purses I do own, I should consider selling some of them on eBay, because, you know, it’ll be nice to have some extra cash lying around in case the toilet falls through the floor or something. I don’t know, what else would you keep cash on hand for?

The thing I’m most looking forward to?

No, it’s not getting dressed without the fear of one of my siblings walking in on me. (although, that’s a close second)

Buying our home will mean the end of my most famous phrase (at the moment):

“Oh! This will look GREAT in the insert name of room in house here (example: dining room)  that I don’t have in the house I don’t own!”

Although, I will be a little sad to see it go. It did bring about a hearty chuckle from all who heard it.

So, internets, this is where you come in. You experienced home-buyers. What advice do you have for a property virgin such as myself? What do you wish you knew when buying your first home? Do you wish you had been more picky or more flexible?  What was the most valuable lesson you learned in the process?

And most important of all – how much money can I count on you to donate toward my purchse?

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10 Responses to “it’s official”


  1. 1 Sara Marino May 10, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I just wanted to comment with Good Luck in your first time home-buying! I am sorry but I have no advice to give as I am just merely about to move into my first rental!! I was happy to read about the update of your life and wish you all the best =)
    Luv Ya!

  2. 2 Christine May 10, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    I have tons, considering we just bought our first home! The most important one I learned was patience, but I will write you more later ;) Here is a glimpse though: http://ticainboston.blogspot.com/2009/04/big-news.html

  3. 3 lifelemons May 11, 2009 at 11:35 am

    In no particular order:

    1. Find an AWESOME realtor, one who is looking out for your best interests and LISTENS to you!

    2. DO NOT buy a house next to an open lot. You never know what may go there!

    3. Find a good lender, if you don’t think your interest rate is low enough, call someone else. (I can help you with this if you want)

    4. You MAY NOT always be able to “add-on,” that ish is expensive.

    5. NO ONE. I repeat NO ONE really wants a fixer upper. I am living proof of that!

  4. 4 lifelemons May 11, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Also, escrow is your homeowner’s insurance and your taxes. This would include: Sewer Bill, Propery Taxes, School Taxes, etc. You will need to find someone to get your homeowner’s through and often times if you have your insurance bundled it will be cheaper. You will need to call around to get the lowest rate.

  5. 5 Ellen May 11, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    Talk to you hubby and decide on a short list of things that really make or break the deal for you and then stick to it. It was a while ago but our list looked something like:

    At least a two car garage
    NO laundry room in the basement
    Double sinks in the master bath
    Fenced in yard

    It was easy to eliminate houses and narrow down our search and we were more flexible on things that didn’t matter as much.

    The best advice I can give you is PRAY!

  6. 6 Shauna Sullivan May 11, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    We need to get together. My main piece of advice is this: Count the number of outlets in each room. Just trust me.

  7. 7 nicknorasmom May 11, 2009 at 9:33 pm

    It may sound silly , but if you see a neighbor outside of the house you’re looking at- stop to ask them questions. 2 things will be accomplished with this. You will find out if the neighbors are nice and you can find out some details that the owner has “not mentioned” such as street traffic, water in basement, bug problems, etc. Believe me, you can find some things out if worded correctly. Have fun!!!!

  8. 8 Kate May 13, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    My advice is to make sure your loan officer is on the ball and have all your paperwork as organized as possible prior to the purchasing process. My husband and I bought in early 2008 when everything started becoming a lot stricter. Our loan officer was what I would politely call a bonehead and we had to come up with all sorts of paperwork (tax returns, bank statements, payroll stubs, gift letters, etc.). Turns out my husband even had an outstanding lien from his college days that came up just weeks before our closing. This kind of stuff drove us crazy (and still drove me crazy when we recently refinanced) so it’s nice to have everything in order at the start of the process.

  9. 9 antsmarching May 15, 2009 at 7:59 am

    as someone who VERY recently just went through this whole process…withouta clue…here’s my/Adam’s advice:

    1.) Find a REALLY good realtor…you can keep switching until you find someone you’re comfortable with. Ours listened to what we said, didn’t pressure us, let us just walk around the house and make our own descisions.

    2.) Ask your realtor for who he would suggest you get the loan with…it makes the whole process LOADS easier when your realtor and loan officer have worked together before.

    3.) Look online and go to any house that is ‘okay’. Even if it’s obviously not what you’re going to buy, you’ll figure out what you like/don’t like about houses. (Make a list of this stuff)

    4.)When you do find a house, go into contract and have your inspection…follow the inspector around…ask a bizillion questions and have him take pictures of what he is noting on his report (makes insurance applications easier)

    5.) Drive through the neighborhood on a Saturday…see what it’s really like…it’s hard to tell when you’re cramming three houses in after work.

    6.) Have fun! And remember…paint can fix any room!


  1. 1 what i learned this week « sunny side of life Trackback on June 30, 2009 at 8:29 pm

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