It goes without saying that I have absolutely no idea where to start.
I wanted to jump right in to the hunting part of this process. Keith has already spoken with a bank and we have been pre-qualified for a loan. And together we’ve done some research on what towns will be good for us. We considered their proximity to our jobs and school systems. We even took a drive last Sunday to scope out some of these towns for ourselves. One we thought we liked ended up having too much of a small-town feel for me, and we ended up discovering another that wasn’t even on our list before.
Pretty house with a wrap around porch, when will you be mine?
So why can’t we just start setting up showings and looking at houses already?
1. My pinterest board is not done. So far for home inspiration I’ve got colored glassware from West Elm (which I don’t really need because I have a ton of glasses) and these fringe curtains that are not likely to fit in any house we end up purchasing. How can I possibly look for the house of my dreams if I haven’t created the mood board of my dreams?
2. We really should get pre-approved for a loan before we start poking our heads into houses. We went to see a few places, kind of like a test run, but if we want to make a serious offer we need to be able to back it up. We’ve been pre-qualified for a loan, which is just a nice way for the bank to say that unless we are lying about how much we make we will likely get a loan. Now we need to get pre-approved. The bank will run a credit check and do some other more official stuff and if we pass (which they already told us we would) they write a nice letter saying so.
3. We need a realtor. Sure, there’s Google and Zillow and Craigslist and Facebook and a million other places we can find houses we’d like to buy. But when it comes to the actual purchase of a house a realtor will help us through the sale, making sure we get what we want and we pay a fair price. So where do we find the right realtor for us? While I searched Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing, Keith picked up his cell and called the realtor he’d worked with when he bought his condo. One Realtor, check!
4. I have to wish my brother a Happy Birthday! Happy Birthday, Phil! Sadly, he is still deployed and I doubt he will have much of a birthday celebration. Maybe a picture on the blog will make up for that?
Phil celebrating his 21st birthday in style.
It’s a close call. Hopefully this and that copy of Catching Fire I send him will help!
Once the pre-home buying checklist has been complete we can start making appointments to view houses. Of course we still have a lot more options to narrow down, like do we want to do a full renovation or do we want a move in ready house? What are our “deal breakers”? And which town do we REALLY want to live in?
But I’m taking it all one step at a time. Tell me, what were some of the first things you did when you bought a house? What steps am I missing?