Casa Craze: The Confessions of a First-Time Homebuyer at the End of the Road

Our Home

As I have been talking about this countless times before, my husband and I are trying to buy a house for the first time. We finally found a place that should be that home. Here is where on HGTV you see the words “2 Months Later” pop up on the screen and the House Hunters you have been watching for the past 25 minutes are comfortably settled in the new place.

Rewind back to putting in that initial offer in real life and you’re in for the process of a lifetime.

First, you get to try and negotiate a price if at all possible. When you have finally settled on something, you start your financial paperwork, along with working with your Realtor to ensure that you are indeed buying a sound home. So, find a good inspector, observe, ask questions, listen to what he/she has to say, take notes. Then, you get to persuade the sellers to repair some items that the home inspector listed, and worry, and wonder if they would say yes or your sale, along the $425 you invested, would fall through. Thankfully for us, the home seems very well maintained and we have an amazing seller who has graciously agreed to cover $3,000 worth of foundation repairs and give us the lifetime warranty. Very fortunate, indeed.

Now, on the other end, you must apply for financing, unless of course you have the entire cash in hand, you must follow the steps for regular people. You fill out you loan application as well as 30 other pieces of paper, sign and initial about 50 times and send it off to your lender. Along with that stack of papers, get ready to feel your privacy violated. To everyone terribly worried about their personal information, never apply for a home loan. Because you provide everything. Everything. Think of all the stuff you show your employer on your first day of work, along with the information the car dealership wants from you when buying a vehicle, along with what the IRS requests from you every year, multiply it by three years and make sure to add your banking and pay stub history, throw in a rental verification and you should be all set. Ah, and don’t forget to arrange your homeowner’s insurance in the meantime, make sure to get the best rate, too.

Once you’ve got all this under control, your file gets submitted for processing and gets reviewed by the lender’s office. You should also order an appraisal as well, once you’re sure you’re buying the house: another $425 ca-ching! Just in case the property does not have a seller-provided survey, here is where you will give another $400 (ours did – thank you, Carole!). Beyond that, your application information goes to the underwriter and you wait, taking deep breaths. Once and if approved, the title company gets your file and you and your escrow officer meet to “close.” But wait a minute, on closing day you might find out that your future home has five major plumbing leaks in the foundation. So, you don’t close just yet. You sit tight and hope that the seller is willing to shell out another $7,000 to benefit you. Once again, Carole saved us by paying for the repair. This is to show how important a good seller is to first-time homebuyers in this dreadful process – ours even had the carpets cleaned to perfection and left us a care package.

As you may guess, we finally closed. Also were able to get the loan funded and even receive our keys that same day.

The Keys

In the end, we are homeowners and got to take a five-hour trip to Home Depot.


4 thoughts on “Casa Craze: The Confessions of a First-Time Homebuyer at the End of the Road

  1. Kim Bennett

    Such a great story! Once again, congratulations to you and Stephen! I will call you soon…got caught up with something and didn’t get a chance to call you back yet. Love the photo of your new home. It is very charming!

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