Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The "H" Word.

There's a word that's been looming over our heads for the past several years...


Jason and I have been renting our townhouse since November 2008 and we love it. We have two floors, two bedrooms, one and a half baths, a pool, a community room perfect for parties, a work out room, a wonderful location and all the perks of renting! Read: when your bathtub starts to leak and all of a sudden there's a giant gaping hole in your downstairs ceiling you call a number,  it's repaired in a day and costs a grand total of $0.00

Our little place is perfect for the four of us.
But, as our family grows {which we are actively taking measures to avoid for at least a couple of years} we will need to move, there just isn't room for another human in our current home. 

Plus, it's not ours. We are allowed to paint which I have taken full advantage of but that's about it. I can't get new carpet or expand the kitchen. I can't update the light fixtures or put in crown molding. 

I don't want to leave the convenience of renting {or our pool} but I do want a place to make our own. 

When I start thinking about owning a home I get all kinds of overwhelmed. 

The thought of having to save for a down payment - terrifies me. 
The thought of searching for a home - terrifies me. 
The thought of getting a lemon or a money pit - terrifies me. 
The thought of buying a house with a creepy ghost in it - double terrifies me. 

Our current lease is through February 2014 and my guess is we will sign one more either 12 or 15 month lease which puts us in a home probably spring of 2015. So with a little less than two years until home-ownership, where do I start? Start saving? Get pre-qualified? Or do I just create a new Pinterest board for home decorating ideas and just hope for the best? 

Seriously though, I am CLUELESS when it comes to this. Do any of you have any good resources to help me calm the F down? 

While I wait for your advice I'll just be pinning...
{I wish}

{yeah right}

{yes please}


{an absolute MUST}


Tennille said...

The States is probably different than Canada, but if you lived here, I would recommend you start saving, and pull your credit bureau to see if there is anything on there you need to fix. People with the best credit have high revolving lines, with low balances (read: a high limit on your credit card, but not much owing on it). For pre-approvals, usually they are only good for 60-120 days. In Canada, anyways.

Home ownership can be really overwhelming, especially at first. But it's also super rewarding to come home to a space you love, and that is all yours! It's also nice to know you can change whatever you want!

Kari said...

You know that Ryan and I are always here to help you! If you seriously ever want an overview of numbers and the whole saving for a house piece, Ryan is amazing at it! House hunting and financing can be a really overwhelming process but a really, really fun one too! And I think Pinterest is the perfect place to start getting ideas of what you like. I suspect this post will have lots of people asking when Kenley will have a sibling... :)

Bridget said...

My tips...start saving now to put as much down as you can!! If possible, get a 15 year mortgage instead of a 30! Don't rush into anything and wait until your perfect home finds you when you guys start looking. Don't settle and you BOTH will know when the right house is presented to you guys!

Megan said...

I'm 27 and we've purchased 2 homes so far - buy young Momma! It's a great time to get into the market, don't let ANYTHING scare you, you just have to jump in and do it ;)

IG: megawat

LauraLovett said...

Take the First Time Home buyers class - it will calm most all of your fears. And secondly - find a mortgage broker that you TRUST (before you look for a Realtor). They can go over your credit, what programs their bank offers and what type of down payment you're looking at. That will narrow down your house hunting list to what fits your budget and your taste. As for saving for the down payment - figure out how much you are comfortable spending on a mortgage. Take the difference between that and your current rent and begin putting that amount into savings. You'll adjust your budget to get used to your mortgage payment a year before you really have to start paying it AND! (Bonus!) you'll have saved some money for a down payment!

Carolyn said...

Home buying is definitely a scary thing...but I know you and Jason can do it!! I think it would be good to go talk to a mortgage company just to get an idea of what you can be working on now (besides saving money) to put you in the best house buying position possible! :)


JannaC said...

I own 2 homes (ours and a rental) I would totally recommend saving saving saving- you need cash on hand these days. Take a class of first time home-buying- helps explain the process- I've taken a few classes via the Minneapolis Community Education and have been very happy with them. Also start looking- gives you an idea of what's available/what price ranges are reasonable for different areas. I look online at houses almost every single day, grounds you in reasonable expectations of what you'll be able to afford (I always search with a max price so I cannot look at super fancy houses at all!)

Kasey Sutgrey said...

I agree, it is so nice to be able to call a landlord if anything happens like a broken air conditioner. But it would nice to be a home owner!

Curly Girl Confessions said...

SAVE now! Start up a savings account separate from your others to automatically have money go into it every paycheck. Even if it's $20.

Also, I agree with the first comment in that looking at your credit is beneficial now and your bank will give you a credit report for free and it will not go against your credit! To that, you should not necessarily get pre-approved YET but it would be helpful to receive a guesstimate on what you will be able to afford so you don't have a vision of something grand to be let down with not being able to get that when the time comes.

Research, Research, Research and go all inspections you can possibly do prior to signing the dotted line. It's so important even though it does cost money out of our your pocket.

It's so stressful, but so fun! You have plenty of time to plan. Enjoy pinning! :)

Jessica said...

I vote saving too! We're in the process of trying to buy and we're SO POOR it's unbelievable. :(

Saving will help sooo much! Get prequalified and get a guarantee that those rates won't change when you buy (you might have to wait til closer to buy to do that though) - but rates are going up. look now lady ;)

Kristin said...

I totally miss renting for the reason of having no pool at the our new house, but owning really is the best! Start saving :)

ajs {of MN} said...

save save save! and if possible try not to look at anything until you are ready to buy/offer!

p.s. a tanning shelf is FOR SURE on my list of must haves for my next house! ;)

Kate said...

I have no advice to give. We saved our asses off to put 20% down on our house. It was well worth it, but the responsibility of a mortage and maintenance is just too "adult" for me... I still like to think I'm 18 yrs. old with no responsibilities ;)

Erin LFF said...

I would just start saving. Honestly, people worry too much about credit scores... it's a big conspiracy that you have to have some AMAZING score/report to get a mortgage. Not really true. Jared had okay credit and I had good credit and we were qualified for WAY MORE of a house than we wanted. Saving for a down payment is a huge, scary thing- but I think that's the only thing you really need to do at this point!

Regine Karpel said...

Beautiful photos!

Leah said...

This post is exactly where me and Hubs are too. I could've written this word for word. Haha.

Anonymous said...

Start saving and keep your credit up. The rest is easy and you have me to help! xo m

eliz said...

I totally understand. Right now with baby we are cramped in our apartment and man do babies take up a lot of space. WE have been searching for a house for over a year...and no luck. It is scary when you think about the maintenance..but it is an investment..or so they say. Good Luck!

Bre said...

You guys are pretty good at saving, so I would start there. If your income isn't projected to change much in the next year, it wouldn't hurt to get pre-qualified to find out where you stand for the amount of house you can afford. That way you can get an idea of what to expect in that price range and what areas you can buy in.

A personal tip, buy no more than what the lowest paying person plus half of the higher income would qualify for. Or just figure out how much you can afford for a mortgage payment (plus taxes and insurance) while still taking into account throwingat least 10% into savings and whatever you deem necessary into retirement. We did not do this and have been struggling ever since we bought our home 4 years ago. We are just now coming up for some air.

If you follow Dave Ramsey at all, he suggests paying off all debt (student loans, car payments, CCs, etc), then stashing a 3-6 month reserve of your expenses. We are working on all of that currently, but it would have been much easier to do before buying a house. Then save for a down payment.

Whatever you do, hold each other accountable and do NOT compromise on the numbers you agreed on for a mortgage payment just because you are totally in love with a house that is out of your price range. Find a good real estate agent that will NOT show you homes outside of your range.

And during all of this, pin away those home decor ideas, my friend! Buying a home is exciting and stressful, but it's good that you are thinking that far ahead to be able to plan for everything. Good luck!

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