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First Time Home Buyers

We have officially decided to buy a house!

It was exciting at first, but now I feel extremely terrified.  We had gotten to the point where we had enough money to pay off the rest of Alex's student loan and be completely debt free, but we decided to use that money as a down payment on a house.  Yes, we are avid Dave Ramsey followers, but at this point we had to make the best decision for us.  The Austin housing market is crazy, and if we don't buy now by the time we save up for a down payment the interest rates will almost double.  We believe the moral of Dave's teachings is that you need to develop good habits, and we know we are at that point where we are wise with our money, and we don't spend more than we make. With that being sad, we're breaking his rules, sorry Dave.

Here is the timeline of our house hunting/buying process.

July 7 -  Officially decided we wanted to buy.

July 8 - Begin to research homes on Trulia and Zillow. Called a mortgage broker, shopped rates. Alex talked w/his co-worker Stephanie who is a new realtor, that works with her mom's realty company.

July 9 - Went to Dave Ramsey's website and searched his endorse local providers.  Received a ton of calls from Austin realtors. Decided on a mortgage broker we really liked, and filled out our mortgage application.

July 10 - Received our pre-approval paperwork. Met w/our realtors (Stephanie & Lauren) at Starbucks to go over what we're looking for and discuss the buying process.  Provided the addresses of the houses we were interested in. (Half of them were pending by the next day)

July 11 - Looked at 3 houses (1- Round Rock, 2 - Cedar Park). We found one that was the right size, and in a good neighborhood, but it's quite a drive to work, and we would probably take the 183 Toll which would end up costing us quite a bit extra every month.

July 14 - Looked at 3 houses (1 - Round Rock, 1- Austin, 1- Cedar Park). We really loved the house in Round Rock, great price for a huge house that is move in ready. The only problem, the down stairs smells like smoke. We think the current owner is a cigar smoker. After seeing the other two houses, we couldn't get the first house off our minds. We talked to our realtor, and decided on what our initial offer would be if we made one. We went home, prayed about it, quarreled a bit, wrote out the pros and cons and decided we wanted to go back the next day for another look.

July 15 - Called our broker and let him know of our possible offer, and asked him to run the numbers for our mortgage payment.  Our realtor got all of our offer paperwork together.  Reviewed the seller's disclosure form.  Took a second look at the Round Rock house with Alex's dad as well as my sis-in-law for their opinions.  MADE AN OFFICIAL OFFER. So, it only took 9 days from the day we decided buy a house to the day we made an offer.  FAST, way too fast. But I'm trusting in God's plan, and if this house isn't meant to be that it won't happen.  We are prepared to let the house go if they want too much.


My biggest concern going from an apartment to a full blown house is the mortgage payment and electricity bill.  I know we can afford it, but man, our budget will definitely take a blow.  The house we put an offer on is 2,700 sq. feet (4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bath), so I know the electricity bill is going to be MUCH higher than our 900 sq. foot apt.  I think we might have to put a utility fan by Alex's side of the bed, because I don't think I'll ever turn on the air : ) Ok, maybe when friends come over.

We will know by 5pm tomorrow if the sellers accept our offer our make a counter offer. We shall see what the future holds.  I still feel like a kid at heart, and that I need my mom by my side to make this decision. 




Have you bought a house? If so, how did you stay sane? Any first time home buying tips would be great appreciated.


1 comment:

Gary Henson said...

Haven't bought a house, but I assume it's similar to buying a car, in the respect that, you have to be willing to walk away. Don't get suckered into a price that's too high just because you want to get into a house soo bad, or this particular house is just soo cute. Kristen and I have talked about our next "move" being into a house potentially. Scary stuff, but it sounds like you guys have a good handle on it. Good luck!

Oh yeah, and I haven't tried this in a house, but we stopped using our dryer (it broke), and ran our A/C full blast during the summer, and our electric bill was half of the previous year. Of course, you have to get creative and it consumes lot's of extra time to "line dry" your clothes, but that dryer is a huge electricity pull (the biggest in a house if I'm not mistaken).