Tips for First-time home buyers

Tips for First-time home buyers

Hello W+H community! My husband and I are first-time home buyers and after some negotiations, we settled on an accepted offer with the sellers just yesterday (Sunday, 4/23). One potentially odd part of the deal is that they asked us to close as soon as possible - by June 7 even! Seems very soon to me, but our realtor said it could work. We're currently trying to schedule the home inspection. And then we still need to apply for the mortgage (we do have a pre-qualification letter from our bank).

 

Curious what anyone's thoughts are on having a closing date a mere 6.5 weeks from settling on a sale's price. Is that enough time to get all the paperwork through? And any advice re: the home inspection? We are complete novices! Thank you!

12 REPLIES 12

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

@nicbli Congratulations on your first home purchase, Nikki!  Having just sold a house and purchased a new one, I totally know what you're going through.  It's stressful, it's hectic, it's crazy!  We closed within 30 days because we sold our house and had to get out to let the new people in.  I don't really have any great tips other than to bite the bullet and get it done!  You just have to focus on each task at hand - you and your husband need to divide and conquer.  Get the paperwork in order, call an inspector that has good reviews or get a friend's recommendation...and start purging yourselves of anything you don't want to bring to the new house with you.  There is so much to do, and you just have to keep your eyes on the prize.  It's not going to be easy, and there are no real shortcuts.  JUST DO IT.  Good luck, enjoy the journey, and celebrate each completed task. 

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

I bought my first house in 2015 and also had a 30 day closing. Although we moved from a tiny rental to a big house, so we did not have any issues with decluttering  or selling our old place. 30 days is enough for the paperwork, but I found a checklist at a time that really helped me stay on top of the things that mattered the most. I can't find it now, but this one is pretty comprehensive too. Take a look.

 

The biggest surprises for me where redirect your mail with USPS to your new address and make sure you have insurance on the new place you are moving into.

 

Congrats on the purchase and best of luck on moving day. The hardest part is already behind you. Finding a house you love and want to live in is the most emotional journey I have ever made!

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

Great checklist, thanks @nvecsei ! And giving it a quick skim, thankfully we're not moving far - same neighborhood even! But going from a condo/rental to a house. So same bank, pharmacy, daycare, etc. But lots of good reminders here, will definitely use this.

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

Oh and as for the home inspector, I use nextdoor.com or google reviews to find someone reliable in my neighborhood.

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

Congrats again, @nicbli! It's a whirlwind when the parties want to push a quick close but it's totally doable when you have a solid, motivated team behind you who is working to get everything together for closing. We purchased a new construction home in 2006 and closed within three weeks of entering the sale agreement but that's a totally different situation than yours! I am super excited for you and can't wait to follow your journey!


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Janice James - W+H Community Manager
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My goal is to connect people who share a passion for staying well and building wealth to ensure healthy, comfortable futures. Let me know how I can help!

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

Well - the home inspection did not go as well as we though it would! (Our realtor said it never does...)

 

The house is lovely on the surface and thankfully is "structurally sound" - but it needs some organ transplants. The whole HVAC system has reached its life expectancy (~20 years). Chimney needs repairs. Garage needs some work. Roof is old (but should last another five years). Not what we wanted to hear.

 

Definitely lost some sleep thinking about all this over the weekend. We talked a lot about how much can we afford to spend on repairs like this; how deep should we go into our not-that-deep-to-begin-with savings? Do we walk away if this is more than we can comfortably mange?

 

Our realtor, parents, and friends said to get estimates first before walking away. And there will be "closing concessions" that might help a little. But yeah....frustrating and scary. Curious if anyone else ended up walking away from a home they otherwise love because of a disappointing home inspection report? Or I may be blowing this out of proportion and we will be able to afford the repairs - getting estimates is the next step!

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

I am so sorry to hear. I agree with your family. The home I Spector should be able to give you a repair/replace cost with your review and that you can leverage to lower the purchase price. It's a hard decision. When I bought my house it was a sellers market, we never got any discount on the sale price for the repairs. They did not care, they had 10 more offers. 

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

Oh no @nicbli!  I can't say I'm surprised - this is very common, but that's probably not much comfort when it comes to making the biggest purchase of your adult life.  When I recently sold my house and bought a new one, we had a long list of repair requests from the buyers that we couldn't possibly do (such as a new roof), so we chose a few and agreed to those, as well as made some concessions with the price.  So there is definitely room for negotiation.  Also, sounds like the home inspector was very thorough and gave you the laundry list of everything that needs to be done - but it probably doesn't all need to be done at once.  I would try to figure out what is most dire and first see if you can get the seller to do it, then if not, decide if you can afford to do it and move forward from there.  Again, I say HANG IN THERE.  If this doesn't work out, I promise something else will, and soon.

Re: Tips for First-time home buyers

Aww @nicbli, sorry the news was mixed from the home inspection. There's good and bad to be taken from what the inspector came back with. The good being that the two items that need work (HVAC and chimney), once fixed, will probably result in lower energy costs long term (though of course the initial investment is pretty steep).

 

As @nvecsei mentioned if in your area the market is on the soft side it can be used as leverage in negotiations.

 

A home, especially your first!, is a super emotional purchase. I hope everything works out the way you want it to, regardless of your decision is on this particular home. <3


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Janice James - W+H Community Manager
Get started in the community.

My goal is to connect people who share a passion for staying well and building wealth to ensure healthy, comfortable futures. Let me know how I can help!