So you want to buy a house?

The past few months have been filled with a new experience for me: house hunting! My boyfriend decided he didn’t want to pay rent anymore and instead put his money into something he would own in the end. Of course, I wanted to help him find a house he could call home because I’m picky and wanted to make sure he got a cute one 🙂

Handing Over the House Keys in Front of a Beautiful New Home.

In my experience, there are a lot of options out there. I never knew there could be so many different styles of houses, new and old, for sale. Here are a few things that may help you with narrowing down your search.

  1. Location – Do you want to be close to your work? School for your children? Research to see what town may also have the cheapest property taxes.
  2. Size – How many bedrooms are you looking for? We saw plenty of houses that had quite a few bedrooms, but they were closet size. Determine how many and how big. Consider a back yard as well – are you looking to do some gardening? Adding a pool? Or have an athletic dog?
  3. Price – It all comes down to this, doesn’t it? For my boyfriend, he wanted to be able to find a house that wouldn’t exceed his current rent for each month’s mortgage payments. He also didn’t want a massive house because he didn’t want to worry about spending extra money on heating and cooling. Schedule an appointment to meet with a mortgage specialist to see how much you can get approved for. They’ll ask you for all your income information, any investments you have, credit history, etc. and base it on that along with how much you are able to put down. It’s always recommended to put at least 20% down, but you’re also able to put as little as 5%. With buying a home, the price isn’t just about the offer accepted on a house. You’ll need to budget for closing costs, which include lawyer fees. If the house you are buying doesn’t come with any appliances you should set money aside for that as well.

Us by the SOLD sign 🙂

When you’ve worked out the basics you can begin to look for the size of house you want in the town for the right price. The best tip I can give to you is to go into a house with an open mind. It may not be your dream house on the outside, but the inside could be. Also, if you’re on the fence about putting an offer down, don’t be afraid to go for a second viewing. The house my boyfriend is buying was actually one I really didn’t care for the first time. We went to see it a few weeks after and it seemed so different to me when not much even changed! It was vacant, but the second time around the current homeowners had staged it with furniture and cookies. I think that really helped (the furniture, not the cookies) with my final decision because I’m a visualizer. It was nice to see how some pieces could fit in areas of the house and now I’m excited to get crafty and decorate!

I’m not an expert in the real estate business and some may have different opinions and experience from me, but one thing I know for sure, I have never been so active on Pinterest before.

Lu Ann Pannunzio– Lu Ann Pannunzio
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Follow Lu Ann @teaaholic

3 thoughts on “So you want to buy a house?

  1. […] Lu Ann sharing the experience of assisting her boyfriend in house hunting for his first house in “So you want to buy a house?” […]

  2. Looks like good advice, Lu Ann! I would add to that to ask alot of questions from your mortgage person. Those questions could be can I move my mortgage to the next house without a penalty? How much extra money can I put on the mortgage each year without penalty? Can I increase the mortgage payment as well? These are just a few of the questions. There are many versions of the typical 5 year mortgage that many buyers take. However, they are not all the same. By looking for just the lowest interest rate it may leave you with a mortgage that handcuffs you later.

    Vic Lehan
    Mortgage Broker
    Radio Broadcasting, Mohawk class of 1977

    • Hi Vic,
      Thanks for reading and sharing excellent tips! There are definitely a ton of questions to ask yourself and mortgage specialist before purchasing a house. You’re so right! As much as a low interest rate is great, I think it’s also important to have a really good mortgage specialist that will be up front about any penalties. When we first looked around for mortgages we tried a big name bank and then a local credit union to compare. Rates were similar but the fine print was not. We signed with who we felt more comfortable with. Like anything else, I think it’s a good idea to shop around for price but also service.

      – Lu Ann

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