With my husband and I’s recent house purchase I have to say I will definitely not miss the entire home buying process. If I never see my realtor again I would be perfectly fine with that! (Just kidding I love her, but you know what I mean..) I spent the weekend scrubbing, scouring, washing, dusting, cleaning the entire house to prepare it for going on the market. Then it hit me, the process is now just beginning (or currently going on) for other people right now who will see my house pop up on the market. With that being said, after the two plus years my husband and I searched to find our perfect home, here are 5 important tips for buying a new home.
DON’T GET EMOTIONALLY ATTACHED.
This is one of the hardest things to do. You take your first tour and the home has everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more. It’s beautiful, its exactly your style, and you can picture you or your family living the perfect life in it. Love it, but don’t fall IN love with it. I say this because almost like a relationship, you’re bound to either get your heart broken or end up making a really dumb mistake. Trust me I made this mistake once or twice in the years of us searching for a house. There were multiple times I was willing to put up more than we could afford for a house I thought was my “dream house”. There were times I cried when a house sold right as we were about to put an offer on it. This is why its so important to not get your emotions completely involved. I learned in time to look at the house as more of an opportunity instead of a done deal. Once the deal is worked out and the paperwork is signed, THEN you can get emotionally attached. 🙂
TOUR THE HOUSE 3 TIMES, MAYBE MORE.
This one is probably one of the most important things I ever learned. There were so many instances where my husband and I thought we found the right house. Then after seeing it a second time we were taken aback at how wrong we were! In one instance we found a house that we thought was the right fit. We offered on it, a more than fair offer, and the sellers declined. We were a tad bit disappointed that they didn’t take what we thought was a pretty darn good offer so we decided to take one last tour of it just to make sure it was the house we wanted. We toured it again and it had done a complete 180 from the first time we looked at it. And not because of anything the sellers did, we just noticed more. More repairs, more smells, more quirks- all things we missed the first time around. Going forward, we never toured a house we liked less than 3 times. 3 was the perfect number for us in figuring out if this is going to be the house for us.
DON’T BE AFRAID TO ASK FOR EXTRAS.
If the sellers aren’t budging on price, bring on the extras! With our first house it was a brand new build and the builder wasn’t going to budge on price at all. So instead of trying to negotiate a number we decided to ask for more tangible things. We ended up only paying only 3 grand under list price but getting a brand new fence (mind you the yard was quite big), stairs from the back deck, appliances, central vac equipment, and tile on the covered back deck. Maybe in the grand scheme of things not a huge thing but they were all things we intended to put in our home and nonetheless ended up saving us money. So again, don’t be afraid to ask for extras. The worst that could happen is they say no.
NO DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN NO.
This is the second most important thing I learned when buying a house. We offered on quite a few that didn’t work out. They turned down our offers either because they thought they were too low, or even at our idea of a fair price they still wanted more. It was disappointing, but like my first tip I wasn’t too emotionally attached to make walking away a hard thing. We would walk away from a rejection thinking their loss not ours. And 9 times out of 10 they came back to us. Whether it was a week later, or a month later, they came begging for us back. And at that point we had moved on to other houses so in a way there was a bit of satisfaction in telling THEM no this time. But I guess this could also work as a tip to selling your house– don’t play hard ball unless you really mean it because than likely the buyer will have moved on when you’re ready to actually negotiate.
Unless you’re in a hurry, take your time. There were so many times I was just so excited to be in a new house that I could’ve bought the first one I toured. As hard as it is, don’t rush. Take your time. My husband and I sat down together and made a list of “must haves” that we wanted in our home and we told ourselves we wouldn’t settle for anything less than that. It may not be the most ideal way to home search, but for us it worked. We ended up getting exactly what we had always wanted in a home just by waiting. I will also tell you from experience in buying previous homes that if you “settle” and tell yourself that you won’t miss having a particular feature in the house that you told yourself from the start it must have- you’ll more than likely be moving in the next few years. Save yourself the hassle and the money by making it absolutely perfect the first time.