Yes, it's true but why you say? Because we have purchased our very first home!
First of all :ssiiiiiigggghhhh:: the process of buying our first home is over and we are moving in. It takes a lot of organization, detective work and mental strength to buy a place but we got through it and the reward is - pure satisfaction. We are still in Portland, ME - in fact we only had to move seven minutes away. We truly do love it here so much and are so happy to have our very first permanent/ non renting/ all ours - little home. ::happy dance:: Now the fun really begins. I will be sharing little details in as we start really making it our own.
In the meantime, I thought I would share some of the biggest things I learned and wish I knew when going into this process.
1. Get pre approved! We contacted our real estate agent way before we knew absolutely anything about the process and what it would take. Luckily we had a really good agent on our side and he told us to immediately go to the bank and see what amount we get pre approved for. The reason for this - even if you are just starting to look - or aren't even looking to buy just want to see what is out there - is you might fall in love with something on your first outing. You found it and you can't even believe it happened so fast - you go to the bank and wait! It's way out of what you THOUGHT your price range was. ::Enter disappointment:: So yes - it's super important to get pre - approved before you start looking.
2. Make sure you get yourself a REALLY GOOD real estate agent. Do your research, listen to recommendations and interview different agents before you settle on one. We can't say enough good things about our agent. He was INCREDIBLE! He really listened to what we wanted and made us aware of a lot of different things we didn't even know. He always led us in the right direction and was super on top of paperwork and deadlines. He really looked out for our best interest and we are so grateful for his hard work.
3. Make sure you have important documents organized and ready to send in once you choose a lender. A lot of the stress for us was tracking down things like W2's, paystubs, 401k documents, etc. Sure we had it, but to be honest we weren't very organized when it came to filing it and keeping it all in the same place. We have learned our lesson.
4. If there is a first time home buyers class offered near you - TAKE IT! we did and I can't express enough how helpful and informative it was. We learned A LOT and would highly recommend it to everyone.
For us, buying a home was a BIG DEAL. It is important to take it seriously and keep organized. Make sure you have the right people on your side and things WILL work out.
The most important piece of advise I guess I could give is
It is a very stressful process but there is a light at the end of the tunnel I promise!
I, by no means am an expert in any of this and of course every individual's experience is different. I just thought I would share some thoughts I would've liked someone would have shared with me in the beginning of all this.