A very dear friend of mine suggested that I should keep an Excel file of my expenditures and savings. Perhaps, she grew tired of seeing me write and compute every month, on paper. I gave in to the idea and loved it ever since. The file does not only allow me to notice how budgeting became easier than before, but it also made me realize how much I was wasting on renting my space.
Apparently, with the savings that I have under my account, my job, and monthly paychecks, I could afford to become a home owner. So I asked my dear friend and life advisor to help me out.
Here are the highlights of my home buying journey.
1. Am I Financially Ready?
Because I am not yet a millionaire (emphasis on “yet”), getting my first home is not as fast as a snap of my fingers. I was advised to stick to a budget and prioritize on my first house among other things.
I made sure I allot less than 3/10 of my monthly income on the amortization. Making sure that my savings also covers for the down payment is another significant factor.
2. Can I Get A Home Loan?
It was great that I had been stuck with my employer for the last four years, as lenders often do away with people with shorter tenure at work.
My friend has again helped me get my ducks in a row. She made sure I don’t owe more than 30% of my credit limit. She instructed me to be updated and on track with my credit score, which includes preparing my financial documents beforehand. When everything was all set, she introduced me to three home loan institutions she trusts.
3. Where’s My Realtor?
You can guess I didn’t know much about purchasing a house. That’s why it took me longer before I realized that I qualify to get one. As advised, I got myself a realtor who also helped me with bargaining for a property.
If you’re like me, consider asking your friends and family for a recommendation. You may also check the net for reviews.
4. Now, Which Property?
This part made me feel part of a house flipping reality show. My realtor asked me what I wanted for a home – from the square footage, to the number of rooms and baths, to the other amenities I would like.
She made me some appointments within a few days and weeks and made me pick which one I liked the most.
5. What’s My Offer?
The realtor I hired was indeed very efficient, for a first-timer like me. We strategized how much to offer, and she took care of the negotiations for me. The process took numerous phone calls and a few weeks to complete, which makes seeing the signed contract feel like heaven to me.
6. Where Are My Keys?
Because it was my first time, I never knew that it takes four more steps before I can lay my hands on the keys to my newly purchased home.
Home inspection, attorney review, mortgage contingency, final walk-through had to be made before I had to meet the previous owner and realtor and sign up the closing contract.
Now, I have my home and enjoying it. It was both an investment and a haven for me. Thank God for friends who helped me out with my journey and informed me with the tedious process I’ve gone through. This is the reality of home buying.