Today we crossed off another item on our bucket list! WE BOUGHT A HOUSE! (A condo anyway… hehe)
For the last two months we have been riding the roller coaster of purchasing a house. We have spent endless hours perusing real estate search engines. We want a place in Hawaii, but because we are working for the State Department we were limited to lenders that would recognize our house as a primary residence even if we were living in a Foreign Country on Assignment. Sadly, Hawaii houses are either way over our budget for a first home or they are leased land and not many lenders will lend on those.
So we moved our search to Washington, DC. This is where we have spent most of our time when living in the United States and will be part of our lives as long as I am in this career. DC, like Hawaii, is easy to rent out while we are gone.
We started looking at places and after about twenty properties we found a place we liked. They did not accept our offer so we started looking again. After another ten or fifteen places we put in an offer on a 3 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo.
It has been a whirl-wind month as we processed papers, juggled the many different aspects of purchasing a home but today we closed! Our realtor (who I had to have a 'talk' with a few times) tried to butter us up by filling our home with welcome goodies--beer, wine and cigars-to celebrate! HAHAHA...Lady Hiva said, "I have never had beer in my fridge before" But the gesture was nice, we will have to find someone to give it to.
We are now home owners! YAY!
Here are some tips (if you want them) that we learned being first time home buyers:
1- Know what you want. Do your research. Know what type of place you want and what is important to you and what location is preferable. After looking at several homes each has their positives and negatives so it is nice to know what exactly what you need so it does not get overwhelming.
2- Realtor shop before committing. We have learned that realtors are an abundant species. If you don’t like the one you have, switch.
3- Stick up for yourself. Every step of the way people have suggestions and advice. Usually it would benefit them if you did it their way, so stick up for yourself. Listen to their advice and then make the decision based on your own comfort level.
4- Don’t give up. The experience can be frustrating at times, but don’t give up. It all works out.
5- ASK QUESTIONS. Now the people that I was asking the questions may not be so happy I am telling you this, but I asked hundreds of questions until I was comfortable with the process.