Thursday, August 25, 2011

Real Estate Lessons Learned when Buying my First Home

We purchased our first home in 2007, and while we knew that it would be a stressful experience, and had done a ton of research beforehand, we had no idea the challenges that would lie ahead of us. There are a few lessons that we learned during this process that I share with others in the process of buying their first home, and now I will share some of them with you;)

  • Be sure to find a real estate agent that you are comfortable working with. You want someone who listens to you and your needs. Our first agent did none of those things and it was very frustrating. Once we found another realtor to work with, it was SO much better. If anyone is in the OKC area, I highly recommend ours. Just feel free to leave your email in the comments or contact me for the info!
  • Find a reputable loan company you can trust! We used a broker that came recommended from a friend, and it didn't work out well. We had to move the day after closing to avoid extending our lease for 3-6 months, and the DAY OF CLOSING this guy says our loan was no longer being offered by the bank even though we had been pre-approved. It was a special program with great terms that expired the week before closing and he failed to realize that or we could have closed earlier. Instead he had to rush to get us a new loan and get ALL the paperwork completed that day. It was not terms we were happy with, so we re-financed at the 2 year mark with another company we trusted and got a record low interest rate.
  • Get a thorough inspection and make sure you ask questions. We had an inspection, but there were a few things we didn't know to ask about or take into consideration. Like where is the faucet at the front of the house? It was 2 years before we found it hidden behind some bushes. Luckily it hadn't frozen and burst during any blizzards when it wasn't covered. Other little things the previous owner had covered up and hidden that didn't come to light until after closing. Such as the cute towel and candles on the toilet tank were covering the fact that it had been SHATTERED and poorly glued together, or that he tiled over linoleum in the kitchen, or that the door that had boxes stacked in front of it for their movers was ROTTED OUT and we couldn't see that because we didn't know to insist that the boxes were moved.
  • Ask for a list of utility and service companies from the seller. The town we moved from had one company for electric, gas, and water. Here they are all separate companies, and our service was almost disconnected right after we moved in because I had only set up an account with one company. I didn't know there were 2 other companies I needed to call and set up accounts with. 
  • Get a home warranty contract included in your purchase. This saved us thousands the first year! Our seller had done very poor home maintenance and many things were broken and needed to be repaired, including the AC unit. 
This is just a short list of lessons we learned that I hope can help others during their first time buying process, or just serve as reminders for people buying after living in their home for many years. Always be sure to thoroughly check every nook and cranny and make sure any problems you uncover are things you can fix or live with. We love our house, but wish we had known some of these things before we moved in to save us some stress!

I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog in behalf of a
missouri real estate company and was compensated. However, the views and
opinions are my own.

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