Guess Who Got Prequalified for a Home Loan?!

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Well friends, it looks like this is really going to happen this year (or that’s the new plan at least)—

We’re officially in the market for a house!

There were a lot of reasons we decided to change our initial plan (which was to save a full 20% down payment before we started our search), but one of the key reasons was that if we’re likely going to be here for the long haul (at least that’s the plan for now), it doesn’t make sense to be renting still, especially while interest rates are still low and while we’ve got money set aside just for a down payment.

Honestly, I think the biggest kick in the pants for both Matt and I was when I worked out that in the last six years of marriage (we celebrate our 6th anniversary this Sunday, actually!), we’ve spent over $40,000 on rent.

Ouch.

When you look at it like that, and start thinking about how at least a decent portion of that could have gone into creating some equity for us, it hurts to wait *too* much longer.

That being said, we’re more than aware of how bad the housing market is right now for buyers—all the houses in our price range that are in good neighborhoods get snatched off the market within a day or two, and we know that many go for ABOVE asking price (which we probably won’t be in the position to do).

But, with all the anxiety about those things aside, we still feel good about moving forward with our plan to purchase a home here.

Although we’re not in the market for our dream home (yet), there are still a few features we’re really hoping to find in our first home:

– 3+ bedrooms (4 would be awesome)

– 2 bathrooms (although I would settle for 1.5—I just need to have the option to use a toilet when someone is in the shower)

– a safe neighborhood (we would love to stay around the area we’re in—in fact, there’s this neighborhood that’s just east of ours that I’m just DYING to move to, but the one house that was for sale in it recently was snatched up before we could even get prequalified. I’m hoping that I can get a tip-off from somebody before one of those houses goes on the market next time so we can at least get an offer in)

– a decent-sized yard (ideally we’d like a quarter-acre or more, but ANY yard will be an improvement at this point)

– a kitchen that has sufficient counter and cupboard space (I love to cook, and while I recognize I won’t get my dream kitchen, it still needs to be of sufficient size that I can feel like I have enough room to actually make meals and continue baking and all that. This will probably be accomplished by a home with a kitchen island)

Stuff we’d like but can live without:

– a garage (after dealing with Logan winters for 10+ years, I would REALLY love not having to scrape my car off every time it snows)

– an older home with a unique design (although newer homes will be nicer on the upkeep side in general, both Matt and I have always loved the look of older homes, which don’t look like everyone else’s)

– a home that’s not super close to the homes on either side (that’s just always bugged me)

– a home with some mature trees (although preferably not right out in front of the house)

Although I feel a little bit of trepidation about the home-buying process, I’m honestly mostly just excited out of my mind to have a place of our own, that we can do with as we like (and that we can actually have sufficient storage space in).

People who are home owners already—what do you wish you would have done differently your first time buying? Any advice?

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