First Time Homebuyers On: What We Wish We Knew Before Buying

published Feb 20, 2017
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(Image credit: Reagen Taylor)

Before you’ve done something, it’s pretty hard to know what you don’t know. When it comes to the complicated, terrifying steps required to buy your first home, there’s a lot of opportunity to not know. First-time home buyers Tiffany and Alan Goldstein bought a cute, chic Austin bungalow — and learned a few things about buying a home in the process.

→ Take control of your finances

Build a budget so you can set goals. If you can’t afford a home right now, don’t force it. Make sure to leverage all of the great personal finance websites out there to help guide you. Alan actively reads through the below:

→ Educate yourself

Even if you’re not actively looking, talk to real estate brokers and mortgage loan officers. Ask about the market, neighborhoods, and how things work. Be upfront and honest. You aren’t committing to anything and the best people know that long term relationships are how they will ultimately get clients.

“You can never anticipate everything. At the very least, something unexpected will happen.”

(Image credit: Reagen Taylor)

→ Don’t be anxious

Put yourself in the best position to make a decision, trust in your community of friends and/or family, and be ready to continue learning as you go.

→ Expect the unexpected

We tend to fall on the overly cautious side of the spectrum, which results in trying to be prepared for every scenario. The one thing we wish we knew? You can never anticipate everything. At the very least, something unexpected will happen. You will discover that neither you nor your inspector noticed that your ceiling was starting to sink and needed a new beam. As the beam goes in, you discover the existing ceiling panels are not structurally sound, so you add a layer of sheetrock over the whole thing. You start hearing bumps in the night only to determine that it is not paranormal activity, but a squirrel freeloading in your attic. There will always be something to keep you on your toes.

Thanks Tiffany and Alan!


(Image credit: Reagen Taylor)

→ How Long the Buying Process Took

*This interview has been edited for clarity and length.