An interview with first-time home buyers

154561_660485085852_2409864_nMeet Josh and Kristi, newly engaged, first-time home buyers. We’re following the couple on their journey to find the perfect home. Follow their story as we document the process from the beginning of the search thru closing, and maybe even up to their wedding day.

2-10 HBW: Josh, what were some expectations you had coming into the home buying process?

Josh: I expected it to be a lot easier than it has been.  Things have been coming up that I didn’t expect and certainly wasn’t prepared for.  For instance, while going through the loan process I ran into an issue with my tax paperwork.  I was instructed by our loan officer to call the IRS to obtain the appropriate documentation so everything could be sorted out, which was a headache I would have liked to avoid.  When I heard that there was an issue with my taxes, I immediately feared that we weren’t going to be able to move forward with the home buying process, which worried my fiancée and me.

Knowing that there were a limited number of homes on the market, we had to make an effort to see any home that matched our criteria, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths and a 2-car garage. We have been concerned that we will have to compromise on what we are looking for in order to make the move before the lease ran out on our apartment.

2-10 HBW: What expectations did you set for your real estate agent? Did you have specific criteria?

Josh: I was expecting to go through the loan process in more detail.  After getting more serious about making a purchase we found that the questions were all thoroughly answered by our loan officer, but our [Realtor®] was able to provide the essentials if we requested them.

Before our questions were answered by the loan officer, we were concerned that we were being shown homes that we couldn’t ultimately afford.  This was very discouraging because we didn’t want to find a house that we really wanted and then not be able to move forward. We were shown a couple of homes that were out of our price range, but it was later explained to us by our [Realtor®] that he wanted us to get a sense of what was available.

2-10 HBW: How many houses were you expecting to look at before you found the right one?

Josh: I was anticipating anywhere from 20-30. So far, we’ve looked at nine houses.

2-10 HBW: What were some characteristics about the houses you looked at that deterred you from considering them?

Josh: There were three issues that we came up against.  First, at least half of the homes we looked at needed a considerable amount of repair work  in order to be in move-in condition.  We were prepared to work on the home, but much of the work either had to be professionally done or would cost a considerable amount of money.  Secondly, some of the homes we looked at just didn’t really appeal to us, even if they were in move-in condition.  We both were waiting for that “ah’ha” moment to hit us when we found the right home.  Lastly, we really wanted a master bathroom and we couldn’t believe how many homes didn’t have that feature or even a bathroom on the main level.  It was frustrating to find a house online that we liked, and when we went to look at, we found that it didn’t have a master bathroom or main level bathroom.

2-10 HBW: Was there anything the listing agent or your agent could’ve suggested or done to help sway you?

Josh: We talked about doing a 203K loan, which would allow us to build the money needed to improve the home into the loan.

As for now, our search continues, and the more houses we look at, the better an idea we’re getting on what we want.

Stay tuned as we continue to follow Josh and Kristi on their search…