10 Things I Learned While Buying A Home at 23

1. It’s going to be stressful but you can’t let it consume you.

I had the longest to-do lists, but I stayed true to my vision and kept reminding myself of what was coming. Instead of dreading the things I needed to accomplish, I started to take it day by day and enjoy the journey.

2. Take care of things the minute it needs to be taken care of, DON”T AVOID.

At times, I can struggle with this, but when there is a time table and a contract in play, being proactive changed everything for me. When I was unsure, I had to ask. When I was confused, I had to ask again for direction. When I got anxiety about following up or asking for what I need, I reminded myself of what was coming and how this is what I want and that I’m willing to take the steps to make it happen.

3. Don’t use white out if you messed up the form which you will re-print the form and REDO IT.

When trying to get my mortgage application accepted, I miss interpreted a form and wrote the wrong information. Instead of printing out the form again and refilling it out, I used white out (and poorly may I add), and it put the entire application on hold for a second because the information had to be verified again. On forms asking for a lot of money, DON’T USE WHITE OUT BECAUSE IT LOOKS FRAUDULENT. Sounds like common sense, but after a million forms and documents, I didn’t think it’d be a big deal. It was, lol.

4. Make the investment; it can be easier to rent but then you’re just throwing your money away.

Whether I choose to live here indefinitely or until 2020 is over, my place is perfect to be rent out and it is a long term investment for me. I was able to get an interest rate of 3.25% and after the appraisal vs. what I paid, I had made an excellent investment. I poured my money into property that will have a great return for years to come. My entire collegiate experience, I rented, and looking back, none of those places truly felt like home. It was half assed, and barely decorated, and didn’t represent who I was. Making this investment, not only diversified my portfolio and opened my eyes to so many possibilities, but it gave me pride in my space and my new home.

5. Look at your budget and factor in for all the other expenses that you’ll have:

X-finity for Deals on internet & cable but instead of renting a modem & router for internet to pay each month, I purchased a combo one for about a $100 on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/NETGEAR-Cable-Modem-Router-Combo/dp/B0787TRNMH/ref=asc_df_B0787TRNMH/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=309833041189&hvpos=&hvnetw=g&hvrand=12873259657437992409&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9053055&hvtargid=pla-520880843004&th=1

Your Electric – FPL: https://www.fpl.com/ I downloaded their App and set up automatic Bill Pay, which will make my life so much easier.

For me, my water is included in my HOA (Home Owner Association) costs, so make sure you know when those quarterly expenses are due.

6. Things will go wrong and you will cry but it’s not the end of the world and you will fix it.

I closed on July 24, 2020 and could move in, but my place was in no condition to move in quite yet. My family and I spent a month working every single day after our full time jobs to completely renovate my place. Every room was modified into my vision, and let tell you, things rocked the boat and made me question a lot. When we went into my laundry room to put up new drywall, there was a flood and I had to handle setting up everything with a plumber and the property management company through my Home Owners Association. It was so overwhelming, but I had to breathe and believe that by taking action, we’d get this resolved. There were a lot of things that broke, didn’t fit, or we didn’t have, but I overcame many obstacles to create something I’m so proud of.

7. It’s very rewarding renovating your house. It’s a lot of work, but the end result is amazing and feels so good.

#7 is my favorite because there were many times, I wanted to just stop, to settle, and accept my place as is. After being covered in paint and sleepless nights and an aching body, I was unsure if I could keep moving at this pace. We did so much in a month — new backsplash in the kitchen, shiplap in my bedroom, mirrored doors, new bedroom set from https://www.ashleyfurniture.com/?mrkgadid=1&mrkgen=gtext&mrkgbflag=1&mrkgcat=core&&acctid=21700000001497894&dskeywordid=43700042405836245&lid=43700042405836245&ds_s_kwgid=58700004901897377&device=c&network=g&matchtype=e&locationid=9053055&creative=433648592136&targetid=aud-562661048811:kwd-44671362&campaignid=1739983859&adgroupid=70005358058&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1qL6BRCmARIsADV9JtYJnOeHGIHraxxmicRpnfr5oYy5CQG41mOrSsmYeinG_19RuFK1xnkaAoqJEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds, new baseboards, painted the ENTIRE house, countless touch ups, new bathroom accents, built a larger closet, and so much more.

We got a lot of our supplies at https://www.homedepot.com/personalized-homepage/content?s_tnt=128146:1:0&adobe_mc_sdid=SDID%3D4CCE863BFA645A71-1BD4F76FFD66F261%7CMCORGID%3DF6421253512D2C100A490D45%2540AdobeOrg%7CTS%3D1598618059 for the shiplap and wood accents.

My mirrored doors were from https://www.lowes.com/?cm_mmc=src-_-c-_-brd-_-mdv-_-google-_-brand_core-_-Brand-Core_Exact-_-lowes-_-0-_-0&gclid=Cj0KCQjw1qL6BRCmARIsADV9JtZ2SmDZRKKX_L8bRJ1E-yg5XGBuKaADdpi9MZttVZ543f_CDicoxjUaAkBCEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

8. Find a mortgage broker that you like and can work with you and also when you’re a new home buyer it’s important that they explain different steps and make sure it’s a good fit.

My stepdad recommended https://www.hgfloans.com/branch-locations/ and we used Christopher Goodman. I was very, very happy with everything I learned from him and his team, and even with COVID-19 obstacles, it was (somewhat) smooth sailing. Every email with updates came with a video explaining the process of the loan underwriting, escrow, and so forth, and I was glad we chose to go with Hamilton Group Funding.

9. It’s more than just paying your mortgage payment when buying the house. There are other expenses.

I had to pay 10% down on my house, which can feel overwhelming, but it’ll come back in ten folds.

Then you have to find home owner’s insurance. After shopping around, I went with https://www.geico.com/homeowners-insurance/ Make sure you know how much dwelling coverage you need in order to meet the requirement of your contract + Escrow. I had to pay my premium at my closing, so be aware of that and take care of that information from the beginning.

My mortgage company set up the Home Appraisal and that had a nice price tag on it, so budget for that. Following that, I had to get a home inspection and we went with A Handy Home Inspector: https://www.ahandyhi.com/ who was timely and professional.

Just a heads up because these were things I did not know.

10. Lastly, let people support you and share in this time.

Thank you so much to everyone involved in this process. Thank you to Mom and Mark for all the hours of work, Thanks to my dad for the support, Thanks to my boyfriend for his handiness, and all my friends for cheering me on. This has been a lively experience and the start of something special.

If you have any specific questions, feel free to reach out to me and ask away!