Buying a house can be stressful and also incredibly competitive in the Bay Area. When my husband and I started looking, we had a list of “wants” and a list of “non-negotiables” in what we wanted our future home to be. We knew that, in order to not lose time searching for a dream home we were (unfortunately) never going to afford, we had to be a lot more flexible with our “wants” list. 2017 can be the year you purchase your first home. Purchasing your first home is a scary yet exciting time. It’s a major adult decision. There are so many things to have in order before you can even think about purchasing a home.

Before:

  • Savings: You need enough in savings to help with a down payment. The more you have the better you are off.
  • Credit: The better your credit score, the better loan you will get.

“Buying a house can be stressful and also incredibly competitive in the Bay Area. When my husband and I started looking we had a list of “wants” and a list of “non-negotiables” in what we wanted our future home to be. We knew that in order to not lose so much time searching for a dream home we were unfortunately never going to afford within our budget, we had to be a lot more flexible with our “wants” list,” shared Aida Rocha (bought her home June 2015).

During:

  • Time: You need to know that it will take time to buy a home. Especially if you are purchasing a home in a competitive area like California. It can (and will) take 6 months to a year.
  • Realtor: You need to find a trusted realtor who won’t bullshit you and understands your financial situation so you won’t get into trouble.

We put an offer on a total of 5 homes over almost 4 months. We spent countless hours on Zillow, Realtor, Redfin, and countless more with our realtor. We saw SO MANY houses. In our area, there were a lot of competing offers and many were all-cash offers. We could not offer all-cash for a single family home; but, we did secure an incredible loan with low rates. So, we were able to offer more than asking on several homes. Twice we were the highest offer, but still lost the sale to lower all-cash offers. With cash sales, the escrow and closing are quicker and more assured for the seller,”shared Fatasha Fareed, “In one bidding war, we were countered; not for more money, but for a shorter escrow and a few other things. We accepted all of the counter offer contingencies without hesitation and STILL lost the offer to an all-cash offer. We lost four ‘dream homes’ before finally landing our fifth; it was above our set budget, with only one bedroom, and was in need of serious TLC. But, we found our home.” (Bought her home September 2015).

After:

  • Patience: It takes time to get your new house feeling like your home.
  • Financial check: Your home isn’t an apartment. There is no company that is going to fix that window. That window is up to you and your wallet to fix.

During this whole process, you will need a game plan. With everything else in your life, you need to know your capabilities and capacity. Do you want a move in ready home? Are you willing to do the work on a fixer up? Does it need to be in a certain part of town? How much can you go over your budget? These are all questions you need to ask yourself. Lastly, if you are buying a house with someone, you two need to be on the same page.

Hugs and Smiles,

Nicole