So... you say you're ready to buy your first home! You've saved up enough money for a downpayment, your credit score is AHmazing, you just know, it's finally time to take the plunge! Buying a home can feel like a daunting task and it may feel as if this is one of the biggest decisions you're about to make in your life. This series will hopefully make the whole process a bit more manageable by breaking it down into smaller more actionable steps. Take these two first steps to home ownership and you will be well on your way to your dream home.
Step One: Make Your Dream Home Wish List
Our favorite way of doing this is to open a bottle of wine, start up a Pinterest board, open up Instagram, grab a notebook and start browsing. Following some interior designers' Pinterest boards could help give you some inspiration - our favorites are Emily Henderson, Paloma Contreras and Jonathan Adler. We will be posting our home wish list inspirations on our own Pinterest board if you guys want to check that out too! (Dowel: Homes to Inspire) However long you need to take, and however long your list is at this point, just accept it, write down everything you could possibly think of - no judgement, even if you decide that you want a room dedicated solely to your designer shoes and bags (they need room to breathe and be awesome, right?).
Step 2: BUDGET AND WISHLIST EDIT
Grab a cup of coffee and let's get down to business. It's time to calculate how much home you can afford. There are so many nifty calculators out there but we love how you can keep it simple with the Zillow Affordability Calculator and just get the important stuff like what is the max you can spend on the house and how much you will have to pay out of pocket each month. (Disclaimer: Home ownership is rarely just the monthly payment for mortgage/taxes/insurance. Things break down and just know that you will have to be the one to pay for any repairs or maintenance. Leave some wiggle room in your budget for these incidentals)
Once you have your number, sit down with your wish list from the day before, along with an open mind, to determine what your non-negotiables are and what you could realistically live without. We know it seems as if you can't live without EVERYTHING on your wish list but with home purchases, there will always be a give and take. It's better to hone in on what is most important to you now before starting the search to help you find your home with less stress and drama!
LEAVE NO PERSON BEHIND
If you are buying a home with someone else, make sure to include them in this ENTIRE exercise as well. It's important to get the team on the same page before even looking at any house! Doing this together should be fun, make sure both parties are well-fed but not to the point of food coma and good luck FTHBs (first-time home buyers)!
We are taking this journey with you so let us know if you have any questions along the way. We can all work through them together! Follow our progress on Pinterest for what inspires us and what we ultimately decide to keep as non-negotiables on our wishlist on our Facebook Page.