Picture provided by Flood G.
Post may include: Bad advice from a 20-something, Keyboard slamming out of frustration because we didn’t get the house, and more bad advice from a incompetent-almost-new homeowner. Read at your own discretion.
You need to save…a LOT of money.
Especially if you are deciding to buy a house by yourself… It requires diligent savings and frugalness. Gone are the days of getting spur of the moment tattoos. Gone are the lavishly beautiful vacations with endless booze. No more buying things “just cuz.” Basically you are a prisoner to your own money. As long as you understand you don’t need too much to live a healthy and beautiful life, your savings will creep up and up before you know it. (it also helps if you carelessly cross the path of a Tesla or Maserati…oh god please let me get hit by a Bently!)
You need to get comfy with a roommate.
Whether you move back in with your parents, or move in with a roommate to help lower the cost of renting; (so you can actually SAVE money, curse you renters trap!) you better get used to the idea of sharing your space real quick. Think high school days without a curfew. I am lucky enough to get along very well with my family. I have gotten to an age where my mom and I are more like lifelong friends. We have a past of ups and downs, fights and make-ups. We know everything about each other. The bad boyfriends, the terrible tears, the happy hugs, and the lighthearted laughs. We can sit in silence and crochet clumsy polygons for hours on end. (mine are absolutely perfect and I am a crochet black belt master) If you ever find a friend like my mom, chain them up in your basement and don’t let them ever see the sunlight again…my precious.
You will be disappointed, Get over it!
I will be perfectly honest, I haven’t been the least bit disappointed when Ryan and I have fallen in love with a house, and a “Mr. Krabs-cash-only” buys our dream house from underneath us. I understand the journey. I moved around 500 million times as a kid. Ryan on the other hand has been so brokenhearted about finding the “the-one” house and then getting outbid. If you ask me, you can either let the loss consume you and keep getting bogged down with each house you lose. Or you can simply congratulate the new home-owners, hope their pipes spring a leak, and move on. (Ok maybe just hope their cat poops on the carpet…that’s an easy clean up) But really, it’s going to be ok, if you look on the Brightside; we get to save even more money the longer we are looking for a house. (see paragraph 1)
Everyone will chime in.
Everyone has an opinion and everyone will want a say in what you buy, where you live, and how you live. Someone may think you are better suited in a condo our a townhome, someone else may feel that you need a move in ready home vs. a fixer upper, and another may think you need to move all the way out to the boonies where housing is cheapest but all the creeps and weirdos live there. (Please, I don’t want to move there!) You need to decide amongst yourself or your significant other what YOU want. Don’t let people sway you. Yes, get outside perspectives. Listen to previous homeowner’s advice, but also take it with a grain of salt. Know the important stuff, like how much it cost to renovate a kitchen or redo dry-rot. But stand firm on what you want and what you are capable of doing. (Financially and physically… because demoing is grueling work!)
Signing your life away.
There is so much paperwork that comes with just putting offers on a house. So bring on the carpal tunnel of sending countless emails to your realtor. There is a lot of back and forth of signing this, sending that, conversations between counter offers and each offer needs a new signature on a 20 page document… that’s too much math. My advice, get someone you trust and that explains everything clearly and transparently. Ask a lot of questions, ask dumb questions, ask intellectual questions, and just ask if they are having a nice day. (They are doing a lot of work behind the scenes for you, ya know)
That’s all I can think of right now… get back to me when we have keys and start paying mortgage… I’m sure I will have a whole other list of things about becoming a new homeowner. Maybe I’ll title it “5 breathing techniques to get you through your first plumbing disaster.” Or, “How not to strangle your Significant Other for leaving their shoes everywhere; 10 easy steps.” Yeah I still got them puns!