So before I get started let me just begin this blog by giving you a snippet of my life - I literally just got up, spilled a sugary drink all over a blanket and my floor, proceeded to put blanket in the washer; where i then kept hearing a loud thud only to realize my phone was in the blanket. Yep so welcome to a day in the life of Caitlin - where the ridiculous happens on a regular basis!
**as a side note my phone is somehow miraculously OK as well as squeaky clean now!**
But let's continue - you made it this far! Hooray!
These next two blogs are for all you buyers out there! New, Old, first-time, and everything in between!
So a little bit of background into my past - I bought my first house with my husband about six years ago to the date. Now just keep in mind at this point I was NOT a realtor and knew nothing about buying a house. My husband and I are kind of a crazy story because we didn't do any homework, didn't see any homes prior, we were shopping during a snow storm in January, had no real estate agent representing us, we were not pre approved and I had zero clue if I could even buy a home. But hey we were bored on a Sunday and went to an open house in Tosa.
So we pull up to this home and I'm looking at Ryan and I said "I don't want to waste my time - this home cannot be what the pictures made it look like. It's freezing out. There's other people here. It looks too small. Do we talk to this agent?" As the questions kept coming he turned the car off and forced me to get out. Well thank goodness he gave me the push I needed because when we walked in our home - I knew within a few steps it was meant for us.
"I had zero clue if I could even buy a home!"
So at this point I already knew I wanted this home - but I guess I should see more of the home than just front entrance. We continued to walk around and were greeted by a wonderful and super sweet real estate agent who asked us if we had questions and to sign in to a book.
-As a side note this is a completely normal and very common real estate practice to sign in at open houses. Many of the reasons for this book is for the safety of us agents - to know who is coming and going - and to share this information with the sellers as to who and how many people joined us on the open house. This is in fact also a great tool for agents to meet new clients who are not represented currently and hopeful to turn them into personal clients of their own. BUT if you are are currently represented please let us agents know that too! We won't be mad (I promise) and we aren't here to try and stalk you - but mainly here to make sure you get the most out of your experience in buying a new home!-
So we signed in not knowing any better and left the home, and we drove off to lunch and just sat. We both looked at each other not really knowing what to say - its too good to be true, right? We find the perfect home in a matter of luck?! What if there is something better? What if we didn't do our homework? but most importantly - What do we do now?!
Ryan and I left lunch and decided to call my dad who goes - "how can you buy a house?!" The same questions we were asking ourselves but we were very lucky he put us in touch with an amazing agent, Steve Bauman, who goes - "Meet me back at the house in two hours. Bring your parents. Reach out to this lender in the meantime and get them the information they ask for. If you want this house - I will make it happen." I have this forever engrained in my brain.
Now this part of my story is crucial - ALWAYS be represented by an agent you feel comfortable with - ALWAYS work with someone who will do their best to fight for you to get the home of your dreams, and NEVER feel like you are doing something wrong in reaching out to us - our job is to be there for you and to get you your dream home!
I personally am a firm believer in only representing one side of a transaction and will never work both sides or as some people call it - double dipping - unless everyone is 110% comfortable with the situation. I firmly think you need personal representation to make sure you are taken care of. If you do ever need to view a property ASAP- PLEASE STILL CALL YOUR AGENT FIRST! Even if your agent can't make it, we will do our best to find someone who can, or ask the listing representative to help show you the home in our place.
"What if there is something better? What if we didn't do our homework? What do we do now?!"
We ended up viewing the home with my parents and Steve and were all in agreement we are going to make this happen! We had spoken with the lender and found out thru our agent its always best to submit an offer with a pre approval letter from a bank - especially in a competitive market. The lender was great in telling us everything they needed from us (Future blog post!) and we got them all of it as soon as possible all while our agent got to work on writing an offer.
This is when Ryan and I, in the whirlwind of the day, look at each other and say -
"Holy Goodness - We might be buying a house today!"
So we did it! We wrote an offer. We went thru all the details with Steve, and within 12 hours we became (almost!) home owners!
Now don't get me wrong, there is still a lot to go thru after an accepted offer- inspection, amendments, appraisals, financing, final walk thru, any issues that need to be addressed, and then finally - CLOSING DAY!
"Holy Goodness - We Might Be Buying a House Today!"
Now you might be sitting there asking why I wrote this post and why its two parts.
Reason being is I wanted to start with our personal experience in buying for Part One. A lot of clients don't realize that I was just like a lot of you - wasn't pre approved, had no representation, had no clue what I wanted, and had no clue what next steps included once we found our home.
I think its really nice to hear personal stories to know you are NOT ALONE and that I once was in your shoes! Shoot - when we bought our first home all I thought about was how i was going to lay it out, decorate and future projects - I didn't understand how important looking at the condition of the windows, roof, floors, basement, mechanicals and the importance (and cost) of the big picture.
But that is what we are here for - to help you see the bigger picture and to make sure you get the perfect home for YOU!
So follow me on my next post of "Buyers - Part two!" to learn more about do's and don'ts as a buyer and how to find your perfect agent!