Ah, buying your first home. For some, the notion brings back memories, be they fond, stressful, or completely unraveled. For others, it elicits a sense of wonder or hope--maybe purchasing a house is a long term goal, a founding member of your 5- or 10-year plan. For others still, the thought of buying your first home does little more than make you cringe. Fear, possibility, awe, shame, discomfort, starry-eyed fantasy…the purchase process can bring a bit of every thing out of every person. You're not to be blamed.
I bought my first home a little over a year ago, somewhat unexpectedly. Owning an actual house was sitting on the aforementioned 5- or 10-year plan, and I was an established member of the “I had loads of fun and destroyed my credit in my 20s” club. For 10+ years, I was, quite frankly, too afraid to look. I knew the importance of credit in purchasing a home, and ultimately, I didn't feel ready to face that demon. After a bit of time working here, however, I was encouraged to start the process, even if tentatively. First step: face the (potential) embarrassment of a low credit score. Cody set me up with a lender, and I soon found myself in a cozy, "judgement-free zone," working with someone who would help me to set a plan and improve my score. I paid off my tiny debt, set a limit on spending, minded my proverbial p's and q's, and in six months time, I had drastically improved my number. I was actually qualified to get a reasonable interest rate for homes within a certain price range. I told my realtor (a.k.a., my boss and COLLECTIVE owner, Cody Derrick) and we started the hunt. Once we found the perfect home for me (right place + right time + right price), the reality set in: I knew nothing of contract laws or negotiation, but none of that mattered. I said, "This is what I can afford and this is how soon I can move in," and handed my agent the reigns. Cody wrote up an offer, let me know what to expect, noted the important dates, and kept me posted throughout the process. When “closing” day finally arrived, I was amazed. They walked me through the paperwork, answered my questions about mortgage and insurance, I signed/initialed, and I was a homeowner. The important thing to note here: cityhomeCOLLECTIVE is doing this stuff every damn day. If it weren't for the gentle nudge and caring hand of my COLLECTIVE co-workers, I'd still undoubtedly be renting--paying someone else’s mortgage instead of my own.
My point here? Your fear of owning isn't an irrational one: but if you have an agent that actually listens to you (ahem...that's us), you're likely to find a space you love and start building equity (it's like having a savings account that you can't dip into). For those with questions about the buying process, come chat with us at our First-Time Home Buyer Clinic! On Wednesday, March 30th, from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, we'll be hosting an evening of Qs, As, and everything in between (wine, obviously) in our COLLECTIVE lounge. It's completely FREE, and we'll have agents, lenders, and pals at the read to answer all of your questions. Bring a list and go straight-up teacher's pet on us. How do I qualify? What does an agent do? Who is a "lender"? What does "listing" mean? What do you get paid for? Whether you're familiar with the process or entirely unaware, we can help. Buying a home is a big step, and we're yours for the night. Judgement-free and easy breezy…we just hope you walk away feeling informed, enlightened, and inspired to find your space.
First-Time Home Buyer Clinic | Wednesday, Mar. 30th, 7:00pm to 9:00pm | CHC Lounge, 645 E South Temple