Buying a home to live in is a goal for many people. It involves absolute thinking and a huge chunk of money, more than one should expect. Several factors should be included when planning to buy a house; this could be the monthly bills, furniture, property taxes, etc.
In this episode, host David Sidoni interviews Tuesday, a single woman who has been trying to buy a home since 2019. Tune in and listen to her story from getting started, finding frustration, and eventually how she closed on her first home.
Interview With A Single, Female First-Time Home Buyer Who Closed In 2022, Trying Since 2019
Real Life Story From A Real Life First-Time Home Buyer
If you’re just getting into real estate, you probably feel like the game is rigged, the fix is in. I’ve got an interview with someone who’s been trying since 2019. This is a real-life first-time homebuyer who succeeded, got a home in May of 2022, which, by the way, if you don’t know, is the craziest time ever. Maybe you’ve been thinking about buying a house for the past couple of years. It’s going to go down in history. The beginning of 2022 is the hardest time ever for first-time buyers to get themselves a house. You might feel like the fix is in but listen to Tuesday and you’ll understand that fixed is the way to go.
It’s another one of your favorite episodes. I’ve got a first-time buyer who called up the show. This is Tuesday. No, I’m not telling you what day it is. This is Tuesday in Bellingham, Washington. Is that correct?
I’m no longer in Bellingham, Washington. Now I’m in Concrete.
My family is Italian, so that’s not usually a good thing. I’m assuming Concrete is the city, yes?
Yes, it is.
Are you now in your new house?
Yes. I purchased it the beginning of May 2022 and moved in towards the end of May.
Was that something that was a request from the seller to give them a couple of extra weeks to move out?
No, I needed that time to go and pack everything up and get all the things lined up for moving in, transfer utilities, etc.
Tell us your story because when you reached out to me, you told me that you had been looking for a couple of years. You were ready to move pretty quickly. Give us a little bit of the backstory of what happened before you ended up reaching out to me and then closing on this house.
I had been looking from 2019 and kept getting discouraged because the houses on the market in my price range were generally speaking not in very good condition. I wanted to be able to have something that I could move into and live in right away instead of, “I can live in half the house and I need to update the rest of it.”
Were you getting any advice on figuring out if you could change your price point, change your down payment, or move your finances? Were you out looking at houses and getting bummed out because they weren’t what you were looking for?
Not too much advice. The first realtor did say I’m on the very low end of the price area. “You’re going to need to look either way out in the countryside or somehow get more money.” I tried to get more money. The prices kept rising. I did end up going farther into the countryside.
That was the adaption that you made?
It is closer to my work, though. It’s so much better.
You went through a couple of different realtors and saw the prices go up. In 2021, you might have seen the interest rates drop. You reached out to me and what were some of the things that the obstacles you got to overcome quickly when you started working with the unicorn folks?
I was able to go and see ones that were much more in my price range that previous realtors had kept going almost to the top of my price range or beyond, then showing me things and like, “I can’t afford them.” I can’t go look at them and fall in love with them when I can’t afford them. The unicorn realtor said, “I’m going to respect your price point and I’m going to show you things that are like $50,000 below the top of your price range.” I said, “That’s good. I like you.”
Were you surprised? I know the difference between looking online and looking with a professional. Were you surprised that you were finding things $50,000 lower than the other folks were showing you that met your criteria?
No, I’ve been looking on Redfin. That has about the same inventory that the realtors were able to show me. I was hoping the realtors would have an inside edge and be able to show me something before it showed up on Redfin.
It’s tough now because, in a regular market, that’ll happen a lot, but in this market, the seller would be silly not to put it out for everybody to see online. There are some people that still don’t want people traipsing through their home and sometimes, we can help with that. You went through the process for a couple of years and then got to this closing in your wonderful house now with a unicorn. What’s some advice that you would give the people out there who are starting this process? Some things that you’re like, “I could have done this or that,” or things to avoid?
Don’t keep waiting, thinking that the markets are going to get better. 2020 was like, “We’re having a pandemic and lots of people are out of work, so we’re going to have foreclosures.” No, don’t wait.
I think that’s probably a strong piece of advice. As we move forward, things are starting to look scary. I’m preaching to them now that if you’re renting and the math works for you, this will still go on for a little while because the inventory is so ridiculously low. What about anything as specific that you weren’t ready for within the process of the contract, the signing and the inspections? If anyone out there is trying to get ready for it, was there anything that popped up that you went, “This was interesting? I didn’t realize this was part of buying a home?”
It went so fast once I found the home. Put in the offer and wait the weekend while they look and see if they get any other offers that are better. One day, I have a home.
That’s the thing about working with a great unicorn. Once you’re in there, your offers are looked at in a different light because it’s presented in a different way. They did make you wait the weekend? They didn’t just take it. They said, “Thanks, but.”
They had more than me looking at it. They were like, “We posted it the day before. We have lots of interest. We’ll wait to see if we get other offers.” As a seller, that’s a very sensible thing to do.
One of the big things that I would like to share with the audience and from your lesson here, Tuesday, is coming from the other side, when you go to sell a home, it’s a negotiation with the person selling the home at what price to put it at. If they say, “We want to list at $300,000,” I say, “I think you’re only going to get $285,000 for this home. Why don’t we do this? Let me list at $275,000 and we’ll see what we get.” What inevitably happens is you come in as the buyer and you’re excited. You go, “That’s about worth $285,000. Do you know what I’m going to do? I’m going to show him right away that I’m interested.”
You then write for $285,000. If they get that in 24 hours, do you know what inevitably they’ll say? “We priced it too low. We got what we wanted already.” I always try to make sure the buyer understands. If I do everything perfectly, the seller might think there are ten more people like us behind us. Sometimes, they need a couple of days to see, “The first one was just perfect.” How did you your whole inspection process go?
Wait for the inspection for the purchase. That’s probably another thing that the seller was like, “They’re very interested and ready to go.” I did have a consultation afterward. The house was in great condition. We had one little problem with the electrical panel. That got that fixed and I have a twenty-year-old water heater but still working.
You had to waive it to get into the property, but then you still went through, had the consultation, got all the information, then you were like, “I’m comfortable to move forward.” That’s important. Great. At the end of these years of looking for a home and now here you are in your home, what are some of the feelings that you could share with our audience out there who are maybe going through the same frustration and disappointment that you did?
I’m very happy that I don’t have to deal with any more rental list properties ever again.
It’s a nice feeling.
I don’t have to worry about rent going up ever again.
Financially, was this something you’d been preparing for before you started looking or did you do it all at the same time back in 2019?
I have been preparing for it. I’ve been saving up and at the beginning of 2020, I paid off all the rest of my debts, such as student loan debts and saving much as I could.
You’re in Concrete. Tell us, were you prepared to pay more than your rent or are you in with a mortgage that’s less than what you were paying in rent or is it about the same?
It is more than I had been paying. I was in a rental. The rental company had been purchased by a different company, so they decided they were not going to be as amenable to their renters and wanted us all to sign very long leases. If we didn’t, they were going to charge another $200 a month fee on top of our rent. With that addition, it comes about even.
Now, you’re locked in 30-year fixed, correct?
That is the best. We’re also happy for you. If you don’t mind, what was your price point? Were you in the $200,000s?
$300,000 was the absolute max that I was willing to go to.
You ended up staying below that and that kept you within your budget?
That’s the big key. Understand your budget and once you understand your budget, then you find that right team to help you get out there and get fast, make a good offer. Maybe you have to have a few sleepless nights over the weekend. Was that rough for you, waiting on it?
That was a little stressful.
You look very comfortable in your new home now. We appreciate you sharing your story. Congratulations to you and we’re very excited. Thanks again. Everybody out there, Tuesday did it. It took her a couple of years and she found the right team. Now you’ve got another great story. Thanks, Tuesday. We hope you enjoy yourself in your wonderful new home there.
Another great story. Tuesday’s in Washington State. She thought she was going to start out in one part of town and she ended up understanding that budget was most important to her. That was a big deal with what Tuesday was talking about. One of the big things I heard her say was respecting her price. You’re working with a unicorn realtor, someone that you trust or someone that’s not just looking for a paycheck but someone that’s going to be your advocate and working to help you.
They’re not going to push you to the limit if you don’t want to go to the limit. Respect her price. That’s an important part of the interview that we heard there. I’m super stoked that she’s in her house. It’s a bummer that she needed to find the right person who missed some of the run-ups. That was one of the big takeaways I got from Tuesday. Don’t wait.
Here’s someone who’s been in her house. She’s paying more in her mortgage than she was in rent. She’s still saying it’s totally worth it. She’s saying, “Don’t wait. Jump on it if you can.” I understand people out there going to say, “We’re going to crash. It’s going to burst.” As my girl, Madison, likes to say, “Bubbles are not going to burst. It’s going to be a nice slow little leak making that awful sound that balloons do.”
That’s a great thing to keep in mind, Tuesday’s story. She said that she ended up below her max. Sometimes people want to push all the way to their max. Sometimes people like Tuesday think, “Maybe I’ll look in other places.” Maybe it doesn’t mean even changing cities like she did. Maybe it means reducing those qualifications, those must-haves. Dropping a bedroom, getting a little less yard or maybe getting someplace on the second floor instead of a single-story house with no one above you or below you.
These are all the things that you can adjust, just like Tuesday did, even adjusting to pay a little bit more than rent because fixed is the way to go. I know I was telling you that the game is rigged and it is, but you can beat it. The fix is in. It’s a terrible phrase. It means that you’re in trouble. In this case, you can beat it with a fixed mortgage. She knew that this new mortgage payment was more than the rent she was paying, but she was already told even before she closed on this property that the rent would be going to be going up, so it would be about the same. That’s going to keep happening next year and the year after that.
What’s going to happen with a fixed mortgage rate? Flatline. Once again, all these weird things. Something fixed is good and flatline is awesome for you. You got to love housing. If you’re looking to get started and you’re brand new to the show, I hope Tuesday was a good inspiration for you. Go back to Episode 19. It’s How To Financially Prepare To Buy Your First Home, a seven-part series because I couldn’t squeeze it all in 1, 2 or even 6.
We’re looking to help you have a story like Tuesday. Hopefully, you can speed it up a little bit and it doesn’t take you three years to do it, but that’s when you found the show and it’s a good moral. This is when you found the show. This was when you thought about buying a home. This is where we are. The market’s moving and it’s up to you to take advantage of what you can’t.
Keep reading for more stories. I got a bunch of people that have been closing homes in early 2022 and want to come in and tell their story. Make sure that everybody out there learns a little bit and starts the revolution. Check out @David Sidoni on Instagram, @HowToBuyAHome on TikTok. Come on, gang. Get on the tickity tockity with me. Lots of fun stuff is happening there. I’m dropping all kinds of nuggets with extra honey mustard to help people who are trying to figure out how to buy a home.
If you’re not listening or watching on YouTube, get on it at How to Buy a Home on YouTube. Search us up. We’re here for you anytime you want. If you’ve got questions, go to www.HowToBuyAHome.com, click that Ask David button and ask me your question. I’ve got a whole bunch of people on my computer I got to talk to who reached out who are looking for unicorn advice, help with their family and trying to figure out what’s the best timing for them.
If you’re reading this and you’re all the way here at the end of this show, I know you’re serious about it. Now get serious. Finish this show. Don’t start a new one. Don’t start scrolling on social media. Take some action. What’s some action you can do now? Work on your credit, your savings, and your budget. The B-word again, I’m a terrible person.
I hate to end the show on the B-word, but I’m going to say it over and over, budget. Deal with it. All right, the stories are going to keep coming. It’s the toughest time ever to be doing a show for first-time homebuyers. I must be smoking crack, but the thing that keeps me going is people like Tuesday and everybody else that I’m interviewing who’s making it happen. Do you know what? I think you can make it happen too. You can do this.
- How To Financially Prepare To Buy Your First Home – Previous episode
- @David Sidoni – Instagram
- @HowToBuyAHome – TikTok
- How to Buy a Home podcast – YouTube
- Ask David
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