Photo by Laura
Well let me be the first to tell you this is insane! It's not like buying anything else. You may think you have an idea but you really don't. Even buying other things on credit or with a loan like a car isn't even close to this. Before you even start considering looking at houses you need to go to a bank and get a loan pre-approval to find out how much money you can actually get for a home loan. After filling out a small mountain of paperwork this can take about to week to even hear back about. Then you can start looking at houses, which is it's own kind of insanity. Houses can look great in pictures, and when you go there you find out that it was photographed from the one angle that looks good or that it ends up being much smaller than it looks. Others are on great pieces of land but the houses themselves are nothing you'd want to live in. And then there are the ones that are very nice but you come to realize they're not nice enough for the neighborhood that you'd be stuck in. A good thing to remember, if there's anything wrong with the house itself, that can be fixed. You can't fix where it is.
If you're lucky enough to find a house you like in a location you can live with that is in your price range that's when the REAL nightmare starts. Anybody who thinks they can do this alone needs to just check into a nut house right now. GET AN AGENT! Somebody who knows what the heck is going on and will hold your hand through the process is worth their weight in gold. So then comes the even bigger mountain of paperwork and the initial offer. Unless you're made of money you're going to offer less than the asking price. Then the negotiations happen to actually settle on a price the seller will agree to. Oh and as a fun little item to nag at your paranoia, at a time up to this point another buyer can swoop in with a better offer or cash in hand and snatch the house out from under you.
Photo by Laura