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In October of 2009, my husband and I became first time homeowners. It was a huge accomplishment for us, and it gave us an opportunity to raise a family in our own home. Our first son was 8 months old when we became homeowners, and in 2014, we brought our second son home.
We knew the basics of homeownership such as “have good credit, steady income, and low debt”. Our parents taught us that by having these three things, we could be homeowners.
We felt we were very knowledgeable about the home buying process, so we found a lender and a realtor and we began our search. For the next 6 to 9 months, we searched for our home. At times we got discouraged and wanted to give up, but we continued our search and found the home we fell in love with.
As a housing counselor and educator, I teach my clients how important it is to be well-prepared for the home buying process, and to have all the right information ahead of time. When we were buying our home, we had an amazing realtor who helped guide us through the process.
She advised us not to make any large purchases until closing and walked us through the entire process, and she was with us at the closing. I had never heard of your realtor supporting you in that manner. The title company was very patient with us and explained just about every document. The closing process was absolutely smooth.
What We Learned
If I could rewind the experience, I would have taken a homebuyer education class to learn about the in-between things like “emergency funds”. Shortly after we moved, before we had even made our first mortgage payment, my husband’s truck broke down, costing about $2,000 to repair. This was a big blow to us, because we had very little left in savings and now we had “NO SAVINGS”.
If we had taken homebuyer education prior to buying our home, we would have been better prepared for a pop-up like the one we experienced.
Advice from a HomeOwnership Counselor
This is an area that I stress to future homeowner clients: it is very important to have emergency funds set aside for any unexpected mishaps. It was a hard but important lesson for me to learn, and this is the reason I recommend that every home buyer take a homebuyer education class before they begin the purchase process.
My organization, BCL of Texas, offers the NeighborWorks America “Realizing the American Dream” 8-hour home buyer education class in person and online.
The investment of your time to become prepared and ready for the home buying process can benefit everyone.
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