A new year turns a page. Or in this case, 2019 started a whole new chapter for Kyle. It was a year for two of life’s biggest milestones: marriage and homeownership. Kyle, a web developer with an audio engineering side hustle, was stoked to start looking for houses with his soon-to-be-wife, Magen. However, their journey went a little bit different than expected, when their house-hunting efforts lasted longer than either of them had anticipated. In this #BehindTheBuyer article, Kyle expresses the challenges that they faced and kindly grants some wise advice to those of us who are just starting this journey!
The Starting Line
Knowing that a traditional wedding was something they could take or leave, Kyle and his fiancé decided on a romantic getaway to the Rocky Mountains instead, set for the beginning of the summer. Their elopement allowed them to use that money they saved by not having a classic wedding, for a down payment. They kicked off by organizing their finances. Kyle explains, “Make sure you have all your monthly costs calculated out. It’s important to be aware of your expenses each month, so you know how much you can afford to spend on a house. This way you’re not blindsided in the end.”
We recommend setting SMART Goals before you ever even start the homebuying process. That way, you are able to incorporate your goals into your budget and help you save faster and more effectively! You may also consider our web app, which makes this daunting process of saving for homeownership so much easier on you!
House-hunting might just be everyone’s favorite part. After all, who doesn’t love gazing at beautiful homes on the internet while you fantasize about your future? Many people expect the search process to go quite smoothly. In a perfect world, you fall in love with the first house you see and gasp in awe as you realize that this house has everything you’ve ever dreamed of and more!
You’re ready to sign the papers and bam… it’s yours! Unfortunately, it’s not usually that easy! In fact, it took Kyle and his fiancé several months longer than they thought.
Their search began in February, with a general idea in mind: a townhouse with a two-car garage. For Kyle, house-hunting was a great way to figure out what would work for them and what wouldn’t. Every property they saw and every house they visited helped them understand what they needed vs. what they wanted in their future home. Their initial plan for a two-car garage townhouse eventually evolved into a single-family home, with three bedrooms, and maybe a den or basement for a little extra room. Each month got them a little closer to finding their dream home.
However, they hit a bump in the road as soon as summer rolled around. When they first launched their hunt in February, houses were going quick! Sometimes as short as a few weeks on the market. The couple was definitely not prepared for how competitive the housing market would become by mid-May. “Everything was gone within a matter of days. It got to the point that if we weren’t available to go see a house that day, we had to write it off our list because we knew it would be gone.” Kyle explained, “We were in a house that we absolutely loved and were ready to sign for it when the phone rang. The listing agent was calling to tell us that the very house we were standing in just went under contract.”
As you can imagine, this kind of news can be frustrating, discouraging, and overwhelming. So if you’re new to this whole home buying thing, be aware of the real estate trends in your area. Do your research or ask your agent about real estate’s seasonal patterns.
A Perfect Fit
Originally, Kyle and his fiancé wanted a house that was move-in ready, but as their elopement date approached they began to realize how unrealistic that was. House after house, their search began to get a little tiring and the pair was more than ready to find their future home.
From the moment they stepped foot in the last house they visited, Kyle admitted to knowing it was the one. “I know it’s cliche, but people kept telling us that when you find the right home, you’ll know, that it will be obvious. That ended up being true for us. We got there and we knew it was perfect…it just felt like home. It needed work, but with the layout, the area, everything felt 100% right.”
They finally landed on the dream home, an end-unit with a basement, which one had been on the market for one day! Their patience and persistence finally paid off when they closed on June 28th! Their search from February to June may have taken several months longer than they thought, but they ended up with the perfect fit.
Take it from Kyle, don’t settle! You’ll know when you’ve found the right house, so be patient and diligent!
A Window Into Their Home
There’s something special about finally having a place of your own. It’s so rewarding to be on the other side, looking back and realizing all that you went through to get to this point. After the years of saving, finding real estate agents, searching for homes, the mortgage process, and the closing process, it is so gratifying to realize all that you’ve accomplished. Finally having something you worked so hard for gives you a certain pride in your home that you didn’t have before. Kyle’s favorite part of his hard-earned property would have to be the fact that his home is an end unit. This allows for a little extra space on the side that has a path connecting two neighborhoods together.
First, budget, budget, budget BEFORE you begin shopping! As Kyle explained, adding up your monthly expenses and creating a budget, you’ll know what price range you can search within. Second, have an idea of what you want in your future home. It makes the process of shopping for a home faster and smoother because you are able to narrow it down. Next, be aware of any seasonal trends in the housing market. Like Kyle experienced, summer brings hot weather and a hot housing market! Knowing the market trends for your area will hopefully help you feel more prepared and less overwhelmed when it comes to house hunting. Lastly, don’t settle! It may have taken them several months longer than anticipated, but Kyle and his wife ended up with the perfect home.
Thanks for sharing your story with us, Kyle. We appreciate your honest outlook and advice about your homebuying journey. Congratulations to you and your wife on your new home!