5 Tips for buying a home — the second time around

5 Tips for buying a home — the second time around
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About a year and a half ago, I bought Z and I’s first home — a cute little townhouse in a quiet neighborhood close to family-friendly activities. It was a dream scenario with no hiccups along the road. I found a private lender through Zillow who connected me to a realtor and everything went as smooth as butter.

home buying tips

The home-buying process this time around though is the polar opposite. It was a nightmare and caused weeks of stress and several crippling anxiety attacks. I will NOT be buying another home anytime soon because of this scenario and Z and I will live in this home until I get married one day in the far off distant future, and even then we might still live here.

Here are a few tips for buying a home — the second time around.

  1. Don’t underestimate the amount of money you’ll need to close.
    Larger corporate banks often have higher fees and expect larger reserves after closing. I went through two houses, two applications, two pre-approvals and was denied 3 days before closing unless I suddenly came up with a boat-load more cash.Depending on how much you put down on the home, you’ll need a debt to income ratio of 43% (or better) and to have at least 6 months reserve on your current expenses. So if you’re buying your second home, that means 6 months reserves in your bank account on both your current house and the new one you’re looking to buy AFTER closing!
  2. Use a realtor you trust and who understands what you want.
    Jaimie Przenioslo with Michael Saunders and Company was essential during this home buying process. She knew exactly what I was looking for and had incredible patience during the entire rocky process. She kept me grounded even when it felt like everything was crumbling around me. If you are relocating, get recommendations from people you know, read reviews, even talk to a few realtors over the phone. And if this is home number 2, you don’t have to use the same realtor you used the first time around if you weren’t 100% satisfied. This is your home and where you’re going to spend the next few years or even decades, it’s important to find just the right house and that means having the right realtor.home-buying-tips
  3. The first house you make an offer on is not necessarily the house you are going to move into.
    The 48 hours after putting an offer in on a house is nerve wracking. Waiting for the acceptance is the first and easiest step. Afterward you have inspections, surveys, appraisals, and official loan approval. Any one of these reasons can stop the home purchase dead in its tracks, even more so when it’s the second house.
  4. Trust your gut
    If it doesn’t feel right (it being the home, the realtor, the price, the location, the size) then let it go. Yes, once you are under contract it can be tricky to get out of it, but nothing is final until closing. Trust your gut through the entire process.
    tips for buying a house
  5. Avoid Bank of America home loans.
    I can’t stress this enough. Go anywhere else. Go with a private lender. Go with Chase or Wells Fargo. But avoid Bank of America at all costs. I spent thousands of dollars through the home selection process only to get a “denied”  3 days before closing. I hounded my mortgage team for information, returned documents within hours of them being requested only for my team to lose them or completely miss them when processing altogether, and caught countless errors on my application that they refused to update until days prior to close. The stress resulted in several 20+ minute panic attacks and thousands of dollars thrown down the drain. I’ve heard horror stories from others regarding BoA as well. STEER CLEAR.

Follow me on Pinterest and Instagram to see how I decorate our new home. The kitchen is so dreamy already and I haven’t even done anything to it yet. You can see it HERE.

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15 thoughts on “5 Tips for buying a home — the second time around”

  • great tips! When we are out of debt we plan to purchase a home. We have lived in 7 different states in the last 10 years. Now we are in a spot where we will stay 🙂

    • I’ve moved dozens of times in the last 8 years myself. I thought the last one was it for a while, but I’m POSITIVE this move is the last in a really really long time. When you’re ready to purchase, let me know how it goes and best of luck to you 🙂

  • These are very good tips! I hear you on these, we just sold our house in Florida and moved to Hawaii and decided not to buy a house this time around. The stress of buying a home is intense! Thanks for sharing!

    • WOW! a Move to hawaii! I thought moving 500 miles was rough, but you went 5,000! I can’t even imagine the stress of that kind of a move combined with the stress of buying a home. No thank you <3. Good luck in HI and enjoy the island life

  • I’m so sorry to hear it was such a stressful process!! This was a helpful post to read though. We are getting ready to start looking at houses, and I’m already feeling a little overwhelmed at the whole process. Definitely going to remember this advice.

  • Wow! I’m sorry that the 2nd time around was such a nightmare. I remember how stressful it was when we were purchasing our first home. Thanks for sharing your tips. It’s a beautiful home!

  • These are great tips! My husband and I just bought our first home and I’m currently writing a series about it. Our first experience was similar to your second. We found out we had a week to find a new home before our lease was up. And because we weren’t planning on buying, it was incredibly stressful (which was not what I needed right before a heart procedure). Each time we drove past a house and made an appointment to see it for the same day or the day after, we’d get a call and find out it went under contract right before we were supposed to see it. We ended up with one nice house left in our price range and luckily we were able to get it. With our amazing realtor and Veterans United, we found the house and closed on it in close to thirty days! I’m glad you were able to find something wonderful!

  • My friend is thinking about buying a new house, and we were curious about how he would do it correctly. I really like that you say to make sure that everything with the house feels right. Since you are making a big investment, it would be nice to know that you will be comfortable with everything in the end.

  • Thank you for the interesting blog. I particularly liked your advice about choosing a home that is both the right size and located in a good area. If it fits those basic needs, it will probably provide long term happiness to your family. With a home that is big enough, you can make style changes to fit your tastes and enjoy having the perfect fit.

  • My wife and I are looking for a new home to move into. It was interesting to me how you mentioned the importance of finding a realtor that understands our needs and can help us find a home that fits those needs. We’ll start asking people we know for recommendations on who to hire so we can get into a home that we’ll love.

  • This is the first time that I have ever looked into buying a home and I wanted to see what I should know before starting the process. You said that the first house you make and offer on is not always the house you will move into since you must wait for acceptance and inspections and more. That is a great point that I have never thought of since I thought it was an offer and then buy process.

  • I love that you mention to listen to your gut. Intuition is a great way to avoid bad situations, but also give you insight for good ones! I love my realtor, and she has been so patient with me and my husband as we are so picky in what we are looking for.

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