Keeping Up With the Joneses, A True Life Home Buyer’s Story – Part Two

Keeping Up With the Joneses, A True Life Home Buyer’s Story – Part Two

Nick and Brandy Jones were the best prepared buyers I have ever helped.  In Part One of this series I blogged about the importance of using a search engine that was accurate while searching for your home.

Nick and Brandy Jones and their new home. What a great family to help own their first home.

In this blog post I am writing about the way in which Nick and Brandy went about deciding that they were totally committed to buy and what specifically they would buy.

If you are just beginning to think about buying a home the biggest mistake you can make is to call a Realtor and begin looking at homes.  The very first thing you should do is contact a lender and explore exactly how much money you are able to spend.  In this case Nick and Brandy found that they were qualified to buy much more than they were comfortable spending on a monthly house payment.  So they decided to buy a home that really fit their budget.   They decided to look for a home that they could live in, without worrying about where the next penny would come from to pay for life essentials (including a new baby girl!)

I am all for home ownership.  I believe buying a home is the best decision for most people they will make with their money in their life time.  However buying a home that stretches your finances to the limit is not a good idea.  There are always expenses to maintaining a home and ignoring those expenses is like buying a car and not thinking about what it will cost to maintain it.

Before Nick and Brandy even began looking at homes they sat down with me and we went over the cost of maintaining a home.  We especially looked at the big ticket items like the air conditioner, furnace, hot water heater and replacing shingles on a roof.  If you are looking at a home over seven years old you really do need to consider what it may start to cost you down the road in the next five to ten years to start upgrading or replacing the major mechanical systems and replacing a roof.

Don’t misunderstand me.  I love older homes and personally would much rather own an older brick home with hardwoods and a nice sized back yard  that has been well maintained than a brand new home that has vinyl siding and carpet with a small yard.   But be sure to check out the age of the systems in the new home and be prepared to pay to repair or fix down the road.  One way to take away part of the worry of maintaining an old home is to purchase a home warranty.  I will do a blog post in the future on the advantages and cost of home warranties.

After discussing all the advantages and costs of home ownership then Nick, Brandy and I explored the whole subject of the criteria that were essential for them to have in their first home.  That will be the topic of the third blog post on The Jones’ house buying adventure.

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