May 27, 2014

Homebuyers, It Really Pays to Do Your Research!


Micah Kemp is a VHDA associate who recently became a first-time homeowner. In this blog post, he shares some thoughts about what it’s like to be a twenty-something negotiating the homebuying process in today’s market. Watch for Part 2, coming soon!

So you want to buy a house? Awesome!

I just bought a house in January of 2014, so I know what an exciting, scary, stressful and rewarding experience it can be. If you don’t read another line of this post, here is the one thing you HAVE to understand: DO YOUR RESEARCH!

I didn’t have a clue about the homebuying process when I first started. To help, someone advised me to write down my priorities … nothing too formal, just simple stuff, like:

  1. Where do I want to live?
  2. How much money can I afford to put toward a house?
  3. What are a few things I have to have? (For me, it was being close enough to walk to a grocery store, having a yard big enough for a dog, and being somewhere we could eventually start a family.)
From there, things got a little more complicated. I didn’t know the first thing about buying a home or what I really wanted in a house, let alone if I could afford it!

Buying a house is a complicated process. While it’s easy to look at homes and dream big, it’s a lot harder to figure out what your first steps should be. That’s where VHDA can really help with the Homebuyer Education class. That class can teach you just about everything you need to know, from shoring up your credit score all the way to signing the paperwork that makes you a homeowner. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to learn the vocabulary, research mortgage rates and try to find a home. It can be a lot to take in, especially for someone like me who thought buying a house would be as simple as seeing one you liked and writing a check!

There are a lot of great resources out there to help you make a good decision, including online sites, VHDA’s Homebuyer Handbook and Realtors . You don’t have to be fluent in housing terms or be a real estate pro to buy a house, but it sure makes your life a lot easier if you can equip yourself with the a working knowledge of the process.

When you create a basic idea of what you want in a house and begin to understand the homebuying language, you set yourself up for success when buying your first home. I’m a VHDA employee and I had a ton to learn, so trust me when I say it really pays to do your research!


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