Hey guys – I started an educational post series with Beazer Homes this year to help people our age that are purchasing new homes! Coral and I are s l o w l y treading into the home buying scene, so I thought it would be cool to outline the building/purchasing process. If you are considering building or buying a home, this post is for you. ~ M$M
One thing I had no idea about before I started my own business is that you have to have two years of income history before you can get a mortgage. We are renting right now, but as soon as we hit that two year mark (basically a year from now) we are going to make the jump!
We are considering two home buying options right now:
- Buying an existing home close to the water
- Building a new home (…still pretty close to the water)
I guess you can see where our priorities are! 🙂
Here's a quick overview of the steps in the home building process:
Finding the home
Obviously the first thing you need to figure out is where you actually want to live! For us, we are looking for something that would be a good place to *GASP* raise a kid when we do eventually go that route. My mom is probably freaking out that I mentioned that just now haha.
We also want to stay in our first home for a while (we HATE moving), so good schools and a little more “developed” area in terms of grocery stores and restaurants/fun stuff is what we are looking for. Moving somewhere with other people our age would also be nice, but it's definitely not a deal breaker for us!
Lastly, we are water people (as noted above), so we want a place that's at least 10-15 minutes away from the water if not right by it.
Figuring out financing and signing a contract
This is the nitty-gritty part of the home buying experience. The $$$ stuff of course! While I'm certainly not looking forward to having a mortgage, the truth is we don't plan on having one for too long. We will be VERY aggressive with paying it down, just like I was with my student loans. 🙂
One of the silver linings for a money nerd like me is that you do get to crunch a lot of numbers during this process. (Here's a great calculator for doing that) Coral and I want to stay in the middle ground between what we qualify for and the cheapest home possible. We definitely don't want a fixer-upper, but we don't need a freaking palace either!
That's one reason we are considering building so we don't have to hemorrhage money fixing stuff in the first few months. That's part of the balancing game with this process…I'd love to hear your thoughts on that in the comment section.
Just FYI – every single person I know that has built or bought a home says that you need to be REALLY organized with your financial statements during this part of the process. Just a heads up.
Choose the options
I'm imagining that this would be the second best part of the process after moving in. Beazer is pretty cool in that they allow you to personalize your floor plan quite a bit within the framework of their home designs with their “Choice Plans.” Basically, every floor plan has different options that you can choose from (like an office and a bedroom instead of two bedrooms for example) to fit your lifestyle.
This is also where you would select all of your tile, floors, faucets, etc. If we go the building route I would imagine that I'll have no say in this part at all. Coral is definitely the “designer” out of the two of us and would easily make better choices than me!
Ah yes, the part where you can share the picture of yourself standing in front of a slab on Facebook. (I actually enjoy those pictures much more than new cars if you were wondering). Believe it or not this is actually a pretty in-depth process that you should actively participate in.
Remember – you are spending good money on your home that's being built, so you should definitely provide your input to the builder throughout the process to make sure everyone is on the same page and happy with the final product. You'll have several opportunities to walk through the home with your builder and discuss anything you'd like during this part of the process.
Closing and moving in!
After everything is done to your satisfaction, you tie up all the loose ends on the financial side and get the keys to your new crib! Here are a few things you will need upon closing:
- Valid photo ID for each borrower, including spouses, on your loan
- Certified funds for down payment/closing costs (your Closing Coordinator can give you more details on the acceptable forms of payment)
- Any conditions/documents your lender may have required that you provide at closing
- All listed borrowers on the loan and the spouses of those who are legally married must be present
You'll also get your keys, warranty acknowledgements, and copies of your signed closing documents! Now you can start doubling your principal payment every month to pay off your house twice as fast. 🙂
Obviously, this is just an overview of the home building process. There is a lot to it, but the cool thing is that we are millennials and are good at researching stuff on the interwebz. Here's a checklist Beazer put together that's pretty simple! We'll keep everyone posted on what we do as we get closer to that two-year mark of self employment!