Pretty soon this will be our yard!
We’ve been on the home buying roller coaster for almost a month now, and I can’t believe the highs and lows we’ve hit. I thought it would be fun and informative to recount everything that’s happened. As I’ve been searching the internet high and low for information on buying a home, I haven’t been able to find any typical timelines. So I figured I’d write my own, and hopefully it will reassure someone else who is buying a home for the first time.
Friday, June 27…late at night. I was online, browsing homes for sale at johnlscott.com, one of my favorite hobbies. While playing around with the mortgage calculator, I discovered a few homes had finally fallen back into our price range. I saw a home that looked suitable for us. The home happened to be located near where my dad lives.
Saturday, June 28. I called my dad to ask about property taxes, owning a home in that area, and other home buying questions. My dad offered to head down the road to check out the property I was interested in. He came back with a good report.
Sunday, June 29. After talking it over, Jim calls his cousin, who is a realtor. His cousin arranges for us to see the house. We meet my dad at the house and tour the inside. It’s in bad shape, but we like the lot and the layout of the house. Most of the issues seem to be cosmetic.
Monday, June 30. We take a second look at the house, along with my dad’s handyman friend. We want to determine if the floors are structurally sound. My dad’s friend says they are, and also determines that the foundation seems to be in good shape. We’re definitely interested in the house at this point.
Tuesday, July 1. I spend a lot of time on the phone, trying to find out if we will qualify for a mortgage. A mortgage broker runs the numbers, checks our credit, and determines that we should have no trouble qualifying. That night, we meet the real estate agent and make an offer. We go to bed that night nervous and excited.
Thursday, July 3. Our real estate agent calls us back and tells us the sellers accepted our price and agreed to pay some of our closing costs. They countered on a few minor points, namely wanting to close later. We met the real estate agent to counter their counter with a closing date in between the one we wanted and the one the sellers wanted.
Sunday, July 6. The sellers accept our counteroffer. We do a big happy dance!
Monday, July 7. I meet with a local mortgage broker to apply for a mortgage. He agrees that we will have no trouble qualifying.
Wednesday, July 9. I run some forms to the mortgage broker before we take off for vacation. We spend the next few days relaxing, knowing that the rest of the summer will be crazy.
Wednesday, July 16. It’s the day of the appraisal. The appraiser seems to think our the house will appraise at the price we need easily.
Thursday, July 17. I meet the real estate agent and the inspector at the house for the home inspection. My dad’s handyman friend is also there to take measurements for flooring and paint.
I highly recommend following the inspector around the house during the inspection. I really learned a lot about what was wrong with the house and what it would take to fix it. The inspector was great about giving me advice and answering my sometimes very basic questions.
Friday, July 18. We’re told the appraisal should be ready on Saturday. The inspection report also comes in, and there are a few things that might cause problems for our loan. We quickly put together a meeting with our real estate agent to address the concerns. We postpone the well/water test that is scheduled to take place on Monday, until we can address our concerns with the sellers.
Monday, July 21. The appraisal still isn’t ready. The seller’s agent gets back to our agent, and we find out the sellers will do what needs to be done to make the house OK for the loan to go through.
Tuesday, July 22. Still no appraisal…
Wednesday, July 23. We run the postponed well/water test. After 4 hours, we find out that the well is in superb shape. The water chemical test could take 10 days to come back. Fortunately we were expecting that.
Our agent also has a chance to talk with the homeowner, who mentions if things fly along and they are able to get moved out before our tentative August 12 close date, we can close earlier. I do another happy dance.
Now the financing is the only thing holding us up. But still no appraisal…
That brings us to today, July 24. The appraisal was supposed to be in late yesterday afternoon or early yesterday evening. As of this morning, I haven’t heard anything. As soon as the appraisal is in, our loan can be sent to the underwriter for approval. I have no idea how long that process should take.
Beyond the financing, there needs to be an engineering report on the foundation, since it’s a manufactured home, and tie downs need to be added to the foundation. That’s a new FHA rule, apparently, and that was the hang-up we had from the inspection. The sellers will take care of that as soon as we sign off on some of our contingencies, which is supposed to happen later today or sometime tomorrow.
This last month has definitely been full of ups and downs. Barring any delays with our loan, we should be able to close by mid-August, and we might be able to get moved in before school starts. That’s the goal, but it’s an optimistic goal.
When I first told you we were buying a house, I was hopeful that everything would work out, but I was far from convinced. At this point in the process, I’m pretty sure everything is going to work out, and I’m more nervous about the timeline in regards to school than anything else.
It’s hard to believe that a few months ago I was thinking about renting for the long term, and now I’m thinking about packing. Wish me well! I’m going to need all the help I can get!
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I'm just an average mom, trying to live a frugal life and get out of debt. I write about things that have (and haven't) worked to improve my family's financial situation. What works for me may or may not work for you, and you should always consult a financial advisor before making important financial decisions.
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