Home Buying Blog Archives - June Through December 2008

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December 14, 2008
Don't Rush Into Buying Your First House

It's really great being in our new home as the holidays approach. What a great time of year to enjoy our new home, after spending several years saving for our down payment. In retrospect, the entire six month long home buying journey, although extremely stressful at the time, was completely worth it. Today, I'll be writing the fourth installment in our home buying journey, an impulsive offer we made after getting discouraged with the first three offers not working out. The key lesson: Please, do not rush into buying your first home. It's a long and difficult process. It took us around 6 months to finally own our first house, and that's after spending years saving for our house mortgage down payment. We got really lucky that the seller did not accept our impulse offer in this particular case and I really hope you can learn from our home buying journey so your personal journey goes a little smoother, with less stress than ours. Happy holidays and new year, I wish you the best in 2009 and may it be a great year of saving money for your house.

November 15, 2008
Home Buying Tip: Get An Appraisal

We're finally settled in our new home and got our final furniture delivery last week. We are still unpacking boxes, but can finally sit back, relax, and focus on living again. Today I'm excited to write the third installment in our home buying journey. Whether you're ready to buy your first home or are in the down payment savings phase, it's the perfect time to educate yourself so you can become a savvy home buyer in this turbulent market. Today I will discuss a wild experience, an experience where we thank goodness that we got an appraisal before removing contingencies from this particular offer. The appraisal showed us that the seller's reported square footage was 10% higher than reality. If we had bought that home, we would not only have less space than we need but also would have taken an instant loss in equity because value and price are heavily driven by actual square footage of the home. Check out my personal story where our home appraisal saved us thousands.

October 26, 2008
Buying Your First Home? Considering a Short Sale?

I've been super busy the last month moving into my new home with my fiancee. After years of saving our down payment, we are now enjoying the results of our hard work. If we can do it, you can too! In my last post, I started a new section on this site all about my personal home buying journey. Our home buying journey has been a very long educational experience. The hope here is that our story can save you time and stress. Today's article is all about my short sale experience. I would say without a doubt that this experience was by far the most stressful of the entire home buying journey. We got our hearts set on a short sale but the entire deal fell through after much hard work and patience. At least we learned a lot. Please make sure to check out this article if you are saving your down payment or are ready to buy your first home, I truly hope my experience can help you out. Good luck!

September 21, 2008
From Saving My Down Payment To Buying My First Home

Hello! My fiancee and I are closing escrow on our first condo, how exciting! We will soon be homeowners. The experience has been stressful and challenging and we have been working really hard for the last three months to make our dreams a reality. I'm so happy that our efforts paid off and the dream will be realized. Moreover, I'm so happy I have been through this experience for the benefit of this website. Before buying my first condo, I was certain that saving money for my down payment would be the most challenging aspect of home ownership. I actually still think this is the case. However, I was not prepared for everything involved in the home buying experience, another very challenging component of the entire process. I'm excited to be documenting my home buying journey to hopefully make your own home buying experience a little bit easier with less stress.

My first article documents our experience attempting to buy a new construction condo. Buying a brand new construction condo should be simple, right? What could be wrong with something brand new, we had thought. We ended up learning that a lot can go wrong. If you are considering buying a new construction condo or house, definitely check out this article so you can look out for the pitfalls that ended up breaking the deal for us.

September 4, 2008
Buying Our First House - So Many Lessons Learned

I'm proud to announce that I have officially saved up my down payment and am in the process of purchasing my first house (actually a condo). You may have noticed the frequency of updates to this site has decreased over the last month and it's not because I don't want to write, but because I have been absolutely consumed with the home buying process. I had absolutely no idea how tricky and involved it can be, especially here in the San Francisco Bay Area. My fiancee and I have already tried to buy several condos without luck so far. We are determined to get a great place at a great price and remain super optimistic about living the American dream in our new home. The great news in this whole experience is I have learned more about real estate, mortgages, home buying, and "street savvy" than I ever imagined possible. The result: I will be starting a series of articles all about my home buying process. I'll start out with the new construction condo that we had to pass on because the inspection came back with major problems. Next, I'll dive into the short sale that turned into a nightmare where we lost out to a higher bidder by only $1,000 even though we were willing to go higher (very shady stuff going on with this deal). Then, I've got more fun stuff and we're not done yet so there will probably be even more lessons learned. Really looking forward to sharing some of our very difficult experiences to save you some of the time and stress we have been through, making your personal home buying experience a breeze! One thing is for sure: Once we have our place, we are never moving.

August 10, 2008
Using The Internet To Research Your First House - Saving Money For Repairs & Furniture

Recently, we published two articles about "using the Internet" to your advantage in researching your first house and planning for your first home loan. Today, I'm very excited to be rounding out this series with the third and final article on leveraging the Internet for research: using the Internet to research repairs on your first home. I'm especially excited about this article because it illustrates a point that is very easy to forget about. In saving for your house, it's not only about the down payment and closing costs. It's also important to save up for repairs, moving expenses, and furniture. While saving up your down payment, you'll want to keep this in mind. At the same time, I'm a true believer that a home is a great investment and asset. Furniture, however, is not an investment. My theory is that it makes the most sense to buy your house sooner rather than later and accumulate furniture one piece at a time. However, you'll definitely want to pick up a few pieces right away and make sure to save up some extra money.

July 28, 2008
Saving Your Down Payment Fund In A High Yield Savings Account

This site would not be complete without a discussion of high yield savings accounts. I'm a proponent of saving most of my personal down payment fund in high yield savings accounts. Why? I expect to buy a house shortly and do not want to be subject to the volatility of the stock market and other non-FDIC insured investment vehicles. Have you seen the stock market lately? It has been brutal. A lot of companies are facing hard times. The last thing I need to worry about is seeing my hard earned down payment fund that I will need very shortly disappear. Consequently, high yield FDIC insured savings accounts are the perfect place to store your down payment fund while earning interest. Don't get me wrong, I love the stock market and it has been my hobby for years. Once I have bought my house and start looking toward building up a long term investment portfolio, I will definitely primarily invest in stocks again.

July 13, 2008
Using The Internet To Research Your First Home & Mortgage While Saving Your Down Payment

The Internet offers a plethora of information about down payments, buying your first home, and mortgages. Your time is limited and how do you decide which sites to visit? Let us do the difficult work for you! This week, we're excited to offer two new articles all about using the Internet to research your 1st home and researching your home loan on the Internet. With so many options available, we help you sort through them and present some of the top websites for people saving for their first house. You're saving up your down payment. It's the best possible time to leverage the Internet for your research.

June 14, 2008
Save Money With The Help Of A Mentor & Saving On Your Rent

Hello everyone! I'm excited today to have two great new articles all about saving money for your 1st house down payment. There are a lot of wise people out there. I'm always asking mentors in my life for advice, mostly about my career and also saving money for my first house. Our first new article today is about saving money with the help of a mentor. Our second article is about reducing the cost of your monthly rent. If your situation is anything like mine, I'm sure you're sick and tired of throwing money away on rent. The goal of this article is to offer tips on making short term sacrifices for long term results. Downsize your rent expenditures today and you will own your first house sooner! Remember, long term financial success requires some short term sacrifices to save up your down payment.

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