Ahhhhh! The moment we’ve been waiting for-We are buying our first house! We have been talking about this day for over 9 years. This is one of those “pinch me” moments for sure.
I met my husband while living in Los Angeles. We got married and became long- term renters. Two years later, we relocated to Chicago, Illinois. Six years and two children later, we decided it was time to put our roots down. Following God’s lead in a dream I was given, here we are in Northwest Arkansas.
Free First Time Home Buyers Course
We were initially intimidated by the home buying process. So we took this free Framework course for first time home buyers online. Then we found a realtor and asked her for lender recommendations. We contacted the lender and submitted a lot of detailed info. Then we shopped lenders to find the best rates with the most reputable lender. We were able to get pre-approved and start the house hunting process.
Finding the Right House
My father-in-law gave us some great advice. He said in order to find the right house, you first need to find the right neighborhood. Spend some time in the area and drive around to see which neighborhood you like best.
Since we have children, school district and school zones were the main factor. I researched the top school districts on Niche. Then I joined the local Facebook mom’s group and asked for school recommendations in that district. Since our family is biracial, diversity plays a part in our decision. The feedback from my Facebook mom’s group is amazing! We immediately had the top two school choices. They also let me know that the school district zones change here every year due to population growth. (So make sure to ask if the school zones change in your area before buying.)
2021 is currently a sellers market in Northwest Arkansas. This equals higher home prices and bidding wars.
Once our budget was established, the fun part began. Cue the home tours!
Our realtor set up a search for homes in the specific areas we requested. These homes are sent daily via email. We also browsed Realtor and Zillow almost every day.
After six other offers, we finally went under contract on our 7th home! Praise the Lord!
The Waiting Period
The sellers accepted our offer and then we moved onto the next steps of buying a house. Once again, I asked my local Facebook mom’s group for inspection recommendations. I also began calling each of the major insurance companies for home owners insurance quotes. Each quote took about an hour of time.
The home inspection went well and our inspector was incredibly thorough! The report ended up being 26 sections with full color photos, delivered online with a secure password. Even our realtor said our inspection was the most detailed she has ever seen. I had the opportunity to spend the last hour of the inspection with the inspector at the house. He walked me through every room and every single issue. I took videos and notes for myself. We will use the report as a maintenance list after closing too. (Be sure to ask if your inspector offers a cash payment discount.)
We paid our non-refundable deposit to the sellers. Then our lender sent us a list of remaining things to take care of. Appraisals take a couple of weeks here, so our lender immediately put our house on the list.
In the mean time, our oldest child started Kindergarten. Simultaneously, our youngest child started walking. On one hand I ask myself where is the time going? But on the other hand, waiting to close feels like forever.
When Do We Move?
We close on our house in just over one week! Yay!!!
Home Makeover Plans
We have plans for immediate changes including painting, lighting, and new flooring. I can’t wait to share the details with you guys! (You can see all our sneak peeks in my Instagram stories.)
We also have ideas for updates in the future. You can check out our inspiration on Pinterest here. Make sure to follow for new ideas because I pin regularly.
Needless to say, we are over the moon to be buying our first house. We can’t wait to share this journey with you guys. Next week, I’ll be sharing photos of the interior before we make any updates. Plus a few ideas we have for the new space—stay tuned!
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