Don’t Know Much About Real Estate

A crash course in home-buying.

Naïve as I apparently am, I had no idea what Hubby and I were getting into when we decided to buy a house. Here are a few things we learned.

  • Finding the right house may very well be the easiest part of the process. And that’s saying something, considering all of the, er, interesting properties out there. Among the properties we rejected were:
    • a post office
    • a “water-oriented” split-level that clearly had been flooded in the past, and
    • a home that listed “daylight” as its best feature.
  • Keeping track of your important paperwork is probably a good idea. After tearing apart our apartment to locate missing tax returns, bills, and bank statements — which delayed our entire loan process — we finally implemented a filing system.
  • Make friends with your lender, because you will probably try his or her patience as you scramble to get said paperwork together. (Note from the eds: Bonus points if you bring cookies to settlement!)
  • Real estate appears to be a language composed entirely of acronyms. Just to name a few, we have HUD, FHA, CDA, FRM, PMI, and many more! Learn them, love them, and dazzle your friends and neighbors!
  • If you haven’t had a job for at least a year, you don’t count as a full person and have to give the bank your college transcripts to prove that you weren’t some layabout prior to employment.
  • Despite the fact that you love your new house and think it looks pretty, the home inspector will dash all of that and show you every little speck that’s wrong with it. This will make you doubt everything.
  • You’ll probably be doubting everything by this point anyway, so don’t panic. Soon you’ll be a homeowner! (Note from the eds: And then you’ll get to embrace fun new projectslike plumbing!)
Article © 2008 by Molly E. Weeks