Your first home serves basically one purpose: to make money to buy your next home. You are not going to get everything you want, and I wouldn’t suggest you try. If you can buy and sell your first home without losing your sanity, or your ass, you have succeeded. The following is a primer to help you out.
Your Banker Is Going To Lie To You
My wife and I were each making a whopping $11.50/hour when we got pre-approved for our first home loan. Our banker told us the bank would loan us up to $180,000. I had to fight the urge to laugh at him in his face. He offered us nearly double what we intended to spend. They are going to run some calculations, mention things like “debt-to-income ratio” and then tell you that you can afford more than you probably can. This was even after the housing crash (you know, the one where the economy collapsed because a bunch of supposedly smart people told a bunch of people to buy things they had no business buying?). Don’t take the bait. It should be common sense: don’t buy more than you can afford–even when you have an “expert” across the table telling you that you can buy yourself something pretty, it can be hard to say no.
You Don’t Want Something You’re Going To Have To Spend A Bunch Of Time And Extra Money On
If you are buying a home, I can presume you are probably newly married, and maybe even starting a family. You are probably still concentrating the bulk of your time fornicating at every single opportunity, and generally living life to the fullest. Good. You are young. That is what you are supposed to be doing. Unless your job is going to be flipping houses, you don’t have time for major house projects. You already have a full-time job and a life. This means no renovations. Houses that you can add cheap and easy value to–i.e. painting, replacing cabinets, new carpet, etc–is what you are looking for. Don’t get in over your head with finishing a basement or something like that. You will most likely be house poor and drive your spouse to hate you, and I’m told divorce sucks.
Pick Your Neighbors If You Can
My neighbors suck balls. There really isn’t any way around it. They lower my property value, are an eyesore on the community and basically bring all of humanity down a level. As I look out my window, I see three dead cars up on blocks, a tree growing into their house, a pile of garbage in their front yard, and plenty of other shit I can’t even identify. A couple of weeks ago, this interesting thing happened to me. My wife called me not a minute after pulling out of the driveway telling me to be careful as there is a skunk in the yard. A FUCKING SKUNK. I immediately put down my cereal, insta-pissed because I know my Special K is going to get soggy because I knew what I had to do.
I couldn’t leave a skunk running around the neighborhood. I race downstairs, grab my .22, and load accordingly. I then run upstairs, open the window and lo and behold, a GOD DAMNED SKUNK is spinning circles in my driveway while somehow making a clinking sound. A clinking sound you ask? Yes, a clinking sound. You see, my neighbors are straight out of the backwoods hillbilly hoarders that also feed scraps to wildlife. The clinking skunk? Well, it has a fucking tin can of some sort stuck to its head, and he is hitting his head on the pavement. I wait until he circles into the yard because I don’t want to bounce any lead into the neighbors across the street, and I unload the full ordinance, the price of .22 ammunition be damned. The skunk had to sit in front yard for the entire day because I immediately had to leave to get to work on time. (Some of you are going to laugh at that story. Thank you for appreciating my misfortune. Some of you are going to be horrified. Too fucking bad. I don’t care about your faux outrage. Grow up).
What I am getting at here is that your neighbors can easily bring down your property value. When you first see the place and the neighbor’s house looks like something that you saw on an episode of COPS, it isn’t going to improve with time. Purchase with caution.
Your Home Inspector Will Piss You Off
More often than not, hiring a home inspector is kind of like having your buddy that worked a Jiffy Lube perform major work on your car. Yes, he may be accidentally successful at fixing your whip, but he is not an expert and he is just as likely to fuck something up. As it was with my home inspector. Did he notice that the attic needed a bunch-a-ton of insulation and show me how to fix the back door? Yes. More importantly, did he notice my cracked foundation that led to $3500 in repairs because my basement started taking on water? No. Did he notice the major fire hazard electrical problems in the laundry room? Again, no. Good thing my buddy the electrician did–four years after the fact when I had some other electrical problems. If your home inspector was a master electrician, he would be an electrician. If he were a master plumber, he would be plumber. He is a jack-of-all-trades and master of none. If you can swing it, I suggest hiring professional in specific fields to look at your prospective house. They will be more nitpicky and catch both subtle and major things.
Good luck, my friends, and remember that whiskey is more efficient than beer..
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