The Home Buying Process

This past weekend Matt and I closed on our first home! We are so excited to be homeowners and have some more space to live in, especially during this time of working from home. We were growing out of our 1 bedroom apartment, and our lease is up in a month so we figured why not start looking. Utah has some great options for first time home buyers, and interest rates are low right now. The process started a little over a month ago, and we didn’t expect it to go this fast in the crazy competitive Salt Lake housing market. However, because of Covid the competition decreased a bit and we were able to get our second offer accepted after about a week of looking.

The first step was getting pre-approved by our lender. We were able to do everything over the phone and email since everyone is working from home. This process requires a credit and income check, and it took less than a day. We started working with our realtor the following day to determine our wish list for a home and get set up on the real time house listing app. A few days later, our realtor set up some private showings in areas we were interested in, and we started touring! It was exciting to see what areas of town we could be living in, and what our budget would get us. After the first day, we became more flexible and realistic with what to expect for our first home in this market. We definitely saw a few amazing contenders, a few fixer uppers, and figured out what neighborhoods and suburbs we liked and disliked. It was so important to see the house in person and give it a chance, because the pictures do not always do the house justice.

We put an offer on a home at the end of the first day; we loved the neighborhood, curb appeal, and it had everything on our must haves list. After they accepted a different offer, we decided to take the backup position and keep looking. We didn’t love any on the 2nd day of looking, so we decided to check out the neighboring suburbs for the 3rd day. Our realtor set up 6 showings on the 3rd day, and 3 of them got cancelled because they were under contract in less than 24 hours, crazy! However, it ended up working out because we fell in love with the 2nd home that day and we’re able to go home and be the first to put in an offer! They let us know the next day that they liked our offer and the letter we wrote to the sellers about why we wanted the house. We were able to negotiate and settle on a price we were both comfortable with, and just like that we were under contract!

We knew before even going to see this home we were going to like it. It had a Midwest feel from the outside, and it reminded me of a lot of the homes in my parents neighborhood growing up. The neighborhood all has similar homes and good curb appeal, and that was important to us. The backyard views are also spectacular, and we can’t wait to spend our summer evenings outside around the bonfire. It had the right about of bedrooms and was mostly move in ready, but it definitely has a 90’s feel and needs a face lift. Matt and I are excited to do some painting, replace fixtures, and give the kitchen a cosmetic update first. It also has a good downstairs living area for having 1-2 roommates. Overall, it’s a good balance between move in ready and a fixer upper for both of us!

Applying for the loan, the inspections, appraisal, utility transfers, and paperwork took about 3 weeks. The sellers wanted an April closing date, so we had to make sure we were on top of getting our checklist done. There were some late nights of submitting paperwork and taking a homeowners class, but we got it all done by the day before closing. Working from home together was a blessing during this time and we were able to submit everything online or on the phone. We did the final walk through and closed on April 17th, so we are officially in the home. We are moving things in slowly and tackling painting the main level and upstairs bedrooms these next 2 weeks. We can’t believe it’s real and we are so excited to host guests and entertain when life gets back to normal! For now, we’ll be spending most nights after work and weekends fixing up the home and getting it ready for us to live in. It’s a scary and exciting time, and while we wish family was close to help us, they have been answering all of our questions via Facetime and we couldn’t be more thankful!

 

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