My wife and I were recently under contract to purchase our first home. It’s been a long time in the making. We are both very picky when it comes to homes we like, and rarely do we find one we can both agree on. We found a home in our price range that fit most of our criteria and we made an offer. After some back and forth, we were under contract to buy our first home.
For those new to the process, one of the first things to do after going under contract is schedule an inspection. I called around to three or four local providers and selected the one we thought would be best for us. The inspector was so thorough, that he uncovered some issues that we were not privy to prior to the inspection – specifically, water damage.
We definitely didn’t want a fixer upper, but understood this home would need some updating in the next 2 to 5 years and were okay with that. But water damage? That was a project we were unwilling to take on. We ended up walking away from the house. We were definitely disappointed, but all we lost was the cost of the inspection and some of our time, which is a low price to pay for peace of mind.
Below are a few things we learned throughout the process which we will definitely keep in mind for the next go-around.
At different points in the process, the sellers and their realtor team were a little less than fully transparent. There was a lot of inconsistencies in information shared which was unsettling at times. We in no way are insinuating it was intentional, but the misinformation adds up over time and made us feel uneasy. Going forward, we will only enter into a contract with sellers and realtors who we believe are being fully transparent.
Negotiate from a position of power
We don’t currently own a home, so we have an upper hand competing with other buyers – no contingencies. With the water damage issue, it felt like we were walking into an unknown. While real estate is currently fairly competitive in our area, it’s not super hot where we have to pay cash and waive the inspection to get an offer accepted. Why give up negotiating from a position of power? To us the unknown wasn’t worth it.
Don’t get too emotional
It’s not a done deal until you have the keys. Don’t get too emotional about the process. When you’re making your biggest purchase potentially ever, take your time and try to be as rational as possible. Future you will be thankful.
Stay away from wood siding
We’re just not going there next time.
While we didn’t succeed in purchasing our first home on the first try, we learned a lot throughout the process and will feel much more comfortable and informed for our next go at it. There will always be another house.