My First House | Lessons From a First Time Home Owner

Kristen Proctor Shares the Experience of Buying Her First House

first house

Have you ever considered becoming a homeowner? Many of you have probably let the idea pass through your thoughts at least once. For some like myself, we’re still trying to get a grip on managing our apartments but owning a home is a long-term goal. Others, however, might be more ready to invest in a permanent place. Wherever you are with the decision, most of us can agree that the idea is a bit daunting.

Single Girl Kristen Proctor recently made that big decision and took the leap from tenant to homeowner. She shared with The Single Diaries what that experience was like, the lessons she learned, and tips for others Single Girls looking to make the jump.

Jen: Buying a house is no small undertaking. What spurred your decision? 

Kristen: Since graduation my parents have been telling me that purchasing a house would be a good investment. I have a stable job that will keep me in my current city and no plans to leave so the timing felt right to follow their advice. I figured that since I didn’t have plans to relocate, it made more sense to put money toward a place of my own instead of continuing to rent.

J: What things did you consider when you were deciding on a house?

K: When I first started looking, I honestly had no idea what sorts of things to think about. I got the help of a realtor and just dove in. When we first began looking at houses I was uncertain of what exactly I was wanted in a house. After touring a few properties however, I realized that the most important things on my consideration list were:

  • Location
  • Price
  • Driveway: This was especially important since the area I was interested in had very limited street parking.
  • Updated:  I didn’t want a house that needed a lot of updates and was willing to spend extra not to have the work.
  • Character: I didn’t want a cookie cutter house. I wanted something that was unique and that would feel like my own.
J: Can you describe the house hunting process a little bit for those of us who’ve never been through it?

K: I started by first looking around on my own and with my parents to get an idea of what was available on the market. My next move was to ask for help from a friend who works in real estate. We met and discussed “what I was looking for” though, as I mentioned,  beyond location I really had no idea. Since I was uncertain she set up a day for us to walk though 5-6 properties in that area. Looking at more houses helped me to narrow down my criteria. Once I had a better idea what I was looking for, my friend/realtor was able to set me up with a client portal which alerted me when a house in the area/price range I was looking went on the market. We looked at 15-20 properties before I finally found “the one.”

J:What was your living situation like before moving into your own home? 

K: Before buying my own home, I was renting a house with three of my girl friends. I loved the area we were in and knew that it was where I wanted to be long-term.

J: How did you know it was the right time to move out on your own?

K: While we all loved living together, we knew that eventually the time would come that we would have to go our separate ways. When my roommates’ relationships and new jobs made it inevitable that a split would soon happen, I knew I needed to plan for my next move. That’s when I seriously started considering my parents advice and decided that when I moved out it would be into a home of my own.

J: What was the scariest part about making the leap from tenant to homeowner?

K: Honestly, it was all very nerve racking—but maybe that’s just the type of person I am! If I had to narrow it down, I would say the scariest part was making the final decision on which house to purchase. I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the right one or if I should wait for others to come on the market. I also worried about how I would decorate it after I bought it and whether or not all my furniture would fit. There were so many things to consider that hinged on that one decision!

J: What is the most exciting part about getting your first house?

K: The most exciting thing is knowing that the house is MINE! The thought is a double-edged sword. Having my own place also means that there’s no more landlord to report problems to and that I have to learn to fix things on my own. While it’s really exciting, there’s also a lot of  new responsibilities to take on.

J: What are you looking forward to most now that you have a place of your own?

K: Now that I own my house, I’m really looking forward to adding my personal touches and making it feel like my own. This is the first time I can decorate and do things exactly how I want with no compromising for parents or roommates. I’m also looking forward to having a place where I can entertain and host friends.

J: What were you feeling when you found out the house was officially yours?

K: The night I closed on the house, I felt pure excitement and accomplishment. It was a long road full of ups and downs to get to that point. I was proud of myself for not only making it through the house hunting process but also for being in a position to actually purchase a home at 25. It made all of the hard work I put into school and my job worth it!

J: That is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations! What advice would you offer to other Single Girls considering a home purchase?

K: Take your time and look at as many houses as you can, even those you may not be interested in. The more houses you look at the better you get at knowing what you want and don’t want. Lastly, be patient! You will know when it’s the right house.

Fill in the Blank

I’m going to decorate my house like: Great question! I’m still working on getting everything unpacked. I’ll worry about decorating once the boxes are gone : )

I know I’ll need a handyman to: Do everything! Since I’ve moved in my dad has helped me with everything from fixing the bathroom drain to setting up my TV. I’m learning from him so hopefully one day I’ll be able to handle these sorts of problems on my own. 

When people come over they can expect: Plenty of wine, good company, and a relaxing setting- just give me some more time to get all that settled into place!

 

first houseAs told by Kristen Proctor

More Questions for Kristen? Find her on Facebook 

What do you think? Have you purchased your first home? What advice would you offer to other Single Girls?

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