Sarah purchased her first home in 2020 and is here to share her experience.
Buying your first home can be very exciting, but it can also be very difficult. Everyone dreams of having the perfect home as they see in the movies, but it's pretty impossible to achieve in real life. In this article, I will tell you why finding the perfect home is so difficult and share my experience with you.
The biggest issue is most often the price. When buying a home, you're usually limited to how much the bank is willing to lend you, or if you're using cash, how much cash you have in your pocket at the time. The "perfect home" that everyone sees on TV often costs a lot more than you can afford, and anything that you can afford usually isn't as amazing.
Unfortunately, the bank will only lend you so much money, which is your spending limit. The bank might let you go over by a couple thousand or at most ten thousand but usually not much more than that. Therefore, if your spending limit is $200,000, but your dream home is closer to $400,000, the bank isn't going to give you that much more, so getting that $400,000 home isn't possible.
When shopping for my first home in 2020, I had a full-time job working for Disney. However, I was only making about $14 an hour, and because of the pandemic, I was the only one employed, so the bank didn't lend me very much. Most of the houses I saw were over my spending limit, so I had a very limited selection.
Thankfully, I was able to find one under my limit, so the bank had no problem giving me the mortgage, but usually, it's not that easy. When the bank gives you the preapproval amount, you only have about two to three months to find a suitable home within your spending limit, or you'll have to do the preapproval process all over again.
Another part that makes finding the perfect home difficult is the location. It can be very hard to find a home within your spending limit in the location you want. Location is always just based on personal preference, though.
Some people want their home close to downtown to be close to stores, restaurants, and shopping, while others rather have their home a little further away from downtown, where it's quiet. Ideally, people always would prefer a shorter commute to work to a longer one, so proximity to the workplace is a must. However, this isn't always possible, especially in today's real estate market.
Nowadays, homes close to where most people work are very expensive and keep going up every day. In 2020, when buying my home, I had to look almost an hour away from Walt Disney World to find something within my spending limit. Ideally, I would've liked to stay closer to Orlando or in Orlando to be closer to work, but the prices were extremely high, and anything that I could afford in Orlando needed a lot of work before it was suitable to live in.
Also, feeling safe is a must. Home prices are always lower in less safe neighborhoods, but nobody wants to feel unsafe in their homes. It's always important to find a location that is safe for living, where you don't have to worry about someone robbing you or breaking into your car.
3. Home Issues
Finally, even when you think you have found the perfect home, when you take a look inside, there are often some issues that weren't disclosed before. On the outside, the home looks perfect and pretty, but on the inside, some things need to be replaced or fixed. Even when there's nothing to be fixed, sometimes you just don't like certain aspects of the home.
Thankfully, I liked what the inside of my home looked like when the real estate agent showed it to us, but we also saw other homes, and they didn't look good at all. We toured a smaller apartment in Orlando, and everything inside needed to be replaced. Many things inside the apartment were broken or worn down, so it definitely wouldn't have been a good idea to buy that one.
All these concepts make finding the perfect home very difficult, and almost every time, there's never a perfect home. There's always going to be something that you don't like about it.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2022 Sarah Wong