Buying a home can be both overwhelming and exciting, but especially so for first-time buyers. There are so many things to think about and consider. A professional and knowledgeable Realtor® can help navigate everything with you and guide you along the entire process.
So, of course, if you are thinking about buying a home in the Boise area, we hope you will give us a call! We promise to help you with every step of the home buying process and beyond. But, in the meantime, enjoy the story below with tips from first-time home buyers:
Realtor.com® has teamed up with one of BuzzFeed’s most popular couples, Ned and Ariel Fulmer, as they take the leap and become homeowners for the first time. In a three-episode video series, you can follow the couple and their dog, Bean, as they navigate the hilarious, yet challenging twists and turns of buying their first home.
Like any first-time home buyer, Ned and Ariel learned a lot along the way.
“Home means family. It means a space that you can call your own and customize to your needs,” said Ariel. “Lots of factors can affect the investment value but at the end of the day it is a space that is ours, that we actually own and we are incredibly proud of that.”
Ned and Ariel found their perfect home, and they recently shared five key tips for all of you first-time home buyers out there looking to go from home dreamer to homeowner.
- Get the latest tech and explore. The latest in real estate technology allows you to explore potential homes in new, unique ways. Realtor.com® offers 3D tours through Matterport, Sign Snap that allows you to take a picture of a for-sale sign and instantly see a home’s listing details, and Ned and Ariel’s favorite feature, Street Peek, which is available on Android. Realtor.com® has a very cool augmented reality feature called ‘Street Peek,’” said Ned. “You hover your phone over houses in your neighborhood and the price, and number of bedrooms and bathrooms pops up. We had a lot of fun driving through different neighborhoods to see if we liked the vibe of each street and checking out how much each house cost.”
- Check in with the professionals. Knowing how much home you can afford is always the first step when starting the journey toward home ownership. Mortgage brokers and real estate agents can provide you with professional insights on what you can likely afford based on your requirements and preferred neighborhood. “We went into our search without a clear sense of what our budget was, which was a huge mistake,” said Ariel. “If we had spoken with a loan officer or a real estate agent from the very beginning of the process we could have narrowed the scope of our search and potentially saved a lot of time and heartache. There were more than a few houses that we fell in love with, but couldn’t make a strong offer because we didn’t have a pre-qualification letter yet.” Realtor.com® also has a helpful mortgage calculator that can help you gauge what your estimated payment would be for the home you’re dreaming about.
- Be open to compromises. We all dream of that perfect home with the huge walk-in closets, real hardwood floors and an open kitchen, but sometimes the reality of your budget, commute and other factors come into play. Compromising is always key when buying a home, especially with a significant other. “We had to make some pretty major compromises. I work from home as an interior designer and Ned commutes to the BuzzFeed Studio in Hollywood. We had a real ‘space vs. commute’ debate,” said Ariel. “If we moved farther away, we could suddenly afford space for an office and a guest room and a nursery, but then I would never see my husband because he would be sitting in traffic for two hours a day. It was tough but I think we ultimately found a compromise.” Realtor.com® can help with this through tools like our Commute Time calculator that shows you how long it would take you to get to work from the home you’re interested on the listing detail page and plenty of tips on how to maximize space and make improvements. “We really had to settle on a middle ground because there was nothing we saw that was absolutely perfect from the get-go,” Ned added. “In the house that we ended up buying (no spoilers!), Ariel got her home office and we managed to keep my commute under 30 minutes (which, in L.A. seems like a miracle).”
- Let your imagination run wild. Home dreaming is half of the fun and at realtor.com®, we encourage it. It’s okay to be imaginative and look at houses that are out of your price range for inspiration. “Even when we couldn’t afford something, it was fun just to browse and imagine being fancy. Sometimes we would put on a slight British accent and pretend we were foreign investors,” Ned said. “Let your imagination run wild and visualize every space as if it’s your own house. You’ll ultimately find the right one for you!” When you find a house that’s within your budget and has major potential, start thinking about simple improvements that will make it your very own. Once you get those keys, you can claim your home on realtor.com®’s My Home to help you manage your home and get inspiration for future remodeling projects. “As an interior designer who loves to DIY, the thought of being able to knock down walls is a dream come true for me. When you buy, there is a potential to make the space whatever you want instead of having to work within the parameters of a rental,” Ariel said. “We also have a baby on the way, so having more space and setting down roots were important to us.”
- Patience pays off. Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life, so try to be patient and enjoy the process. It can be a long one, but keep your eye on the prize. “It takes a long time to buy a house! Not only do you have to actually find the house of your dreams, but especially in the L.A. real estate market, you don’t always get the first house that you make an offer on,” said Ned. [This is happening sometimes in Boise right now with more buyers than available inventory.] “We were looking for over two years and found that we had the best luck when we finally agreed with each other that it was the location that mattered the most.” Once you are ready to make a commitment to a home, it can be scary but Ned and Ariel say don’t sweat it too much and jump right in. “Actually committing to putting in an offer was a HUGE step for us. We definitely agonized over which house to choose,” said Ariel. “Once you realize that no house is going to be 100 percent perfect, it gets a lot easier because every house can become perfect if you make it your own.” There’s no better feeling than getting those keys and stepping into a home that’s finally yours. Explore, have fun with it like Ned and Ariel did, and don’t forget you’re not just buying a property, you’re making a home. And here at realtor.com®, we understand that home means everything because it means everything to us, too!
Watch the first episode:
Watch the second episode:
More episodes can be found at: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=ned+and+ariel+buzzfeed
Templeton Real Estate Group is located in beautiful East Boise. The Barber Valley has breathtaking scenery and wildlife found in the Boise Foothills, the Boise River and Greenbelt Barber Park and Marianne Williams Park. In addition, residents can enjoy Boise’s acclaimed Shakespeare Festival, concerts and events at the Botanical Gardens, local favorite Lucky 13 and the Coffee Mill are just a short bike ride away! Bown Crossing is also close as are great schools and a fabulous new Library!
We’d love to hear from you and help with your real estate needs – whether buying or selling, whether first-time or long-time! Call today - 208.473.2203.
By Bonnie Way Snider, Licensed Realtor® and Blogger