Homeowners Reveal Their Secrets: ‘How I Snagged My Home!’

Homeowners Reveal Their Secrets: ‘How I Snagged My Home!’

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Homeowners Reveal Their Secrets: ‘How I Snagged My Home!’

When you’re flicking through an endless succession of listing photos for pricey homes, the leap from touring open houses to opening your very own front door can seem impossible.

Yet millions of homes are sold every year, so there’s got to be a way to get to the closing table. And it turns out, there are many ways.

We asked real homeowners to share how they snagged the perfect house and gathered the top tips on how these once-hopeful house hunters became homeowners. Here’s a breakdown of their strategies, from saving early and considering houses that need work.

‘I bought a house that needed a renovation’

Pretty much all of us want a turnkey home. One we can just move into, set up our furniture, and never look back. But sometimes it’s the diamonds in the rough that pay off in the long run.

Linda Chester, founder of TheHealthHour.com, bought an old house in need of work that had been sitting on the market for almost a year.

“The purchase price was low due to the work needed, so we didn’t have to pay much upfront,” says Chester.

Bonus: Because the home needed a major upgrade, she was able to roll the cost of the remodel into the mortgage.

“We did a home renovation loan instead of a conventional mortgage, so we only had to put down 3% of the purchase cost instead of 20%,” explains Chester.

In the end, the project “worked out wonderfully,” according to Chester. “We improved the value of the house so much with the remodeling that we ended up with over 20% equity in the house,” she notes. “And got to ditch our private mortgage insurance.”

‘I downsized to save money’

Elle Petrillo, director of strategic growth at Brand Builders Group, cut corners to save up for a home so she’d be ready financially when the right property came along.

“When I was moving into a new apartment, I opted for a studio instead of the beautiful one-bedroom loft that I fell in love with,” Petrillo explains. She wanted to “save money that I could put toward a down payment.”

Thirteen months later, Petrillo’s good friends called to say they found a house that they wanted to buy—and offered to sell their Nashville, TN, home to her.

Petrillo’s pals had three dogs, which made showings and open houses tough. And because Petrillo had saved on rent for more than a year, she was ready to pounce.

“I knew it was a great deal as we are in a competitive market and the house was in great shape,” adds Petrillo. “The stars aligned at the right time, and it was the smoothest transaction.”

‘We bought a foreclosure’

When AJ Silberman-Moffitt of Tandem got married, she and her husband began to house hunt in South Florida.

“But each place had something wrong or missing,” says Silberman-Moffitt.

Then their agent told them about a house that suddenly became available when its sale contract fell through. It was a single-family home on a cul-de-sac. It had three bedrooms, two baths, a laundry room, an open-space living room, a dining room, a two-car garage, and a backyard pool.

But the home was a neglected foreclosure owned by the bank and had tons of problems as well.
The issues ranged from dead animals in the pool to outdated popcorn ceilings.

“As I stood in the living room, I started crying,” says Silberman-Moffitt. “When my husband asked me what was wrong, I explained that the house had everything, but it would take a lot of work to make it livable.”

The couple took a leap of faith and put in an offer.

“When all was said and done, we ended up buying that house,” adds Silberman-Moffitt. “Though it’s far from perfect, it’s about perfect for us.

‘Don’t fall in love with one home’

Some buyers hit a wall when they search for that one perfect home, which just may not exist.

So John Gresham from BuildFanatic.com took a different approach. Instead of a single home he had to have, he widened his search by focusing on a neighborhood instead.

“I’m a retired contractor and a keen DIYer, so I was looking for a project home,” explains Gresham. “I chose the specific area even down to the specific street I wanted to buy on.”

Gresham then waited for homes to come up for sale on the street and made offers on four homes until a seller accepted his offer.

“The offer was 16% below the asking price as the home needed some work,” says Gresham. “And that was fine for me.”

Gresham says the moral of his homebuying story is simple: “Don’t fall in love with any one home,” he advises. “Instead, fall in love with an area. The home can be changed, whereas the location cannot. And you might also snag yourself a bargain!”

‘I got super lucky’

For some homeowners, it’s all about patience and planning. And for others, it’s simply about being in the right place at the right time.

Kelsey OCallaghan, a first-time homeowner, chalks her journey to homeownership entirely up to her lucky stars.

OCallaghan and her husband were chatting one day about possibly moving out of their apartment and buying a home in about a year.

“And I said to him, ‘Well, what if we find a house online that we just love?’” explains OCallaghan. “I then pulled up the first, random house on a real estate homepage in our town of Pensacola, FL.”

The stars were aligned that day.

“We fell in love with that random house, toured it the next day, put in an offer on the spot, and closed on it four weeks later,” says OCallaghan, who used a Veterans Affairs home loan for the deal. “It was perfect—and hilarious—timing,” adds OCallaghan.


Source: www.realtor.com

Author: Margaret Heidenry


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