Are you looking for a house or are you thinking about looking for a house? Follow me on this journey as I spend time looking for the perfect multi-family for my dog, girlfriend, and I to live in.
For those who don’t know me, I’m Justin. Currently, I am a 28-year-old man renting in the city of Providence. I live in a three-bedroom apartment with my girlfriend, our dog, and two roommates. The apartment is big, but we collectively have a lot of stuff and with so many people in one place, we often step on each other’s toes. The great part about living in the city is that you can literally walk to just about any place you want to. I could take a twelve-minute walk to work or go for a two-minute walk to grab a slice of great pizza! The bad part is that I have no yard, which means I must walk the dog a few times a day – no matter how cold it gets. Plus, it’s hard to find a place for him to play since he hates just about every other dog.
So, the logical step for me was to save money and begin shopping for my dream home. Well, kind of. You see, I also want to make money and would like to not spend a ton of money on a mortgage. Being financially responsible is hard when you are house hunting. So, I decided after a lot of careful thought that I would buy a multi-family for my first home. This will allow me to keep my roommates and give the dog a place to run and play, hopefully, while still gaining some space of my own.
So, I did what every person who wants to buy a property does and immediately went to Zillow to find out how much houses were going for and what I could get in my made-up budget, as I hadn’t applied for pre-approval, yet. The good thing about this is that because I diligently followed properties being posted and watched them be sold, I got a good feel for the prices in the areas I was searching. The bad thing was that I still was just basing everything on what I thought my budget was going to be. After about a year of just searching around, I was ready for the next step in the process.
So, the big step was going to see how much money I was going to get pre-approved for. Mind you, I did save up for this house for about two years before applying. So, I didn’t just one day wake up and decide, “oh, I’m going to buy a house tomorrow.” I’m not going to lie; I was very nervous about me pre-approval. I wasn’t sure I was going to get it as I didn’t even have a credit card until about four years ago, so I didn’t have much in the way of credit. I applied anyway with a $20,000 down payment available through Better.com (link here). They pre-approved me within minutes after filling out their pre-approval questioned. In total, it only took about 10 minutes. I was approved for up to $620,000 – which was crazy to me! I didn’t feel that was within my own price range, so I limited myself to $350,000.
Now I was finally ready to start my real estate empire!
Check back for more on this series next week!