Preparing to buy your first home, like training for a marathon

Last summer my husband Mike trained for and completed his first marathon – Twin Cities.  In doing so there were decisions he needed to make every week – when to run, how to cross-train, how to recover and how to stay motivated.  I took on the role of #1 fan pre-race and on race-day, which included reminding him to hydrate, encouraging him to get up in the early a.m. and run as planned and find friends to do the long runs with around town.  On race day, Mike had a little trepidation when I drove him to the start.  Along with thousands of others, he looked strong at various mile markers throughout the day.  I met him with a smile, jolly ranchers and goo.  Race day went well and at the finish line we celebrated with friends and family.

How is this possibly like being a first time home buyer?  Buying your first home involves a lot of decisions up until making the decision on which home to buy.

It might be intimidating to think of how you will ever be ready to buy.  Like marathon training it is about taking one step at a time.  Most of us don’t wake up one morning and go out and run a marathon that day but we can do it with training and support.  Similarly, with some planning and helpful resources you can buy your first house in 2011 by laying out a home buying plan.

  • Meet with a couple good lenders, learn financing options and pick one to work with.
  • Based on input from your lender, you will have some financial strategies to consider.  Specifically how much cash you will need on hand to make an offer.
  • Figure out who your “fans/support people” are and rally them to your home buying cause.  Include them in the house hunting if they will be helping you pick a home.  Pick their brains about home ownership.
  • Align yourself with a realtor who serves as a knowledgeable resource for where you are looking.  Take your time to get to know the market so when you find the right home you are ready to make an offer.

Enjoy celebrating your new home with friends and family.

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