Buying a first home is an experience we will probably remember for a long time. A time of feeling that a long held need had finally come to pass. In reality it was the first step of a continuing journey. Now this journey both good and bad, is a real learning curve.
There were a lot of things about buying and owning a house that I didn’t know or wasn’t told. It’s amazing how quickly you learn when you have to.
From the start my wife and I decided to get a new house built. I would have to say that from the time we first started looking at display homes from the countless house builders, until the time we signed off to have our house built would have been a good three years. The reason why it took so long was that I wanted to pay off our car loan. Purchase the major things we needed like white goods, basic furniture and other electrical goods. This was on top of saving for an initial deposit for the house.
Looking back out of all the financial products I could buy, I wish that I hadn’t had purchased that car – it was such a lemon, a great financial loss and basically a major set back. I could have used the money that it devalued by, towards the house. Knowing what I know now, if I was in that same situation again I would buy a car that I know would last me a good ten years. The last thing you need when you are buying your first home is a car that needs constant repair or attention.
Have you heard the saying champagne taste on a beer budget? Well if you hadn’t, neither did we until we started looking at display homes. Basically the saying means you don’t have enough money to buy what you like or what you are looking at. It felt like that with nearly all the houses we looked at. I guess listening to all the people who said it’s impossible to get your dream home, all my life, I had almost started believing them. I had the small grass hopper mentality.
That mentality that I couldn’t do it had to go, it was holding me back from even deciding on what houses I liked. That all changed when I saw I was going nowhere fast and we would be stuck in the same situation forever. Then one day after much thought we sat down and decided what type of house we would want and how we were going to manage to afford it. Now the type of house design we wanted was decided, this would eliminate looking at houses that didn’t meet our initial criteria.
Our next step was to look at the type of houses that fitted the criteria that we decided on. Now one thing became apparent by looking at countless display houses is that for any given price the ultimate choice comes down to two elements. Ready for some important information! The two elements basically boil down to either size or features. This finding would mainly apply to people who are buying a spec house or a display home.