2 Things We Learned from Buying a Home the Non- Traditional Way
This Post is Sponsored by Offerpad
This March will mark the 5-year anniversary of us buying our first home. If you are house hunting now, I am sharing our first home purchase story today and 2 lessons you can walk away with from our non-traditional experience. If you are looking for ways to save money when buying or selling a home, today’s post is for you!
As big of a surprise as this may be, Kevin and I are both super analytical and are always thinking about our exit strategy. You know, the retirement plan, the forever business. Our goal this year is to become fully debt free and begin the search for our next investment property. We fell into our current home by luck and ended up not paying any realtor fees and landed a pretty good deal when financing our home. As we start our search for the next investment property, I wanted to recap 3 lessons we learned to help you save the most money and time, whether you are buying your first or 10th home.
1. Look beyond the regular market
We stumbled upon our house while attending an open house down the street. It was actually such a coincidence because we were asking for directions to the open house and the couple we spoke with were preparing to put their house on the market. We did the whole transaction without a realtor and were able to negotiate a much lower than market price because the sellers didn’t have to pay for seller agent fees. Now, this opportunity is rare but there are markets and services out there beyond the standard listings to consider.
I am so excited to introduce my Houston followers to a platform to buy or sell homes – Offerpad. Offerpad is now in Houston, and is a great way to buy or sell homes simply and quickly all online in a streamlined, no headache process. And guess what, it eliminates a lot of the fees associated with buying and selling too.
No more playing phone tag with an agent to schedule showings. This was one of the hardest things to coordinate when we were house hunting because Kevin and I both worked. Buyers can self-tour Offerpad’s homes for sale with Instant Access and through the mobile app. Visit any of available Offerpad homes between 6:00 am–11:00 pm on Monday – Sunday. Simply enter the code given from the app and you can view homes on your own time, at your own pace. You can also negotiate the offer directly with Offerpad, view the pricing details here: https://www.offerpad.com/pricing/.
This is where it gets really interesting! One of my biggest fears when searching for our next home is carrying 2 mortgages. Offerpad eliminates this fear with a fast purchase offer. You can visit Offerpad.com, request a free purchase offer and within 24 hours receive an offer. No showings, no staging, no interruptions to your current life. Once an offer is accepted, you can choose a closing date that works best for you, whether that is two weeks or 90 days, you are in control of the timeline. Offerpad even moves you for free within a 50 mile radius. Selling to Offerpad in Houston means you never have to deal with any of the hassles of owning 2 homes, paying for realtor fees, getting your house show ready or making concessions to buyers. It’s simple and all done online.
I know you must have a million questions! Offerpad’s FAQ section is super informative. To see their home listings, visit the Buy Page here!
2. Shop around for your lender
The second thing we learned very quickly is to think about the financing ahead of time and shop for your lender. Yes, everyone recommends getting a pre-approval letter from your bank but that doesn’t mean you should take the first bank’s lending offer as it may not be the lowest possible rate. We went through a mortgage broker who could provide several lending offers and rates. We also used the same broker to refinance our home after owning it for 2 years from a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year mortgage. Because the broker had access to several different product lines, he found us the lowest price possible with a different lender. We paid $500ish more for our monthly payment and knocked off 15 years to our loan with a combination of a lower interest rate. The lesson is to know exactly where you stand and shop around to know your options! This way, if you decide to purchase the non-traditional way, there are no surprises.
So why are we able to pay off our $300K+ mortgage in 5 years? It’s a combination of getting a great deal on the purchase, planning for renovations ahead of time, power paying off our other debts and refinancing. I knew early on that over 80% of our monthly premiums were going to paying interest alone. Looking at the amortization schedule made us that much more motivated. We didn’t get really serious about paying off our mortgage until 2 years in. I think the first year, we learned a lot about budgeting and home renovations. Once we got used to our new spending habits, we saved whenever we could. We used the snowball method and power paid off our cars the last 2 years. Then we put what we would have paid in car loans into our mortgage loans. That alone was an extra $1K a month knocking down the principle. We also took our residual savings (after tuition fund and investments) and put it towards the principle every quarter. Being a debt free family is our goal this year. With simple tools and a crazy amount of determination, I know we can do this. If we can, I know you can too!
Buying and selling a home should be and fun! I hope these 2 simple tips help you land the home or investment property of your dreams. Happy Hunting!