I had always dreamed of owning my own home one day, and that is why I started the process of buying my own home a couple of months ago. It was exciting and fun. Not only was I a first time homebuyer, but I was also representing myself as my own realtor. But I wasn’t alone: I had the help of my sister and partner in our family real estate business, Emily Tobey-Dimercurio.
When I finally narrowed down my search to a handful of multi-family houses, I took the plunge and put in an offer in on a two-family fixer upper here in Gloucester. I was so excited and anxious for the seller’s response and, after a series of counteroffers back and forth, we finally settled on a price. From there I scheduled my home inspection, which I have to admit, I was a little nervous about.
Needless to say, my feelings of nervousness were dead on because my home inspector uncovered WAY too many problems. After receiving my home inspection report I found myself extremely overwhelmed by the amount of work that needed to be done on the home; repairing termite damage, mold, and water damage, to name just a few. I ended up backing out of the deal because of all the work that needed to be done.
I learned a lot from this first attempt to buy a home. First, I realized how stressed out I had been about the potential transaction and how overwhelmed I felt by having to deal with potential tenants. However, I did admire the respect that the seller had for the current tenants in the home. I know how stressful it can be for tenants when the homeowner decides to sell the home. In this situation, the seller really had the tenant’s best interest in mind when considering offers and potential buyers.
Second, I realized I had moved on from this first attempt feeling really discouraged because it didn’t work out. However, I’ve always been the type of person that believes if it’s meant to be, it will be. From here I found myself stepping out of my “realtor” role and really leaning on my sister Emily to help me with my home search. I’ve always been a very independent person, but in this situation I really needed to know that I had someone on my side and helping me along the way. I finally felt what it was like to be the “buyer” in the situation and needed my realtor to help me try again. I appreciated her opinion and guidance as I continued to look at more homes.
After shopping around a little bit more, I found a home in Gloucester that I fell in love with. This time around it was a single family home, a cute little cape style house on a side street. Every time I went into the house I felt a sense of comfort. After much consideration, I decided to put an offer in on the house. After another round of counters, the sellers accepted my offer. Then came the dreaded home inspection. I went to the home inspection expecting the worst after the first time around but was relieved when only a few minor issues came up. So I decided to continue on with the transaction.
Then came the signing of the P&S, which I have to say was the scariest thing for me so far. When I printed out and read the P&S it made this deal so real for me. I have obviously dealt with purchase and sales agreements before, but I had never been the one signing them as the buyer. I found myself really scared and questioning whether or not I would be able to do this. Buying a home is a BIG deal; it’s the biggest most important purchase you will ever make in your life. At the age of twenty-four, I really questioned whether or not I would be able to handle it all. As I pondered all of these thoughts running through my head what did I do?
I called my realtor. After talking with her, I signed the P&S and sent it to the seller’s realtor. Emily gave me the reassurance I needed, and she recognized I was scared and needed to talk about it. With her by side, we moved ahead, secured financing, and closed on the purchase of my first home of my own.
As things continue to move along, I still find myself ridiculously stressed out with homeownership, but it is stress in a good way. I’m excited and ready to move on to the next phase in my life. From the pre-approval process, to putting in offers on houses, to signing the P&S, to completing the deal at closing, it has all been stressful for me. But the entire time I had someone helping me and there when I needed them, my realtor and my sister Emily.
My greatest “lesson learned” from this process is a simple one: stay on top of things when it comes to getting your financing. Whether you do it yourself or through your realtor, double check, even triple check that your bank or mortgage company has EVERYTHING that it needs. Similar to just about everything else in life, communication is key in the home buying process.
Over the past couple months I’ve dealt with so many different emotions as I’ve bought the “perfect” home for me and my three dogs. I have to say though that the one thing that kept me sane throughout this entire process was the help and guidance that I have received from not only Emily, my realtor, but my entire Tobey Seaport Properties team. As I enjoy this new chapter of my life in my new home, I am excited to be experiencing “The American Dream”.