Life Lately: We’re First Time Home Buyers Building a House

Are you a first time home buyer building a house? I’m sharing the details of our experience purchasing our first home.

Life Lately: We're First Time Home Buyer Building a House - Bianca Dottin

The cat’s out of the bag. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know about a couple of weeks ago we officially began construction on our new home. This has been 2 years in the making. It seems so surreal that our family is finally making the leap. We’re humbled, excited, thankful, afraid, and so many other things. Being a first time home buyer building a house is a big step for anyone at any stage in life. There are so many things that go into buying and building a home.

We started our search two years ago when I was still pregnant with Tristan. Our goal was to move into our home before we welcomed Tristan into the world but God and Tristan had other plans. If you know our story, you know that we ended up in the NICU and buying our first home was put on hold.

I’m glad it was. I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to go through the home building process while having a baby in the NICU. Honestly, I’m pretty sure it would have sent me into a spiral. We all would have been emotionally confused, not being able to truly celebrate this milestone in our lives.

The funny thing is that on the day Tristan was born I was with our real estate agent. He had showed me a few houses that morning. I was convinced the last home we walked through was the home for us. Had my water broken in that home, I have no doubt that we would’ve probably bought that home but in the end things worked out the way they were supposed to.

If you’re a first time home buyer building a house, there’s a few things that I want to share with you before you make the big decision.

Life Lately: We’re First Time Home Buyers Building a House

1. Always go with your gut.

Through our search for our very first home, we looked at probably about 20 homes – both new construction and already occupied. None of them ever really felt right. Before even beginning our search we knew what things we wanted to have in our home and what things we could live without.

Originally we wanted a fixer upper. A fixer upper would have allowed us to stay within budget and get the yard space that we wanted. However, fixer uppers take time and often bring added stress when unexpected things come up. After sleeping on it for some time, we decided that a fixer upper wasn’t right for us right now. We were willing to make small changes but right now we’re at the point in our lives where we just can’t take on a complete fixer upper. We love to travel and we’d much rather spend our money on experiences for our family than pouring into our home.

2. Consult your partner.

I have to give my husband a lot of props! He is probably the most amazing partner that I could ask for. He’s very easy going and doesn’t ask for a lot. The three things that were a must for him in our new home was a garage, man cave space, and a backyard. As long as the home had those things, everything else was pretty much up to me. I consult him before making any decisions that will affect our family so it made coming to a final decision easier.

3. Know your credit score.

It’s an absolute must to know your credit score before making any big purchases. Your credit score is important when buying a home because it is going to affect your mortgage rate when you’re being qualified for home loans. We had been in the process of finding a home for two long years so we had to make sure that our credit remained untouched for that period of time. It was rough.

4. Be aware of the costs.

I’m a money person and I like to know every detail. When we were working with our builder and mortgage company, I made sure to get a detailed sheet of all the costs we would incur when building our home. Some of the costs that were included were closing costs, down payment, our mortgage rate, and expected monthly mortgage payment.

Of course most banks and credit unions won’t approve you for a mortgage that you won’t be able to afford but we wanted to have all of the numbers in hand before signing any contracts. Be sure not to take on more of a mortgage than you can handle. We always factor in savings and an emergency fund allotment into our calculations because you never know what might happen.

Once you’ve got all of your costs down, think about where the money will come from. The paper trail is real y’all! You can’t just be giving mattress money to your mortgage guy for your down payment. That’s not going to cut it. You have to show a record of where every penny comes from.

I can’t wait to move into our very first home together. We’ve worked so hard for this and sacrificed so much. It really is a bittersweet milestone but I don’t think Tristan would rather have it any other way. He’s with us every step of the way and he’ll be just a part of our new home as he is a part of our home now.

I’ll be sharing more about the progress and design inspiration for our home on Instastories and social so be sure to follow me @BiancaDottin on every platform!

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  • Reply
    07.23.18 at 6:12 pm

    Building a house can cost more, but it’s so worth it to get exactly what you want. I still wish we would have built.

  • Reply
    07.24.18 at 12:39 am

    We are in the process of researching costs right now on our homebuying journey. I worry we won’t find anything either (we are also in Florida).

  • Reply
    07.24.18 at 12:41 am

    So much to consider! As much as I am excited to someday own our own house, it sure sounds like a lot of work just to get through the choosing & buying!

  • Reply
    07.24.18 at 12:42 am

    Thank you for sharing this information. We haven’t purchased our first home yet. It will come in handy when the time comes.

  • Reply
    Liz Mays
    07.24.18 at 12:55 am

    Taking big steps like this can be intimidating but I think your advice is spot on. This should be such an exciting time!

  • Reply
    Reesa Lewandowski
    07.24.18 at 3:01 am

    I am so jealous of people who have affordable options when it comes to home buying. Here in New Jersey, it is just horrible! Best of luck on your journey!

    • Reply
      Bianca Dottin
      07.25.18 at 2:35 am

      Florida is accepting residents. It’s affordable here!

  • Reply
    07.24.18 at 3:29 am

    Good luck with all of this. We built our townhouse. It was definitely stressful.

  • Reply
    07.24.18 at 4:01 am

    Enjoy the adventure of a lifetime. I remember when we bought our first home and how exciting it was to finally have a place that was all ours.

  • Reply
    Dawn Lopez
    07.24.18 at 7:12 am

    Building your own home sounds amazing! Definitely the most important thing, in my eyes is consulting with my partner.

  • Reply
    07.24.18 at 7:17 am

    Building your own home? How fun and scary! That has always been a dream of mine.

  • Reply
    Krystel | Travel on a Budget
    07.24.18 at 2:07 pm

    Buying a home is a much more stressful process than people think. Posts like this gives people love and reason

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