1. Shopping around for a mortgage lender is kind of like speed dating.-One thing I didn’t realize about mortgage rates? You have to visit quite a few lenders in order to find the best one, and each conversation is basically like, “Show me what you got.” We arrived with our paperwork, waited while the lender looked over our credit, then walked away with some numbers to consider.

2. Make sure you budget and plan for transitional costs. –We started looking for a home about three months before the lease on our apartment ended, assuming we’d have plenty of time to find something—and if not, we could rent month-to-month.

3. It’s really easy to get caught up in the superficial. –The first time we walked through our now-home, I immediately dwelled on everything I disliked—dust-covered counter tops, random junk left behind in cabinets, boring beige walls everywhere.

4. You might be responsible for the property abstract.  –About six months after we moved in, I received a letter in the mail to pick up our abstract paperwork from a local law firm.

5. You’ll change your mind. -I wanted three things for our first home: an attached garage, a fenced-in backyard for our dog and toddler, and a location near downtown.

6. Your home inspection will find problems, no matter what.-   I once asked our inspector, a friend, if he always finds problems with a house. He laughed and said yes, which I actually found somewhat reassuring.

7. Don’t be afraid to ask any and all questions. –In grade school, I spent a lot of time feeling nervous about asking a dumb question—and as an adult, I constantly have to remind myself that seeking knowledge, and looking silly for a hot second, is way better than feeling like you don’t understand what’s going on.




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