On how they felt about the buying process and their financial decision:
BB "Terrified. I am now in the process of securing a mortgage to buy the property from my parents, and I am suddenly regretting every pitcher of PBR, and every pair of skinny jeans that was ever bought on credit. My W-2 from the year I spent working as a nanny looks so pathetic in lending terms, when at the time I was just excited to get a hefty tax refund! Luckily, it also reminds me that I know how to live frugally. If I once lived on $11,000 a year, financially independent of my parents, I can handle a monthly mortgage payment on the income I have now. Securing the actual mortgage is the hump I've yet to cross."
NM "When buying anything I tend to do a lot of reading and research, a lot of looking around, and in the case of the house I did a lot of number crunching, so that I would have a clear idea of what I was getting myself into. There are a lot of factors beyond what the mortgage payment will look like, and it helped that I had thought carefully about those aspects before making the commitment. I looked at one house in August that I thought was really great, ready to move into without needing any work, and the best part was that the kitchen was just the kind of kitchen I thought I wanted. But it was $45,000 more than what I ended up with, and my agent Kim Myers helped me to realize that saving $45,000 on the purchase price frees up cash to renovate a kitchen and still have money left over for other improvements."
KM "It was incredibly overwhelming but still seemed smarter than continuing to pay some landlord's mortgage payment every month. Admittedly, I felt bad about how much help I needed from my parents, but they are amazingly supportive ... and most importantly we worked out a system where they are investors in any profit made off the sale of the house, when that day comes."
JR "I was pretty comfortable with all the hoops. I'd been around the industry all my life — my mother was in real estate so I was pretty familiar with it. I've since obtained my real estate license so I can look at properties without feeling the pressure of the hard-sell tactics of real estate agents in general. That's really the most annoying part of the process. Look out for big hair or a toothy grin, and try to avoid anyone driving a Lexus — it's a tell-tale sign that you're about to get fleeced."
On how the current economic situation affects them as homebuyers:
BB "The current economic climate has both helped and hurt me in striving to become a homeowner. On one hand, I know now that I need a fixed-rate mortgage. If the news stories haven't driven that into me enough, then living next door to a house that was foreclosed on certainly has! The process of getting approved is also a little harder now, than it would have been a year or two ago. The credit score needed to impress a lender has gone up a lot, for example, and the people I've spoken with haven't exactly been charmed by my smile in a way that will ever make them forget my lack of savings! That said, I'm glad it's tough to get approved. I would never want to take on owning a house before I was ready for the responsibility."