7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Buying My First House

After a decade of apartment living, my husband and I finally saved up enough money to buy our first home last year. We did our due diligence—checked our credit, got pre-approved, found a realtor we loved—and then on the first weekend of open houses, made an offer. Sounds straightforward, right? Not quite. The entire process was actually much more complicated and stressful than I expected, despite having our ducks in a row beforehand, and we spent most of the time Googling unfamiliar phrases or asking our agent a million questions. Here are seven things I wish I had known before becoming a first-time home buyer.

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

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3 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Started Investing in Real Estate

I like to think I’m a pretty seasoned real estate investor, but that wasn’t always the case. Like most, I’ve learned quite a few lessons along the way. Here are three things in particular I wish I’d known before buying my first investment property so you hopefully can avoid them before you get started.

1. Don’t underestimate how much money you’ll need

One mistake I made before buying my first investment property was not leaving enough cash in the bank to deal with unforeseen expenses. My lender required a 20% down payment and six months’ worth of mortgage payments in reserve. But that was by no means enough.

For one thing, the property needed some significant repairs shortly after closing (which I knew about). These ate up most of the reserves right away. Then one of the units took longer than expected to rent out, and the business account I

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