home ownership

Getting Pre-Approved, Dream Home, & Homeowner Fears

Today I submitted the paper work to get pre-approved for a loan on a home.

Crazy, right!?  I know people do this all the time, but it still felt monumental for me.

We reached our minimum savings goal in late December and we’re still adding to our house down payment savings account every week.  So, we’re totally ready.  We’re beyond ready.  I’m ready to get this party started and get OUT of this apartment!

I also just happened to find the house that we’re going to buy today.

Yep.  I found our house.

I mean, we haven’t even been in it yet, but I’ve looked at easily 500 houses over the past 6 months online and there have only been two that I’ve seriously considered.

One of those was taken off the market.  The other one is the one that we’re going to buy that I just mentioned.  🙂

We drove by it tonight and we’re even more obsessed with it now.

It has everything we want.  It meets all of our MAJOR requirements:

  • Convenient location (near our church, gym, and the highway that we use to commute to work)
  • Private but not-so-private location (we wanted a house with a somewhat private backyard but one that was still in the city)
  • Huge island in the middle of the kitchen (Below is an example from a MUCH nicer kitchen than the one in our potential first-home, but it gives you an idea of the big, flat island I’m looking for.)


  • Fabulous outdoor area (this house has a fantastic deck, a HUGE yard – 1/3 of an acre to be exact – and it’s fenced to boot, which means we could buy a dog ASAP)
  • Bada$$ master suite – ‘nuff said
  • Four bedrooms plus an office
  • Open concept –  the kitchen flows through the breakfast nook to the living room

The one thing it doesn’t have (I’m assuming, anyway, since it avoids this topic on the home description) is a finished basement.  Not a big deal since we’re planning to be in this house for many years, so we can always finish the basement at our leisure.

But, like I said, I haven’t even been inside the house yet.

After we get pre-approved, I’m going to talk to our realtor to see if we can get an appointment to take a looksie.

We went to four open houses this past weekend and I’m so happy we did because seeing other houses will give us an idea of how this house stacks up to others.  I’d also like to see a couple more houses this weekend just so I don’t jump in too fast.

But I totes love the house.  (Don’t tell my realtor I said that.)

When we got home after stalking the house/neighborhood for a good half hour tonight, I started to freak out because it’s starting to get real.

First, it started with paying off student loans and car loans.  After that, we began saving like a bunch of crazy people for a down payment (like, we saved more than half of all of our paychecks and a good chunk of my freelance income).  Now, some three or four years later, we’re FINALLY here!

Since I was having a little mini freak-out session about spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on a house, my husband and I talked about what our biggest fears were of actually taking the leap:

  • My fear: Being locked into payments for 20-30 years.
  • His fear: Buying a lemon, or just finding out something is wrong with it after we buy it.

Luckily, we have saved so much that our mortgage payment will be way under our budget.  One of us could even get fired or quit our jobs and we’d still be able to pay our mortgage payment.  And, when I told my mom what my husband’s fear was tonight, she said the seller has to sign something to say there isn’t anything wrong with the house that they know about and, of course, we’ll have an inspection.

So, our fears are just silly.

Next step:  Get our pre-approval finalized (hopefully tomorrow or the next day) and then go visit the dream house!  I’d also like to visit 5-10 other houses this weekend just to see what else is out there.


  • Congrats on the first step towards home ownership! My husband and I bought our first house just over two years ago. I totally hear you on worrying about the house being a lemon, etc…but your home inspection will put you at ease. I felt empowered and much more comfortable with purchasing our house after our home inspection.

    I think the other thing to remember is houses come and houses go. And this most likely won’t be your first and last house. Enjoy the process and making your first place your home!

  • Congrats! I am in the same boat as you! We should hear back from our mortgage banker today on what we’re pre-approved for! Unfortunately we haven’t found *the* house yet, but that’s so exciting! Good luck with your first showing!

  • Congratulations! We went through that whole process at this time last year. It was a little intimidating at times, but it all worked out in the end. Now we’re going through the mortgage refinancing process.

  • Congratulations! I think it’s awesome you created a long term plan and stuck with it. One of my biggest fears with getting a mortgage based off two incomes is that one of the incomes will disappear (for whatever reason). You’re smart in saving up a big down payment and taking out a mortgage that’s much less than you can afford currently.

  • Congrats, Amber and Adam!

    It was definitely a monumental step for me when I submitted the paperwork to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan! Everything in this process has been crazy steps 🙂

    As for being locked into payments for 20-30 years, you would have a rent payment for the rest of your life if you continued renting, no? So paying your mortgage is just like that, except at some point, you won’t have to pay it anymore.

    And as for buying a lemon, hopefully you get a good inspector and that’ll tell you whether or not you want to buy a particular house 🙂 I wouldn’t always believe the seller – their interest is in selling the house. But you are paying the inspector to tell you about problems. An inspection on a house can take an entire day!

    Mortgages are so complicated, but you guys are smart and I’m sure you’ll be fine – it sounds like you guys have been saving to be super cautious about this process.

  • Congrats on taking the first step! We just bought a house (moved in 4 days ago) and I had a lot of the same fears. We bought a house that needs a small amount of work, but since we bought it on one income we are able to do those upgrades soon (we gutted one bathroom before we moved in actually). I’m terrified of being house poor, but the inspection calmed my fears a lot and we got a home warranty in case something like the water heater breaks in 2 months. The process was terrifying, but i feel calmer now that we are living in the home.

  • BF and I are in the same boat! We have been saving for almost 2 years but in Southern Cali, we have only 25% for a nice condo. We got preapproved and made an offer around Christmas but we did not get that one so we are on to try another place. I do like this place much better so we shall see!

  • Congrats! That’s so exciting. We own a house but are planning on moving next year to be closer to family so my husband has been looking at houses online. It’s fun to envision what it’d be like to live in a certain house. I hope your dream house turns out to be everything you’re hoping.

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