Buying My First Home: Making an Offer…Maybe, Possibly, Hopefully!


We walked for about three hours today, touring apartments in three different Brooklyn nabes. (The pic on the left is of a pretty flower shop we passed.) Mason, bless him, handled it all really well. Child kept it together on the slower-than-slow G train, ate a random lunch in his stroller without complaining and didn’t scream (too much) when we passed two gorgeous playgrounds and kept on walking (We have to get to apartment #3 before the open house ends, sorry!).

At least our efforts paid off. You know the saying Everything happens for a reason, right? I’m beginning to think there’s something to that.

That place I saw online last week (and loved) sold before we could even tour it. But the apartments we saw today were collectively the best we’ve seen so far–and we loved one so much we’re considering making an offer! I don’t want to jinx it, so I’m not going to share any photos of the place or give too many details….yet.  I hope you understand. We’re going to tour it again tomorrow with our realtor, so I will be sharing more. Stay tuned!

In the meantime, check out this list of things I’ve learned about house-hunting so far–and add your two cents in the comments section!

1. If the listing doesn’t have a picture of the place, skip it. It’s a huge red flag. (OK, so real estate guru Barbara Corcoran shared this tip on The Today Show a long time ago–but I never forgot it–and it’s saved us some time!)

2. Take the photos you see online with a grain of salt. Yes, I feel in love with a place after only seeing it online, but I didn’t try to buy it!  I was reminded of the difference great photography can make when we saw the first place on our list today. It was gorgeous–but the photos made it look twice as big as it actually was.

3. Be willing to look at lots of places, even the ones you’re not sure about. I griped most of the way to the second place on our list today. Chris wanted to see it, I didn’t. And you know what? He was right (yes, babe, I’m admitting to everyone that you were right). The place wasn’t quite for us, but it was lovely!

4. But if you don’t like a place, don’t feel pressured to linger. Several times I’ve walked into a place and have known immediately it wasn’t for us. So I took a quick look and left. Better to clear out and make room for the person who might want it, I think!

5. Decide how much you’re willing to spend, and stick to that number. Chris is the one who makes sure we follow this rule–I’m easily seduced by the real estate in this town. Proof that opposites attract!

6. Be patient. OK, so this is a lesson I’m still trying to master (in all aspects of my life). In fact, I’m so impatient that Chris bought me patience our first Christmas together, ie. the Guns ‘n’ Roses CD with the song “Patience.” I got you the one thing you really need, babe, patience! You gotta love his sense of humor:)

7. If something bothers you about a place when you first see it–say, the living room is oddly shaped–it will bother you forever. This is a lesson my grandma taught me years ago, and I think she’s right!

Any tips you’d like to add? Dish in the comments section below!

More Must-Clicks:

Buying My First Home Series

House-Hunting Deal Breakers

What to Ask Before Hiring a Real Estate Agent