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When I started looking for my first home, I toured 248 houses in 15 communities! I was a freshly licensed real estate agent who had access to all listings in the Greater Boston area; I knew how to fill out an offer and had all the tools, but gosh, I learned everything in the course but did not know anything! I remember my first house hunt as one of the worst experiences ever. But what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger!
Lesson 1

Your Home is Too Small

 

During my childhood years asking for help was considered a weakness, but we did have an abundance of time and nothing to lose. Nowadays time is precious, so use it wisely.  Do not make this common mistake, especially when the buyer’s representation is FREE! I did not ask anyone. I was thinking (as a realtor!) that this was simple, that I knew everything. Why would I ask someone who didn’t have any business in my succeeding except earning EASY money, especially if I have all the information on the internet?  I wish to have with me someone who is not emotionally attached and have a fresh and holistic perspective on a whole process.

Lesson 2

Know your priorities
I drove everywhere to every listing in my price point which has beautiful pictures. It was crazy! What was I thinking? Fresh off the boat with two small kids, a husband who was working 18 hours a day and spent at least two weeks in a month traveling. Almost no friends. No family. No network. I was looking at the houses in the middle of nowhere because they had lovely porches and big kitchens! My American Dream House…

 

Biggest first-time home buyers mistakes. Finding a beautiful house and adjusting life to it!
After six months, at least ten offers (I was a terrible negotiator back then!), almost quit real estate!

However, my husband pushed me to stay… and there is a time for

 

Lesson 3

Imagine how would you like your life looks like in 2-5 years?
Disappointed with the outcome of our search, tired and frustrated, we took a break, left for a weekend, and talked. Searching for the right criteria essential for us. We lined up the most important requirements:

  • be a part of the community
  • buying at a comfortable price for us to have possibilities to travel
  • access to good schools and after-school possibilities
  • diverse neighborhood
  • have neighbors but also a place to grow tomatoes
  • have pets
  • be close to Boston
  • access to public transportation for our soon-to-be a teenager

Lesson 4

Try out a neighborhood, eat, walk ,play
 

Automatically, 12 areas were eliminated from the communities we were looking at. We did more research and spent some time in all three towns, and then we scratched off another one. The two we picked were acutely similar neighborhoods. This process changed everything! After another two weeks, knowing what was essential for our family, we get FINALLY! accepted an offer.

 

Lesson 5

Do not have regrets! Enjoy your choice. Remember – you made the best decision you could at the time you did it!

Enjoy your choice, and be proud! Having a house is a significant achievement:)!

 

After eight years, we are still leaving in the same community, and our kids are happy here. We have a dog and two cats, and sometimes, we have tomatoes (we learned that we are not gardening types). We love our neighbors and have a lot of friends.  

Buying my first home taught me how to navigate my clients better and how to help them prioritize. This experience made me a better real estate agent! I realized that this profession is not as easy as it sounds, but is really rewarding to have a  big impact at peoples lives.