Top: Lauren James | Jeans: American Eagle |  Shoes: Keds (Similar linked) | Earrings: Bauble Bar Necklace: Kendra Scott

I’m a homeowner! Closing, moving (from 2 states), and unboxing has been hectic.  With this new exciting season I haven’t been able to post my fashion looks as I would like.  To be honest, lately all I have been living is work clothes and sweats. I’ve been adding some nicer comfy gear like my Lauren James top, so I wouldn’t look so much like a scrub haha. Every day working on unpacking, putting together new items, and slowly but surely completing our home.  We have a long way to go, but we are taking our time and enjoying the journey.  

I am not going to go away from posting fashion looks, it just won’t be solely what I share.  Part of blogging you want it to be genuine for where you are in life.  And currently I haven’t been getting dressed up all the time, I have been knee deep in the garage lol. I will have a nice balance of home, fashion, parenting, and lifestyle.  Many things make up Taryn so it is only fair that I share all of it. 

Any who…I will slowly but surely show the journey of completing our home and tips along the way! Before I dive into decor I wanted my first life + style to be dedicated to the home buying process.

Sharing 5 tips from our home buying process to hopefully help you in the process of purchasing your next home! 

1. SAVE YOUR MONEY: I know this is cliche to say, but it is the realest thing I could have ever learned from this process.  Buying a home is hella expensive.  When we moved from Michigan to Texas we were fortunate to stay with my sister for a few months while we searched for an apartment. Once it was time for us to make the decision to move into an apartment, we were faced with some choices.  We wanted to rent a 3 bedroom apartment, but the price was just so expensive.  It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford it, we just thought why pay more for something that we DON’T OWN. So we made a huge sacrifice, we put our 7 yr. old and 2 yr. in the same room. Going to a 2 bedroom wasn’t ideal, and Cameron was never a fan. 

I tell this story because we made this sacrifice to allow us to save even more money towards owning a home. We didn’t focus on the short-term we were looking at our end goal. I kept the apartment pretty basic.  Didn’t jazz it up too much, got temporary furniture, because I knew where we wanted to be. This downsize allowed us to save even more, and pay off that annoying debt. 

Between our down payment, closing costs, and buying furniture the savings was imperative for our purchase. So as much as you hear SAVE, it’s real, definitely SAVE. You may be in a position where you don’t have to go to extreme measures to save, which is great! However you can, just SAVE.

2. CREDIT CHECK:  If you don’t think your credit is a factor, then please educate yourself on buying a home.  I had to!  Years ago I didn’t really know the true importance of having good credit.  in my early 20’s I just didn’t get it. I made some poor financial decisions and my credit paid the price. It didn’t take me long to realize that we had some work to do if we wanted to get a home.  Most importantly, we didn’t want to be in debt. We knew that working to be debt-free would then allow us to get a home.  I would say look at it from that perspective.  You don’t want to owe any company.  If you make it your goal to become debt-free everything else will follow.  

First, about 4 years ago, we identified what we needed to work on and what had to be paid off.  We slowly started working on it. Even negotiated for some items to be completely removed if paid in full. (this worked for us quite a bit). Before we knew it we got rid of that haunting past financial mistakes, and kept a minimum balance on our credit cards. We got ourselves in a position we felt comfortable to purchase a home. At the point you decide to purchase a home, one of the first steps is to pull up your credit report and see if it is feasible. Just be patient with your credit report progress, nothing is overnight.  Monitor it regularly and pay something off whenever you can. 

Also, it’s important when you to lay EVERYTHING out, if you are married find out anything that is owed. You want no surprises during underwriting.  Blemishes on your credit report just make the underwriting process just that much harder.  So go into it with a clean credit report.  To do that it will require you to be very aware of anything on your reports or possibly will be on your report.

3. CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOME:  Prior to house shopping Rick and I sat down together and made a list of our must haves, wants, and dislikes to help us get an idea of what to look for.  This was our roadmap that helped us narrow our home search options. In order for us to get more of the options we were looking for we opted to move about 10 minutes further north.  For us we wanted a certain square footage, a nice yard, and a home that wasn’t stacked on its neighbor. I think you have to be realistic for your price range is.  Yes, there could always be a bigger home and more bedrooms, but we set realistic expectations.  The last thing you want is to get a house you can barely afford, because you set expectations you weren’t financially ready for. 

4. EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED:  Our home buying process beginning to end was not smooth! In a nutshell we went under contract for a pre-owned home, it didn’t inspect well. So we exercised our opt out clause and walked away (Get an option period) .  Side note: If you are getting a pre-owned home do not pass on the inspection! Yes it is extra money, but so worth it! If we would have passed on the inspection we would have purchased a home that needed about $30k worth of repairs. Once we walked away our realtor (who was awesome), found a house that wasn’t on our radar that was brand new and almost done being built! If you are in Dallas area and looking for a realtor please contact me!  We got under contract with the new home, and went through the not so smooth underwriting process. Many of the issues we faced which were out of our control.  

It tested our patience and almost brought us to tears. Just 1 of the many examples of issues we faced…our home is on the border of 2 cities.  Some of the home contracts had our city and Prosper, some docs had Celina. We had some docs we Prosper city but Celina zip code (such a mess). The underwriter did not like this and put a halt to our closing and wanted every single document that was ever produced in this underwriting process to match. Delayed closing by 3 days. I had to reschedule our movers 3 times…I say all that to say prepare yourself that it isn’t quick, and there will be some road bumps.  The key is to not let the unexpected stress you out, and trust that you will get to the finish line.

5. DON’T FORGET THE FURNITURE: I say this because many homebuyers are coming from a smaller apartment or home, and moving into a much larger space.  This was our situation.  We went from 1,400 sq. ft. to 3,600. I mentioned earlier that most of our furniture was temporary furniture. Nothing that would be in our home.  I sold EVERY piece of furniture that was in our apartment, and put it towards our new furniture.  Filling a home up can be like another down payment on its own.  It is easy to want to be in a race. I daily have to tell myself Taryn slow down. We are completing it in stages.  We are got fundamentals first for each room, and slowly working on decor.  This time around I am also thinking about quality over quantity. I want something that will last us many years. My mom STILL has her coffee table after 20+ years. Just don’t be in a race.  I am have been enjoying the journey.

I wanted to share these tips because I think it is important that people see that real life people can set a goal for a home purchase and buy it.  It wasn’t a cake walk to get here and I wanted to show that we had to put in a lot of work to get to this point.  Just make a clear plan of where you want to go and you can get there. Homeownership can be obtained by anyone. The key is being aware and being proactive. 

I can’t wait to take you all in my journey to decorating our home!