You may think it is impossible to buy a house at the age of 18, but it is not. With the help of my parents, I did it. Owning and taking care of the house is my responsibility, while my parents are paying for the house. While signing hundreds of pages of official documents might seem easy, it is the work that comes with it that makes it hard. Here are some of my do’s and don’ts of home ownership and my story of buying a house as an 18-year-old.
If you had told me I would be buying a house last semester, I would have thought you were insane. This was not my plan or something I had even thought of. At the beginning of March, my two roommates, Melyna Martinez and Harper Saxon, decided to go house-hunting to find a house to rent. It was a process. We saw the good ones, the fixer-uppers and the disasters.
Along with the house-hunting came the real estate agents, where we saw the good and the bad as well. With that being said, here comes my first piece of advice: don’t settle for less when it comes to real estate agents. It is important that you find a realtor who wants to work not only with you but for your benefit. Throughout the house-hunting process, we dealt with multiple real estate agents who were unwilling to work with us because we were college students. They assumed that we did not have incomes or would not be responsible for the houses. Our real estate agent, Kristi Hollowell, was amazing. She treated us like her own children and was completely honest with us. Unlike the others, Hollowell was willing to help college students.
Once we found a real estate agent, we were convinced that buying a house would be our best option, which brings me to my next bit of advice: Know what you want. If you want a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house, do not settle for a 1 ½ bathroom house; it is not the same. When you are viewing a house, imagine what it will look like with your furniture in it. Never say the words, “Well, we can just …” Don’t settle for less! You are going to be living there, so make sure it is what you want.
After looking at houses, we found one. It was newly renovated, spacious and had a modern style. Now came the real adulting. Another piece of advice: be proactive! Once you are in contact with the seller, you need to answer every phone call, ask all the hard questions and do your research. For me, I had to find the house and convince my parents that it was the best option. My roommates and I had to calculate how much it would cost monthly compared to how much it would cost to live in the dorms.
Finally, my parents and I signed all the documents, and I was officially a homeowner. I became the homeowner of an unfurnished house. That was and still is a hard part to deal with. My roommates and I had to find all the furniture and some appliances. We went to Lowe’s around six times in one week.
Some advice from Martinez: “It’s harder than people think in the way that you have to make time to be at the house at times to make sure things are getting done or letting workers in.”
This was another struggle for us. We were all college athletes, so we had to juggle practices and classes to make sure we were there to let workers in.
Saxon advises that “it’s a big responsibility, and there are a lot of small things that you don’t think about having to do until you have to do them.”
Overall, buying and moving into this house has been a process, but the work put into it will all be worth it in the end. I could not be more happy and thankful for my roommates, parents, friends and real estate agent for helping the process. My last piece of advice is not to forget how to have fun. Yes, buying and moving into a house is a big step up in adulting, but it does not change you or your age.
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