My Real Estate Experience – How I Became A First -Time Homebuyer Twice and Why I Chose To Use A Salesperson The Second Time Around

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Prior to being an agent, I was a buyer. I purchased my first house at a county tax auction. When it came time to move we found ourselves in a unique position. While we were homeowners, we had never actually bought a house in the traditional real estate market. We were still first time homebuyers in a way – we were still clueless.

We moved from Utica, NY to the Capital District with our 3 year-old son and 3 dogs. We were between homes so my parents helped us out. I stayed with the 3 dogs at my mom and step-dad’s house with them and their 3 dogs. My husband and son stayed with my dad, about 15 minutes away. I know, weird, but it worked.

We found out I was pregnant with our second child shortly before our move. Nothing triggers super-mom feels like that news while being faced with a new job, move, and living with your parents again. My possessions were strewn about 3 separate locations. My husband and son were living apart from me. I had regular ice-cream date nights with my mom and stepdad. I knew we had to find a realtor and quickly.

No doubt Dee thought I was nuts when we met. The first thing I did was a put an offer in for a house that wasn’t showing yet. I should have listened when she warned me against doing this, but my maternal instincts required I nest. After trying to talk some sense into me she said “well ok, let’s get started.”

Our offer was accepted and we toured the home. It was reasonable for the asking price. We set up inspections and since I had my birthday off from work, I thought it was a great day to schedule everything. Don’t do this, EVER! If thing go wrong, you feel like crap on a day you should feel awesome. Also, never offer on a property site unseen. The inspection turned up an issue costing 1/4 of the purchase price to fix. My great deal shot me in the back! On my birthday!

My emotions were high, pregnancy hormones raging, and I had a strong urge to eat my feelings. I learned my lesson. Don’t make ridiculous decisions, like placing offers on a home you haven’t seen and expect no hitch. I pulled it together and sent new properties to Dee. This may seem strange, but this was going to be MY house. If I was finding homes online that I wanted to see, it seemed like common sense to tell Dee. I always found our relationship to be more of a partnership than her working for me. I enjoyed that because I wanted to be an active participant.

We took a Saturday to check out properties on the list. There are three that I recall vividly: One gave Dee the look of fear only a seasoned grandparent can possess; one where a crawl space door literally fell off the wall when I opened it, and one little blue cape. It was perfect! I had always wanted a cape AND it was blue!

We were sold, but it was a short sale. For this house, it was a risk I was willing to take. The sellers accepted our offer and I knew that we would wait on the bank. We went forward with inspections, hoping for the best. Weeks came and went. My due date was approaching…fast!

I needed to nest and get prepared for my new son. The weeks following were never ending. Constantly extending deadlines, wondering what happens next, hoping for good news any day. I was tired, stressed, and really wanted my abdomen back to myself. Dee was there for every freak out I had. She was supportive and really helped turn the craziness into a positive experience.

In mid September my mother and husband decided to move him and my son from my dad’s into my mom and stepdad’s, where we all waited for house news. By October, I had enough. I started looking at available properties online before learning the bank rejected our offer. We quickly regrouped and went to tour another house.

It was wonderful. A small brick ranch like my grandmother’s, in our desired school district, with 2 acres of land. I was elated to find this gem; out of date, having not had a face lift since its build, but great bones. No sooner had we seen it, Baby C showed up. My husband and I decided the little brick ranch was perfect. I called Dee and she came to the hospital for me to sign the offer paperwork the day of Baby C’s arrival. We even took time to document the moment. It was new one for me and I am sure a first for Dee.

Erin and Dee

Erin & Dee with Baby C

As they say – third times a charm! Our offer was accepted and things got moving. Now I focused on getting in the house. My newborn needed a nursery and I wanted my old bed back. My parents were also ready to have a Miller-free household. There was paperwork and approvals as far down as the rabbit hole goes, day in and day out. I worked full-time from home for my maternity leave, needing the income for financing. Let me tell you, doing this while taking care of a newborn is not for the faint at heart. But all of the struggle paid off.

Andy, Dee and Erin at Closing

Andy, Dee and Erin at Closing

We closed in the early part of December and moved out of my parents within 2 days. We were home. After 6 months of living with relatives, new jobs, all of the home buying disappointment and the birth of a newborn, The Millers were home. Just in time for the holidays!

Holidays with The Millers

Holidays with The Millers – Photo courtesy Melissa Duell Photography

Dee was my voice of reason and the person who brought me down a few notches when I was in a panic. Without her, we never would have survived this process. Her guidance taught me some valuable lessons that I hope I bring to the table as a real estate salesperson.

The knowledge I gained through using an agent was priceless. It made the process so much easier to have an advocate. That kind of support can really help you get it right. I will forever be grateful to Dee for being a person I could trust. Just like your real estate salesperson should be for you. It is for those reasons I will always suggest to use a real estate professional for your next home purchase.

Oh! Lastly, should any of your family or friends ever take you and your family in during a reno or a build or when you are in between homes – you owe them massive props. It isn’t easy to double or triple the amount of your human household, let alone double the dogs in your home. Make sure you let them know how much you appreciate it and pitch in what you can while you are there. It will make the rough times a little bit better. Major thanks to my mom and dads for letting us room with you all. ❤

Erin Miller is a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson with HUNT Real Estate ERA in Saratoga Springs, NY. Previously she has worked in social media and marketing, with a strong background in customer service. Erin is looking forward to blending real estate and her other skills to provide a great experience for future clients. Visit her website at www.homeswitherinmiller.com.

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