Talk Wealth to Me

#084 Shootin The Financial $h!t: Katie and A.J.'s Home Buying Journey

May 07, 2021 Felipe Arevalo, Chase Peckham, Katie Utterback Season 4 Episode 6
Talk Wealth to Me
#084 Shootin The Financial $h!t: Katie and A.J.'s Home Buying Journey
Show Notes Transcript

The American dream...A number of episodes back we spoke to real estate and lending experts (#078 Real Estate & Lending in a Pandemic and Beyond with Kelly Kline & Tyler Hagerla) to discuss the wild and crazy 2020 and what 2021 and beyond could look like for the residential real estate market. This week we sit down and shoot the financial $h!t with our very own Katie Utterback. Katie and her husband A.J. just recently closed on their first ever home. Congrats! We know what a crazy experience it is for first time home buyers in the current market. Katie takes us through their journey, the highs and the lows, the stresses and the thrills. Sit back, relax and join us for the real dos and don'ts of buying a home in 2021 - with a few laughs along the way.

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Speaker 1:

[inaudible] Welcome to Talk Wealth To Me, a safe space podcast, where we chat about anything and everything related to personal finance, the information contained in this podcast is for educational and entertainment purposes only. It does not constitute as accounting , legal tax or other professional advice.

Chase Peckham:

Katie! Excited to have you back in this.

Felipe Arevalo:

She is back!

Chase Peckham:

I am absolutely thrilled and there is so much news to tell, and we had a SWYM LKatieive this morning on a topic. Uh , and another podcast that we talked about , uh , homes with professionals, not too long ago about the market for home buying right now. And it's tough. The housing market is crazy all over the country, but here in San Diego too. But before we get to all that, how are you?

Katie Utterback:

I am doing really well. And I'm so happy to be back with both of you.

Chase Peckham:

The funny thing is, is you were experiencing everything that we were talking about when it comes to home buying. While we were talking to these professionals, we were talking to Kelly , um , and we were talking to other real estate professionals about what it's like both on a local and national level on the market, but you just recently lived it the real world. I mean, you hit the pavement. What was that like?

Katie Utterback:

Wild and in one word wild. Um, so yeah, my husband and I, we were actually able to buy a house in San Diego and I think I'm still like, not sure that it's real,

Chase Peckham:

Congratulations by the way.

Katie Utterback:

But it's real.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah that's a round of applause.

Chase Peckham:

That really is that's a golf, clap , golf clap .

Katie Utterback:

It was actually really helpful listening to the interviews that you guys were doing on home buying and everything because when you're in it, even when you may have researched home buying or what the process is going to be like, there's just so much that happens that you're constantly like second guessing yourself, like, wait, was that supposed to happen? Or is this normal? Or like, you know, so yeah, it was a ride.

Chase Peckham:

So kind of take us through that. And I think there's so many people that can learn from this because you know, real estate professionals and they're , they're in it every day, so they can become a little hardened to it. Right. I mean they know and it's , and , and like we've said many, many, many, many times there's, you need to have a team right there .

Katie Utterback:

Oh Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

You need to have people that you trust helping you along the way. But as you mentioned, things come at you and you you're coming from a place of like, I really had , no, I'm not sure how prepared you are. Things come at you that you're just not ready for. So take us from that first step of when you and your husband talked about wanting to go from renting, to buying a home and the thought process and everything behind it and take us through that journey.

Katie Utterback:

So to be honest with you, this journey started probably four or five years ago. Um, we got married three years ago, but we always, we we've been talking about money, not necessarily aware we were talking about money, but when we got engaged, we were like, okay, we want to have a wedding. We want to buy a house. Like we had all of these things, right. That have financial costs to them. So we knew that even though we were renting, our goal was to buy a house. So we, for the last like five years or so, we're just sharing like what we were looking for in a house. And we were at just like a dream end . So I was like, Oh, I want a minimum of five bedrooms. One of the bedrooms has to be inside the house as no windows, because I wanted to turn that into a theater room. So I have to have like, you know, tiered stadium seating, like I was a obnoxious four, five years ago. And I was like, okay, it has to have a pool. It would be really cool if I could have an indoor outdoor pool where you swim out to the outside. Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

I want one of those too .

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

That sounds phenomenal

Speaker 3:

On this list.

Felipe Arevalo:

You should design homes.

Katie Utterback:

I know.

Chase Peckham:

I'm 49 years old right now. And I really want one of those though. That's a great idea.

Katie Utterback:

So that's kind of where we started. And then once you start looking on like Zillow or realtor, any of those housing apps, you really start to see, cause they'll show you what the monthly cost is going to be. And then if you live in a state like California, where property taxes are going to be a bigger deal, you can see what the estimated property tax is going to be, not just for each year, but for each month. So some of these beautiful, Mediterranean Spanish style homes I was looking at like dreaming about the property tax alone was like $11,000 a month. Now I don't necessarily, I don't want to work for the rest of my life. And I don't want to be like a serious kind of employee kind of person. Like I want to enjoy my life and have fun. So I don't want to be stuck with $11,000 property tax payments for the rest of my life. So I slowly started changing what my criteria was. And by the time we started really looking at the housing market, I was down to like, I'm looking at a house for like three bedrooms would be great if there's only two and there's like an office den or whatever, fine, I'll take it. And even when I , um, when AJ and I sat down with our realtor and she was like, Hey, tell me what your dream is. You know, if you're a first time home buyer, are you trying to buy a house for a couple of years? Are you looking for your forever home? Like, what are you looking for? What do you want? And then also, what area are you looking for? And so we were like, Hey, you know, we want to stay in San Diego. Um, but we actually, because the city of San Diego is more expensive than like the outlying suburban areas. We were like, we're actually looking for those suburban outlier areas. However, in our home search, we found that because people are able to work remotely. We were competing with people from like San Francisco to live in the Northern , uh , San Diego County area. So we were actually kind of priced out of that market. We put an offer on a house and the offer, cause right now, in order to even have your offer looked at our agent was like, you have to offer them more than the listing price more than what they're asking for, just to get your application offer looked at.

Chase Peckham:

And how long ago did that before you go any further, how long ago did that process start with your realtor? Cause you said five years ago. And how long was, how long were you doing the Zillow search? So to speak, you know, looking at those dream homes before you , you kinda narrowed it down to the, yeah, I'd like the three bedrooms and, and, or even

Katie Utterback:

January 2021. Um, we actually, a friend of ours , uh , friends of ours bought a house in San Diego and , um, we were like, Hey, you know, that's awesome for you. But then we kind of started looking at ourselves and we're like, not that you know, if somebody else does something that, that means that you also deserve that success, but it just kind of made it seem mentally easier to get over that hurdle. Like if we knew somebody that was able to buy a house, maybe we could buy a house.

Chase Peckham:

The fact that somebody else did it in a situation typically close to yours.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. And my husband and , um, these friends of ours, they've been friends for like a decade. So they're very good friends. And we actually ended up using their real estate agent. And our, our agent is actually someone who specializes in , uh, first-time home buying. So that was actually huge for us too, is that our agent knew that we were first time home buyers . So she actually explained the process and things to us more so than I think she would have, if we were like, Hey, this is our fifth house or something.

Chase Peckham:

Right.

Katie Utterback:

So that was kind of, if you're looking for a house and it's your first house, make sure that you let people know this is your first time doing that. Cause they'll give you more information or they'll slow down and explain things to you. Um, more so than if they think that you've done this before. So we started working with our , uh , amazing agent Paige in January and we met with her and like I said, we went through a list of like, what do you want? And we were really looking for a house that was like built 1990 or newer. We wanted more of a turnkey kind of house because we're not really fix it people. Um , however, the house that we ended up buying was built in 1961, it's a complete fixer upper pretty much. Um, like I wanted a bathroom in the master suite, like the master suite bathroom, this house does not have that

Chase Peckham:

Typical for those period, for that period and seventies , eighties even .

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. So, you know, like my agent was kind of talking to us, talking to us about the house and the house that we ended up getting was actually the third house that we put an offer on our first two offers weren't even looked at on the other houses. Um, but this particular house was being sold by the seller. So the first houses that we put an offer on, or actually sold by like a trust.

Chase Peckham:

Oh really.

Katie Utterback:

So that was actually also really interesting to know too, is we wrote a personalized letter to each house that we put an offer on and our agent would kind of do some background work for us and try to figure out who was selling the house, whether it was the homeowner or a trust or whatever. And when it was a trust, that's when we would get the email notification from the MLS real estate system that the house had sold for a hundred or 120,000 above asking.

Chase Peckham:

That makes sense because that's typically a family selling it, right? Like there's probably multiple children, family has passed away.

Felipe Arevalo:

Trying to get the most out of it.

Chase Peckham:

And they're going to try to get every last dollar they can out of it. And there's not a lot of emotion that goes in .

Katie Utterback:

And so not only that, are they trying to get the most money out of it sometimes when you're getting those really large offers, they're waiving contingencies and they're waving like inspections.

Chase Peckham:

Right.

Katie Utterback:

Because they just want that property. They don't necessarily, I mean, it could be a flipper. It could be somebody that wants to live there. I'm not sure nobody was calling me.

Chase Peckham:

Right.

Katie Utterback:

But , um, yeah, I really just, it's interesting to know, like that's kind of your competition, you know, it's everybody

Chase Peckham:

So through that period. I know that we had talked to you a few times along the way, and there was a whole lot of knocking on wood, right? Because from that, when you really first started in January, when your friends saw it, give us that emotional roller coaster that you went through, like the periods of like, we can do this too. Probably emotional, big, different, big, emotional roller coasters through the entire process.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. I mean, like you said, in January, we met with a real estate agent and she immediately was like, Hey, here's this lender that I work with routinely, I'd highly recommend you set up a meeting with him. See what kind of loan you guys could get approved for. And actually right now, because the market is so intense, you actually have to be, Oh, I was paying attention during SWYM live, but it was pre approved is the more

Chase Peckham:

Pre-approved and pre-qualified, and pre-approved is like official document. Like you have a letter stating that you have this, you'll get this loan that you can make an offer right away. Pre-approved different. That's just basically saying, we're looking at it, looking at your , your credit score.

Felipe Arevalo:

Pre approved.

Chase Peckham:

And this is what you can afford or excuse me, the opposite opposite, the opposite. Sorry. I always do that.

Katie Utterback:

To even make an appointment. We had to show how much we qualified for, with , with our loan. Won't even let you come tour the house that they're selling it, unless they're a hundred percent sure you can afford it.

Chase Peckham:

Right.

Katie Utterback:

And then that was interesting too, with our lender. Cause he was, you know , like you hand over everything, you hand over your bank accounts, they go in them, your 401k, they call your employer, they check everything. Um, and it was so interesting too, because we were like , um, you, we, we qualified for exactly how much? Like there's no way we can pay that. And the guy's like, Oh yeah, you know, you can just liquidate this from your 401k over here, like do this. And I'm like, Whoa, like now you're starting to talk about things. I'm not entirely a hundred percent aware of, but I don't think that that's a good idea. And so it's just, it gets really overwhelming and there's just numbers being thrown at you. Uh, so we started out when we were doing our search because we knew we were going to have to offer above listing. We went to the lowest end so that we could work our way up to what would be more of a stretch for us. Um, and then even there were surprises beyond, you know, what the estimated mortgage was going to be because we put an offer on this house, our offer was accepted, but then our offer was accepted with, it was like, okay, we want to be able to rent back this house for at least a week. Completely free ,

Chase Peckham:

Contingencies.

Katie Utterback:

Completely free. And by the way, if you don't agree to this, we have four other offers. So you literally get backed into a wall. Like you ca you don't get a chance to say no, because if you say no,

Felipe Arevalo:

They just move on to the next one.

Katie Utterback:

It's like, okay, is this worth arguing over? Like, is this worth losing the house over? And so you just kind of get stuck in this like teeter-totter of emotions or something like weighing everything. And then , um, so we toured the house and then we have our offer and our offer was accepted. We're working through our , our first contingency to due diligence, contingency , meaning if there's something wrong with the house and we're like, Oh my gosh, this is going to be way too much of a cost or hassle to deal with. You can back out and then you can get your earnest money deposit. Because when you , um , put an offer on house, if your offer is accepted, you have to , um , put down two to 3% of your deposit. And that money basically shows the seller like, yes, I'm committed. I'm not just trying to see if you're going to take my offer. And I'm actually trying to get that house down the street. So we had like a sizeable amount of money on the table and we, the first contingency came and went. It was no problem. And then because our lender worked so closely with our real estate agent, one of the ways that we were able to make our offer more competitive was, Hey, we can figure out this loan contingency in 17 days instead of 21. So that also made.

Chase Peckham:

Four days made a big difference.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Wow,

Katie Utterback:

So we did all of that. And then it was, I think two days before our loan contingency was going to end, we found out that the house is technically in a FEMA flood zone and we were required because escrow technically owns your , your house. Right? So you're required to do all of these things that make them feel more comfortable. So they were like, you are required to get flood insurance. So we S we contacted companies and we're talking to them about flood insurance, but the cost of the flood insurance that they were telling us that we were required to get was $6,000 a year.

Chase Peckham:

You, what?

Felipe Arevalo:

For flood insurance?

Katie Utterback:

They were saying it was a FEMA flood zone, but that $6,000 a year payment on top of the mortgage, on top of the mortgage insurance on top of homeowners and like all of this,

Chase Peckham:

Oh my God .

Katie Utterback:

It's like, we can no longer afford this house.

Chase Peckham:

Right.

Katie Utterback:

So then like all of these dreams, right? Because even though you're not supposed to make emotional purchases, there's really no way to strip out emotion of buying a house because it's so much money.

Chase Peckham:

No chance.

Katie Utterback:

You're like, I have to imagine myself here.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah,

Katie Utterback:

You have to That's. The other thing is when your offer is not accepted, all of those dreams, all those emotions, do you create it? Uh , you know, all of these things that you are going to do in this property, they all have to go away. So it's kind of like a mourning process. But so then, you know, we find out what this house we're like, Oh my gosh, we're not going to be able to afford it now, what do we do? And luckily there's a , because of the type of loan that we have, we have a conventional loan. We were

Chase Peckham:

So you didn't go through FHA.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. And so there's fewer restrictions for conventional loans. And because we don't have an FHA loan, we were able to go to one of those third-party flood insurance companies, where instead of $6,000, it's $600 a year.

Chase Peckham:

Oh, wow .

Felipe Arevalo:

That's good.

Katie Utterback:

We were able to actually buy the house, but there's just so many moments like that we were like I don't know.

Chase Peckham:

And that stuff you don't even remotely think about, right? That would never come to your mind.

Felipe Arevalo:

I didn't even know we had FEMA flood zones in San Diego aside from mission Valley,

Katie Utterback:

it's like a one in 100 years chance that there will be a great flood. And we're like $6,000 a year for a 1%. No,

Chase Peckham:

That's almost like asking people to that. If you're going to buy this house, you have to have earthquake insurance because California has earthquakes.

Katie Utterback:

I learned this. Some houses you are required to have earthquake insurance. Some for some people, based on where you live, they actually have to do soil assessments.

Chase Peckham:

Ok yeah.

Katie Utterback:

To figure out what earthquake insurance is going to be. So like, really the location is a much, much bigger deal than I ever ever realized .

Chase Peckham:

And I realized that there's in there in San Diego and there's other areas, but in California we get wildfires. And so if you are in a, out in the suburban areas, outlying areas near the mountains or the valleys, I mean, and fires are a real threat. Now there might be contingencies that you have to have. Uh , and you might not even get homeowners insurance because of the fire danger. There's some crazy stuff out there.

Katie Utterback:

Oh yeah. And then there's other things too, like , um, there are, you could be in a property that's claimed by multiple HOAs. So you could be at a property that has like two or three HOA is they have to pay and listen to their rules. I mean, there's just so many different things that I never thought about. Never knew, never considered. Um, and even with home inspections, you know, we had our home inspection done and they were like, okay , um, there's you need a completely new roof. You need all of these things, the gas stove doesn't work. And remember people are selling their houses as is,

:

Right.

Katie Utterback:

So you, you accept that offer. And then the inspector comes in. So you don't know that the stove doesn't work. Cause that was the other thing with COVID. They were like, don't touch anything. Cause you , you have to sign all these waivers when you go to her a house. Like, I won't touch anything. I'm not sick. I'll wear a mask or wear these booties.

Chase Peckham:

Oh man . That makes it even harder than it already is.

Katie Utterback:

So like, that's actually a good example. We didn't know. Cause we weren't touching anything that the , um, handrail for the stairs was completely loose. And so then, you know, the inspector goes through and he's like, Hey, not only was this a code violation that the bars are spaced out too far apart. Cause the house was built in.

Chase Peckham:

61.

Katie Utterback:

1961. Um, but he was like, it's completely loose. So if you fall down, you might take the railing with you. And all of these things like, you know, that may only be a couple of hundred dollars to someone or if you know how to do it yourself, but I don't know how to do that stuff. Right . So the inspection report came back and it was estimated for all of their pairs is going to be like $26,000.

Felipe Arevalo:

Wow.

Katie Utterback:

And then I learned, you can only ask for a credit from the sellers for up to $10,000. So regardless of what happens in the inspection process, the sellers are only able to transfer $10,000 to you toward your closing costs.

Speaker 2:

And that's if they don't want to quote unquote, take down the cost of the house, correct. Bring down the listing price.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Or what the offer was.

Katie Utterback:

And most people right now are writing like your offer as, as is.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. Even if it doesn't appraise. So that actually happened to us, the house appraised $30,000 less than when we bought it for and it's I know, I know. Well, I mean, it's just the times we're in, right? I mean, not that it's the market we're in and, and it's, you know, sometimes you're just at the mercy of, of cyclical market. I mean, it happens and I mean just 11, 12 years ago when Kerri and I bought our home, it was just the opposite. It was, it was a buyer's market and sellers were trying to get out no matter what, because it was coming off of the 2008 crash and they our, we made an offer that was just completely the opposite. And we were buying it for much less than our house was appraised for. Um, so I mean it just, but at the same time, right, we were still scared to death because we have no idea if the housing market's going to get better anytime soon. And if it's going to drop even lower than what we'd already bought. And we, you know, at the time we bought in , we had a 4.4 and a half percent interest rate. And at the time they're like, it will never, ever go lower than this ever. And here we are , uh, what kind of interest rates are we getting right now? It's it's really crazy.

Felipe Arevalo:

Near 3.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. Well, that was the other thing with interest rates too , your interest rate when you're buying a house. So when you go through the whole pre-qualifying process, you'll get an idea for what kind of interest rate you qualify for. But because interest rates change it every day or every week

Chase Peckham:

Weekly. Um, and typically the federal reserve changes things a week or, or keep it the same, but they'll announce changes and, and really good realtors and, and , and especially really good loan officers , um, and lenders, they are on top of the market. They'll let you know what they're hearing. Um, we hear it , you know , on a good, in a good way, in a bad way. They might say, let's hold off for a second. I hear it's going to go down a point or a half a point in the next week or so. Um, or they might hear word has it that we're going to.

Felipe Arevalo:

Let's push this one through real quick.

Chase Peckham:

Right Which way did you land. Which way did you guys land? Not, not what interest rate did you get, but w here was it volatile at the time or were you pretty sure you were going to get a,

Katie Utterback:

So ours went up a little bit from our estimate because our estimate came in January,

Chase Peckham:

Right, difference.

Katie Utterback:

You know? Um, but still record low.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah.

Katie Utterback:

I mean, it's still, I think to this day, at the end of April, there's still record low interest rates. So it's, you know, it's, it's a balance, right?

Chase Peckham:

Yeah.

Katie Utterback:

You might be paying more for the house price, but the interest rate is lower,

Chase Peckham:

right?

Katie Utterback:

Yeah.

:

Yeah. It'll even out .

Katie Utterback:

That's the other thing too, like when we bought this house, we were trying to focus on what was right with the house. Right. And in Southern California, we spend so much of our time outside that for us, the fact that this had, this house came with a sizeable backyard and a pool was pretty much all I needed.

Chase Peckham:

That's great.

Felipe Arevalo:

That made up for not having five rooms.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. Cause I mean like my real estate agent said, she she's like, what are you going to do? Spend all your time in the bathroom? I mean, no, like I don't want to be that person too . That's like you guys, my favorite room in the house is this bathroom. Like twenty-five , but I can say, Hey, come out to this backyard and you know , just hang out.

Chase Peckham:

That's where you're going to entertain for the most part anyway. Right. I mean, that, that's what I think. That's fantastic. You taking, flipping that script. We talk about that a lot. Just the fact that you looked at what the positives are, what with this whole process , um , makes it a lot easier and makes you feel so much better when you're signing those, you know, two and a half feet thick of papers. You've got to sign with the notary eventually.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah. Do you want me to see my packet? That's really.

Felipe Arevalo:

You have how massive it is?

Chase Peckham:

Oh you have it there?

Katie Utterback:

Look how big this is.

Chase Peckham:

Oh my,

Katie Utterback:

yeah.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. Don't you feel like you're signing your life away when you're going through that?

Katie Utterback:

I mean, I don't even know after a while , I don't recognize the signature .

Chase Peckham:

I totally I'm with you on that.

Felipe Arevalo:

Can I make a stamp and just kind of

Speaker 2:

Wet signatures, wet signatures. And it all has to be a certain color ink and you want to make sure that you sign it all the way , the same way. I mean those notaries, I mean, they've , they're held to a pretty high standard. I mean, yeah. They're, they're, they're, they're looked at pretty heavily. Yeah, they are. And Phil , you would know that since your wife is a notary, right?

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. Yeah. Then, you gotta sign that. You gotta sign on their little book and then fingerprint next to your signature. And , uh, it's a long process. I know when my brother recently had , uh , some paperwork, he was getting done and he needed a and then I went out there and the lady was like, Oh, you're not done. I'm just a witness here. I'm not even doing anything.

Chase Peckham:

You thought you were just going to go say hi.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. I thought you meant like one signature where I was going to sign the one paper is there, but have a day . And then she's like, no, you better grab a chair.

Chase Peckham:

Wow.

Felipe Arevalo:

I didn't know I signed up for this.

Chase Peckham:

So Katie, when you went through that process, when you get the offer accepted and you've already gone through that emotional side of like, okay, we're going to pay for this. And what did your lender give you some to dues during what they call the escrow process when it's going through that? And were you like nervous about, and the reason I ask is, were you nervous about doing anything because of that checklist?

Katie Utterback:

Um, I was nervous because people kept telling us like, you're going to get emails from us and we're going to need information immediately. Like, we're going to send you a list of documents and we need this immediately. And I am a rule follower. So I'm like, okay. Like, like as soon as I get this email, like I'm going to be so ready. Okay. But then I got the email and there was nothing really on there. And so AJ and I were kind of just looking at each other and I'm like, they need our driver's license, but okay. And then like, it just, I kept waiting for more and more to happen. And then our realtor would send us weekly emails. Like this is what's supposed to be happening with escrow or whatever. And it just, everything happened. Like everyone said.

Chase Peckham:

Great.

Katie Utterback:

I think the hardest part is just the unknowns of you don't know what documents that they may need from you. Um , cause we did a lot of work on the front end because we had to be pre qualify approved or whatever.

Chase Peckham:

Pre approved right.

Katie Utterback:

Before we could even go visit any place.

:

Right.

Katie Utterback:

They had so much of our information. I think it helped with the whole closing process. They didn't really need all that much from us. But even still you get sent, you know , a document with 50, 80 pages in it. You have to read everything.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah.

Katie Utterback:

Because that's where AJ found you guys have to pay us $6,000 for flood insurance. So he didn't come through those documents. I may be telling you a completely different story today.

Chase Peckham:

Wow. and so that's interesting that, that wasn't something that just jumped out to you from your lender or from from your realtor.

Katie Utterback:

Like as much as our team was great, they're still human. And they do this every day . Right? So that probably was nothing to them. Well, and especially right now, too , then , uh , the day that we closed, you know, we had all of our paperwork, our loan had been completely funded the day before and we still didn't get the call saying your title has been completely transferred until after 5:00 PM. And they were telling us it's normal to get calls as late as like 8:00 PM right now.

Chase Peckham:

Wow.

Katie Utterback:

Because everybody's just so backed up these houses.

Felipe Arevalo:

So stressful.

Chase Peckham:

That's crazy. So did you, didn't go out and spend a ton of money during that whole process? I would imagine just because you worry about the interest rate or your , your credit profile changing during that process,

Katie Utterback:

I honestly didn't even buy shampoo. We been out of shampoo. We just got some more and once escrow closed, I ordered some , but yeah, like, because they're logging into your bank account, they're checking everything and then they tell you like, don't mess around with your credit. Don't close accounts. Don't open accounts. Don't buy anything and yeah,

Speaker 2:

Don't go buying that furniture to fill up that house. You haven't, you don't have yet.

Katie Utterback:

Oh my gosh. Well see, and that's the other thing too, is that like, once you buy the house, then all these people are like, Oh, do you need a cleaner? Do you need a painter? Like all of this. And it starts to add up. So you have to like have the self control to be like, no, this is what I told AJ. We're slowly going to buy furniture because I don't want ugly pieces. I want to make sure we get all the good stuff. And there's like a flow to the house.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. That's a great idea. I mean, and you'll eventually, cause it's always a good idea to stay there for a while and get a feeling of it. And this is going to sound funkshway and I don't mean it to, but you do get a feeling of how the house will be to you because your , your idea of what it's like when you walk through it made the offer and it might completely change after you sleep in it and be there for awhile. And you might have thought I were going to do the kitchen.

Felipe Arevalo:

After you can touch things.

Chase Peckham:

First and you might be like, you know what? The kitchen were functional, but I, you know, maybe I want to change this a little bit or I want to do that a little bit. And it might completely the furniture you thought would look great in there initially, or the color or any of that will come to you over a period of time. And it's a good idea not to just jump cause the first, the honest human reaction for the most part is to jump right in and just start fixing. And how many times do you, you don't want to go through the, you know, two steps forward, three steps back.

Katie Utterback:

Yeah, but I, I understand that, but at the same time, the master bedroom is painted orange and purple.

Chase Peckham:

Oh Yeah . You need to change that right away.

Katie Utterback:

I'm dying to change that. So that's got to go. And then the bathroom, like, I don't know, is it

Chase Peckham:

Is it light blue tile is it

Katie Utterback:

One of the bedrooms upstairs is painted light blue with like clouds, sponged onto the walls and ceilings.

Felipe Arevalo:

That's lovely.

Katie Utterback:

And then the, the light fixture is like a , a ceiling fan with a baseball Mitt with like a , a baseball, like catching the ball. And then the ball is the light.

Chase Peckham:

That must must've been a kid's room. Must've been a kid's room.

Katie Utterback:

If anybody's interested in a baseball light fan.

Chase Peckham:

Well, I would do that because my son's a big baseball fan. Except you mentioned before that you're not a fix it person. Um, I have tried to install fans before. It is not a pretty project. It is. I have never cussed so much in my life.

Katie Utterback:

So I'm trying to be very smart and strategic. So I know that I don't like the look of the kitchen or the bathrooms right now, but they also have not necessarily in the market to completely remodel.

Chase Peckham:

Right.

Katie Utterback:

But there are these beautiful things called peel and stick wallpaper peel and stick countertops, peel, and stick backsplash. And I'm going to go to town with all of that.

Chase Peckham:

There is, that's one thing you can talk about with Etsy and, and these different how to , uh , on YouTube D I Y type stuff. My wife , uh , if you w she completely redid our tile floors in our, in my kids' bathroom, by repainting them with tile paint from home Depot when new floors and they look, I mean, absolute , I , I thought she was nuts. They look absolutely like we just retitled and re floored entire place. And it looks amazing. And we did it for $45. Her, her sweat and tears,

Felipe Arevalo:

I was going to say a lot of work from her.

Chase Peckham:

Yeah it was , uh , but I mean, new floors, new tiles , it would have cost us three or four grand for a bathroom. And they look, I mean, it changed everything in that bathroom. It's amazing. So there are a lot of, and they look phenomenal. There is a lot of stuff that you can do,

Katie Utterback:

But you're right though, when you're looking for a house, make sure that you put on your designer eyes, even if you don't think that you're a designer, try to ignore whatever furniture or colors are there and just see like what you would do with the space. Cause yeah ,

Chase Peckham:

Yeah. A hundred percent.

Katie Utterback:

It can totally change things. And this house that we bought would have had granite countertops and everything that I want to put in, we would not have been able to afford it.

Chase Peckham:

Right. Well, and you know, the interesting thing, I'll tell this in Felipe, cause you're looking right. You're going through that process. Now, Phil, you guys have jumped into that.

Felipe Arevalo:

Yeah. Jumping on the bandwagon

Chase Peckham:

I will tell you that even if that house had everything you wanted, right. And you say turnkey , so to speak after a while , you would eventually go, this isn't mine. Right? We didn't, you would want to , human nature would be you'd want to change it anyway. You might not do it nearly as quickly because it's not orange and purple orange and purple, good. God. That reminds me of third grade. I was in the orange purple reading group. Carol . Why did that? Just to my mind. I don't know.

Felipe Arevalo:

Almost like Denver Broncos?

Chase Peckham:

Aren't they blue and orange Phil. Come on now. Sometimes. Yeah .

Speaker 2:

It's like the Vikings and the Broncos and then it would be orange and purple.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. So this orange is like, think of like an Italian restaurant with like some sort of like spongy orange kind of wall orange. What ? Like a burnt orange. Yeah. And then in the corner, like where this lady had a makeup station. Purple. Oh wow. Like cycling , like Viking football purple face. I'm pretty sure they were hippies . I mean, that's crazy. They might be, they're actually really sweet. I don't mean to be picking on their master bedroom.

Speaker 2:

I love my dad. I love my parents and their sense of,

Speaker 3:

I was like, can we please buy your house? Because my dog needs a yard. That's awesome. And when we came by for our last inspection, they actually left us a note saying, we're so happy. We can be part of, you know, helping you accomplish your dream of buying a house. And then here are some treats for Jagger. So

Speaker 2:

That is awesome. That's really cool. Katie. I think that's probably one of the greatest things that, you know, we've, we've been following your journey through this whole thing. And the smartest thing you've done is in the greatest thing you did, if the human nature of it, of writing a letter and you happen , you know, there was a couple of them you didn't hit home with, but the one you did, you got it, right. They pick you out of how many other offers because of your dog and wanting to have a family. And the idea that, you know, their home is going to come to a young family and you're going to get that, that home is going to get a whole other family growing up in it. I mean that , that's a cool, cool.

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And that's exactly why they picked us. You know? So if you think that your, your letter or introducing yourself, does it make a difference? It may not, but maybe that's not the house for you, you know? Yeah . That's all those other houses. I don't think I would be as happy right now. Like this house, like truly, it's just so perfect for us.

Speaker 2:

One thing that you could tell people that are first time , home buyers. And so in this case, Phil , you can tell who's an expert who, by the way, is an ex , he knows this stuff. But if there's one thing that you could say to a first-time home buyer to be prepared for that you absolutely had no clue was going to happen in the process. And as many, even the great team you had around you didn't prepare you for it. What would that be?

Speaker 3:

Trust your gut. If something feels wrong, speak up and ask a question like don't like, seriously, don't worry about being stupid. Don't worry about looking mean, don't worry about any of stuff, because like you guys said, this is going to be like the biggest loan that you likely ever have in your entire life. And this is what so many people work so hard for it , right? Like the last five years ago. And I had been working on getting rid of credit card debt, improving our credit scores also that we could get to this moment, you know, and have our lender be like, yeah , you qualify for this conventional loan or, you know, like you're able to get the $600 flood insurance versus 6,000 because we don't have an FHA loan, which by the way, I looked it up, Congress is actually looking at stripping that rule from FHA loan. So really might be good news on the horizon. Other people say, look , that's a flood zone issue.

Speaker 2:

I mean, that's a huge issue for a lot of people. I mean, that's a, that's a giant expense. I would imagine. One of the other benefits of where you are too is you didn't run into a lot of HOA HOA or anything like that.

Speaker 3:

I mean, we intentionally did not look for houses in HOA. Yeah . Cause all those

Speaker 2:

Predeveloped , um, preplan communities, they're going to come with that. Um , and if you're not familiar with the term, Mello-Roos get, get familiar with it because believe me, I, I pay it. Um, and I pay HOA too . And it's

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And also look over things too. Like a lot of people are , uh, installing solar, but they're not paying it off. And then they're trying to sell your house. So then you get stuck with that payment. You don't want to , you don't want to do that. Like my realtor was like, look, I'm going to tell you some things like this is not a house you want to look at because that contract is going to just, it's not going to be fun. Right? Yeah . And I have seen that on some places where it's like, wait, it says, it doesn't say solar on the description, but if you look at the picture, I know what a solar panel looks like. You know , that's a solar panel and wouldn't that be a selling point? Wouldn't you want to add that to the description that it was already paid for? Well, that's the thing, not

Speaker 2:

If you're leasing it, if you, if you did one of those leasing plans, those things can be a pain in the giant tail.

Speaker 3:

That's what we've heard. And then , um, yeah, I mean, just everything, like, everyone's just kind of been sharing information with us. So like I said, the house has a pool and the pool inspector was telling us, you know, like it's a good thing. You already have a pool because if you wanted to put one in we're like three, four months behind and the cost of materials have gone up like 30% because during the pandemic, everyone wanted to play

Speaker 2:

Cool . We have friends that are going through that exact thing right now. They bought their home a year ago and they bought a brand new home. So they're redoing their whole landscaping and they they're starting from scratch, but their pool has taken nine months. Oh, wow. I mean, it's been a long time. They just got water in it the other day we got a picture. So they're super excited about that. One last thing before we go that I really wanted to talk to you about how did you and your husband communicate through that whole thing? You said, trust your gut. But there are two guts, right? That are going through this process. How did you two handle that

Speaker 3:

You have to communicate? And like, if you think that you're communicating enough, you're probably not like you have to literally talk ad nauseum about things. And like I said, AIG was the one who was reading through the documents and he found the whole note about you guys are responsible for flood insurance of $6,000. Now I had read, I skimmed through the document and I didn't see that. And I signed it. So if he would not have caught that like would have been really, really bad. And then there were other times where I caught something. So like you have to work as a team and remember that you're on the same team. And there comes a point too , where you have to remember, it's not about being right. It's about your team winning.

Speaker 2:

That's great advice. That's fantastic. Well, I mean, it's been w when we found out that you closed, we couldn't have been more excited for you. We know it's been a long process, but I mean, even as long as that process is probably felt to you, you've done a lot better than a lot of people have in this market. That was very quick process. Yeah.

Speaker 3:

Yeah . Some of the stories we hear, yeah . Our agent was like, you guys clearly came in with a goal and I hope you feel you, you accomplished it. But she was telling us that she has some clients that started looking for homes at the beginning of the pandemic. Cause they're like, Oh, we're going to get a great deal. And they're still looking. Cause they're just like, Oh, we're going to get a good deal. That's not a good deal. And she's like, yeah ,

Speaker 2:

Yeah. Looking at that. Yeah. If you're here again, do your homework. Right. I understand the time you're in. If you're looking for a good deal, you might want to wait a long time.

Speaker 3:

And honestly, you really, you know, when the house is right, you just do it sounds weird , but it's true.

Speaker 2:

That's fantastic. Well, Katie , congratulations. We're so happy for you. I think so many people are kind of skin grafts kind of learn from this episode because it's, it's, you know, it's, you, you can be, you can tell people over and over and over again, but until you actually experience it , uh, it , it can't do anything more than have experience. Right?

Speaker 3:

Yeah. And thanks for letting me come on this show and be honest, because like there were days when I was waiting to see if our offer was accepted and I would be telling myself, like, I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry. I'm not going to cry. I get a text message, sorry guys, like your offer, wasn't accepted. And I'm just like, kind of throw my phone

Speaker 2:

Truth. Be told, we asked you weeks and weeks and weeks ago I could do this episode. You're like, not until we get word that we closed in , that title has moved. So we did knock on wood a lot.

Speaker 3:

You guys asked me to, Hey, just come out of the flood insurance. It's like ,

Speaker 1:

Well, it's all behind you now. Now it's just figuring out what you're going to , you know, moving in and what you're gonna do with that book . So again, congratulations. [inaudible] .