Advice from A Second-Time Homeowner

This post has been sponsored by Lexington Law. All opinions are honest and my own. Lexington Law Disclaimer

Buying our second house was SO MUCH EASIER than buying our first house.

Let me back up. 

Devin and I were 19, engaged, and looking to buy a house to live in as newlyweds. We had some money saved and didn't want to rent an apartment if we could find a small, cheap house to buy. But you know what you need to buy your first house? Good credit, credit history, and a company willing to give you a mortgage. 

Though Devin made good money as an electrician and I was finishing up college to become a teacher (remember when I ended up teaching high school Spanish?!), and we had money for a small down payment, the interest rates on the high-risk mortgages were going to make owning a home unaffordable. We literally had ZERO credit history...oops!

Real talk (and this feels like getting vulnerable, so go easy on me, Internet!): my parents didn't want to see us flush money down the drain on an apartment while we built up our credit scores, so they took out a home equity line of credit on their house. They bought our first house in cash from that line of credit, so we paid our "mortgage" to my parents. Our first house was $100,000, and when we moved 8 years later, we sold it for $205,000. We completely paid my parents' line of credit back and put a huge down payment down on our second house. 

Our solution as first-time home buyers was unique, but our problem was not: having no credit history (or bad credit!) can stand between you and owning a home. You can save for a down payment, but if you want a bank to give you a mortgage with reasonable interest rates, you need a long history of good credit. 

So what should you do? You can stay on top of your credit with help from the team at Lexington Law, and you can start by taking out loans that you can more than afford to pay back. Whether that's a car loan, a student loan, etc. Start building good credit early! 

Whether your goal is to build better credit, remove incorrect items from your credit history, or simply get credit coaching, Lexington Law is ready to work with you. 

I am so grateful for the help my parents' help (like so, so grateful. I hope that comes across because I don't want to sound entitled!). But by the time we were buying our second house, we had years of credit history and it was way easier to get a mortgage with low rates. But if I could do it all over again, I'd start working to build credit early so that buying our first house could go as smoothly as buying our second! 

See how wild the first house renovations looked its early stages: here and here

Learn more at Lexington Law about how you can take control of your credit history.  

What do you wish you'd planned ahead on? What advice would you give your younger self?

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