Growing up in New York, I never thought that the first house I would ever own would be in Kentucky! Yet, here I am about to close on a home in the Original Highlands.
When my husband and I moved to Louisville in December, I literally knew one other person in the entire state. Luckily, that person recommended our Realtor, Ellen Bland  with Wakefield Reutlinger. Ellen was our guardian angel through the entire home-buying process. There were times that I really did not think we'd ever own a home, but with Ellen's help and lots of hard work we'll be closing this afternoon.
Louisville Newbie Tips for first-time homebuyers:
-Find a real estate agent that you feel comfortable with and trust. Get recommendations from different people and interview as many as you need to to find the right person for you.
-Do your research. Wakefield Reutlinger  has a great website where you can search all the homes for sale in Louisville, look at the stats and the pictures and get a good idea what homes might work for you.
-Get the first-time homebuyers tax credit! You have until April 30th to sign a contract so get moving because that $8000 will seriously come in handy (remember that if you or your spouse are active-duty service members and had 90 days or more of extended duty leave in 2009 or 2010 you get an extra year to qualify, meaning you don't have to sign a contract until April 30, 2011 to get the $8000).
-Trust your gut! As I was signing 1 of the 3 offers we put in, I thought I was going to have a panic attack...it was obviously not the right house for us and luckily it didn't work out in the end.
-Don't loose hope. There are a lot of ugly houses out there. Get your wish list together and don't settle. After 2 months of looking I really did not think we would find a house that had all of the things we wanted for a price we could afford, but we did.
-Move quickly. Our house was on the market for 3 days before we put an offer in. When it's right, don't fight it, move quick, especially in the Highlands.
We are very excited to close on OUR house this afternoon. It's really happening! I just had the down payment and the closing costs wired to the title company...I think I might go throw up now!
Photo courtesy of 642Blog 
Maggie moved to Louisville from Buffalo, NY in Dec. 2009. She has also lived in London, Chicago, and Louisiana. Find out more about her business Weekend Wedding Warrior, LLC  and her private counseling practice.