The Journey to Purchasing My First Home – Everything You Want to Know!

January 5, 2022

Written by 

Sarah Richardson

What better place to start than the road to home ownership. On my journey as a first time home buyer, I had so many questions and no idea where to begin. To start this story, I attended the University of South Alabama as a NCAA Division I Volleyball player. After graduation, I wasn’t sure what city I wanted to call home, so I moved back in with my parents. I applied for my MBA at the University of Memphis while job searching. What I thought would be only a few weeks turned out to be for the long haul.


When did I know it was time to begin my journey to buy my first home? After landing my job at FedEx and still pursuing my Masters, I knew it was time to move out of my parent’s place and childhood home. Memphis was not my ideal long term city, but sometimes the roots are growing even when you don’t know it. After college, my goal was to always buy a property instead of rent. This would allow me to begin my real estate portfolio, regardless of which city I lived in.

Sarah Scott Interiors | Ty and Sarah graduating with her Masters - May 2019 | Journey to Buy My First Home
Ty and Sarah graduating with her Masters – May 2019


The first step on you journey as a first time home buyer before is knowing two things: Budget and Location. The first step to knowing your budget is applying for a preapproval letter from your bank. I had no idea what the bank would come back with for preapproval. With college savings college, credit from paying apartment rent, and over a year’s worth of work history, I was on track to have a great credit score. All of these combined significantly helped with my preapproval process. The bank ended up approving me for $325,000.

Sarah Scott Interiors | Pre Approval Letter | Journey to Buy My First Home

Home Buying Process

After receiving my preapproval letter and looking at a few houses, I decided to create two different budgets. I created one for a fixer upper ($200,000) and one for a fully renovated house with all the bells and whistles ($300,000). Since I was living at my parent’s house at the time, they did not rush me out. I had the luxury of taking time to find the perfect property. I started by browsing Zillow before meeting with my relator to see houses in person.

The process took approximately four months and we toured around 50-60 houses. The housing market was just as crazy in March 2018 as it is now. Almost every house was going for $50,000 over its list price. On Valentine’s Day 2018, my realtor connected me to an internal lead. There was another realtor in her office who was about to list a new house. The property wasn’t listed publicly on market yet, so I was able to schedule a private showing. It was love at first sight. I decided to submit an offer before the owner placed it on the market.

The House

My non-negotiable’s at the time included a half bath, garage, and walk up attic. While I only got one of those three, this home provided more than I could imagine and is almost perfect. It had a good foundation and was simply waiting to become the perfect home. A large porch spans the front entry with a beautiful large oak residing over it. It is a ranch style, single level home with 4 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. The house has beautiful cased openings allowing for a semi-open concept yet still private rooms. I can’t wait to show you all of the spaces (and DIY transformations) soon! Because this house had all of the bells and whistles including refinished bathrooms and kitchens, it was at the top of my budget. However, it just under my preapproval limit which meant we could close the deal.

Sarah Scott Interiors |  House Layout | Journey to Buy My First Home

First Home Final Cost

The final sale price of the house was $316,000. Fun fact: disclosing your home sale price is no secret. On Zillow and other real estate websites, this information is listed publicly. A home of this price may not be everyone’s first purchase. I am beyond grateful that I was able to afford it. Want to know how I was able to purchase this property only 2 years out of college as an individual? I disclose all the juicy details here!

Sarah Scott Interiors | Sarah in front of her first home - March 2019| Journey to Buy My First Home
Sarah in front of her first home – March 2019

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  1. Kelly says:

    that a great house layout! very unique

  2. Malik says:

    This is dope af. I’m looking into buying a house next year. But it’s scary af.

  3. pearce says:

    I love seeing this as I am working on buying my first house! Thank you for all of the info as it can be intimidating

  4. Jenna says:

    This such good intel! We bought our first home at the beginning of the pandemic in a popular part of town in Jacksonville, FL. So it’s fun to compare our experiences!

I'm so glad you're here. I'm Sarah, a retired NCAA Division I volleyball player who bought my first house after college and fell in love with all things home improvement. From design, DIY, and thrifting, you can find it all here. I hope you will be inspired and encouraged to make your house a home.

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