I’m Shopping for My First Condo – And I’m Only 20!

Sarah and JulianHi everyone! My name is Sarah Stiebritz. I’m 20 years old and I live in a rural area in upstate New York. I am currently working full time at a daycare center as the supervisor and I am going to my local community college where I am studying elementary education. I have a 2-year old son named Julian who is the happiest and cutest little boy you will ever meet. With all that I have going on I am currently on the hunt for the perfect home for us. I am looking for a 2-bedroom townhouse or condo that is close to my job and close to my parents. I have already been pre-approved for a mortgage, which was one of the most exciting emails I have ever gotten. However, I am looking for homes that are cheaper than the amount I was approved for because when buying a condo or townhouse I do have to consider HOA fees.

Buying my first place at 20 years old. Every time I tell someone that I always get the same facial expression — the “you must be out of your mind Sarah” face. Which, to be honest was my first thought when I started considering buying a place instead of renting. I guess it does sound impossible because I am so young. My parents are helping me a lot. They gave me some money for a down payment and my mom is going to cosign on the mortgage with me. I also got pretty good raise at work recently so that is how I am able to afford a place.

Boy has this been a journey, that seems to be never ending. I officially starting looking for places to buy on January 27th, 2015. It’s now end of April and still nothing. Well…maybe I shouldn’t say nothing, I did make an offer that was declined..that’s something, right?

Let me start from the beginning, I found this one place online that looked really nice, not perfect but nice for the budget I have. So my mom and I drove to this condo, met my real estate agent there and I couldn’t wait to walk inside. Man did I learn one lesson that day, the Internet is a liar! This place was a DUMP! The walls looked like they were going fall any second, the kitchen was so dirty there was no cleaning it the world that would make it halfway decent, the toilet downstairs had this HUGE brown stain that almost made me loose my lunch, and on top of that the place had this funky smell. Overall it was a big fat NO! So we moved on.

Next, we went to another condo complex called the Pavillion, I mean come on, it even sounds fancy. Anyway, we looked at two condos that I had seen online. They were nice, clean, updated, and affordable. However, nothing that made my jaw drop…yet. Of course I was bummed but we had one more place left and I was thinking this was just one big waste of time…until I walked in the door. This place was BEAUTIFUL! I mean it was literally perfect, granite counter tops, updated appliances, good size rooms, little back yard, AND a pond view! It was priced a bit higher than I would have liked, but I thought, maybe they would negotiate down. Overall, I fell in love with that place the second I walked in, and if your wondering, yes, that was the place I made the offer for that was declined. It was such a disappointment.

Anyway, I am still looking, every weekend, going out with a toddler to look for the perfect home. Last time we went out and one of places had cockroaches.. um NO! Please, wish me luck in this whole journey. I hope that one of these weekend I find the perfect place and I can start packing up boxes. I’ll be back soon to give an update on how this whole process is going. I also have a YouTube channel if you would like to see more of my crazy busy life.

Sarah Stiebritz is a young single mom living in upstate New York and looking for her first condo to move in with her young son, Julian. Follow Sarah on her YouTube channel for the latest news on the condo hunt.

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Comments (2)

  1. Lidia

    Hey Sarah ,

    Wow ! You truly are a go getter ! Julian must be proud to have such a great mommy by his side . I would love to follow your journey as you by your first condo . I am currently browsing and thinking of purchasing my own and would love tips and advice . Just like yourself , I am a college student but not a supermom like you .

  2. Ivana

    Good luck I am 23 and searching for my own home whether its a condo or a rental and I commend you for being so strong and brave. I know you will find your perfect place!!!