Apr 27, 2012

Goin' on a House Hunt

Perhaps a better title would have been - 'Went on a House Hunt, Buying a House.' Yup, that's right. We bought a house. How incredibly exciting is that? We have had one heck of a first year of marriage, with a baby on the way and a new house.

So you wanna know the story? Sure you do, otherwise you wouldn't be here right now (getting frustrated because I just won't get on with it already!). Buying a house has always been in the cards for us. It was always part of the plan, it was just a matter of when. There are a lot of costs associated with buying a house so padding our savings account was the first order of business.

So we distinguished an account just for that with the plan to not touch that money unless house-related or an emergency. And much to our surprise the account grew faster than we expected. Definitely a happy surprise. But then it became another matter completely. Our apartment was also standing in our way. You remember I talked about this before. If we break our lease we have to keep paying for our apartment rent each month until either our lease is up or someone else rents our apartment. And we definitely didn't want to pay for both for very long. That would be almost like setting ourselves up for failure right out of the gate. So even though we (technically more me than we) were itching to get out of the apartment and we had even looked at houses once already, we decided to wait until late spring/early summer.

And trust me, this was not an easy thing for me. There was nothing exactly wrong with that apartment but I was more than ready to be done and have more space, but for the time being we were just going to keep saving and biding our time. Then at the end of February, we found we were expecting our first child, and we were even more determined to make sure we had somewhere else to go before the baby was born. We formed a backup plan of renting a house if we couldn't find something we loved to buy. Plus houses were starting to fly off the market and there weren't a lot coming back on. It was not reassuring.

We decided to still go with our plan for late spring/early summer. That would still give us plenty of time before Poppy graced us with his/her presence to find a house and get settled in. Then our apartment flooded and we had no ceiling in our living and we found the mother-load of mold in our utility closet (the room I deemed 'The Black Hole' a long time ago). It just secured the feelings of getting out of the apartment even more than before. So we decided to go actually look at a few more houses in person. We listed out five houses that we were interested in seeing. Some we liked better than others but just wanted to see. It's good to see a variety of different houses, so you can really judge what you like and don't like.

So last Saturday, we sent off with our Realtor to look at those houses. The first house on the list to see was one we actually liked by the pictures. The price kept lowering, yes, but maybe that was just because the market was not the best right now. Then when we got there and learned the house was a short sale, which could make the whole thing more complicated if we wanted to buy and saw that the house was definitely going to need some work if we got it, it moved much farther down our list of houses we were interested in buying. We really weren't looking for a house that needed tons of work. Rob is much too busy to do a whole lot and me being pregnant and horribly clumsy I wasn't going to be doing a whole lot of work. So we moved on. The next house we got to was nice. It was well maintained and had clearly been updated. Oddly enough it was a house that I wasn't crazy about to begin with. It was an atrium split and I wasn't crazy about the split houses, but like I said we wanted to see a variety of different houses and different styles. But I was pleasantly surprised by how much I didn't actually hate it. That house definitely had potential but we had more houses to see so we were off again. The remaining houses were all a blur honestly. They all need upkeep and lots of work to really get them to the state that we would like.

By the time we were done, Rob and I were discussing that second house we saw. The one well maintained and updated. The one that was move-in ready. We both loved that house. Rob even said that he could see us in that house. It just felt like home. So we got back with our Realtor about a second showing on the house on Tuesday. But Sunday night after getting back with him about going back, I woke up in the middle of the night really worried. My mind kept racing that this house was going to disappear before we had the chance to buy it. It was a great house, especially for this price range. And sure enough, Monday my fears were becoming a reality. We got a call that there was another couple looked at the house for a second showing. So in order to stay in the game and potentially still get this house, we moved up our showing to that Monday afternoon.

Monday we went back to look at the house again. And walking back in just confirmed what we were already feeling. We still loved the house. We wanted the house. This really did feel like our house. So after going through the house again, we made an offer. It was completely frightening because it is such a big purchase but at the same time we both felt good about it because we knew this was the right house.

Then it became a matter of waiting. We just didn't know if there was another offer on the house or if they would accept our offer over the other one or even if ours was the only offer if they would accept ours at all. The waiting was the worst because you just didn't know. Then finally Tuesday afternoon, Rob called to tell me they counter-offered and after talking it over, we decided to accept the counter-offer. We went back in that afternoon to sign the counter-offer papers and put down our earnest money. And we couldn't be more excited. We even walked back into our apartment and said we were ready to start packing. Of course that would be a little silly since we still have two months. Our closing date is June 21. Even though it's going to feel like it's taking forever to get here because we are so anxious to move, it's perfect for us because it gives us more time to use up on our lease without having to pay both.

A year ago, after we were married (even on our honeymoon I think) we started talking about a house and saving and we said a year. And now we come full circle. We take possession of our house on June 25 - our one year wedding anniversary.

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