Wow, and just like that, we’ve lived here two years. Time really does fly! It still feels like we just got the keys.
To celebrate today, Jeremy’s mowing the yard and I’m doing laundry. Whoo! I also have planned a section of the house to feature for each day this week. It’s about time I finished building out the blog heading sections, right? Although it felt great to get to this point:
It was defintely a long road for this property virgin couple (who else loves Sandra?) So, please use the HGTV link above to get some awesome and professional advice. Everybody’s situation, opinions, housing market, etc can be so different! But I thought I’d leave a couple house hunting tips that we learned along the way:
- It’s all about balance. What you want, where you want it, what comes with it, when you want to move and how much you want it for all has a part to play. Sliding this scale around for what you’re willing to give and take on will give you the perfect house for you.
- Don’t be intimidated. Fear of the unknown was very intimidating for me. What if we fell in love with a terrible house? What if we couldn’t afford it? And a million more. But, do your math, be honest with each other and hit the streets. You’ll get more savvy as you go.
- Give yourself time. We spent just over a year looking at homes. Now, of course, the last three months were the serious ones, but still…Taking our time and learning the market in addition to ourselves was a great luxury I would recommend if you can.
- Ask. When we first started looking, we had no idea what we were doing. We’d go see homes but not know what to look for or what meant added value or hidden costs. I’m a pro Googler but asking your support resources (defintely more than one) is also key. I didn’t want to look stupid by asking ridiculous questions…don’t take that approach. If you want to know, ask! Even if your question is “Is there anything I should ask?”
- Visit, revisit, and bring a pen. After a while, all the houses started to look the same and it was exhausting. Keep a folder (real or electronic) and take notes, or even pictures, when you go to homes to help you remember pros and cons for each family member affected (her closet size, kids’ rooms, closeness to parents, etc.)
- Get creative. Jeremy and I get a kick out of watching TV shows where people are house shopping and say things like, “I really hate this furniture” or “Oh I couldn’t live with that wall color.” I had those same comments but once you learn to block that kind of stuff out, it’s amazing what a house you once ruled out can become. Being willing to imagine, and maybe rip up carpet or knock down a divider wall, can get you closer to your dream house than you realize.
- Support each other. Period. If you are buying a house with another person, consider their opinion. It’s that simple. You don’t have to agree but you’ll both be living in that space and arguing in front of a Realtor doesn’t work. Caring enough to at least hear the other person out means so much.
- Laugh. It’s such a stressful and huge decision, sometimes finding a house that has vests made of duct tape in the garage is just what you need. We saw more than one house that we may have had high hopes for and found marked off the list before we got past the living room. But, that didn’t stop us from wandering the rest of it and cracking up at the toilet by itself in the dining room or the shed with no floor and an extension cord to the house for electricity that was listed as “in-law/guest quarters.”
- Get an agent you trust. And yes, that means you may have to go through a few. We went through three before we found Christina by accident. She was a great match for us. She was relaxed, a wealth of knowledge and had a great sense of humor. You are going to spend hours in a car with this person and give them access to a lot of personal information so it was important to us to not be with someone who had their own agenda or made it a painful experience.
Off to finish the house work and enjoy dinner out (it feels special and keeps dishes off the list 🙂 ). A happy housiversary, indeed.
What about you guys? Are you celebrating anything today? Anybody else have ridiculous house stories? I dare you to beat the in-law shed story, lol.