Ryan and I have been on the hunt for a house for about a month now. We've spent every weekend with our diligent realtor combing the landscape of our surrounding areas searching for our Perfect Starter Home.
We had no illusions about this process, we went into it knowing that we aren't going to be purchasing the Forever Home just now. Even knowing that, though, didn't help because as it turned out there wasn't much available in our ideal price range anyway.
Ryan is obsessed with our budget. We both are, actually. We've gone through financial hardships before and I know what it feels like to keep fingers crossed that our bank account won't get overdrawn week after week (having an artistic spirit does not lend itself to wealth in most cases (mine included)). We didn't ever want to be back in that place and being house poor is not something that jives with either of us, especially now that we have our beautiful son.
We created a budget that would allow us to remain comfortable. And it gave us a number that didn't seem unreasonable. Until we hit the pavement.
Sure, whateveryone is saying is true: there ARE a lot of houses out there right now. There are a lot of Short Sales and a lot of foreclosures and there is a surplus in the market.
What everyone is leaving out is that most of what's on the market is, well, shady crap.
Not to be rude but truly, if someone has let their home go into foreclosure, our experience is that they let it fall into disarray as well. And a house listed at a low price really isn't a low price if you have to buy every appliance, re-drywall the walls and refinish the floors, etc. It's just not cheap to do all of that.
Anyway, this is a long-winded way of saying: finding a house that fit our modest criteria (three bedrooms, in a certain neighborhood/school district) was NOT simple. In fact, the house that we ended up putting an offer on is the ONLY home that fits that criteria that we saw (and that is in our price range).
Last Thursday, Ryan and I were discussing the home situation and i said, "okay, i recommend that we outline outloud what it is that we're looking for in our home...if we put it out there, the Universe can help bring it to us."
the reason i suggested this is because, well, it's worked for me in my life on multiple occasions: i described my wedding in detail and i was able to achieve it, pregnancy and parenting, etc.
So like i said, we spent weekend after weekend searching and searching and on Saturday we walked into the only house that fit both me and Ryan's lists! It was a miracle.
From my list the house has the following:
- three bedrooms
- more than one bathroom
- an entry-way (so you're not just walking directly into the middle of the living room)
- a dining area
From Ryan's list the house has the following:
- a yard
- ample storage space
- off-street parking
- sidewalks and a neighborhood feel
it's great! We have it all!
We made an offer that very day! And after some back and forth and back and forth with the sellers, we found out yesterday that we got the house! Now we just go through the process of inspections and we're home-free. i hope.
The home doesn't have fantastic curb appeal but that's okay. The kitchen needs to be enlarged, the bathroom is pink tile from the '70s and the carpet is cheap-grade carpeting but whatever. all of that is cosmetic, all of that can be overlooked and all of it can be changed (in fact, Ryan agreed to fix the kitchen before we move in because i said i can't live there until the kitchen is fixed).
The truth is that we learned how to see past cosmetic issues and look at the bones of a home. We were able to discover the potential in a place that is in a great location and a good neighborhood. You can't change those things and someday when we want to resell there will be a couple out there just like us who wants to be in a specific area or school district and who just won't be able to find something that works for everything on their lists. Until they find our property.
and by then the bathroom and kitchen and floors will be updated so it will be even better lol
So anyway, YES we got a house! We found The One and we are happy and in love and we have a place where all of our future memories are going to take place :)
We can't wait and we are so proud. Home-owners before we're 30! It feels so good :)