Friday, January 18, 2013

new year, new house?

{wearing an extra necklace for the occasion}

Eek! I am so excited. Steven and I are in the midst of the home-buying process! 

After renting for what seems like forever {which is really six-ish years}, we are more than ready to buy our first home. The leasing/renting process is weird in this college town. Our lease starts and ends in June, but we have to sign our paperwork in January. Makes decision making all the more difficult.

Since last January, when we signed our lease for the June 2012 - June 2013 term, we have been discussing what we would do this January. Before even knowing if we'd find a house we love, we would have to decide if we were going to buy or keep renting. Sign for another long, loud year, or get out the rental and hope to secure our first home.

{house hunting}

Back in August we took the first step and visited with a home loan expert to learn about the ins-and-outs of a mortgage. We got some numbers and set goals to work towards and pretty much decided then that we would give up the rental and buy. We've been doing our best to eliminate frivolous spending so we can save-save-save every last penny, while still enjoying our lives and our friends.

In December we met our realtor for the first time. She is great to work with - prefect for our house-hunting style, and she is confidant we will find our first home! We've already been out a couple times, and I have to say that the shopping part is quite fun! Especially for this HGTV addict.

To make things slightly more complicated... our current lease ends four days before our wedding. I was NOT about to move and get married in the same week, or month even! Luckily, our neighborhood is very popular with the college kids, and we're able to give up our unit earlier for a new tenant.

So now we have a hard deadline. We either have to find a house, or risk moving into a temporary, tiny apartment with a bunch of boxes and three cats. Send us some positive vibes, please. :)

Now. Who has house hunting or moving tips to share with me?!

xoxo, christa

4 comments:

  1. We bought our first house together not that long ago. We had so much fun with the process and learned A LOT! We actually only saw about 5 houses before we picked the one that we now live in.

    One thing that I would expect is that not everything is going to go as planned - or in the timeframe that you think it will. We had a relativitely good transition - but the bank held up on approving our paperwork by a few weeks because banks never seem to put any urgency on anything.

    Also, if you enter into negotiations on a house that you like - it can take longer than nromal too. After our house inspection we had to go back and forth for a few weeks negotiating details and extending contracts.

    None of our process was difficult - it just took about 2 months longer than we thought it would. Just keep that in the back of your mind - that it could possibly happen.

    Everyone has a different story of ups and downs when it comes to house-hunting and then entering the buying/closing process. I hope it goes well for you guys!!! :)

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  2. oh home buying is so great and so annoying! hang in there. I think it was helpful for us to prioritize and make a must have list. For example, lots of homes around here only have 1 bathroom and I wasn't going to fall for that. Thankfully we ended up in a 2.5 bath home. We've gutted 1 fully and have another one to go (it was a foreclosure and nothing was done legally in 2 baths).
    My only other bit of advice is to be patient. Hang in there. It takes a while and even when you think you know the closing date, hang in there. I won't bore you with our terrible experience, since I know lots of people that have had good ones. Keep your chin up and eyes open :)

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  3. Oh girl do I have TIPS for you. House Hunting is fun, it's the house selling which I could do without... You're on the fun side of things!

    1) image YOUR things in the house, disregard whatever things they've used to display in it and try to see yourself under that roof and in those walls

    2) remember that paint color can be changed, (certain) walls can be knocked down, and floors can be redone -- all in good time.

    3) nothing *needs* changing right away, any reno's can be done over time --- but more importantly, can you live with the house in it's present condition?

    4) do you want a fixer-upper? if not, turn around and walk out the door of anything which requires more than $50k (that's our price point for upgrades/changes. figure out yours)

    5) figure out what you're flexible about and what are your hard must haves (for us, must haves: 3 beds, at least 1.5 bath, parking off street, grass somewhere, storage area either attic or basement)

    Above all, enjoy yourself! This is your investment :)

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  4. I live in a college town too so I feel your pain, it was always hard when I was renting (okay, technically I still rent but it's from my parents which makes it a little easier.

    Anyway, I wish you good luck! I've never been house hunting so I only know what I've seen on HGTV.

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