Tuesday, May 5, 2009

We are buying a house!!

I have a really good excuse for us being MIA for the past month. We have been searching for a house to buy. I never would have guessed that just "looking" would be so time consuming and exhausting.
I figured it might be nice to give the readers a short run through of this whole process we have gone through so far.

Well, it all started last summer. We began talking about buying a house, since who likes to "throw" your money away at rent, not us. We looked online and even arranged a showing of one house we liked on the South Hill. Conclusion, we couldn't afford a house. The payments for what we liked, were going to be SOOO much more than rent. We decided that we would try again in the fall of 2009. We planned to save up some money, and hope that by then we would have received raises.

We all know what happened, only a few short weeks after we got married. All hell broke loose and the real estate market did somersaults. This was good for us, lower prices, but bad for the economy, maybe we might lose our jobs. Yikes!

Around February / March the living situation got brought up again, were we going to stay in our tiny apartment, try to find a bigger one, or go for the house? I started looking online at houses again. They were still too expensive, or so I thought.

On April 1 a friend of mine announced that her and her husband were going to buy a house. They had been pre-approved and quoted a rate of 4.8%. I was like Wow...maybe I should start seriously looking again. So, we got the ball rolling.

I contacted an agent we had meet in September and arranged for a showing of houses in our price range of $120k. I contacted a lender and we were pre-approved for that amount.

The first houses we saw were not so great. I guess you get what you pay for. However, we weren't discouraged and kept looking.

I think we went in to about 13 houses, did drive by of maybe 20 and looked at countless listings online. We were pretty particular about what we wanted. While it is only going to be a starter, it needed to be comfortable and something we would want to be in for at least the next 5 years. I can't tell you how many houses we saw that needed tremendous amount of work. The DIYer in me was all for doing some painting and updating fixtures, but when it came to redoing whole kitchens and gutting bathrooms, mmm....not sure if we were up to it. Not to mention, we don't have the money to do that.

So what is a person to do, except look up. We decided that we could justify spending more on a house if it didn't need any work. We spoke to our lender and got pre-approved for $140k. We were ecstatic, since the monthly payments would only go up by $100!

So the search was on. We arranged viewings for April 29th and viewed 3 houses in our new price. The first was BAD, as in just as bad as the other houses. The second was good, but a short sale and would be probably more hassle then it was worth. The last house was amazing ( I have to point out one that I had done a drive by of it and told Stan I didn't want to see...I can't really give a good reason why). We walked in and were blown away. Every room had amazing dark hard wood floors. The only wood that had been painted was in the kitchen and bathroom. The bedrooms were BIG and there was a huge basement, that we could finish (= more equity). I think the only thing the house didn't have that we would have liked, was a garage. To be honest, that was in no way a deal breaker, since most homes in our range don't have garages.

We decided to make an offer. Yeah, can you believe it. It was so exciting. I left that night feeling like it was ours. Within 2 days we had a deal. On May 1st they accepted our offer.
A few quick details:
4 bedrooms, 1 bath
Partially finished basement, with rough in for 2nd bathroom
2,042 square feed
Price: $139,900
Location: Millwood area

From here on out, I would like to dedicate this blog to our Adventures in Home Ownership. I would love to be able to document all the trials and tribulations we will go through, but please know that life might get in the way and nothing will get posted for awhile. So that is just a warning.

So, without further ado, our new house.

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