House Hunting: Part One

I really thought I would have more time to write a post, or series of posts, on the topic of house hunting while we were going through it all.  That was my intent.  I wanted to document our experience and emotions (as there were bound to be) while they were fresh and new. - House Hunting

We were pretty quiet about it all when we started the process.  We began by actually deciding we were going to be able to buy a house in the first place.  We had an idea of what we ideally wanted to pay a month and based our budget on that.  It gave us a number we didn't want to go over in our house searches.  Websites like Zillow and RMLS were used to start searching online.  These sites were extremely helpful in giving details, photos, and other info about each house.

Towards the end of April, we were pre-approved and began searching more often on these sites, as well as other real estate companies' sites.  This is when we told our family and friends we were looking for a home.  I asked my friends on Facebook for tips, things to look out for, and other advice they might have.  We took a weekend excursion through neighborhoods in the area to see if any houses had For Sale signs in their front yards.  That action garnered us lots of home flyers and ideas of pricing as well.  We got a feel for each neighborhood and how they were laid out.

May was insanely busy with many previous engagements on our calendar.  No time for much house hunting on a regular basis.  We still managed to take a couple evenings here and there to drive around looking at houses while we formed a better idea of our perfect house and mulled over getting an agent.  In fact, we spent at least eight hours total driving around neighborhoods, driving by houses we saw online, and determining what kind of house types, colors, shapes, yards, etc. we liked. - House Hunting
Rusty and Kiki helping us hunt for a home

I am lucky in that Sean and I agree on most points about decorating and colors of home decor, what we want in a house, home layouts, etc.  We also complement each other well in that the things I am not fully focused on are things he takes charge of (he wants a bigger garage and helps keep us focused on the budget), and vice versa (I long for lots of space, a big kitchen, a dressing room and craft room, a yard with privacy, and more aesthetic things.) It makes the whole process easier.  The whole thing was stressing me out because the houses I loved were way over our budget. I kept thinking we would never find exactly what we wanted.  Thankfully, I only had two crying sessions, but seeing the photos of these places just left me really downtrodden.  The ones we could afford were too small, two crappy-looking inside, the kitchen was too small, or whatever else was wrong.

The last week in May, we decided to make appointments with two agents that were recommended to us.  The morning of our 5th anniversary was spent meeting with these two individuals, seeing how our personalities meshed and how they were in person.  While they were both friendly and helpful, we were more impressed with the way the second agent immediately began sending us listings, asked tons of questions about what we were looking for, was so much easier to talk to, and really seemed to want to help us.  It took us a few days to make our final decision because they both were very capable of doing their jobs, but had very distinct personalities and business styles.  When we made our choice (the second agent!), we both felt pretty good about it and continue to feel like we made the right decision.

We started our sixth year of marriage feeling productive in moving forward with finding the right house for us.  In the next post, I'll give a little rundown of our first couple of weeks working with our agent and how things are going presently!

Stay tuned!

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