Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Property Virgins" No More!

That's right folks, you are looking at brand-new homeowners! WAHOO!! Sorry, I can't quite contain my excitement. We've kept it mostly under wraps the past few months as we navigated the world of house shopping. We wanted to make sure we found the perfect house for us for our own reasons, and no one else's. Lucky for us, we found it! It was not an easy journey, and one I am happy to admit is over. Now the stressful crazy fun part of home ownership.

A little insight into our marriage-we are very different people. 99.9% of the time this works to our benefit, and about .01% of the time it makes us crazy. Fortunately for us during this process it was more beneficial than stressful, but it had it's moments. I make decisions with my heart while my beloved makes decisions with his head, go figure. I'm prone to make a snap decision based on a future I can picture, or a sappy story I've heard. My hubby makes decisions based on numbers and common sense. I'll give you a second to picture where this is going.We stayed true to our personalities during this process and made sure to give each other a few gray hairs along the way. I apologize for the lengthiness of this post (feel free to check your email, get a snack, do some stretches, etc in between), but here goes!

Chapter One-The Search
We'd been living in our apartment about 6 months when I started getting the itch for a house. Hauling groceries and a dog up and down three flights of stairs wore of pretty quickly for this chica. All things considered, our apartment is a pretty great place, but it just wasn't cutting it any more. We both spent our childhoods in the same houses and recognize the novelty of setting down roots, and it dawned on us that it's very difficult to do this in an apartment. The reality of finances and jobs kept us from pursuing this until this past spring. We began to narrow down our wants vs. needs and picked out a price point. The ball was rolling!

Chapter Two-Seriously Looking
For those of you in the market, I would like to introduce you to Zillow. Zillow, meet your new best friends. You think I'm kidding, but we spent mad amounts of time narrowing the search down on this very handy tool. Once we figured out the area we were looking in and what we wanted, my handy dandy husband made a spreadsheet in Google Docs (I told y'all Google Docs was magical!) and we began to sift through what we wanted. We struggled with getting on the same page with new vs. used (or to put it more kindly, resale), but we eventually got there. We called us David's wonderful Aunt Lisa, a realtor, and began making our way around town.

Chapter Three-Is this it?
Remember that part where I told y'all I lead with my emotions? Well the very first place we went to my heart stepped in and squashed every bit of logic my brain put forth. We found a neighborhood we really liked in a great location, but the price point just wasn't matching ours. My heart kept saying we could make it work, and my patient wonderful husband kept showing me the real side of things. As difficult as it was, we walked away from the house (or lot since we would have built) and I'm happy to say it was for the best.

Chapter Four-Back to the Drawing Board
At that point we began to look more into resale with the thought of doing renovations. Don't worry, we realized pretty quickly we didn't want that either. For as much money as we were going to be laying down for this thing, we decided it better be in pristine condition, or as close to it as possible. We went back to our fancy pants spreadsheet and continued hunting.

Chapter Five-Could This Be?
The weekend before our anniversary trip to the Biltmore we went to a neighborhood we had not really considered much. Lisa advised us to take a look just to see what it had to offer. First look at things we weren't too pleased with the neighborhood. Perhaps it was the fact that there were only four completed houses in it at the time! The moment we stepped into the house, things changed. It was everything we were looking for. From the four bedrooms to the bonus and three baths, we knew we'd found something we could actually picture ourselves in. Yet we couldn't shake that nagging feeling about the empty 'hood. The uncertainty of what could happen wasn't something we could shake.

Chapter Six-I Guess We Could Look There. . .
Still thinking about the last house we went back to a neighborhood we'd already looked in to see a different house. It was the same floor plan as the one we loved in the ghost neighborhood, so we figured it couldn't hurt to look. As soon as we saw the lot, we knew we'd found our house. We began to picture ourselves in the rooms and how we could set up our furniture. We started to imagine playing fetch with the princess in the back. We even thought about long term projects we could complete. We were hooked!

So, what did we do? More details to come!

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