Monday, January 16, 2012

The Day I’ve Been Waiting for My Whole Life

Man, oh man, this weekend has been a whirlwind of emotions!  We’ve been dreaming and scheming like crazy and I have not shared any of it with you, yet!  Well, today I’m going to share what we’ve been up to!

Remember this post about our personal resolutions for 2012?  If you haven’t seen it, you should click on over and point and laugh at my flaring nostrils that act up throughout the entire video.  If I wasn’t against most plastic surgery, I would totally do something about those nostrils, but I’m stuck with them.  But, I digress . . .

Smack dab in the first goal we said we want to buy a house.  Although this goal was listed first because we are EXTREMELY excited about the day when we can own a home, we thought it would be one of the last things we would do this year, if we even got to it at all.  Then, my friend Megan and Courtney (maid and matron of honor in our wedding) bought houses.  Both on one income.  Hmmm . . . that’s interesting, I thought, because right now we are living on one income.  The more I talked to them, the better preapproval sounded to us.  We are all about living a frugal life, so getting preapproved for just Mr. Converse Sneakers’ income meant that if one of us were ever out of a job (like me, right now, since I’m starting full-time student teaching for no pay in two weeks from today), we would still be able to afford the mortgage payments.  Also, spending less on a house means we have more money to save, use for vacations, pay off debt, etc., which are all great uses of money in my book instead of putting huge chunks of change into a house for thirty years and being stuck.  After giving it much thought, we decided to talk to a mortgage consultant, see if we could get preapproved for something decent (read: very small but doable) and then see what is out there.  Thankfully, there is no cost to get preapproved our talk to a realtor until you purchase a house, so we won’t be out anything if we decide to wait to buy.

Well, last Thursday after a week of biting our nails in anticipation, our mortgage consultant preapproved us (well, technically just my hubby because right now I’m just a walking pile of student debt which is no good for large loans) for slightly more than we had anticipated.  We got a great interest rate on an FHA loan and now we’re moving into the next stage: house hunting!

Sersiously, I was never the girl who dreamed about her wedding day (although I had big visions for marriage – those are two different things, you know), but I don’t think a day has gone by since I knew what the word “house” was that I have not dreamed of buying my first home.  We are extremely excited but also incredibly cautious.

Because the price we want to pay for a house is pretty low, we will probably be looking at foreclosures and homes that need a little more work than a house we could afford if we were both working full-time.  However, because the housing market is completely geared toward buyers right now, so many houses are in our price range that wouldn’t have been half a decade ago or probably in five years.  We are not set on buying right now because we don’t want to rush into a purchase on something we don’t absolutely love that has a solid foundation and is in a safe neighborhood, but we really want to stay at a certain price because of the benefits later on.

Today we will be meeting with a realtor to discuss all of our wants, needs, and our price range.  I’m hoping he won’t laugh in our face and send us toward the door.  Here are some houses in our price range that we’ve been scoping out online:

house1

house2

house3

Here are our needs:

  • 3 bedrooms (or 2 bedrooms with room to add a third bedroom without adding on – we want room to grow whenever we have children)
  • 1 bathroom (but preferably 2)
  • A garage of some kind
  • In a safe neighborhood
  • Around 1,500 square feet
  • A medium-sized yard
  • A kitchen that is a good size so we can eventually update it (important since Mr. CS is a chef and we will probably entertain in the kitchen as well)
  • A finished or finish-able basement
  • Less than 20 minutes from Mr. CS’s job

Like I said, we don’t know yet if we will be buying before our lease is up in June, but we really would like to if we find the right house, since our mortgage payments (and insurance and taxes) will be the same or less than our current apartment at full price.  When our roommate moves out when the lease is up, we would much rather be paying for a house than an apartment of the same price.

I will keep you posted on what happens!  Let me know if you have any suggestions or advice for us two first-time homebuyers!

7 comments:

  1. Well, exciting! You will enjoy the house hunt process -- especially with a good realtor. We LOVED ours, and she helped us so much (and was Dave Ramsey trained) find our perfect house! We were in a time crunch just moving to MN, and she helped us find our place in 2 weeks! We had done a lot of looking before so we knew what we were looking for and we love what we found! Can't wait to see your journey.

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  2. Oh boy! You are in for a FUN ride! I love house hunting! Best of luck and can't wait to see what you guys pick out, PS I am your newest follower!

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  3. Ooh congratulations!! I've been reading for a little while and thought I'd say hi! V happy for you. I reckon we are about a year or so behind you two in the house-buying game, so I look forward to living vicariously through you until we get there!!

    I know what you mean about not wanting to rush into anything.. but.. if that were me, I'd never be able to get off the house ad sites!

    We're renting at the moment too. This is me: http://hannahinthebath.blogspot.com/ do come and say hi!

    xxx

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  4. How fun! My husband and I just went through exactly what you are describing! We just bought our first house and are now enjoying the whole process of making it our own!

    House hunting was fun and sort of an emotional roller coaster:) Good luck and I look forward to reading how it all goes for y'all!

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  5. ampardini@yahoo.comJanuary 17, 2012 at 12:52 PM

    Oh yes, oh yes, oh yes! I'm so excited for you!! And you are going about it in a logical and methodical way, having a list of must haves and wishes. I've purchased five houses in my life time and here is some advice unsolicited advice, since I use so much of your experience and wisdom, it only seems fair ;-). Attach a financial value to the wishes. Willing to pay $X for a house meeting minimum requirement and up to $X more for second bath. That way, you don't get the "real estate creep-age" where you buy something that costs more than what you wanted to spend without offering you more in return. Also, scratch cute and charming out of your vocabulary -- you will make it cute and charming and stylish, that is what you do. What you want is a house with "good bones," "updated infrastructure," and a location that above all is in a very good school district -- all things that will help you keep your house value over time. The condition of the roof, foundation, HVAC and sewer are all more important than a lovely front garden. The garden you can plant, but roofing is another story. This is going to be fun!!!!

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  6. Just found your blog from Lauren's-so adorable. I'm adding you to my list of daily reads.

    As for the home buying-congrats! If I could give you any advice, I would say that make sure you get a VERY thorough home inspection on the one you want to buy. We've had some issues with our house that were missed during the inspection and it has been frustrating. Good luck with the process!

    aspiretoinspire

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  7. The main things I would look at in searching for a home are structure, mechanics, and flow as well as location. You definitely need a home inspection and be there when it is done. Things like electrical, plumbing, water heater, a/c, furnace, insulation, roof, windows, and basement conditions are extremely important. average Utility bills and taxes are something you should know also to make sure you can afford the month to month bills. I love looking at houses so I know you will have fun looking at different ones. Good Luck and keep your head!

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Thank you for stopping by! I am a little crazy sometimes (it's probably the red hair), but I would really appreciate if you would leave a comment. I love getting to know my readers and reading what everyone is thinking! - Mrs. Ruffled Flats

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