We started looking in October of 2010.
Our very short wish list included:
- 3 bedrooms,
- 2+ bathroom,
- 1400-1800 Sq ft
- a decent yard for our two loveable pups and
- in the perfect area I grew up in
Wanting to do a 15 year mortgage and planning to have children shortly after moving in, we kept our budget low. In doing so, there was about a 1% chance of buying a home that wasn't a Forclosure or Short Sale. Which is why our home buying story spans over a 7 month period. Yes, insanely long and terrible. So here we go...
House #1. Forclosure
We found this home about 2 weeks into our search. It was a forclosure, meaning, the owners couldn't afford paying it any longer and the bank that issued the home loan now owns it.
It was in a great neighborhood, perfect area with a great price tag. There were a LOT of little things we'd have to do before moving in like painting and replacing all the carpet. No big deal right? We can do that and this house can be ours for such a great price!
So, we put an offer in, and the bank accepted it. Hooray!
Yeah... that was until the inspector and Matt's cousin (Thanks Rod!) came out and told us the foundation was severely damaged and could take 10-15K to fix. Womp-womp... We pulled our offer on that home. Heart broken, we took a couple of weeks off before starting our search again. (Side note: the beautiful young lady in the photo was our first agent.)
House #2 Short Sale
Ahhhh, how can you NOT love this house? The beautiful country front porch, the red door. I was in love. This short sale home had to be ours. It had 3 bedrooms, 1 + 1/2 bathrooms and 1534. So there was a couple of problems. We wanted 2+ bathrooms and it wasn't exactly in the area we wanted to be. It was about 10 minutes in the opposite direction. Deal breaker? No... not completely. We were going to suck it up and see what happened. We put an offer in right before Thanksgiving 2010.
If you don't know how short sales work, here's a quick rundown (don't quote me, but this is how I understand it). The owners of the house can no longer afford the payments so they want to sell their house. Problem is, the house isn't worth as much as they owe the bank for it. So the bank agrees to take less than what is owed (it's better than the house going into forclosure). So the buyer (us) puts in our offer. The owners first accept or reject it normally within a few days. In our case, they accepted it - Hooray again! Now that they accepted it, the offer gets sent to the bank. That's where the long process comes in. It can take 1-3 months to hear back from them.
Christmas came and went... no news.
Valentine's day came and went... no news.
By the time March got here, we decided we were going to pull our offer since it had been over 3-1/2 months with no word from the bank. Since this wasn't it our exact area we wanted, it was a little easier to let it go. Oh and did I mention that my husband then informed me that he was glad we were pulling it because he wasn't IN LOVE with the house but had known I was. Now I'm really glad we pulled our offer. :) Love you bub.
Our real estate agent was sadly getting out of the business, so we shopped for a new one before our new search began.
House # 3 Forclosure
Oh Victorian home... can you really be ours?
My sister started looking for houses at the same time as our 3rd go around. So when her agent showed her this house, she knew it was perfect for us (thanks sis!). We scheduled a showing and fell madly, deeply in love. It was everything we wanted and then some.It did need a little TLC but fortunately for us we had saved and saved and saved so that if we needed to do some fixing up, we could afford to. In addition to some minor work, the house needs a new paint job through out, and we're so not in love with the peachy/tan exterior. It has 3 bedrooms, 2-1/2 bathrooms, a family room, formal living, formal dining, huge eat in kitchen AND an office! It has 1834 sq feet - more than we thought we'd get. All these extra's are insane to ever dream of for our first house with our low budget.
It had been on the market about 3 weeks so we had to move quick! We put an offer in on a Tuesday. Tuesday afternoon we found out someone else had also put a bid in and now we were being asked to put in our best and final bid. What?!* No! Someone else can't have our house. Didn't they know that it was already ours (in our very own crazy world)? I guess not...
So we discussed our budget and what would be the most we'd spend on the house without feeling like we lost our deal by paying too much. We put our best offer in and held our breaths... for 2 days (I don't recommend this) which FELT LIKE ETERNITY. By Thursday afternoon we got our answer. They accepted our offer! HOORAY (for realsy this time)! I could have peed my pants, I was so happy.
Since our agent had only told me, Matt was still going about his day holding his breath. I jumped in my little car and raced to tell him. That 20 minute ride was the longest of my life. I wanted to jump on the cell and scream the news to anyone that would listen, but Matt had to be first to know. Well, when he saw me, he knew. We had a mini 5 minute celebration before I had to be at the 10K Expo to volunteer, and he had to be go back to work. It was so worth the drive to tell him in person!
The inspection went great so we knew this was really going to happen this time. Hard to believe when you've had over 6 months of turmoil.
What a long journey it was! But when your realtor (and your husband) tells you "Don't worry, we'll find something better" believe them! There's always something out there and it will be perfect for you and yours.
We can't wait to get our hands and paws dirty (Hemi & Mya's). Matt told me he's been dreaming of mowing the lawn for weeks now. So here we go: our first home, our first blog. We'll keep you posted along the way!