August has been quite the busy month, I turned 25, spent some great time with family (and an adventure or two in-between) in Charleston and in the most recent and most exciting news…P and I BOUGHT A HOUSE!
We’ve been dreaming of owning something for a little over a year now and started more seriously looking early this summer with a vision of learning about the process, taking a look at neighborhoods, putting together a must-have list and making a move on something later this fall. My lease isn’t up until just after the new year and my current roommate and I just aren’t quite ready to say our goodbyes, so on paper, our charted plan sounded fantastic.
But then we found ourselves narrowing the list and neighborhoods rather quickly…
And then the housing market seemed to pick up over night…
And then we walked into a little house, that didn’t meet half of the things on our list and we fell in love.
As first time homebuyers, it was certainly a roller caster of emotions.
Phase One: Where the heck do we even begin?!
With a realtor. We have always been big Trulia fans (I even have it to thank for finding my last apartment), but when it came time to actually look beyond open houses, Chris from Coldwell Banker became our BFF.
Thanks to some searching online, we calculated approximately how much we wanted to spend each month and how much we were comfortable putting as a down payment.
We also had a rough idea of a few neighborhoods we really liked, so narrowing everything with those parameters made the first few conversations a breeze.
From there, we spent the next few months casually checking out houses as they came on the market. There were no stupid questions in Chris’ eyes and boy were we over the moon thankful for her non-judging ears.
Phase Two: Can we really do this? Are we even capable of owning a home?
Yes we can, stop freaking out. That was pretty much my mantra, or P’s to me, as the searches got closer. We even saw one house we both really liked, which was quickly shot down by our stand-in Home Inspectors, also known as both of our Dads. Seriously, does everyone’s Dad climb on the roof of a house the first time they see it?!
As we learned more about the process and started falling in love with actual streets, it really started to sink in that yes, this is not House Hunters and yes, we were going to find a house and yes, I would be parting with a big chunk of my dear savings account.
Phase Three: This is it.
Our house went on the market on a Friday, we saw it early Saturday (after a canoe trip and in our bathing suits) and put together an offer in the car just down the street. Hey, when you know you know right?
This little guy captured my heart from its sparkly glass window in the front door all the way to its walk in master closet (anyone who owns a home built mid-1900s knows this is a miracle, aka an addition).
From the moment we put in the offer, we were terrified. I thought I might throw up. After a sleepless two nights and two counters (one on each side) we were under contract by Monday morning. Until closing, I was still convinced someone would swoop in and take it from us.
Phase Four: That costs HOW much?
I’m not one for spending money. I’m a saver to my core. When my brother was spending all of his money on Lego sets, I was saving my dollars in my piggy bank, with statements written on paper inside. So needless to say, this process was slightly gut-wrenching.
We knew going in that we wanted to keep our monthly payments very manageable (and with the opportunity to put more towards the principal monthly when it allows) and walk away with a cushion in other accounts, were anything to happen in the future.
The little costs certainly caught us a bit off guard, so we were glad we were prepared. Appraisal fee, inspection fee and knowing that we would end up paying a portion of our closing costs. We went with a mortgage broker and she made the process a breeze, explaining everything line-by-line, which again, we appreciated more than she’ll ever know.
After singing names a bajillion times and handing over more money in one sitting than we likely ever will again, we were approved homeowners. At least now we are on to the fun furnishings part (oh hey Craigslist).
Phase Five: Happy dancing.
There was a lot of happy dancing this week. While it may be a few months before I call this little guy home (and have to move in with a BOY), we are officially, official homeowners.
Excited, overwhelmed, curious, happy, tired, nervous, blessed, thankful…the range of emotions is endless, but it’s a roller coaster I’m not ready to get off anytime soon.