This blog may be a bit different, but I wanted to share about how I decided and went about buying a house.
The time had come. I had always wanted to move out the correct way. I didn't want to move out for a short time then move back in with my parents to save money, especially if I was married. I wanted to be able to be independent and live on my own when I decided to live on my own. I also felt as if renting is just a waste of money. So I had saved enough up for a down payment, and it was time.
I didn't want to live too far from my parents house, my friends, or the city I grew up in. So I looked for a place nearby. Everything I looked at was expensive for what I was getting. I never knew I lived in a fancier part of the valley. Most things were new, compete with the muted browns, cookie cutter layouts, and cheaply built condos with no trees outside. It was depressing really.
And then I found it - an amazing condo. It was a half hour (or 45 minutes, depending on who it is) drive from my parents, but right down the street from work. It still have those ugly brown carpets, but by this point I had come to realization that I was just going to have to change those carpets. It had two levels, was on the top floor, wonderful vaulted ceilings, a spiral staircase (which isn't to code anymore so you can't get it in new construction), mirror walls to make it feel larger, a fireplace, beautiful black and white tile floors in the kitchen, a huge loft for my bookcases, and they didn't let dogs, cats, or smoking in the complex. It was amazingly luxurious, but a little more than I wanted to spend.
By the time I decided I wanted it, it was off the market.
So I stalked the complex. I stalked that complex for four months. Sure, I looked at other places in that city, I had decided I didn't actually like the half hour drive to work, especially when it was snowing. But I kept coming back to that complex. I found someone had listed one on craigslist, not wanting any realtors. I sent my realtor after him. It was a basement unit with, gosh, orange highly textured walls. Not a simple paint and go away texture, but complete redo. I found another basement unit listed as well, but I just wasn't feeling it. There was even a top floor unit that went on the market, for less than a day, and they changed their mind.
And then it was listed. I got the email with the daily roundup like I had been getting, and there it was, a top floor unit, with a view of the river. I was just about ready to email my realtor when I got a text from him asking if I had seen it. We planned to meet up there as soon as he could get there, since he was farther away than me. I was so thankful to have a job that is flexible with the hours that they just let me leave, but I told them I was headed to look at a house and off I went. After looking around for about a half hour, my realtor pulls out the papers, and I put in an offer. We, of course, put a time limit on it of the next day, and they were on top of responding. Within the day I had bought my condo.
It didn't have all of the same things that the one that I had feel in love with before had, but it had many things that were better. Take for instance the view - a river (a real one, not a man-made one) right outside the window. Two bathrooms instead of one. Freedom to change many of the features I didn't like without feeling like I was destroying something good. (I couldn't bring myself to consider somewhere with brown granite countertops - who takes those out?) Yet it still had that fabulous staircase.
Around this time the market was doing something odd, there was such a demand for housing that places weren't on staying on the market at all. People would tell me I was lucky to get one, they had put in many offers on places but were to slow. I guess I was one of the people snatching up properties before anyone else did. That is what happens when you stalk a place.
I was lucky to have found a unit where there was nobody living in it so we were able to move quickly on it. My mortgage lady was impressed, said I was the fastest mortgage she had done. Every time she had a request for some paperwork I was on top of it, getting it back that day or the next. It is amazing the world we live in where so many of our finical records are online and you can just grab them. It also helps that I had everything organized and knew what was going on with my finances. If you don't, I would suggest you get on top of it and get them handled. I actually had a closing date right after a 3 day weekend, but wanted to take advantage of that to do some demo, and was able to move it up.
Now, I am extremely lucky to have what I consider a dream condo. Well, mostly a dream. It takes some work to get it exactly where I want, but progress. I feel extremely lucky, and it took some time. I had been looking for months and months, stalking places, saving money. To be able to get a house that is perfect does take time, it takes work, and it takes being willing to buy the brown house and change it.