Tuesday, September 15, 2015

House Hunting B and J Style

As of Friday Brandon and I are officially first-time homeowners! (well together that is, Brandon was a homeowner at one time back in his bachelor days) I would say we are very excited, a little anxious, and about 75% packed.

I’ve always been an avid House Hunters fan. In fact, since Brandon and I don’t have cable, I’ve unabashedly planned my gym workouts around HGTV’s programming schedule :)  Brandon has always been an avid fan as well, and because of this I thought our house hunting process would be a fairly smooth journey.

HAH! I was so na├»ve…..

Over the last 3 years that we’ve been together, Brandon and I have loved taking walks through old and new neighborhoods and houses – admiring architecture, design, and character. I’ve learned that Brandon loves Tudors, while I prefer a craftsman style home, and while I check out the pantry and closet situation, Brandon’s first question is where would he put a library.

But actual house hunting with a budget and deadline was a little less romantic than our date nights wandering historical neighborhoods.

I went into our house hunting process with 4 “I’d really likes.” Not non-negotiables, but strong desires. They were:
                1. Not on or backing up to a busy road
                2. 3-4 bedrooms
                3. Private outdoor space
                4. Vaulted or higher ceilings in the main living area

Honestly I thought this was a pretty realistic list.

Brandon’s list was, well now that I think about it I don’t think he actually had a list. He had more of a go-with-the-flow-I’ll-know-it-when-I-feel-it approach. If it was in the budget, I think he really would have loved a renovated Tudor style home or to do a new build.

As we started house hunting, I quickly learned a few additional things about my self:

1. I hate split levels. With a passion.
2. Location and natural light matter to me more than I thought.
3. I like houses with a little more character that are in older, more developed neighborhoods with mature trees
4. Attempting long house-hunting days during my first trimester of pregnancy when all I wanted to do was sleep or lose my breakfast was not the best plan of attack

But ultimately, God answered so many of our prayers. In an extremely limited, sellers market we found a home we love, were able to negotiate and get it under list price and our budget, and worked with some sellers who were willing to negotiate a closing date around our apartment lease. Not only that, but we ended up with a home that pretty much has all of the things on my wish list. Granted it has some pretty unique quirks as well, but we’ll just call that the “character” I love so much!

And thanks to my in-laws who are master packers, we are well on our way to seeing the end of our apartment days (woo-hoo!!). Now all we have to do is some repairs, painting, and cleaning and the new house, clean and finish packing up the apartment, and squeeze in a week of vacation before our official move in date at the beginning of next month….


  1. I'm so happy for you guys, that you ended up with just the right house for you! There's definitely times when I don't know if we'll ever buy a house (there's some laws about foreigners not being allowed to buy houses in Malaysia unless they are priced higher than a certain high price--basically, they only want rich foreigners settling down here, not us normal ones, haha!)...but I can imagine it would be pretty stressful to be making that kind of commitment to a place!

  2. Awesome! So happy for you. I can't wait till we can buy a house. It is the plan that our next home WILL be bought. :)

  3. That is so exciting! So excited for you! We also bought in a sellers market this year and luckily ended up with a place that had pretty much everything we want!

  4. Thanks for sharing. I went through the process of buying my first house. Before I even began looking, I wrote down everything I did not want in the house and everything I did want. That was incredibly helpful because I was just able to tell the realtor that if it had anything I did not want, I would not buy.

    Jacqueline @ Buyer's Option Realty Services

  5. Wanted to share some of my recent experiences with a Realtor. I was not aware that when you respond to an ad in the paper that as soon as you go down to the office they have you sign a contract just to work with them. I was locked into working with a mean, immature, unprofessional women who I could not stand.

    Margaret @ Boston North Shore Real Estate

  6. House-hunting is a long and grueling process sometimes, but with any luck you won't be doing it very often. I like the democratic approach you used to whittle down your options, too. Too often one half of a couple makes basically all the decisions about the purchase, and they always regret it - I've seen it.

    Eddy Clemmons @ No Mortgages Ltd