Anyone else out there house hunting?
Us Borns are learning as we go. Had no idea about mortgage's, interest rates, negotiations, offers, nada. So, if there are any other escrow-virgins, we decided to share what we're learning along the way.
Here's our experience step by step:
1) In January, our friends recommended a fabulous Realtor. (Always go with a recommendation if you can!) We met with her to see some homes and shared with her our initial stipulations.
- a cute older home that was not a $$ pit.
- 3+ bedroom
- 2 bath
- fenced in yard
- attached garage
- alarm system
- in a not-terrible part of the city
2) Financing: we saw our realtor's mortgage company and after hearing about their rates and reading a few reviews on service, we landed on a mortgage company. They were very thorough in directing exactly what paperwork we needed and when we needed it. After applying for pre-qualification, we we determined our budget. We set our top budget lower than our approval, to make our actual budget comfortable. New stipulation:
- $100-$120K budget
3) After seeing around 15 homes, and viewing 100+ online, we learned we would need to choose size or location. Either we get a GIGANTIC home in the proverbial 'hood'. OR we get a smaller home where I can go walk Punk Pup and be reasonably safe. Once we started looking with this in mind we learned what we could and couldn't live without. Our new list looked like this:
- an updated older home.
- 2-3 bed
- 1-1 1/2 bath
- fenced yard
- a close walk from garage to house
- in outskirts of nice neighborhoods
- $100-120,000 budget
3) After looking at a pricey fixer-upper, we stumbled upon a cute little house just blocks from Mr. Man's school and a short walk to a well-known neighborhood, Brookside. Here's how it has matched up:
- Built in 1937, but newly updated (new roof, windows, A/C, heater, water heater, and electrical)
- 3 bed
- 1 1/2 bath
- fenced yard
- basement garage
- just south-west of Brookside (63rd Ter)
- $117 when closing costs and home warranty were deducted.
- fresh neutral coat of paint all throughout
- walk-in pantry
- walk-in closet
- BEAUTIFUL original, refinished hardwood floors.
- blocks from Kev's schools (maybe we can be a 1 car family! Cut costs AND tree hugger friendliness)
- grocery store in walking distance.
- more important: local coffee shop (w/ good coffee) in walking distance!
- good school district if ever we have Baby Born's joining the scene.
We decided to put in an offer!
Comin' up: Saturday (er... I mean Monday) I'll post our negotiating process and our attitudes toward the process.