Thursday, January 13, 2011

House Hunters Ep. 1

Now that the holidays are over Kristian and I have started the whole house hunting process. Our condo is under short sale and we are estimating we'll need to move sometime this spring/early summer so we can't put off looking for a new place any longer, especially since we'll probably end up buying a short sale and as anyone whose been through that process knows it can take a LONG time.

Our realtor sent us a bunch of listings over the weekend to review and I marked a few as favorites though there was one in particular that really jumped out at us and that we wanted to see right away. So last night we met up with our realtor, Ken, to check out the townhouse.

A little about the townhouse: it's only 9 miles from my office (umm awesome!), it was a bit over our ideal price range (not so awesome), it had a cute little front porch, a deck and small fenced in back yard, two decent size bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a good size finished basement with a fireplace, hardwood floors on the main level and a decent size kitchen.

Overall we liked the house, it wasn't perfect but it had a lot of the things we were looking for. HOWEVER, the biggest drawback and what ultimately made us decide against it is that it backs right up to another row of townhouses. There's only a few feet in between what would be our fence and the back neighbors fence and you can see right into each other's houses. Which means no privacy and never being able to just leave your blinds open.

Since Kristian isn't a fan of townhouses to begin with (he wants a single family home, which unfortunately is out of our price range) he said he could only do a townhouse if it backed up to woods or other open space. And I agree. Otherwise it gets to feel very claustrophobic.

It was good walking through with our realtor though because now he has a better sense of what we want and don't want. If this house backed up to woods and ideally had another bedroom I think it would have been close to perfect. We really would prefer 3 bedrooms so that we could have a guest room/office and a future baby room and we definitely need a basement (finished or unfinished) for Kristian's "man's cave". We plan to live there for at least the next five years so we need some room to grow.

So on to the next one. Since we, like most people, want much more than our budget can really afford I suspect it's going to be a long tedious process.

For those homeowners out there, how many houses did you have to see before you found "the one"?


carrie1 said...

Ehh... good luck!!! Chris and I will be going through this process next year.

Brittney said...

We looked at approximately 50 houses, made about 5 offers before we decided that we needed to up our price range in order to get what we wanted. Then we ended up putting a second off on one of our first 20 hours... and that's what we ended up with. Like my wedding dress, I didn't have the "the one" moment, but Jacob liked it, and it's a nice house, so I'm happy. =)

Mrs. Lopez said...

Good luck! Buying a house is always so frustrating. We didn't have a high price range either but we did get to buy a new home in a new subdivision. I don't think we looked at that many as we couldn't be too picky.

Marian said...

So Liam and I just bought a place, right. At first, I was like Kristian...really wanted a house. But I also know, that if I'm living in a house, I'd prefer to be living in New Hampshire- not Maryland. If we were to stay in Maryland, I love LOVE the neighborhood we are in. So that was one of our requirements. The other, like you, was that it should have 2+ bedrooms and at least 1.5 bath. Liam has been living in the neighborhood for 5+ years and he actually went house hunting about 3 years ago, but didn't really see anything he liked (which is good because what has happened to the market). But literally, we were super lucky because the place we bought was actually the first place we looked at. But we had been going a lot of research. You never want to settle on something and we were super nervous about it being the first one we looked at, but we also didn't want that to hold us back from putting an offer in. But you know, its may take a few tries...but just remember, you don't have to settle:)

Summer {Bisfor...} said...

i hear it takes awhile to find the right one. i never have looked to buy but take your time. i think i would which is hard bc i want things RIGHT AWAY!


bananas. said...

we saw a bunch of places before we decided on the farley house. and even then there were things we really wanted but had to give a second bathroom or master closet.

PattyAnn said...

Well..we don't live in the "one" yet, my husband still moves around a lot in his job so we literally picked this house in one day, knowing it wasn't permanent. Let me tell you that his and hers sinks and closets will make for a great marriage.

Teenage Bride said...

I wish you the best of luck. when we were looking we ended up going with a town house but we got lucky because ours backs up to water so we have a HUGE amount of space by menas of a yard.

The good thing about town homes is that most things like the yards are maintained by an HOA for a small monthly fee!!

Good luck and happy hunting!!!

Nicole-Lynn said...

We are still waiting on a short sale and hoping it works out. We knew it was the one because it had a lot of charm, had a lot of our "wants", and is near our jobs. We're hoping it works out!

Good luck on your search.. it can be tiring but also fun!

Bicoastal Bride said...

I hear you about being so close to other people's homes, because I would hate that, too. I hope you find a great place that has what you need! We're waiting to buy, since we're not sure we'll be in DC after about a year and a half. Once I get my degree, we may move back to California.

Melissa said...

D and I looked at many many houses. 50 atleast. After about a year we took some time off. Then about 6 months later we were just browsing and found it. We bought ours on a short sell. U just know the right house when you see it.

EmilyB said...

Oh I'm excited to read about your house hunting! We're not there quite yet (maybe 2 more years?) but it will be great to read about another newlywed couple going through it.

Annie said...

so exciting you guys are looking for a house!! you will know when you find the one! :)
i bought my townhouse almost 9 years ago!! crazy!
i looked at quite a few townhouses before i decided on mine.
i can't wait to someday move into a house!!
best of luck to you guys! you will find something you love!!

Kelsey712 said...

my husband and I just moved into our house in August and its not our dream house, but its pretty close. We had kind of a roller coaster ride getting to it though. We sold our starter home in April after it had been on the market for 12 days (this was right around the peak of the home buyers credit). We put an offer in on a nice short sale through Bank of America and moved into a one bedroom apartment. We lived there ALL SUMMER LONG waiting on BofA. They never came any where close to closing our deal. We didn't hear from them and the selling realtor even set several closing dates only to have them pass with no response from Bank of America. We finally gave up and started looking again at the end of the summer. Not looking hard, but our realtor knew to keep his eye out for us. He ended up finding our house which was in forclosure. We closed on it in less than a month.

Anyway, sorry for such a long message but I guess my point is to be careful with the short sale. Especially if you are going through a large bank like BofA. It definitely did not work out for us. Also, the house we tried to buy had already been on the market for a long time when we bought it (almost a year) and it is STILL on the market. Apparently it has been under contract since we put it there and those people were also unable to close.

Anyway, good luck with your house search! It is such a fun time!

bekapaige said...

Well as you know, we're not homeowners yet (one more week!) but we saw 30+ homes in about 4 days of looking. We were in a hurry because we wanted to be moved before S's busy time so that he would have a shorter commute or I honestly think we might have seen more homes and had a harder time deciding.

For us, it was about knowing that this isn't our forever home, and not expecting "that feeling." Maybe I'm just not romantic but to be honest, I never got "that feeling" with my wedding dress- I just chose the one I liked the most and was the most flattering. Same with the house- I didn't fall in love but it did fit everything we asked for and has some nice extras that we knew we would enjoy.

So I would just say, if you don't find a house that gives you "that feeling of coming home" people always talk about... you're not alone :)

Jenni said...

We saw about 25-30 different places before finding our home :) I recommend looking until its perfect!

Krysten @ After 'I Do' said...

Ugh, even though my parents own the house that Dustin and I live in we did go through the buying process with them and it can be frustrating!

I hope you two find something that will make both of you happy!

Tamara Nicole said...

House hunting! Lots of work but well worth it:-) Best wishes!!!