January 15, 2015

When our quest for a home began, we knew we were going at it during what is not exactly the booming selling season. Winter is the best time of the year for snagging a deal, but worst time for inventory. Put more specifically, our first set of showings were the week of Thanksgiving, and the Thanksgiving to Christmas stretch is certainly no man’s land for putting houses on the market. But we knew this! And are thankfully not in a hurry.

In fact, we are trying to be very disciplined and patient. We will not buy unless we love it. That means being in the mindset that it may be summer time (or longer?) before just the right place comes along. For myself, I cannot imagine making such a big purchase in a rush because of a lease ending or something. (But again, we are searching for a long term home.)

House Hunting

Several months before we were ready to buy (or even had a realtor), we went to a few open houses. We found a house that was just what we wanted. Do not take this lightly because I am very picky. I checked online real estate sites an average of at least weekly since we got married and this was the only house I ever would have been willing to pull the trigger on. It was perfectly imperfect in the way I like it. Bad flooring, bad carpet, needing a few walls put in or doorways widened here and there. A kitchen renovation. For many people those would be deal breakers, but for me, it was a must. I could already envision the pretty before and afters. That house did have some down sides. The exterior was ugly, and although exteriors can be hard to change, (especially inexpensively) I thought this one could be fixed with some different siding and adding a front porch. Also, it had a pool which we would have filled in (totally betraying my nine year old self’s desperate reverence for having a swimming pool in your own home.)

But, that house got away. We visited our financial planner to see if we could make it work. It would have been a bit of a stretch and choosing to wait has us at a place where we are more comfortable with rates and down payment and such. When it sold, sadness overtook me (sort of an overstatement) and I had to cut myself off of sites like zillow until we were serious.

Now that we really are ready to go, we have visited nine houses with our realtor. None of the selections have been right for us, but I am still appreciating the process. We are seeing some that are probably not up to the real standard of being worth a showing, but it is a helpful time to learn about the market, houses, and even our own selves and preferences. The one-that-got-away experience was good because it is now my bar for how much I would have to like a house to buy and not be settling.

Here is the post I wrote about our housing wish list of what we are looking for that would be perfect for us. The picture above is a house that I loved in so many ways, but it is very old. Old houses, I both love and fear you.

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  • It is really hard to find a house! It is a big step and you should be very careful! If you want to live in an older house you have to be sure that there is no moisture, that it is easy to heat up and that there are no problems with the tubes, that the windows are having good isolation… For the rest that older houses are really wonderful but as a general it is a gamble! Good luck!

  • The house is really beautiful! At least the room with the big windows is lovely! Old houses have really cool atmosphere! I wish you to find your forever home and to move there as soon as possible! Good luck! Greetings, London Removals Ltd.

  • In some ways I think looking in the winter is best because you don’t have as many people looking at houses. In the summer when we were looking houses would be snatched up before we could even sleep on it or show my parents. It was emotionally exhausting! We ended up buying our house in December and it wasn’t such a rush rush decision. We could sleep on it. Bring the parents by, etc.
    You def learn SO much about yourself and each other in the house hunting process but I loved every second of it! Enjoy! :)

    • Rachel Schultz

      That is really true. Right now I have gotten used to taking my time to get to a showing or talk to David about a house. In the spring I will have to pick it up!

  • We just bought our first home, living the land of renting FAR behind us. I was hoping we would buy a forever home but financially, that just wasn’t going to happen. So I settled for a starter home that will be a good investment to help us buy that forever home in five to eight years from now. House hunting is a daunting task. And I agree, do not take it lightly and don’t rush. You want the right place! Good luck!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Thanks Abby! We are loving it

  • Anonymous

    You will discover that the market starts to boom right after the Super Bowl. Don’t ask me why this is, but it happens every year! Best of luck in your search! Remember too that repairs usually are twice what you imagine, so be careful!

    • Rachel Schultz

      Hearing the super bowl sounds great because I have been planning on having to wait until spring!

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