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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

To be... or not to be my house?

Do I have any readers that have bought a house and have some experience with the process? My hubby and I have been looking at houses again (we did so in 2008 and late last year as well) but we don't quite see eye to eye on some things and it would be nice if I had some outside, objective opinions. The people in my real life that have bought a house in the past are not available; my sister is in no frame of mind to be hearing about house shopping, my mother let my step father deal with everything including picking the house and the most knowledgeable of all, my father, tends to get a nasty about our buying a house so he is not an option. I'm not looking for anyone to help solve the disagreements my hubby and I are having but I would like to know how other people went through the process of deciding it was the time to buy one, shopping around and deciding to purchase a particular home.

In 2008 when we'd looked at houses, we almost bought one but I am eternally grateful it fell through. I'm a stay at home mom so our income for a mid/late-20s couple with two young kids was on the lower side back then and we were only approved for $90,000. For $90,000 and no down payment around here, that means a house probably needs work and the one we almost purchased was no exception but it needed more than cosmetic work. I'd been smart enough to have an home inspection done and the house failed miserably outside of the fact it had black mold so we elected to back out of the offer- it was a bank owned foreclosure and due to the mold would not have passed USDA inspection for our USDA Rural Housing loan.

From start to finish the whole thing was a nightmare and soured me on buying a house, something I'd thought was supposed to be exciting not anxiety-inducing, but I learned a lot from the experience. The biggest lesson was not to let the real estate agent and mortgage broker railroad you and mine did-  I'd merely wanted information about a property and in a very short period of time it had snowballed and I found myself almost buying a house I didn't want. I also learned to be picky and take my time choosing a house I intend to be in the rest of my life and to avoid the majority of foreclosed homes- they are often not in the best condition and their background make me sad; I don't really want to be the person who buys the dream home someone else lost.

Late last year we'd checked out a handful of houses in the $90,000-$110,000 range and while the selection had improved, I found reasons to reject them because none of them "spoke" to me. One house was somewhat appealing with its screened in porch (always wanted one of those) and the biggest in size to date- 4 bedrooms, 2 full bathrooms and full finished basement but instinct told me there were bigger issues we weren't seeing. Before I saw it a second time, a real estate company bought the house, updated it and relisted for $144,000, out of our price range but that's ok because I've found one I like much better.

This is where the disagreement between my hubby and I comes in: we both agree the house is great and could be "the one" but while I feel the need to go see every option available to us before making a decision, he wants to make an offer right now before someone else does. We haven't yet come to an agreement but as a compromise, he agreed to go see the other houses and I'm going to go see that one again. I think the right house will speak to me, move me, linger in my mind and this one certainly has.

So that's my back story on house hunting, what is yours? Did you have any helpful guidance during the hunt or stumble through the process? How many houses did you see before picking the one you did and why did you pick it? I'm always full of questions about this so please indulge me =)



  1. I'll chime in since no one else has.... I agree with your hubby, make an offer! If its a great house and you love it, i definitely wouldn't wait. You can keep looking in the meantime, and if you find something even greater, retract your bid.

  2. It really does depend on how fast houses are selling in the area - I want to see lots and lots too (the fear of missing out on something better!) but if there is one that just grabs you, you do need to put an offer in. And be prepared for the offer to be rejected, or something equally stressful (house hunting can be one of the most stressful things!), but it also could just work :D I'd go with making an offer if you both really like it, and booking in to see as many as possible in the meantime :D And GOOD LUCK! It's great once you have a place :)

  3. If houses are selling quickly in your area and you find one you both like - put in an offer. Otherwise it might get snapped up by someone else. If homes are moving slowly in your area, you have time and can wait to put in an offer. I agree about a house speaking to you. When I found my last home - I just knew it. We pulled up in the driveway and I knew I was "home." Definitely don't let anyone railroad you into anything and remember if it feels too good to be true, it probably is. :) Good luck! Can't wait to read about the house hunting.

  4. If you love it, make an offer. It night fall though but that's why you keep looking. We did home searches on 2 occasions before actually buying. The first time I'm glad it fell through because right after our offer was fell though I was laid off. We waited a few years and looked again, wasn't seeing anything we loved and started having second thoughts. We put it offer for another year and then we looked about about 30 houses before finding ours. We went house hunting on a rainy day and stopped at a house in a part of town we weren't even considering. It was the first day on the market and it was perfect for us it just felt right. We made the offer and got the house for less than asking price. So, I'm a firm believer that you can and will find the right one when the time is right. It's definitely hard when you don't see eye to eye on things but it's trial and error. It's a stressful situation because it takes so much time and after awhile it all looks the same lol

  5. I appreciate the 4 of you lovely ladies taking the time to respond to my entry. Out of 70 views, you remain the 4 that did which is either a sign that no one found this topic particularly interesting or that no one has bought a house and if that's the case, that's sad because home ownership used to be part of the "american dream". Your feedback was overwhelmingly in favor of making an offer if it felt like the right house as well as taking your time in looking so you confirmed my feelings on both things. For those of you that are interested in how our search goes, I'll update you in another entry.

  6. “…the whole thing was a nightmare and soured me on buying a house…” – I agree. House hunting and the buying process itself is indeed a challenging task. And I’m glad that you didn’t fall for that foreclosure house. Foreclosure houses can sometimes be a good option, but it’s always better to check it first to know if there's a catch to it, just like you do. It’s also advantageous if you consult with an expert or someone knowledgeable with the process to guide you along the way.



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