Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Buying a House

So uh yeah, we bought a house!

Okay, not quite, but we're very very close. Maybe I should back up a bit? At the beginning of this year, my husband and I finally agreed that we were ready to get our own house (read: I finally talked him into it). We started poking around on Zillow (here's a link to their homepage, if you are interested), just to see what was on the market.

We found a few houses that we liked, but not much. So my mom asked if she could hook us up with her agent, who had helped her sell my grandfather's condo after he passed away. I said sure, have him send us some listings, it can't hurt.

So he started sending us listings. A lot of listings. Like, 10 a day. And granted, some of these were updates to previous listings (like price changes), but still, we were quickly overwhelmed. We tried to sort through the listings and keep track of our favorites. Luckily, we knew exactly what area we wanted to be in, so that helped.

We quickly found one that we liked, just slightly outside of our preferred area. We asked the realtor about it, and he sent us more information. Then I called my mom to tell her. But when I gave her the address, she said she had to check on something and she would call me right back. Turns out, my cousin owns that house, and he's not actually interested in selling. Okay, back to square one.
We found another property we liked, and once we ascertained that this one was in fact for sale, we made an appointment to see it on Monday March 9th. Perfect.

Sunday the 8th was my birthday, and since the weather was so nice, my husband and I decided to spend the day at the zoo. At around 12:30 we get a call from the realtor. There was another offer on the house we were interested in. He could fit us in that day at 2 to look at the house, but the seller was ready to make a decision, and if we liked it, we would have to put an offer in before 5pm. No pressure, right?

So what did we do? We went to the giraffe house to sit and think about the situation (and to vent our frustrations to a very nice docent). We decided that we should at least see the house, after all, maybe it wouldn't be what we liked and we would have no problem passing on it. Just in case we liked it though, I called my uncle the contractor and asked if he could come walk-through the house with us, and let us know if there were any glaring issues with the structure or the foundation or the roof, or anything really.

At 1:45 we were parked in front of the house, nervously wondering what the protocol was. At this point I had never actually met our realtor in person, and didn't actually know what he looked like. I guessed however, that he was the guy standing on the front stoop waving at us. I was right. We took a deep collective breath, and got out of the car.

We looked over the house, and it was every bit as charming in person as it had been in the listing. We fell in love, we wanted it. Our relator looked at us like we were nuts when we told him that we wanted to put in an offer.

"Are you sure?" He asked. "After all, this is only the first house you've seen..." But yes, we were sure. It was in the exact location we were hopping for (literally down the street from my BFF), and had everything we wanted in a house, including an unfinished basement that we could fix up. So off we went to my in-law's house, where my mother-in-law (the attorney) helped us look over all of the paperwork before we stupidly signed our lives away.

We sent in our offer, and 20 minutes later, it was accepted! We were now officially on our way to being home-owners! The whole thing still feels like a dream, especially since it all happened so fast. I woke up Monday morning (the day we were supposed to see the house) in a state of shock. I turned to my husband. "Did we really buy a house yesterday?" I asked. "Yeah, I think we did."

There is still a lot to do, and nothing's final until its final. We have our inspection on Sunday (though I'm not anticipating any big surprises, after already walking through the house with a contractor & an engineer), and then we're closing on Tax Day.

So let the countdown begin!

35 Days!