Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Third Times a Charm (or Why It Took Us Over 2 years to Buy a House)

Who knew the home buying process was so difficult?

Um, try everyone I know.

But I just figured they were whiners and wimps and it wasn't really all that complicated. Cause I know better right?

I wish we would have started writing about this home search process sooner because I know there are a lot of details I've already forgotten about.

To start, this is technically the third time Chris and I have conducted a home search.

The first time kicked off May 6, 2007, the morning after Chris proposed.

We were giddy and starry-eyed and eager to start planning our life together.

We woke up, got in the car and started stalking DFW for the perfect neighborhood to call home.

I specifically remember driving through neighborhoods in Grapevine pointing at houses with one hand while holding my phone with the other; calling everyone I knew to tell them news of the engagement.

"Can you see yourself living here and driving to Lewisville for work?" I remember Chris asking.

What he should have been asking was "Do you think you might want to live here after we come back from living and working in Ankara, Turkey?"

Or he could have asked "Do you think we will have enough money to buy any of these houses after we find out we're having twins?"

But he didn't know to ask any of that. Neither of us knew.

So that house-hunt eventually ended with two tickets to Turkey.

The second time we went house-hunting was when we got back from Europe last summer.

Jet-lagged and full of gelato we jumped headfirst into a full-on house search.

For anyone taking notes, returning from a year stint abroad (not to mention recovery from 3 months of non-stop travel), is not a good time to start a house search. Get an apartment and re-visit the issue in a year. (I cite Blog Post #421)

We were shown a good number of houses on that round, but did I really see them? I think not.

All I wanted to do was crawl back into bed and take a nap.

We hadn't even allowed ourselves one week back home and already we were trying to drum up 2 cars, a mortgage, 2 new jobs and cell phones. Ah the American Dream.

My head was spinning.

House search put on hold again.

Fast forward to January of this year.

Tax credit extended, lease running out, talk of starting a family...
Oh, and our neighbors, whose idea of a nice Tuesday evening is marijuana fumes seeping out from under the front door while techno music bumps from 7 pm - 3 am.
Add some loud collision-like noises (that I can only assume is one of the guys repeatedly running into the wall at top speed and then crumpling into a pile on the floor) and you've got a couple who's ready to move.

Our realtor has been very patient with us. He should probably win some kind of award really.

One house was too big, another too small, another too expensive, another too cheap. I felt like Goldilocks.

After a month or so though, we finally found one.

And then almost backed out of the deal because the sellers wouldn't leave their fridge for us.
Our realtor (quite ready to throw his hands up I'm sure) offered to give us a gift card to Lowe's to buy a fridge if we would just go ahead with the deal.

And that's how we became first-time home buyers.

Is this the house of our dreams that we're going to stay in forever? No.

Is it a good house for first-time home buyers who want to be smart about their first purchase and live in something they like? Absolutely.

The neighborhood is well-established (Plano is in far North Dallas for all our international buddies), and it boasts beautiful tree-lined streets complete with parks and shopping nearby.

And this house has it all people.

Every room has four walls which I think will be amazing when we want to block the rain and wind.

Some rooms even have plush carpet so your feet don't get cold when you're walking around barefoot. It's like built-in slippers! And you never have to remember where you left them. Awesome.

All our furniture fits; you can put beds (as in plural) in this house, and tables to eat on also.

No candles or lanterns needed, this place is hooked up with electricity and it runs all day.

We even have windows so you can see outside. Spoiled much?

I kid, but truly the home inspector said this is one of the best houses she's seen for its age. That was reassuring.

It's about 36 years old so hopefully it won't be having its mid-life crisis soon.

The house isn't a fixer-upper by any means...but that doesn't mean I don't have big plans for some paint and decor.

Here's what we're working with:

Would love to plant some new big shrubs outside and some flowers. Maybe add a shutter or two. And one of those big Roman fountains so the neighbors can come over and make wishes.

This is the dining room where we'll do all our eating and card playing.

The kitchen (where I'll re-heat meals people bring us so we don't starve post twins arriving):

Quite possibly my favorite room and the room I'm most looking forward to decorating and inhabiting, the living room:


Future crying and pooping station:

Mothers Suite:

Postage Stamp sized backyard:

And the floor plan I made, complete with a welcome mat and everything.

So, yeah. A long post for what was quite a long journey.

But it was all worth it.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks!

    You can make a floorplan for free at Love that site.

    Have fun!