As of November 26, 2014, Eric and I are officially homeowners!
It has been a whirlwind and stressful process and I think at times we were both ready to kill each other, but we survived buying our first home.
We could not be more thrilled!
I am going to present a series of posts on buying our first home and detail how Eric and I went from being $45,000 in debt to first-time homebuyers in less than five years.
How We Bought Our First Home
After a particularly rough week on both of us in October, Eric wanted us to go look at houses to lift our spirits. You know, just to window shop…and so the story begins.
We went to a nearby neighborhood that I had always loved, and there happened to be three open houses in the neighborhood that day.
The first house was a four-bedroom, two-bath, listed for $583,000, and it was a major fixer-upper. Everything would need to be updated—it looked like they hadn’t updated anything since it was built in the late 1960s.
The second house was a three-bedroom, two-bath, listed for $629,000. It had recently been updated, brand-new kitchen with white cabinets, that brown granite you see in everyone’s bathroom, etc. In other words, it was a nice house, but definitely not our style. Plus, while it was a three-bedroom, two-bath, the layout was very off. The living room was super small, feeling even more cramped than our current living space.
The third house was a two-bedroom, two-bath, and it was listed for $559,000 and was a For Sale By Owner (FSBO). I initially didn’t even want to see it because I knew that we would need a three-bedroom to grow into. But when we saw this house, I fell in love with it. There was so much light, plenty of space, an entertainers’ backyard, and even more so, the 5,500+sq.ft. lot allowed for plenty of room to expand in the future if we wanted (say for that master suite…).
So then the seed was planted.
How We Decided to Make an Offer
We loved the house, we loved the location, and while I didn’t love that it was a two-bedroom, we could work around that by adding a master suite in the future. Comps in the area for three-bedroom houses were selling for low to mid $600s. We could definitely add a master suite for around $40-50K, which would vastly increase the value of the home.
What’s more is that I had always set our sights on this specific neighborhood but always assumed it was out of our price range. I can’t say enough great things about this neighborhood—it is so Leave it to Beaver. There is plenty of pride of ownership, the houses are unique so they’re not your stereotypical beige that Orange County is so well-known for, and there is such a great sense of community with a central park in the middle of the neighborhood and holiday parades within the neighborhood.
In fact, we’ve already received our first community newsletter, and more than four neighbors have stopped by to introduce themselves! We are tickled pink by how lovely the neighborhood and the neighbors are. We are super excited to attend our neighborhood Winter Social this Friday and participate in the holiday lights contest!! EEEEE!!!
I just cannot say enough good things about this community and my heart just swells as I imagine our kids growing up here (when we finally decide to get around to that…life has been busy).
So with the thought of wanting to be in this neighborhood, and knowing that we would never be able to afford the mortgage on a $600K+ house for a three-bedroom in this neighborhood—we decided to take the plunge and make an offer.
To be continued…