The most exciting and time-consuming part of buying a home is actually LOOKING for a home. It’s such a big process because it involves tons of communication with your realtor, and flexibility in your schedule.
Our search started with our realtor, Rachel, setting us up with an app on our phones that filtered all of our needs and wants for our future home. As soon as a house hit the market, our phones got a notification. It was wildly thrilling, and completely scary.
Nick and Oakley and I made a list of the top “must-haves” in our first home. Here’s what we came up with:
- An attached two stall garage
- A finished basement that is tall enough (believe it or not, Nick is 6’5 and didn’t fit into MOST basements)
- 3 beds/2 baths
- Tons of natural lighting
- Wood floors
- A big kitchen
- A big fenced in yard
- Neighbors to bark at (Apologizing to everyone in advance)
- Safe sidewalks to walk on and sniff nearby
With all of this in mind, we looked at a few different houses and learned A TON along the way. Here’s what we learned:
Pictures Are Not Accurate
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, well I can tell you from experience that the pictures of many houses on Zillow leave OUT thousands of words. Like that giant stain on the carpet, or the missing piece of wall paper, the smoker smell that has embedded itself into the walls, or the missing appliances (we looked at a house and didn’t realize it didn’t have a single appliance in the kitchen until we got there. Good luck making Christmas dinner with a toaster and a blender when you are moving just before the holiday). Because of this, it’s crucial to look at the details and read everything about a home before you consider looking at it in person. This saves you a lot of time in the long run.
You NEED A Good Realtor
Let me say this again… you NEED a good realtor. I truly can’t stress this enough. Our realtor, Rachel, had our best interest in mind the entire way. When I texted her at 7pm with a house that I HAD TO SEE TOMORROW, she was willing to show me but also reminded me of our priorities… “It doesn’t have an attached garage. Do you still want to see it?” Rachel was constantly thinking of us and our wants and needs to help us prioritize and find the home. We were all over the place with our priorities because we were so overwhelmed as first-time home buyers, but Rachel would say, “We’re going to find it.” She was encouraging and steadfast in finding the “right” one for our family.
Don’t Get Emotional
On the first day that we toured houses, Rachel told us – “try not to fall in love with a house.” I understood but was a tad baffled… how could I not fall in love with a house? If I wanted it to become my home, I sure as heck better LOVE it. Of course, you should love your house but if you’re looking and become attached to a house, that’s another story. Keep the emotions out of it. Try to stick to the facts about what you like and don’t like. If you make the offer, just don’t let yourself get excited until its official.
I wish I had more to share regarding our process of shopping for a home, but it didn’t last long because after a week and a half of shopping, we found what seemed like THE one. It hit every part on our wish list and more. We toured it within 24 hours of it going live on the market and two days later we placed an offer. Find out next time if we got the house…!