Our Suburban Cottage is hosting a “How I Met My House” party today and I had to join in, because Mr. W and I closed on our house exactly one year ago today. :) So, here is how we met our first house…
About six months after getting married, Mr. W and I started to toss around the idea of buying a house. We spent hours looking at houses online, went to a few open houses here and there, and visited some beautiful new developments. After looking around a little, we knew we definitely wanted to buy our first home and that we definitely needed to get more realistic with our budget [thank you, mortgage calculator!]. So, we got a little more serious about it and contacted the real estate agents Mr. W’s parents had used.
We arranged a date to go see about six houses one Saturday. When the day came, it was a horrible, ridiculous blizzard and a few of the homeowners canceled the showings. The real estate agents said we could reschedule, but I insisted we go ahead as planned. So Mr. W, Mr. W’s mom, stepdad, and sister, my mom, my mom’s friend, and I all piled into our cars and off we went. Turns out we should have stayed inside where it was warm...
The houses we saw included one that I was terrified to go into the basement and one that gave Mr. W’s mom motion sickness because it was so crooked. As you walked around, the floor was seriously so tilted you felt like one leg was longer than the other. There were a few that were okay…I kind of liked one even though it smelled funny, had pictures hung right below the ceiling, and had a couple other weird things going on. Mostly I liked the big closets though [and that the floor was level]. Mr. W kind of liked one even though it had essentially no storage at all. Seriously, did the cold make him forget how much stuff I own!? I think he just liked that they had hot chocolate waiting for us. Anyways, moral of the story – we finished the day knowing that we would be looking again.
After that, our house hunt got better. Much better...
We had a trip to Dallas planned to visit my sister and brother-in-law and arranged to see six more houses before we left town. We were much more selective in choosing the houses for this day and all of them turned out to be a drastic improvement over the others we had seen. Our real estate agent even tossed one more house into the mix that just happened to have been listed that very morning. When she showed us the listing, we weren’t overly impressed by the picture on the flyer, but wanted to see it anyway.
When we pulled up, the house greatly exceeded our expectations from the picture. And when we went inside, we were in complete awe. It was like our budget had magically increased by $30,000. We double-checked the listing and sure enough it was actually priced lower than some of the other houses we were looking at. Wowza! We loved it and knew we had to have it.
In talking to our agent, we found out the house would be part of a huge open house tour over the weekend. We knew if we didn’t act fast, we would miss our chance. So, we drove to the closest office to fill out the paperwork to make an offer before we left town. This was at about 1:00 p.m. We made our offer for exactly the asking price. Yes, I know some of you probably think we were stupid. But it was the first day on the market and a grrreat deal. We finished up the papers, hopped in the car, and off to Dallas we went.
[kitchen & eat-in dining]
At about 6:00 p.m., we stopped at a Wal-Mart somewhere in the middle of nowhere Oklahoma and got one of the most important phone calls to date. The homeowners had accepted our offer! Hurray!!!
The whole process of buying our house went so smoothly it was almost crazy. We had no problems at all with the appraisal, inspections or negotiations with the homeowners. Everyone [and their dog] has warned us that buying a house will never, ever be this easy again. What can I say? It was truly just meant to be. It turns out the previous homeowner had a serious health problem and wanted to move closer to the hospital and his parents so they could help with the family’s two young kids. The couple was so relieved to have one less thing to worry about that they never even considered haggling about things like if we could keep the refrigerator or who should pay for the roof repairs. And we were so in love with the house that we probably wouldn’t have argued much anyway.
[was dining room, now living room]
So, there it is – our first home. The past year has been full of fun home projects and firsts – first night in our house, first birthday celebration in our house, first Christmas in our house, first everything. It has been a year of wonderful memories that will never be forgotten.
[All pictures are from the real estate listing when we bought our house, because this is how it looked when we met. :)]
[was office, now basement rec room]