Tuesday, June 4, 2013

House Hunters

That's right! This little Semper Fi Family is growing up! We have ventured out into the adult world of home buying. Well, technically, we aren't buying anything...yet. I suppose one day we will fondly look back on these pre-mortgage, house hunting days and laugh about how stressful we thought it was. One day we will yearn for the days of a 24/7 housing maintenance team and mock utility bills. The stress of being chauffeured around in an air conditioned sedan looking at hundreds of beautiful homes will be ideal when I'm frantically searching for a reputable plumber to fix an overflowing toilet. I'm guessing.

But the husband says It's time to buy a house. The market is turning. We need to make our money work for us. Yea, yea, yea. I say we need to play it safe and live in base housing until he retires. It's the battle of the wills and I'm losing. However, the market might push us out if it keeps up with this crazy 'no inventory' thing.

Win or lose, we are making a go of home buying. Every Saturday we will drag our hinies out of bed at zero-dark-thirty to drive north to tromp around complete strangers homes... until the market soars out of reach or we break OR our offer is accepted!

I'm telling you buying a house is not for the faint of heart. I am learning all the ins and outs. More than I want to know. Home buying is not my thing. It's my husband's thing. Unfortunately, husband is a Marine and Marines work...all day every day. So, let's guess who is becoming the primary home shopper...yes. Not excited.

What I get excited about is taking pictures and I'm taking lots. It's helpful in remembering which house was at which address. Also, helpful with sharing with my family and friends via blog. *wink wink*

My husband fell in love with this house. All 3600 square feet of it. All 5 bedroom, three bath, unnecessarily huge loft, and permanent shelving in the three car garage of it. On paper, we could "afford" it. We were hours away from presenting an offer and I couldn't do it. This is what sensible people call a bad decision. Lesson #1: You can not afford what the lender says you can afford.
Bottom line.

This was house #2. A little more subtle but terrible location. Neighborhood planner missed the mark on accessibility. No left hand turns into this community. You have to drive an extra two blocks to make a U-turn at the dead end. Drive back two blocks to turn into your neighborhood and another two blocks to your house. 
Lesson #2: What annoys you on Day 1 will really annoy you on Day 1875.

House #3 was directly across from a sports park. On Tuesday morning that would have been ideal. I would have exclaimed Wow right across the street from the sports park! How convenient! 
This house is perfect! Sold!
On Saturday morning, I said Next!
No parking. Strangers tromping around the yard. 
Whistles blowing and crowds cheering all day long. 
I like people. But not that much.

House #4 is the new build. It's our backup plan. In this market, the new builds are the deal. 
Isn't it weird to think a brand new house is cheaper than a resale? 
Unfortunately, there are about a hundred people before us shopping the same deals!
We didn't get the house. But we will keep trying.
Lesson #4: Have a back up plan for the backup plan.

My friends, those are all the lessons I have to share with you today.
If you have any words of wisdom for this future home owner, then I beg you to leave a comment!

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  1. We were shocked to find out that a new home was cheaper! We were excited though haha.

  2. I'm with your hubby on this one...I LOVED house shopping! Building would be fun too...that's what we're gearing up for!

    Whatever you decide...good luck!

  3. We aren't buying when we get to Pendleton, mainly because we already have a house somewhere else, but my husband has shopping for rentals online. He gets really excited! I figure it's not my forever home, so as long as I have the main requirements met, I'll take it. Where are you looking at?

  4. Soooo exciting! My husband and I are itching to buy a house and are excited to do so when we get into the fleet!

  5. House hunting is SOOO STRESSFUL!!! I was 8 months prego with our first when we were house hunting! We finally found one and closed on one, 2 weeks before I went into labor!!!! Honestly, I was so over being a "homeowner" after the first year. We had SO many unexpected expenses...some that weren't covered by our Homeowner's insurance or warranty. When we PCS'ed here to Massachusetts, we weren't exactly in a place to sell, so we are having to rent it out which is a huge pain in the butt since the house is in California, and we are here. But honestly, after 6 months of being "renters" here in Massachusetts for the first time in almost 4 years, I miss the joys of home ownership. It's a blessing in disguise!

  6. I've never actually experienced House Hunting so I wouldn't know. I do wish you all the best though. Sounds like it's a tough process. Hopefully you all will find the house of your dreams very soon :)

  7. I think they're all gorgeous decisions and I say at this point, throw it on up to the Lord!! After all, he is the final banker on this decision right?! Good luck and happy house hunting, I'd DIE for any of those :)

  8. I HATE house hunting, but I absolutely LOVED building my own! All of the houses you showed were gorgeous though. I may have been able to "settle" for one of those pre-owned ones. Once you actually own, I'm sure you'll love it! Now I think back sometimes and I'm like, "why did we ever rent?!" Lucky for us though, we bought in a great location, and there are constantly people looking to move into our town. We had no issues getting renters or anything. The costs do sneak up on you though. Lawn maintenance, home repairs, taxes. It isn't too bad though. You have the right mentality about what you can actually afford though. Sure I can afford a huge mortgage; if I don't plan on spending money on anything else....
    Good luck!!! (:

  9. Best of luck to you in the newest adventure Semper Fi Family!

  10. Hey there, stopping over from the Love My Post hop...and I'm now following because we have so much in common! My husband is in the Navy and we are currently locked into a short sale...we move in six months and we gave the bank until mid july to get to us with an answer..fingers crossed! It's been over two months now!

    Good luck on your adventure, I'll be following along! Swing by www.highheeledmama.com and say hi if you get the chance!