Hubby and I took a road trip back in May to celebrate the end of the semester for me and a successful exam sitting for him. It was nine days of just us and our convertible. While on the trip we talked a lot about our dreams for a home, most likely sparked by the incessant advertisements about buying homes and the fact that we kept taking random country back roads with the most adorable houses ever. I have a thing for "tiny" homes on big plots of land and every time we take the car out I point them out as we go.
Fast forward to July. On a whim -- really, I was procrastinating studying -- I decided to look at how much homes are in the area that we live and if any were for sale that might fit our idea of a "tiny" home. Much to my surprise, there were hundreds of homes available in our price range. The tough part was finding a home that was what we wanted. So, I texted hubby at work and said, "We should buy a house." Much to my surprise, he was on board with the idea and we got pre-approved for the mortgage that night.
We decided that we wanted to buy an old house (1900 to 1930) with two bedrooms, one bathroom, a basement, and a garage. Plus, we wanted a house that was less than 800 square feet. Ideally I wanted a detached garage mostly because I like the way that it looks, but I was willing to be flexible. Being so specific about what we were looking for made finding our house so much easier. We ended up looking at a total of five homes, but that was a drastically narrowed down list. Before contacting our realtor about seeing a home we would drive by the house to make sure that the neighborhood felt right. We would drive past 5 or 6 homes in a trip and rank them by if we wanted to see the inside or not. This really helped us to narrow down the number of houses that we were willing to see as neither of us wanted to waste our time or our realtor's time.
The first house was a short-sale that already had an offer on it. We mostly went to see it so that we could get a feel for the realtor and get our feet wet. The second house we saw was with a different realtor. That house had black mold in the basement -- a total deal breaker -- and we didn't like the realtor as much.
Then we scheduled three house visits in one day. All three of the homes were within a half mile of each other, so it made sense to see them all at once. The first home was a super cute 550 square foot home that had been recently updated. It didn't have a garage and was a bit more expensive than the others. Plus, it was being sold by Landbank which meant that we needed to use down payment assistance to qualify for the house. Needless to say, we decided to pass on that house. The second house is the house we ended up buying, so I'll talk more about that below. The final house was a complete disaster on the inside. I kid you not, there was shag carpet with a smiley face on the front door.
We were so completely impressed with the second house. It had hardwood floors throughout, recent updates to the outside (siding and roof), new windows, a huge yard, and it was the perfect price. Plus, it met almost all of our criteria. It is a two bedroom home with one bathroom and built in 1930. It has a basement and an attached one car garage. The only problem is that it is 896 square feet, but we were willing to compromise on the size. In fact, our realtor was hesitant to show us the house because it was a good deal larger than the other houses we had looked at. We put our offer in on it that very night!
After much irritation with the lender, which I won't go into here, we closed on September 18th. We moved in the following weekend and have been here for just over a month now. Being a homeowner is an amazing feeling. Knowing that someday this house will be paid off and ours is pretty neat. Plus, hubby trusts my "vision" for the inside, so I've started making it our own -- more to come on that later.