When Devin and I first start looking at houses, we quickly found the process to be overwhelming. But I’m glad we persevered, because I love the pretty peach house we bought last month!
We looked for months before we found it. And between the market we’re in (houses go up as For Sale one day and Sold the next!) and the fact that neither of us are very spontaneous, we found going the house buying process to be kinda crazy. Mostly because it looked a little like this, day after day, week after week:
- See House on Zillow: For Sale.
- Ask Agent to schedule a showing.
- Go walk through the home of someone we don’t know that same evening.
So different from how we usually live: We schedule our lives at least two weeks in advance. But there we were, strolling through homes like we owned the place (’cause we might one day!).
Then came the house we really liked, near my parents, even. We were outbid. Then came the second house we liked, which failed the inspection. An emotional rollercoaster, I tell you!
But the whirlwind really began when we found the house we really, really liked.
What’s in a dream house?
Devin and I spent many dinner-table discussions throwing ideas around: did we want a playroom for our future children? How big did we want our yard to be? … How important is a pantry? Answer: very important. (Okay, that last one was mostly me.) We narrowed down our dreams to our Top Three. We even set a minimum square footage.
We looked at houses for months, spending several evenings a week walking through homes and continuing to dream.
The shift happened subtly. We started considering homes that didn’t have a playroom. Homes with smaller yards. Homes without pantries. Why?
My husband said it best to our small group when we were describing the home we put an offer on last month, which does not have our minimum square footage: “We want to build more margin into our lives. Margin in our schedule so we can lead this small group. Margin in our budget so we can give to what God is doing through our church and in our city. That means a lower mortgage than we could afford. That means the opportunity to make even buying a house a Kingdom-minded process.”
How We Bought Our First House
Since we got married, we’ve been saving like crazy, living off of Devin’s income and throwing almost all of my income into what we referred to as the Down Payment fund. Budgeting really saved our tail quite a few times, especially when one vehicle bit the dust early last year and we could pay cash for a new-to-us van. Looking back, I’m so glad we’ve been super frugal, because we bought a semi-fixer-upper home!
We saw the house pop up For Sale on a Monday afternoon. We immediately fell in love with the potential, texted our Agent, set up the showing, and walked through it that afternoon.
Enter the words: bidding war.
Seven (seven!) other people also wanted the house, so we laid down our best offer and got the call the next evening. We got it!
Of course, I thought the craziness of trying to tell if we liked a house from pictures, envision ourselves in a home, and schedule showings last-minute was over. And it was.
But a cyclone started as we juggled scheduling inspections and the appraisal, sent a tree’s worth of documents to our lender, and waited for the magical Closing day to arrive.
On March 29th, we signed all the papers and held in our hands for the first time the keys to our very first house!
We can’t wait to move in!
But before we move in…
We’ve been busy every evening and weekend since ripping up carpet, preparing to paint and put down new flooring. I’m nervous and excited about all we have going on within these walls the next few weeks!
Stay tuned; I’ll share more! In the meantime, if you’re friends with me on Facebook, I’ve got an album going there I add pictures to periodically, so you can see the demolition (and beautifying soon to come) up close. :)