24 April 2013

Househunting, Take 1

My husband B had Sunday off for only the second time in the past few months. Instead of wasting the day away, he decided we should go to some open houses to see what kind of real estate is around here.

Hooray for our first house-hunting adventure!

B printed off a list of open houses that were going on that day from Trulia. I didn't know it at the time, but he only picked "new construction" houses. This was kind of annoying, for a few reasons. It meant in each house, they were not only trying to sell us that house, they were trying to sell us any house. Sigh. It also meant that some of these houses were on roads that didn't exist until just a few months ago, so the GPS (on B's phone) couldn't find them. We had his laptop with us (no internet though), but the map was zoomed out too far to tell.

At one point, we gave up and just ended up just following a sign to an open house and seeing a 1999-built house that needed a lot of work. In total, we saw 4 houses and then called up B's aunt and uncle for a visit when we realized we were nearby where they live.

The house I where I grew up in Lawrenceville, GA. A custom-built in 1985.
No one else has lived here but my family!
I have now started a list in a notebook for our house hunt! B isn't very picky except for the location, so I guess I get to be the choosy one.  I have some "deal-breaker" features (open kitchen is a must for me) and some "wish-list" features (a dedicated laundry room perhaps?). We're still not sure if we're going to do a custom build or just buy something already built, but we have enough time to get either accomplished. (Our lease ends in November.) Even though it's still early days, we did sort of nail down which parts of town were acceptable. I'll call that a win.

Our current apartment (with 1-car garage on the bottom) in Fort Wayne, IN
This whole thing is still sort of blowing my mind. I know a lot of my non-military friends don't see what the big deal is. They bought a house right around the time they got married, and that was a preliminary step before having children. Some people that I graduated high school with are even on their second home now. But this is all slightly frightening to me. Kids are mobile, houses aren't. (Well, at least the kind we plan to buy.) The whole idea of buying a house just hammers home that we aren't just living here for 2 or 3 years. (I kinda sorta loved being a nomad.) The truth is that we have no idea how long we would live in this house. And even though I was raised in the same house from when I was a baby through my high school graduation, thinking 17 years into the future for my own daughter is just plain scary.

All that said, B is quickly approaching is 30th birthday, and I think that's a pretty good age to 'settle down,' plant your feet in the ground somewhere, and buy a home. I'm also excited at the prospect of a mortgage payment (plus insurances and taxes) that could be less than our current rent!


  1. Good luck!! House hunting is so fun and scary at the same time. We ended up going new construction and I'm SO glad we did.

  2. House hunting and the idea of buying a house SCARES.ME.TO.DEATH. We definitely won't buy until Gene retires, so I'd be in my 40's (If he makes it to 30yrs in like we're hoping!)
    Oh good luck on this wild adventure! I can't wait to keep up with it!

  3. How is it going, Cat? Hope you guys are having a great time house hunting. Creating a list for your choices of houses is a good idea, since you can plot a route to check them accordingly with their distance. Settling down in your very own house is a dream for everyone, and considering B is turning 30, I believe it’s the perfect time to do it! I hope you guys find the house you're looking for.

    Leona Gladen

  4. I prefer buying a custom built house, because you can have the plan and design according to your taste, so as to give the place your own personal touch. However, what is good about going for a preexisting house is that the structure is already there, you just have to make a few adjustments if you feel like it. So, how did your house hunting go? I hope you had fun!

    Julio Oyola