Tuesday, June 9, 2015

House Hunting

Richard and I have been dreaming about buying a house for sometime now. We knew that once Richard got a job that would be one of our first steps. When we lived in Minnesota and were first married, we had a house and it was so much fun to have that experience. When we moved to Louisiana, we knew we would only be there a few short years so buying a house did not make sense. So we lived in an apartment for the first time in our lives. Now, we have lived in an apartment for just about three years, and having a house really is a luxury. Going from a three bedroom house with two living spaces, a giant laundry room and a fenced in backyard to a tiny two bedroom apartment with laundry in the kitchen and nowhere for the puppy to run was a huge adjustment. One that I don't think we ever fully adjusted to. So having a house again was something we have looked forward to for the last three years.
Our First House :)
Our first house worked perfect for the two of us, plus our puppy and has since been a great rental house. When we bought that house, not long before we got married, we knew there was a chance that we would end up moving else where for Richard to go to graduate school. At the time, I did not want to see how big of a chance that really was. So when we were house hunting, we wanted to find a house that would make a good rental house. Basically, we wanted to find a place that would work for a bunch of different situations, including ours. This made the house buying process a little less intense since we knew we did not need to love the house, we just wanted to find a good investment property. My dad was also new to the real estate business so we had some fun exploring a bunch of different houses.

But this time, the process of buying a house has been a lot more rewarding. We know that we will be sticking around in Texas for quite some time and we want to buy a house that would work perfect for us for the long haul. So we have been dreaming about what we would like to have in a house verses what would be nice to have.

Must Haves:
Be in our Budget. This is probably a duh, but its the truth. We had a predetermined budget that we knew we had to stick to.
Location. Must be within 20 minutes of Richard's new job. This gave us a pretty good radius to search within.
Single Family Home. No more sharing walls with complete strangers.
Four bedrooms, at least three on one level. We figured a room for us, two rooms for future kids, and a guest room.
2+ Baths. Our first house only had one bathroom with three bedrooms which was not always the easiest.
Open Layout/Tall Ceilings. We wanted to make sure that it felt pretty open, especially so that we could see the living room from the kitchen. Plus tall ceilings make everything feel bigger.
Lots of Natural Light. We both love not having to have lights on all the time, especially after living in the caves of our last two apartments.
Nice Outdoor space (Deck/Patio). Richard really enjoys sitting outside and studying, plus we would like a space where we could sit outside for dinner if we choose.
Good School District. We have no idea how long we will live there so we better be careful just in case. Plus, this usually helps with resale.
Large Kitchen. Our first house and our last two apartments have had pretty tiny kitchens. You run out of counter space pretty quick, and since we cook at home most of the time this was a must.

Nice to Haves:
Fenced in backyard. So Paisley would have space to run. Not a deal breaker though because we could find alternatives.
Wood Floors. We could always add them if we wanted to, but would nice not to have to fund it.
Living Space that could be converted to an office. Having a place outside of a bedroom that could be used as an office would be a major plus.
Walk in Closets. Nice big closets for the first time in our life would be awesome.
2+ Car Garage. Again would be nice, but we would be ok with out it. I mean its Texas, so we don't have to deal with snow and freezing cold temperatures so it was not a huge deal.
Master Suite. Would be nice, but we are not that picky.
Exposed Staircase. If we want the really tall ceilings, a lot of times this comes with an exposed staircase. I just really like the look and it is really common in Texas.
Walkable Neighborhood. We really like to go on walks, and going right from our front door was a major plus in our first house. Would be nice to have that again.
Kitchen Pantry. Some extra space that was designed for food would great. Though, not the end of the world if we have to use a cabinet.

We started house shopping and put in an offer on a house that meets all of our must haves, all of our nice to haves, plus some things we did not think to inlcude. But more on the later! Such a fun and exciting time and we are so ready to move in!

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1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention what a FANTASTIC realtor you had for your first house purchase! And that it was that GREAT realtor that talked you into buying a house in the first place and that it would be a wonderful rental opportunity for you when you moved away!


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