Last week we submitted an offer on the perfect house, and by late afternoon the next day, we had a done deal! I'm still trying to process how this all happened so quickly (and trying to temper my excitement until after we're done with the home inspections), so I thought doing a little recap of how we got here might help.
And of course, what better way to structure it than like an episode of House Hunters, one of my favorite HGTV shows!
Narrator: Washington State natives Morgan and Alex uprooted their lives nine months ago, and moved from the San Francisco Bay area to Raleigh, North Carolina. And now they're looking to buy their first home in the much less expensive Raleigh housing market, and build their lives together, while they both telecommute to their California-based companies.
There's just one problem. Alex isn't sure which price range of home they should be looking at. He thought they should be looking lower, but that also means a smaller home, that needs more updating. On the other hand, Morgan knows exactly what she wants: their forever home. Which means they will need to spend more money to get the square footage and lot size she wants.
The couple has already seen one home, in their current neighborhood, but both agreed that it was too small and would need too much work. So now they're increasing their budget by $75,000, up to the price point that Morgan had been looking at all along.
Will she get the size of property she wants? Or will Alex's uncertainty about what he wants get in the way of finding their forever home?
(Ding dong! Imagine the House Hunters opening music playing....)
Raleigh, North Carolina. A diverse, capital city in the South, with sprawling suburbs, surrounded by beautiful scenery, and lots of activities for an active lifestyle.
Morgan and Alex met at Washington State University, and moved to California shortly after graduating, for Alex to attend Stanford for graduate school, and where they enjoyed all that the bay area has to offer.
After dating for eight years they got married, and shortly after, started thinking about their future, and their desire to purchase their first home. Once they evaluated their options in one of the most expensive housing markets in the country, they decided to move across the country, to Raleigh, where they would more easily be able to afford a house.
(blah, blah, blah, I'm assuming if you're reading my blog, you already know about my husband and I, and if not, you can check out my About Me page. So I'm just going to skip to our wish list!)
The size of the home is very important to us, as we want to have room to do whatever we want with the home, be it having space for a media room to a workout area. And since we both work from our home offices, we need a 4 bedroom, 2.5 bath house. 2,500 square feet at the very minimum, and that would have to come with a garage at that square footage. We would like to have a living room and family room, plus an additional communal living space like a basement, bonus room or sun room. And an open kitchen floor plan would be ideal, but isn't necessarily a 'must have.'
The yard is very important to us, and we value a private backyard. We spend a lot of time outside, three seasons of the year, and love to BBQ on a back patio or deck. This means we're not a fan of corner lots, and as well, would prefer not to be on a busy street. We really want at least a 1/2 acre lot, and the bigger the better.
We are targeting a specific area in North Raleigh, between several major highways. This will give us easy access to the freeways, won't be too far from the airport, will be closer to Durham (where family lives), but also not too far away from downtown Raleigh. For us to be willing to go north of the highway, the house would have to be perfect, as that is a little further from downtown than we prefer, and you get some airport noise up there. And being a short drive to shopping and grocery stores is important to us as well.
We would like to keep the final sales price of the home to a comfortable budget, so we can put 20% down and still have a good cushion in our savings for if anything breaks and needs repairs right after we move in. Plus, we need new furniture for practically every room of any house we buy (since we're still using thrift store furniture from college), so we want to make sure we can afford to furnish the new home. Being cash poor is not a situation we are willing to let ourselves get in!
Ok, this is getting a little long, so time for a commercial break! Next up, a look at the houses we saw, and then you can guess which one we bought :)
Is anyone else a big fan of House Hunters? And if so, do you also get annoyed when the people on the show reject a perfectly good house because of little things like paint color?