Monday, February 3, 2014

Home Shopping Woes

A few weeks ago, I mentioned that Derek and I were starting our home owning journey. We're only a few weeks in and already it's been a bumpy ride. We both know what we want in a home, the only problem right now is that we can't exactly afford what we want. I really wanted to come to my blog today with good news, saying that we had a really great experience or we actually found a home we wanted to buy. 

In the beginning, Derek was convinced we could buy our "forever" home and completely forego the whole "starter" home process. I had my doubts, but I continued to look at homes in our price range that fell in to the category of "what we wanted." The problem with that was, "what we wanted" and "what we could afford" were definitely two very different things. We found a few homes that met almost all of our criteria: over x amount of square feet, x amount of land, open floor plans, updated kitchen, a large storage option (barn/garage), and neighbors you couldn't reach with your broomstick.

Saturday we spent 4+ hours with our realtor looking at these homes that "met" our criteria, but nothing stood out. Nothing that screamed "home" for us. 

After we were done looking at houses, Derek and I had lunch. We talked, we argued, we compromised. We decided that buying our "forever" home was not an option right now, being that anything that fell in our price range just didn't measure up. 

So now we have a totally different list of criteria (I feel sorry for our realtor). We've done a complete 180 and are now looking at "neighborhood" houses. Houses with floor plans called The Diane and The Ashley. Houses who's back yard isn't big enough to play wiffleball in and who's "storage options" are limited to the attached single car garage. Cookie cutter homes. 

I'm not trying to put down anyone that lives in a neighborhood like the one I'm talking about, I really don't think there's anything wrong with Suburb-style homes and neighborhoods, I just know they aren't for me. I wasn't raised in a home like that and it isn't the kind of home I want to spend the rest of my life in. But I'm willing to settle, and willing to compromise - for now - because I know not everyone can get what they want when they want it. I'm smart enough to know that not many 23-year-olds are in the position to be a homeowner and I consider myself very fortunate.

I am not expecting to find our dream home the next time we go look, and maybe not even the next time. I am looking forward to the next few months of looking at possible homes with Derek and hopefully finding one that "speaks" to us. (Lord knows I'm ready for a place of my own.)

Did you have a hard time finding your "perfect house?"


Ashley Robyn said...

I think it's great that y'all set down and compromised. When my husband and I started looking at homes, I immediately wanted something like the home I grew up in and around where we live, it's just not an option. We found a great home that fits are needs now. Good for you for not rushing into anything and going above what you want to pay just to meet your criteria.

The Handey Way said...

I'm so ready to be in the position you're in. Even if it's just settling for a cookie cutter home, like you said.

I do hope you find something that both you and Derek agree on, and y'all both love it. A starter house can be made into a home. I remember my parents' first house, the one I grew up in, that was their starter home - and I loved it. I still love it. I would move back in there if I could.

My randomly long point is, no matter what house y'all decide - it'll be you and him making it a home. Good luck girl! Can't wait to see more of this adventure.

Kerry @ Till Then Smile Often said...

I looked for a home for a very long time and I switched in the middle from the town I was going to live, to the type of place I wanted. Buying by myself I knew i couldn't buy a single family home unless I made sacrifices. I knew I didn't want a condo in a big complex because it was too noisy and busy for my dog. I ended up with a duplex with a lot of potential. Be open to what you see and what will work for you. Good luck finding a new home.

Laura-Hyde said...

Hubby and I must have looked at almost 50 homes before we actually bought one, and even then we had to compromise. I wanted it all, whereas he was a little more realistic. It's great for your relationship and for the length of your house hunt that you've already compromised :) good luck x

Brikena said...

ugh i slightly know what you're going through. my boyfriend and i will be moving to Austria end of this year and we've been just "looking" through possible apartments in our price range. its so difficult!

hope you're happy with your final choice!

xo, Brikena

MIssissippi Mrs. said...

Ugh! Going through the home buying process is SO exhausting! Hope you find just what you both want/love soon! :)

Morgan Rae said...

House hunting can definitely be stressful, but it's all worth it in the end! My fiancé and I did the same thing and completely did a 180 on what we were looking for. Originally, we looked at home outside of the city that we could raise a family in. We then decided that we are young and wanted to buy a starter home in the city close to everything. We know we can't stay in the house for more than 5-8 years (the school system is Birmingham city, so that just wouldn't work), but it's the perfect home to START our family in. We were so happy that we decided to compromise, start small, and go for the home of our dreams on the next go around. Good luck with everything!!

Lynsey @ Eternally Wanderlyn said...

Your post totally felt like an episode of Property Virgins where people realize what they want and what they can afford aren't necessarily the same thing. But I think it's great that you have come to a compromise. And I think you will be happy with your starter home! It's a big step and one that will lead you to that dream home.

Margaret said...

When we first started looking, I really wasn't thrilled with the houses that were in our price range. But when we really decided that we wouldn't be in this house for more than 8-10 years, it was a lot easier to compromise on some of the things I didn't love as much.

Thankfully we did that before we started looking- and actually only looked at 4 houses before we found one we loved. I'm still nervous something is going to go wrong though- it's all seemed way too easy.

Nadine Lynn said...

My husband and I bought our first home last year. It is a step up from a "starter" cookie cutter home, but not quite the "forever" home that we wanted either. We decided that we wanted to get a home that wasn't going to make us "house poor" and just learn all the ropes of home owner ship and make our mistakes with is so that we really knew what we wanted when choosing the forever home. There are SO MANY things to look for in a home, that you really don't realize everything until you move in and don't like certain things that you never thought about before. It really prepares you for what you really want.

Sarah said...

AHHH. I can relate to EVERY SINGLE THING about this post! My fiance and I are a few steps behind you but man.. house hunting/buying is so unbelievably frustrating!

Emily Hartzell said...

Hi! I wanted to leave a comment because I'm 23 and my boyfriend and I actually just bought our first house this year. We actually didn't look at too too many and we purchased a renovated historical home with a long term tax credit. It was one of the most stressful things we've done! And being a home owner is a lot to bite off, but it's very rewarding too. It's been so good to have our own personal space and know that we're going to stay a while. But we never went into it with the idea that it was going to be a forever home! Nothing is forever! :) I hope you find the one that you love!

Helene in Between said...

oh girl this is so hard. it took us months and months of trying to figure it out. i would just tell you to give it time. when you find the right one, you;ll know!

Allie @ Tales of a TwentySomething said...

I think doing this is really good. Some people would jump at the first few homes they found and pick one that they sorta liked. You and Derek are being very smart by waiting until it's the one! Nothing wrong with taking a step back and changing what you want... at least for now.

Allison Shorr said...

I hope you can find your perfect "right now" home... Its such a hard decision. My Derek and I are just beginning the search for a home. We have a budget and i'm so excited to start looking but still scared i wont be able to find something that will work for us...

Allison Shorr said...

I hope you can find your perfect "right now" home... Its such a hard decision. My Derek and I are just beginning the search for a home. We have a budget and i'm so excited to start looking but still scared i wont be able to find something that will work for us...

brooke lyn said...

i don't think you need a dream home yet, just a 'this works for us for now' home!

Lisa @ Two Martinis said...

I feel like my house criteria would have changed 80 million times between now and just a few years ago! I guess that's why I'm still renting.... good for you for adjusting your list of criteria instead of forcing yourself into a place that may not make sense for you guys right now!

Amber Thomas said...

Oh girl, house hunting. The process is so stressful... I mean it is the biggest purchase you'll ever make... And the stress that comes with it feels like that.

We struggled with the "forever home" and the "good for right now home" over and over and over again. What I can say, as crazy and la-la-land as this sounds, is there will just be this feeling of "okay, this is right for us" that'll happen in one of the houses. We didn't have a AH-HA we're in love moment ever... But we had one that just felt right with a few changes here or there. :) Because, you know, we don't have the same taste as the sellers!

Paige Nicole said...

we are currently thinking of making the step out of apartments and into renting a home. Neither of us are ready to buy a house but everything we like is too expensive to just rent!

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