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House hunting is not fun in negative temperatures.  It’s not fun in snow storms.  It’s not pleasant looking at vacant homes when no one has shoveled the driveway in weeks.  It’s difficult at night in the winter because not only are you frozen but you can’t see the outside of the property due to the pitch black darkness.

House hunting is not fun when you’re with child and own a dog.  Gone are the selfish days, now it’s all, where will this precious fetus live if we buy this house?  Where will a second small human reside?  Can I climb that many stairs holding the laundry and a baby? What about a fenced-in yard for the dog?  Is that bedroom big enough?  Is there quick and easy access to the outside?  A detached garage?  When was that ever a good idea in Minnesota?!?!

House hunting is not fun when your husband is a smart, slow-moving, and careful man.  Understandably so, The Scottish worries about money (as do I) and buying a home is A LOT of money.  It’s also not fun when you’re a gut feeling type of person, waiting for a sign.  Put the two of us together and we can find something wrong with any house.  Granted, there is never going to be a 100% perfect house, but you have to find a home where you can picture yourself living there and a place where the good traits outweigh the bad ones.

I sort of feel like I’m shopping for a wedding dress in the sense that I may always wonder what else is out there but gown shopping only took me a week and four appointments so clearly I have the ability to be decisive.  For us it’s difficult because the suburb we want to live is older which means MUCH smaller homes.  Smaller homes are not ideal for growing families.  It’s all about location vs. space and so far space is winning by a landslide.

As I walked into home number 328 (slight exaggeration) this week, and ooo’d and ahhh’d over the layout (we are layout OBSESSED) I started adding up the many items we would have to replace or fix right away in my head.  It was overwhelming and I thought how did we get to this point?  At the beginning, we were only looking for move-in ready, renovated homes and now we’re looking at this unappealing fixer-upper?  Big sigh.

The switch is partially due to money and us being nervous about adding a baby to our lives, but the reality is that inventory is low.  People aren’t ready to sell because they can’t make a profit and everything that is a good quality gets snatched up in a matter of hours because most homes are priced to sell right now.  While the market is slowing climbing, there’s still a limited amount of homes in each budget bracket.

But we won’t give up just yet!  I will get out of my parent’s house eventually!  I will make a nursery for my baby, find a yard for my dog, and a game room for my husband, just you wait and see!  🙂

OK back to being depressed.  Pep talks welcome.

PS Those of you lovely MN friends and readers, please don’t mention any city names, I’m not sharing exact locations here on DH for obvious reasons.  (I’m kind of a big deal.)  NOT.

Is a month a long time to look in your opinion?  How was your home buying experience?  Were you as picky as us?

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11 Responses to “A Drama Queen’s Guide to Home Buying”

  1. Megan

    We searched for a home for a solid year. Liked 12 houses enough to want to put in an offer. 4 of those were already taken before we could write the offer; 7 rejected offers, and 1 accepted offer that fell through 2 days before closing (but after we spent $1100 on inspections and appraisals). Now we are waiting 6 months to build. It’s been a long awful ordeal that I don’t wish to repeat for many years.

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      Ok, your story is so frustrating, I can’t believe all of those rejected offers and the one that fell through so close to closing, and I also can’t believe you found 12 houses you both liked, haha! Building sounds stressful but hopefully you’ll get your dream house that way? We’d love to do new construction for our next house.

      Reply
  2. Aunt K

    Finding the right home takes a time. But more houses will be available in the spring. Most people don’t want to sell until spring or summer for the same reasons you mentioned. The house we are in now, we didn’t even want to look at. We didn’t like “curb appeal”, but our realtor told us we had to see the inside so we did. And that was it, we had to have it. In the end it didn’t have everything we wanted, but the pros out numbered the cons.

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      True! But here it’s supposedly the start of home buying season after the Superbowl in early Feb. But last year the inventory didn’t boom like it should have, uncertain of what this year will be like but so happy it’s almost March!

      Your house is awesome, you guys made a great choice!

      Reply
  3. JennyinAZ

    Come to AZ! We have a lot of houses and its warm and not covered in snow 🙂 j/k but I do hope you guys find something you love!

    We bought our house in ’09, so there weren’t a lot of buyers in the market back then (um, here anyway). The house we bought was two doors down from the rental house we were in. It was being flipped so we were able to work some stuff into the deal that we wanted (like a drive through garage – they were adding the garage, we just wanted a garage door added on the back of it!). We mostly bought our house because of the lot size (huge- tough to find out here), and the neighborhood. In reality, the house itself…I could take it or leave it. Its fine. The lot is big enough that we could add on if we want.

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      I have been to Arizona, it’s lovely but there’s not four seasons! haha, although skipping this winter would have been ideal. Glad you found a great house and that’s so cool you got to be a part of the flipping. I bought my condo in ’09, it was a great time to buy. 🙂

      Reply
      • JennyinAZ

        Yeah, we don’t have seasons… LOL especially not this year! This “winter” has been horrible, its been so warm! Makes me worry about this summer….

        Reply
  4. Jenn

    We were barely looking when we found the house we’re trying to buy now, but we’re now in our 3rd month of getting everything set to be able to close (and may have to push our closing date back again… sigh). If this house doesn’t work out, I see us looking for a while to be able to find another property that fits us so well–ours is more the dream dress you compare everything else to sort of situation, lol.

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      great analogy!! That is sort of exciting when you find the perfect place even before you meant to start looking. All those delays sound very stressful, I hope you guys close real soon!

      Reply
  5. Lauren

    We started looking at houses online in 2011 to get an idea of what was out there and the type of layouts that we liked. We thought we were ready to really start looking in 2012 and then received not so great financial news. I was heart broken and was sure the layouts that we liked would be gone by the time we got everything together. We finally were about to get pre-approved and start our house hunting journey in 2013 and really lucked out because houses were moving fast, but the house that we loved (although there were things that needed to be done to the house) had been on and off the market. I love our house (although some pricey repairs have sometimes made me question it) and I know that you two will find one that you love as well soon!

    Reply
    • Stephanie

      Thanks Lauren! Wow, that’s a long time to wait when you know you want to buy! I’m glad you guys found a great place, from the pics I just saw on your blog I think it looks awesome.

      Reply

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