It’s been 4 days since my last post that means we’re 4 days closer to buying our house! Did you miss that post? Here’s the link to the first post in my “We Bought a House” series. I’m calling it WBAH for short. I am so excited! I keep thinking about how I’ll arrange our furniture, what colors to paint some of the walls, the parties we’ll have! Mostly though I’m thinking about the paint colors, but that is a post for another day (or several posts for other days!). I mentioned in my last post that I felt like I’d learned a lot of things with our home buying process this time around and thought I’d share my home buying tips with you!
When My Man J got his new job and we knew we’d be moving we already knew we had had enough of the renting life with kiddos at home. We’d rented in the past but it was just the two of us then, and our oldest was pretty small by the time we moved out. It was a stressful situation renting with kids, I was so nervous they would break/ stain something and we’d have to pay for it. We knew we wanted to start looking at houses right away. With the ease of searching for homes online we started looking even before we had moved, but we started with specific things in mind that we wanted to find in our future home. This brings me right to my first home buying tip.
1) Make a list of just a few things that you absolutely want in a future home. When you start thinking about a house and all of the things they offer and don’t offer it can get really overwhelming fast! We had a list at the beginning of our process and ended up tweaking it a bit once we walked thru some houses. We realized that we really wanted to have a basement with windows that gave a lot of day light. We didn’t know we wanted that until we walked through homes that didn’t have any basement windows. We adjusted our list of most important things after that.
2) Go see a lot of houses and take a lot of pictures when you’re there. I know it’s so easy to look through pictures of homes on the internet, but really being in each of the houses that we walked through gave us such an easier time of comparing and really deciding what we wanted in a house. Since we saw so many houses sometimes the details of each one ran together. Then if we checked back online sometimes the listed pictures were few and not helpful. Thankfully I took pictures (most of the time).
3) Get the lay out that works for you! We have two boys so we know we needed at least 3 bedrooms. We also knew from our rental that we didn’t want two bedrooms upstairs and one bedroom downstairs. That lay kind of a lay out just would not work for us, so we never saw a house with 2 beds up and 1 down. We also wanted to be able to entertain large amounts of people. We both have decent sized families and wanted to make sure we could accommodate a gathering (like be able to host Thanksgiving). With that we knew we would need a large “gathering” area, or a great room of some sort.
4) Go into a showing with the possibility of making changes in mind. If you can find a house that has the best lay out for your family, with the right paint colors, and perfect landscaping congratulations BUY THAT HOUSE! Ha! However, the chances of that happening are slim. Our first house was painted with deep rich colors and had an all around hunting theme. It also had a room painted Orange Soda orange, and one painted dark blue because he was a die hard Bears fan. We are not orange-wall-Bears-loving-hunters. If I would’ve gone in and had been turned off immediately to the colors of the house we would never had purchased it. Silly. We went in knowing we could paint and suddenly we were left just thinking about the floor plan and everything else the house had to offer. Also think that maybe there is a wall in a place that you’re not fond of, you can move walls, or change windows. It’s much more difficult to add a bedroom to a level that doesn’t have space for one.
5) Have fun! Do not stress out about the little things. Imagine yourself/your family in the new home. Look at 100 homes online. Look at the ones that are so far outside of your budget because you can. You will find the right house for you. It might take time or you might walk into your first showing and know you’ve found the right one. Either way, it should be a pleasant experience. I know the money side and inspections and the wait are hard but still in the end you get a house. A whole house that’s yours and you can do anything you want with it. You can paint every room a different color, you can pick whole themes to decorate your house in, but that’s a topic for another post.
I hope these helped or at least sparked some ideas!