It’s officially time to begin the tale of our house hunting adventures! It was quite the whirlwind experience – we chose a house, put an offer in, got a counter-offer, and accepted all within a 48 hour period!
We’re incredibly excited to share our new home with y’all, but I want to talk a little bit about the process as a whole too.
Let’s start with what we were looking for in a house. Corey and I spent quite a bit of time nailing down a good idea of what we actually wanted, so that we didn’t have to do a lot of discussion on what we wanted as we were actually looking at houses. We came up with stuff that we both definitely wanted, but we both also had a few things that we individually wanted (although none of these things made the must-have list that we sent to our realtor).
When we were talking to our realtor about what we wanted, we gave him a very general idea of the area we were wanting to live in (we weren’t too picky with that, as we love a lot of different places in the Austin area!) and have him a few details that were important to us in a house.
What We Wanted:
- Three bedrooms
- Two bathrooms
- At least 1,500 square feet
- Yard large enough for our dogs
The only thing on the above list that we didn’t specifically tell our realtor was the fireplace, as it wasn’t a deal-breaker for us. We knew it would be nice to have one, but we weren’t about to write off a house that didn’t have one. Everything else on the list, however, was non-negotiable.
What Corey Wanted:
- A half bath (in addition to the other two bathrooms)
- A workshop or storage shed of some sort
- Backing up to park or greenbelt (rather than having neighbors in the back)
What I Wanted:
- A laundry room
- A formal dining room
- Large closets
- Room for an island in the kitchen
- Two stories
We didn’t give any of the above details to our realtor, as they were just things we individually desired and not things that were important to us as a couple. Plus, there were some things we wanted but knew we wouldn’t get (ahem, a pool?!).
In addition to the things that we really wanted, we also had a short list of things that would absolutely be deal-breakers to us. Our realtor wasn’t completely familiar with the area we were searching in, so we didn’t give him this list as we were trying to keep it as simple as possible for him (since he didn’t know the area, he hadn’t seen most of the houses and was relying only on the photos posted online to see what fit our criteria). We just knew that if any of the houses we looked at had one of these features, it wouldn’t be the house for us. In fact, the day before we went house hunting we drove by one of the houses we were supposed to look at and it had a converted garage – which was on our deal-breaker list. We didn’t want to waste our realtor’s time, so we called him up and let him know we weren’t interested in that one, and he found a different house for us to look at instead.
- Converted garage (we didn’t technically care if it had been converted on the inside, as long as they hadn’t changed the actual structure of the house by taking out the garage door completely.)
- Sketchy neighborhood
- Major renovations needed (not that we’re scared of them, but at this point it’s not financially feasible)
I think that it helped immensely that Corey and I talked so much before house hunting about what we wanted in a home. It meant that when we were looking, we didn’t have to do a lot of talking about whether or not a house was right for us – we were on the same page throughout the entire time, and we both knew what the other one wanted in a house.
We’ve gotten a few surprised reactions from people when we mention how quickly we chose and bought our house, but that wasn’t something we worried about at all. Before we left to go looking at houses, we talked extensively about whether or not we wanted to put down an offer on the first day and we both agreed that we were okay with it. The way we look at it, there is always going to be another house out there that you like more, but if you just stop looking and let yourself be happy with the first one you fall in love with, that won’t be an issue. We trusted that we’d know when we found “the one” and we weren’t going to hesitate on buying it just because we found it early!
Whew, that was a lot of writing with no photos. But now that you know what Corey and I were looking for, I can get to sharing the actual house hunting process! I promise there will be a LOT more photos next time!
What are the must-haves for you in a house? Do you and your significant other have different ideas about what’s important to you?