What is the hardest part of shopping for and buying a house?
Hmm. So many things to consider here. One, for us, was weighing our wants versus needs against our budget. We could have bought (and afforded) a larger home with more of the features we wanted. Features like a deep-soaker tub, walk-in closets, and/or an attached garage. Our mortgage would have been considerably higher though. Making the conscious choice to spend less per month was really difficult to do, but in the end it came down to these points:
1: This isn't our 'forever' home, and it has everything that was on our 'needs' list. Even though it doesn't have many of our 'wants,' it has a ton of character and does fit our current lifestyle.
2: This house is the only house we looked at (in its price range) that was worth a second look. Other houses in its price range needed a ton of work. That will help us a lot when we sell the home: a lower price point equals a larger market. (Heck, the sellers sold it to us within a week of putting it on the market!)
3: We have a future to save for. Since this isn't our 'forever' home, it makes no sense to pour all of our excess money into it. We'd rather put the money into savings and/or into paying off other loans (i.e. car loan) than into higher mortgage payments.
So, we chose our home. Put up against other homes (one of our other favorites had 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, a raised porch, an attached garage), our house does have central air-conditioning, a two car [detached] garage, 3 bedrooms and 1.5 baths. It is 1800 square feet, some of it in the unfinished basement, so it isn't small, but isn't large either. It's also in a decent neighborhood. We are VERY happy with our choice. Our house is welcoming and wonderful, and it feels great knowing that its lower payments are allowing us more flexibility with our income than we otherwise would have had.
After actually making the house decision, everything else was just paperwork and inspections. That part of the process was more annoying and time-demanding than difficult. We worked with a buyer's agent, so he explained everything and took care of a lot of it for us.
*P.S. I am still accepting new questions here. My ongoing plan is to answer them on this blog, whenever I have time, until the inbox is empty. Once it sits empty for a week, I'll disable it. Also, please note: I do skip around when answering questions.
28 March 2010