2020 had surprises in store for many of us and for Luke and I that included buying a house. We had many other plans in place of moving away from Western Pennsylvania and going to a suburb of DC… but of course those plans came to a screeching halt in March when all of our other plans did too.
Our plans halted for a moment, and then we switched gears and started making new plans.
We decided to continue living right where we were when Luke got an offer from his employer for a bigger position but we would need to find a new apartment. The only thing that was a problem was that apartments were few and far between and they were EXPENSIVE.
Beginning the Hunt for a Home
We started looking at the option of buying a house briefly and realized that it was way more feasible than we first thought! The idea of putting our money into something that would actually give us some equity was incredible and having a bigger space would be even better.
So, we started the search right after we got married! We looked at some cute houses at first that I loved but that FLEW off the market. We hadn’t decided on which realtor we wanted to work with and we had a vague price range we were looking at. Realizing that the houses were going quickly we had to make a game plan quickly…
here are some of the things we did!
- Picking a GREAT realtor- we didn’t pick the family friend or the first person we worked with but we had a few showings with a few different realtors to get a better idea of who they were. Each person worked differently but with the market being as crazy as it was at the time we especially wanted someone who would stay on top of our search with us. (if you are in Western, PA you should definitely check out Corey Weber with Berkshire Hathaway)
- Finding the right lendor to work with- we really lucked out on this one because our realtor got us connected to our lendor really quickly. She was so organized and personable, I loved working with her. She made sure the process was understandable for us and kept us on a timely schedule with everything. She was always accessible to us which made us so much more comfortable with everything. She was able to talk through our budget and what we could afford, what we actually wanted to spend, and how to craft a strong offer.
- Creating a list of important items to search for- this seems like a no brainer, but especially for our process this helped us to look at a house quickly and see if it was a contender or not really right away. We walked into some houses and knew we wanted to put in an offer right away! There were other houses that we could tell were a dud… We were looking at multiple houses a week and it got overwhelming at times so knowing exactly what we wanted, what we would be willing to compromise on, and big selling points for us helped us quickly narrow down our search.
In total, we looked at 17 houses and offered on 6 of those house until we finally got our home. One of those homes was for sale by owner, one of the offers was conditionally accepted and then they didn’t sign, and another house looked like a horror film inside… It was a long and sometimes discouraging process.
The Moment I Knew
But when we walked into our current house I knew that this would be it, I had this feeling that was so calming like I knew that the search was over. It was a much bigger house than we were expecting and in a wonderful location that was fairly close to my parents house… So we put an offer in and they accepted!
The rest of the process was fairly simple, except there were moments that were frustrating that were out of our control… (aka my employer was not helpful). But we did it, we were finally home owners who were so ready to move in and get to work… Keep an eye out for some more blog posts about our work on the house!
So to anyone who is considering buying a house, it can definitely seem overwhelming or unattainable but you can do it!! Owning a house as a 23 and 24 year old was wild to us, but we couldn’t be happier with the home that God has provided us and we are so excited for all the memories that will take place here.