Comments: She called me back...

Funny you should ask:

I'll email you my phone number, too. You'll need someone on your side during this adventure.

Posted by Aaron at March 20, 2007 05:21 PM

First big one... no matter what the realtor says... NEVER look at a house out of your price range. Just don't do it. It will always look wonderful and you'll know you can't afford it. I don't care if you are best buddies, they will always try to show you something - at least one place - you can't afford. (I think it's tatooed in their genetic code... I've never figured out why they do this)

Forget what people have in a place. The show House Hunters is interesting when you watch the morons who look at a room and say - "I hate the color" - GEEZE! Paint is your friend - rooms can always change colors - curtains can be changed. Now bad windows, or flooring, THAT is expensive to change. Wallpaper can be a real bitch, especially if you damage the walls taking it off.

Look at the layout and compare it with how you live. Will the television being on in one room blare through the whole place? Is there at least one "away room" where you can do quiet things?

Size doesn't matter as much as how the place feels. Room proportions, windows, kitchen set up, bathroom set up, laundry... You very likely won't get everything you want (if you do, let me know cause I haven't found a house like that yet!), but look for the one that comes as close as possible.

Trust your nose! Walk into a place and sniff - you're trying to detect musty-moldy smells, bad animal smells that might not be easily defeated. The house of a smoker will likely need complete repainting and even possibly new carpets or the smell will drive a non-smoker insane. (if you get a basement - it's especially important to note the smell down there - it WILL waft upstairs)

Look at the ceilings and down into the corners. You shouldn't see any cracking or peeling paint or discolored areas that look like they've been wet. If you have a basement with a sewer pipe running outside... does it show any signs of leakage? Look in the attics for signs of a leaking roof - not to mention - bats or other small animals.

Look at the street - how noisy is it? Is it a "pass-through"? What do the cars look like? What do the yards look like? Is it near any large noise making area? School? Church? both bring people and lots of traffic at various times. Everyone has different things they don't mind living with that would make someone else crazy.

Don't skip a good house inspection - it will help to save you from huge bills after the purchase.

I think that's enough to start with. There's so much it's almost scary to think about buying. Let me know if you have any questions. *grin*

Posted by Teresa at March 20, 2007 05:37 PM

Seems that Teresa got it pin'd down. Particularly getting a house inspection. Well worth the money. Things I looked for in my home... outlets... where are they located? Vent over the oven, does it go outside or back int he kitchen)? fuse box location? vents for air conditioning (if there is a walk in closet, is a vent located there?)? I hated my last kitchen because the sink, oven, fridge did NOT work for me. Closets close to bathrooms... and the list could go on. Look at what you like now and what you would change. And absolutely do NOT look at houses outside of what YOU want to pay.

Posted by vw bug at March 20, 2007 06:32 PM

Be prepared for unbelievable stress. No one warned me just how stressed out I'd be. Hubby and I rarely fight. We were at each other's throats during the buying process. And I cried from stress every damn night. Find time to de-stress together, and don't blame each other for the stress.

Truly, I wish someone had told me how difficult buying a house would be on our marriage.

Then again, maybe we had so much stress because we were also selling a house. And because my MIL was also in the equation.

Good luck, sweetie.

Posted by wRitErsbLock at March 20, 2007 06:33 PM

Plenty of vodka. Seriously. After I closed on Morrigan's house. We walked to the parking lot of the lawyer's office, and she handed me a bottle of Grey Goose and a 4 pack of sugar free Red Bull. My hands were shaking through the whole thing!

Posted by Sissy at March 20, 2007 07:27 PM

Agreed on the alcohol thing but don't drink on closing day. Just drink in the evenings.

Don't let your conservative side be too much on the top. Yes, you are going to have to pay for ridiculous things and that will not change on your one small house sale. Yes, you'll have to pay for the privilege of conducting a sale, then you'll have to pay for a clerk to do his or her job related to the sale which you have already been paying for in taxes THEN you'll have to pay for insurance that covers the costs if that clerk (for whom you've already paid, twice now) does not do his/her job correctly.

For closing day, you'll want to prelube. They won't expect you to have done it, and it will make the screwing over a lot easier to take. Flexibility exercises ahead of time are a good idea also, since you're going to be in a bent-over position for a while.

However, one year later it will all be a distant memory.

Posted by rsm at March 21, 2007 03:44 AM

The only thing I have to add (besides Congratulations!) is that it always helped me to have a list (written! not just in my head) of my "must haves" -- and then, no matter what (I'll repeat myself - no matter what!) don't compromise on those "must haves". Cause you'll sit there with that very expensive millstone around your neck and curse yourself for not having insisted on such-and-such that house #3 had and blah blah blah.

On the flip side of that - try to keep your "must haves" list fairly short, cause chances are you're not going to find the *perfect* house.

Posted by beth at March 21, 2007 06:17 AM

How exciting!

House hunting & buying is a very emotional and draining process. I agree with the idea of having a short list of "must haves." And if there's anything you truly do not want in a home, note that on your list of specs too. Then when you get all ga-ga over a place, refer back to your wishlist for a reality check.

I wanted an older home with a fireplace on a tree-lined street with sidewalks. That's just what I have. The layout sucks, but I still love it. I'm just a romantic sucker though!

Good luck and have fun!

Oh, and don't go for the max that you'd pre-qualify for, mortgage-wise. Leave yourselves some elbow room.

Posted by Marie at March 21, 2007 07:34 AM

Oh, Yay!!!

Good luck!!

; )

Posted by Christina at March 21, 2007 07:45 AM

Everyone pretty much said it all...but I do have one piece of advice. If you fall in love with a house, go for it! And it may or may not be the first house you see. When Eric and I were first house shopping when we got married, there was a place we completely fell in love with. It was the first one we saw, and every one told us "don't fall for the first one you see". Well, it turned out to be the "one", but by the time we made an offer (about two weeks later, after seeing a bunch of other places), it was under contract already.
That didn't happen with this house however: once we knew, we didn't want to lose "our" house again and made an offer the next day!
So just go with your gut, and if both you and DH love it, then go for it!

Posted by Amanda at March 21, 2007 08:16 AM

Most of it has been said, but when you think you've found "THE" house, get the best building inspector you can. The money you spend on him will be worth any potential problems he can find and you can avoid.

Posted by Mrs. Who at March 21, 2007 10:09 AM

All the others have already said what I was going to. Just remember the difference between cosmetic and needing repairs.

Posted by Contagion at March 21, 2007 05:03 PM

Walk through the house in the morning, evening and day to see the exact lighting. If you can see it during a heavy rain, that is a bonus.

If you all plan to have children, look at the school system. Actually, homes in good school districts sell easier than those not... so for resale, schools is a good thing to look at.

Posted by Bou at March 21, 2007 07:14 PM

Oh, and visit the neighborhood at different times of day. Walk around & talk to the people who live there. Good to get a feel for the 'hood.

Posted by Marie at March 22, 2007 06:49 AM

What area(s) are you looking at?

Posted by Xrlq at March 25, 2007 08:34 PM

Oh lord... You can sit by me, CTG. I'll bring the wine.

And enjoy the hunt, you guys are going to have a relly fun time! :-) The hunting part is the best part. :-)

Posted by Richmond at March 26, 2007 11:51 AM