Since I moved out my parents house 9 years ago (wow, time flies), I’ve been a renter. It’s easy to sign a few papers (or not if you’re just renting from friends), if something breaks you just call the landlord and it’s on them, and I’ve been able to experience many different living situations, towns, and roommates.
A few months ago it finally hit me… I can build equity in my own home for the same monthly payment (or less) that I’m currently paying in rent? I can have a house in the valley that’s as big or bigger than my parents’ for less than $300k? The market is flooded right now with beautiful houses, old and new, for around $100 / sq. ft. A majority of them are short sales, but I see that as an opportunity to get an awesome deal rather than a negative that scares me away. I’m not in a rush to move so I would be happy to stick out the 2 – 6 month process to get a great house.
Jen and I started looking at potential properties back in November. We set our price low and our expectations high (naturally) and began making viewing appointments. We came to the realizations that:
1) Real estate pictures are deceiving, especially ones taken with a nice DSLR and wide angle lens.
2) We have very specific tastes.
3) We were going to have to bump up our price ceiling a bit.
A few months of looking, a few offers outbid by cash, and we FINALLY FOUND ONE! It’s in an older, well-established neighborhood with large trees and an awesome lot. It has a pool (wasn’t looking for one, but will probably be thankful in a few months), a “party room” with it’s own bathroom and a built in wet-bar, a sauna room that will soon be converted into a darkroom, a tuff shed, brand new windows, a new roof… the positives go on and on!
Some of the surface finishes need work but it seems mostly superficial at first glance. Lots and lots of painting to come! Jen and I are working on paint colors and I’m starting to buy yard tools to rip out a ton of English Ivy that’s gone crazy in one corner of the backyard.
It hasn’t quite sunk in yet, but this place is home :)
(Aaron was our realtor). Expect MANY blog posts regarding home improvement to come soon! I can’t wait to have a pool party in a few months!