House Hunting – GND Style

We bought a house!

After 6.5 years of renting, it was time. Going into the process we built out our must have list.

3 Bedrooms

The plan was 1 bedroom for us plus an office for each of us.  Work from home FTW!

2 Bathrooms

When you gotta go, you gotta go. We’ve been incredibly spoiled with 2 bathrooms for 6 years and it wasn’t something we were willing to compromise on.

2 car garage

We live in the tundra and we both drive to work. I flirted with the idea of going to a 1 car household but Hubs brought me back to reality. We don’t live in a walkeable area and our schedules are completely incompatible.  2 cars it is!

Low Maintenance (read: Short driveway, small lawn)

We wanted to minimize the impact of the outside on our lives. As I said before, we’ve been incredibly spoiled by apartment living for the last 6 years. We love not having to mow or shovel and wanted to keep as much of that as possible.

TV Room

We don’t watch a ton of TV, but when we do, we don’t mess around. Hubs is a movie buff and having a good room for cinematic adventures was key.  I also enjoy the dark loud room as an excellent place to fall asleep 17 minutes into a flick J

A little bit more space

Our apartment is 1100 sq ft. Our storage unit (free – calm down don’t worry) is an extra 25 feet. Our living spaces are relatively clutter free, but the storage spaces are jammed packed. We wanted enough space to spread out and give our things a home.  We set our sights on 1500-2000 sq feet.  We were hoping for the smaller side, but the layouts for the smaller homes in our area weren’t good uses of space. We stayed relatively open when it came to square footage.

Same Neighborhood

We happened into our neighborhood 6 years ago and we completely fell in love. The town is great, the proximity to everything we could ever want is fantastic and magically we are just far enough from everything that most people forget the town exists. We initially set out looking outside of our town, but it wasn’t working. When we re-focused our search, we focused in on our town and only our town. We were prepared to wait for a property within our price range, even if that took a while.

Not Updated

We also didn’t want to pay for someone to update the house for us. In so many of the homes we’ve toured, sellers claim a room or a house is updated, but they used the crappiest materials. Even if they don’t install crap, people make these updates because they can charge more for the house than the upgrades cost to install. I wanted to buy an outdated home and do the updates myself. Even if we hire out the jobs, it should be net positive in the long run. That allows us to make the house our own and not pay an extra premium for it!

Right Price

We’ve been told for years that you make money on a house when you buy it. We wanted a deal. This sounds horrible, but we were hoping to capitalize on a little desperation.

In addition, we didn’t want to over extend ourselves. I drafted up a comparison between what we are paying currently for everything it takes to sustain us (rent, insurance, utilities not covered by our rent) and what we would need to pay for with a house (mortgage, taxes, insurance, all the utilities – electric, gas, trash, water). We wanted to maintain our current outflow.  My rough estimate: $215,000 was just the right price for us to pay the same on housing.

What did we buy?

  •  3 bedrooms
  •  2 bathrooms
  •  2 car garage
  •  Short, concrete driveway
  •  < 0.25 acre flat lot, while not on top of our neighbors.
  •  1800 sq ft
  •  2 blocks outside of our town proper, 6 minutes from where we rent.
  •  Outdated, but completely functional.
  •  Cheapest house in the neighborhood
  •  Seller was handling the estate for his late ex-wife. It was priced competitively and we asked for a discount.
  •  Final price: $215,000 on the nose.

 

Jordan fades back, SWISH! And that’s the game!

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