Almost four years ago, Ian and I got engaged and automatically started saving for a wedding. Neither one of us had full time jobs at the time, so we buckled down and saved for two years straight in order to afford what we wanted with most of our family and friends. We paid cash for everything and didn’t accumulate ANY debt whatsoever which was an awesome achievement considering how much we actually shelled out for our wedding. Now, I’m not saying that we don’t have any debt now, we just didn’t accumulate any credit card debt from our wedding. After we were married, our plan of action was to pay off the few credit cards we had, travel, and just relax for a bit before starting to save for a house.
Ian is attending grad school this next year, so our plan was to save for a house and pay off the remainder of our credit cards while he was finishing up his degree. We thought that the end of next summer (2017) would be the PERFECT time to buy a house because we would have absolutely no debt, plus a lot saved up for a house and we would also have the flexibility to be able to travel a lot (when Ian had the free time) at the same time. If there is anything I’ve learned over the years, it is that making long term plans like that is a complete joke. They typically do not work out the way YOU envision them to & that’s exactly what happened with our “plan.”
When we found out that our landlord was selling our house, we had the option to stay here and wait for someone to buy it and then scramble to find a new house, rent a new place, or jump head first and just go ahead and purchase a house. So, with literally $0 in our “house savings fund”, we decided to buy! Do you think we’re crazy yet?! Between Ian and I saving like crazy people, my birthday & his graduation gifts, and the money we had in savings for our emergency funds, etc. we were able to come up with not only a full down payment for a new home, but also closing costs(if needed), money for an appraisal and inspection, money for new appliances AND money to complete a few necessary renovations before we move in. This was all in just about three months!!! Phew.
We were pre-approved by Erika at Freedom Mortgage, and started working with my sister, Katherine Eisenberg (the best realtor EVER) to find a house! If you’re in the Atlanta area, go check them out! They are AMAZING! When we started looking at houses online, we quickly decided that we didn’t want to waste anyones time by looking at houses that we didn’t picture ourselves living in. Seriously though, what is the point in viewing a house that you have no interest in? It not only wastes your time, but also your agents AND the family that currently lives in the house. We have a Nest Camera (the best)!!! installed in the house we are currently renting and I cannot tell you how many times people come in and say things like: “Oh, I didn’t know it was just a two bedroom.” or “I am so glad we got to see it – I knew I didn’t want to buy it, but I was just so interested in seeing what it looked like on the inside.” How frustrating is that for us?! We take off work, go to the dog park and sit there in the heat until they are finished looking at the house just to hear that they were never interested in the first place?! Y’all – if you know you won’t like a house based on the online information, please don’t waste the owners time by looking at it! With that being said, if you THINK you might like a house, you should probably still look at it because your opinion definitely changes in person! 🙂
Anyway, like I was saying, we only looked at houses that we could see ourselves in. Luckily for us, that was only three houses (we did drive by a few more like this one below)! One in Marietta, one in Roswell & the house we are purchasing!! We absolutely LOVED the first house and put in an offer BEFORE we even saw it. It was a good offer, but the family quickly countered and told us that they were not accepting anything under asking price with us covering closing costs, as well. We saw the house and still liked it, so we did put in a full price offer and said that we would pay closing costs. Someone still beat us out on the price and we were really bummed at first. We didn’t think we would find anything we liked as much, but we powered through & kept looking.
A few weeks later, we found the house in Roswell. It was smaller (1800 sq ft.) which was a negative in our eyes because we wanted something to grow into, but it was in the perfect location and had a huge backyard which we loved! As soon as we walked in, we could tell there was a major mold issue. It also had siding issues, and the backyard needed A LOT of work. We decided it was the best decision to pass on the house even though we loved the location.
A few days after that, we were getting ready to leave for Florida and another house popped up on the market. This was in a neighborhood and location that we loved. We would be 15 minutes closer to Ian’s parents which was one of our needs in a new house, it was big enough to grow into (more on this later), had a good sized backyard, and had an open floor plan! We delayed our trip one day to see this house and it ended up being completely worth it! On our way down to Florida, we decided on a price and we made an offer!! They countered, we countered and by the time we were headed back home from our vacation, we were officially UNDER CONTRACT! We ended up getting pretty much exactly what we wanted and were so excited to start the process.
I fully believe that everything happens for a reason, and definitely see how all of our struggles with this process worked out for the best. I could go on and on about it this, but this post is already extremely long, so I will save that for another day! We are so very excited to start this next chapter in our lives and I am so lucky to have the opportunity to share it with all of you. Thank you so much for sticking with me through this phase of posting irregularly because of all the changes. I really appreciate it!! Oh, and sorry for this poorly written post. I cranked it out super fast and didn’t even edit it hahah. Can’t always be perfect! 😉