Sunday, March 11, 2012

Home buying process

While looking over our blog recently, I realized I wrote a post the week after we closed on our home but never published it. So here goes, 6 months late...

Now that we have moved in and gotten settled, I thought I'd write a little bit about our experiences with home buying. We began with figuring out what we wanted in a house. We wanted 4 bedrooms, 3-4 bathrooms, a decent yard, and a front porch. We also wanted a reasonable commute. Then we used online searches (mainly to find homes in the area we wanted that also met our criteria. From there, we would drive to the houses to look at the exterior in person.

We ended up buying the very first house we saw. We called Century 21 on Memorial Day on the way home from a wedding and an agent was willing to meet us that day to look at it. We decided to meet the following day and go through the home. Kelly fell in love immediately, but unfortunately, the price was too high, and I wrote it off. We looked at several others, some smaller, some bigger, different features in each, but we always compared it to the first one, none able to measure up.

Our church did a sermon series on prayer and one of the sermons was on praying big prayers and specific prayers. The take home message was: pray in such a way that a human couldn't cause what you pray for. We took that to heart and started praying about the house. We prayed about the specific home we wanted and the specific price we hoped to get. God answered our prayer, and we got both.

From the time we first looked at the house to our closing date was 4 months and the time from our first offer to closing was 7 weeks. We were able to take advantage of the low mortgage rates (3.375% for 15 years), which have actually fallen a little more since we closed.

Below are some before and after pictures for the first 6 months. As we've both learned, buying a house is just the beginning; the rest of the time is spent making it yours.
We had the front railings repaired and cut down the jungle in the side yard.

We repaired the screens of the back porch and manicured the lawn a little.

Had the holes in the garage repaired.

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