We started searching for places about two months ago. The first step was getting pre-approved. We had our eyes on this one house (looked great, perfect location) so we pushed to get it done quickly only to see that house get pulled off the market the DAY we were pre-approved! CRAP...not the kind of start we were hoping for!
After spending some time evaluating where to live and what kinds of homes we wanted (luckily we have similar desires with homes) we started choosing places to look at. Meg found a place that she labelled her "dreamhome"...not only was it more than we talked about but it was out of price range and needed a lot of finishing, but there is NO denying that it was a STEAL and a place we probably could have lived in forever...and it was in the TPC neighborhood which is a sweet place . We arranged a time to see it so we could see if it was feasible or not but upon arranging our visit, we found out they had an offer come in. We still saw the place but realized we would have to move quickly. After looking the place over though, we quickly realized we were in over our heads, this place was totally too much work for us novices!! We moved on, a little sad because it was amazing!
About a week later an even better "dreamhome #2" showed up. It was perfect and a foreclosure so it was a STEAL. The house had an ALMOST finished lower level that would have been perfect for us. We could have lived there the rest of our lives though. After seeing it, we went home calculated how much we needed to spend to get the place finished up (needed appliances and stuff) and then on Monday (the next morning) we got ready to place an offer only to find out they had an accepted offer on Friday that they never told us about. Our realtor was LIVID with the other Realtor...we were crushed. We literally were moving in there in our heads already. We started to figure out that even though it seems like a buyers market, when the homes were priced right, you need to MOVE on them fast!!! It took us almost a week to even look at homes again, our spirits were crushed after missing out on this one! Tiffany, our realtor was great though and encouraged us that the right place is out there and to just be patient and move quickly when you find it!
We were quickly realizing that even though we were in a down market for homes, we weren't able to find the kind of place we'd be happy in for a long time in our price range since we didn't have much of a down payment. There wasn't much out there on the market that we were interested in now though so our second strategy was looking for townhouse or cheap home that we could be happy in for like 5 years and then after selling our place in IL, we'd find our new dreamhome. We set out to find a townhouse, something we both swore we wouldn't do again after the process of selling my last one. There were a few disappointments and a few with potential. We were quickly learning what we liked and didn't like in the townhouse market. At the end of the weekend we still didn't find a place we were excited about though. We came up with one more list of four places to look at the following Tuesday. There were two in particular that we were really anxious about.
We walked into the first house and didn't even make it upstairs...ew! No way we could make that one work. The next house had a great location that we loved but the arrangement would have been less than ideal so we moved on. Then we found our dream townhouse...we walked in and it was like alarms were going off in my head that this was the place! What? Oh Meg just told me that alarms were ACTUALLY going off...I guess the power was shut off and the alarms were going off. We couldn't bring Addison into the house so we took turns touring the house and our smiles grew bigger each time we switched off. Could this be THE one for us? Could we seriously end up living in Coon Rapids AGAIN!?!?
We conferred outside and came to the conclusion that this was THE house...we had to act quick. The house had been on the market for 4 days but was a STEAL. We also had an obstacle with having FHA financing which was not listed among the approved options by the bank that was selling the house and there were a few things that needed to be fixed up before we left. We rushed to our realtors office and wrote a very creative offer...then the waiting began.
Amazingly we got a call the next day...they took it! We were shocked...it was a long shot because banks are notorious for being completely inflexible. We've spent the last week figuring out what we need to buy for the place and hiring people to fix up a few things before the FHA assessment but we feel fairly confident that everything should work out and this is going to be our NEW home:
- 3 BR / 2.5 BA
- It has a lower level that is about 75% finished that will add an additional BR and BA...anyone wanna come help with that project?? :-) When we are done it will be a 4 BR, 3.5 BA townhouse...you don't see many of those on the market!
- All three bedrooms are upstairs and all have walk in closets
- Master suite with a walk-thru closet and a full master bath with whirlpool tub
- Nice detail work throughout the house
- All this for our offer of $135,000 (bank pays closing costs)
- The people bought it new in 2005 for $210,000!