How to Buy A House in 32 Easy Steps:
- Your landlord lets you know that she hopes to sell your rental house on or before the end of the lease. She offers to sell it to you.
- Decide not to buy the affordable home that you love where all your stuff already is. Hm.
- Evaluate the budget.
- Your casual house shopping--why not? it's an open house!--suddenly gets bumped up a notch.
- Re-evaluate the budget.
- You see a LOT of houses. 10? 20? more?
- She loves a house.
- He loves a different house.
- You realize that the two of you have maybe slightly different tastes.
- Make THE LIST.
- Re-re-evaluate the budget.
- Try to buy a house at a public auction.
- Pray a LOT.
- Get outbid by several hundred thousand dollars.
- Pray some more.
- Return to THE LIST.
- And then one day, your sort-of-agent-sort-of-friend calls about a house. It's not actually on the market. But the listing agent had sent out a "pre-listing" flyer to some other agents. And it's available for a showing on Monday.
- See the house.
- Drive away and compare the house to THE LIST.
- Pray some more.
- Make an offer.
- Offer is accepted.
- Go take a ton of pictures to pore over for the next month.
- Drama!!! [Which we will skip over in its entirety]
- Pray a whole lot.
- Close on the house!
- Carry on praying because it is a good habit.
So I'm sure it's not surprising that after we signed 19,347,813,408,912,364 forms, we texted some friends--and Papa John's--and hustled over to our new house for a no-furniture impromptu praise and thanksgiving picnic.
Before everyone left, we all toasted our new house and dear friends and immeasurably more than we could ask or imagine. (sparkling cider, in case you're worried about Sam turning up the bottle!)
Then everyone else went home and we spent our first night as homeowners upstairs on the air mattress.
Oh, want to know what was on the THE LIST [only applicable to us/your mileage may vary]? And how it compares to what we got? You can see why we made an offer the morning after we saw it.
- Within our budget
- Four bedrooms (or three bedrooms and a solid office option)
- At least two full bathrooms
- 1800+ sq ft
- Great elementary and middle schools
- Nothing too big, something that feels compact
- A nice floor plan that feels cohesive, logical (probably no converted duplexes)
- A safe and well-loved neighborhood
- Some “bonus area” for KP
- Something not new
- Not a ranch
- Located in a neighborhood that is older/more established, ideally walkable
- A private street with less through traffic
- A private backyard
- Kitchen without granite
- A deck or patio BBQ/eating area
- A powder room/half bath
- Architectural points of interest: high ceilings, crown molding, fireplaces, transoms, sidelights, etc.
A brick exterior
- A garage, ideally one that doesn't face the street
A soaking tub(Kyle added this one after our lovely stay in Woodinville.)