On House Hunting

So, it’s Monday.  It’s also the 21st of the month, which means Abbie is NINETEEN months old today.  I also realized I never posted her 18 month update, even though I took the pictures.  Oops.  I’m kind of glad I forgot until now about her 19 month pictures – She was in a pretty grumpy mood this morning (actually, we all were), so they wouldn’t have turned out too well…but then again, when can you catch a good photo of a toddler?  They just move too fast.

Chris and Abbie

Over the weekend we had our first meeting with our realtor.  We picked him on the recommendation of a friend, signed the paperwork for him to represent us, and officially have started the process.  Next step is talking to a mortgage lender and figuring all that out, and we’re hoping to start looking at houses this coming weekend.  It’s all happening really fast, and our realtor thinks we’ll be able to find a house pretty quickly – there were about 100 homes on the market in the search he ran for us that fit our criteria.

Honestly?  I’m nervous about the whole thing.  I’m such a worrywart in general, and this is a huge decision.  There’s so many factors to consider, and I am just hoping we find the right place and everything works out.  You know when it seems like things are too easy?  I feel a little bit like that right now, just waiting for the other shoe to drop.  On the other hand, things have been a bit tight for us for a while, so I’m relieved we’re finally able to do this.  And now I’m rambling.  Anyway, I’m just nervous about the whole thing and praying we find the right house for us.

Then of course, there’s all these people expressing doubt about where we’ve chosen to look (for any of you familiar with northern Virginia, it’s the Manassas area).  It’s frustrating because they just assume we haven’t looked at all aspects of the area.  EVERY area has good and bad parts.  Every area has ups and downs.  I know on one hand they’re trying to help, but on the other, I just want them to butt out.  Chris and I are adults and know how to make decisions for our family, and we’re not dumb.  Obviously we’re going to look at things like schools, the neighborhood, etc.  It’s almost like a few people (most of whom I haven’t’ talked to in years) are looking down on us for it.  Well, unless you want to give us money to live where YOU think is the best place to live, BUTT OUT.  Fairfax county isn’t the only place to live in northern Virginia, and we have budget constraints you know nothing about.  Ugh.  Ok, clearly I’m in a ranting mood this morning.

Long story short, this morning I’m nervous.  And frustrated.  And excited.  And honestly ready to see where the next few months will take us.  And thinking I should maybe de-friend (or is it unfriend?) some people on Facebook.  I don’t need that kind of negativity in my life.

Did you experience any doubt from friends and acquaintances while house hunting?  Any tips for us?

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Jess Beer is a full-time working mom of two girls who writes about motherhood, wellness, easy meals and style.

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19 Responses

  1. Definitely talk to two mortgage companies and get pre-approved by both. It won’t effect your credit of they’re both pulled within a short time period (we heard both 30 and 45 days) and we got a substantially better deal with one than the other and weren’t rushing around to compare once our offer had been accepted. Good luck! Let me know if you have questions.

      1. Definitely. I actually understand how interest rates and points work now and I’m happy to share (disclaimer: it’s a nuts game of chance)

  2. I did a good cleanup of my Facebook friends recently just to remove some of their posts and opinions that I did not care to see daily and it was very freeing. Also remember that unless you are willing to listen to people’s opinions then you should not share information. This was a lesson I learned during wedding planning when some people were very critical of my plans so I just stopped sharing plans with them that I did not want to hear them talk about. Rather than post to all of Facebook think about messaging some specific friends oraybe calling one on an evening walk to both catch up on what is going on and get your steps in.

    1. I may end of doing a cleanup – I haven’t just because I don’t post enough on my personal facebook for it to be worth the effort. My close friends know I’m not a big facebooker, and I’ve definitely caught up with people on my evening walks!

  3. I was a hot mess when we were house hunting for our 1st home! The 2nd time around was much easier. Take your time if the market allows. Good luck!

  4. I live in NoVa too and completely understand where you are. We bought a house last fall (first time for me, second for my husband). First of all, don’t feel pressured to buy. Assuming your current living situation is stable, there is no need to buy someplace just anything because you are ready to buy NOW. And I’m sure you all have already done this, but rank your priorities. It’s fine and great to want a front porch, central A/C and a shorter commute, but which is more important, and which are you willing to give up if necessary? I think in our area, commuting time is a big constraint on buying power. Are you willing to have 2 bedrooms if it means less time in the car? Would the amenities of a bigger kitchen pay off with 30 extra minutes to/from work? I don’t know what’s right for your family, but these are the things I would keep in mind. Oh, and get a well-recommended inspector for the home inspection. His/her opinion and findings may have the biggest impact on whether or not you go through with a sale, and you want someone who will be thorough, especially about major concerns like roofs, foundations, plumbing and HVAC.

    1. Thanks for the great tips! A lot of what you’ve said we’ve already talked about. We need to be out of our current place by Oct 1, so it is a little bit of a crunch. Here’s hoping we find something that’s a great balance!

  5. As a former NOVA resident I fully believe that FCPS is not the be all end all. There are plenty of kids who attend FCPS way back when I was in school that I wouldn’t want my kids around! I think you can find that anywhere. My sister (and her family) lives in a beautiful home with awesome neighbors. She is also a teacher in a Manassas Elem School. I have visited the school for events and would def. send my child there! Take peoples opinions but don’t allow them to cloud up your mind. Find an awesome home inspector when the time arrives! That is what is really important! Good Luck!!!

    1. I know, and so many people act that way! Every area has good and bad parts. Thanks for the support!

  6. We just started the house hunting process, too! And after going to see a few in our price range the other night, I was ready to cry! But our realtor suggested a different area close by and we are finding better ones now. I’m a huge worrywart too, and we have to sell our townhouse before we can buy our next house – which means moving in with my parents for however long. It’s going to be a long process, but I’m so ready! Sending lots of happy house-hunting thoughts your way!

  7. Good luck with your search! We are getting ready to start hunting ourselves, and I have a lot of mixed emotions. I hope you find a house you love that is right for your family!

  8. You know I’m all about unfriending people 🙂 If I can’t unfriend them (like family…) and they really annoy me, I unfollow them. Makes me a much happier person. I don’t have a lot of time for social media right now, so if they aren’t adding to my experience—BYE BYE. But you’re a nicer person than I am.

    When we were buying, we actually made a list of what was most important to us….it was short, and if we move again, we will keep the same list (I think it was 1) afford on 1 salary (because we wanted the option for me to stay at home once babies came) 2) as close in as possible, even though we knew we wouldnt be THAT close to city center 3) 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms at minimum). Everything else could be negotiated and I know our list was way different from others—lots of my friends moved WAY out in the burbs to get a 2500 sq ft house because it was important to them. That’s FINE, but that’s not right for everyone.

    Oh and I have family (I’m sure you can guess who..) who think our house is WAY too small and wish we would buy a bigger one. LOL.

    1. I think it’s that I’m just to lazy to unfriend and unfollow….

      You’re so right about the list…and I love your house (well, from the pictures, anyway)! I think it’s perfect for you guys!

  9. house hunting is super fun and super hard! The first place we bought was the hardest. We did move neighborhoods a few times so it was a long search process. I understand the balance of what u want in a house and location bc our first place was in the city if chicgao (pre kids). your relator should be able to help guide you on finding a place that meet the most of your needs for home & area. it’s fun too so don’t stress too much! good luck!

    1. Congratulations on your readiness to buy a house! I know you two have worked very hard to reach this point! I don’t know as much about the northern va/Maryland area as many of your friends do, but I know that you two are perfectly capable of knowing where and how you want to live. Sometimes people mean well but haven’t learned how not to rain on other peoples parades. Sorry you are getting rained on! When it comes to home buying or any other decision made I live by this….. ” the blessings and/ or consequences of your decisions belong solely to YOU and are not for another to judge or live with.” Feeling that way helps me to hear the advice of others without getting TOO frustrated. Much love …. See you soon.

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I’m Jess! I’m a working mama of two sweet sisters living in the DC area. This is my space to share inspiration, real stories of working motherhood, recipes, style, and more! I can’t start my day without coffee and always try to show the real side of motherhood – the good and the challenging. I’m so glad you’re here – thanks for following along on my journey!

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