Chris starts his new job tomorrow, and we couldn’t be more excited. Once he starts, we’ll finally be able to get serious about something we’ve been thinking about for a while – house hunting.
While we’re excited, it’s also pretty daunting. If you know anything about the DC area, you know it’s pretty expensive to live here. I live outside DC, in northern Virginia. In general, the further out from DC you go, the more you can get for your money. The cost of homes here sometimes makes me wish we lived somewhere else! We’ve been lucky enough to live only 20 minutes from my office for the past year and a half, but our house budget is pushing us farther out. It’ll be a big change when we move.
Chris and I have talked about what we want in a home. While this is a home we will likely stay in for a long time, we both know that the house we buy now is probably not our forever home. We may be in a completely different place financially in 10 years, so we are looking for a home we can grow into, but since we know we may eventually move, we’re a bit more flexible in the area we’re in and some of the features the house has. After all, that can always be changed.
So what’s on our wish list?
- A townhouse. While it would be great to have a single-family home, it’s just not in our budget, and we don’t need all that space yet. Why should we pay to heat and cool it? I’d hate having a empty house, plus it’s just more to clean! We’re staying on the smaller side on purpose.
- 3 bedrooms
- 2 or more bathrooms
- A decent kitchen. We’re ok with the kitchen needing a little bit of updating, but we want something with lots of potential.
- A basement. We’d prefer finished, but unfinished is ok too, since we can finish it ourselves.
- A yard, even if it’s a small one. I’d really like a garden, and I’d like some space of our own for Abbie to play in.
Everything else? Totally flexible on. We’ve been looking around online and there are a few that have caught our eye, so we’re hopeful we’ll find something we like.
What did you look for while house hunting? Any tips for us as we start the process?
CONGRATS AND GOOD LUCK!
I completely understand what you mean about housing prices decreasing as you get farther away from the city. I work in Atlanta, and it’s the same way down here. When I started house hunting, I briefly looked at moving into Atlanta. But, I determined that it was cheaper for me to pay the gas to commute in from outside of the city than it would be for me to live in the city.
Hope you can find exactly what you’re looking for!
Thank you hon! Fingers crossed we find something we like!
Ohmigosh! So exciting! I can sympathize – we’re in Westchester County (just north of NYC) – it’s 1 of the most expensive places to live & has the highest property taxes in the nation! We started out looking small too (same reasons as you) but quickly realized that some single family homes were cheaper than most of the condos/townhouses we saw. Watch out for those monthly maintenance fees! With areas like ours you’ve got the right attitude. Our motto was “If this is our first house, great – if we’re here forever, that’s great too.” Good luck!! Don’t let it get you down. Feel free to reach out if you need to just complain to someone about the craziness! 🙂
See, but you have WAY better public transportation than us I think. Stupid DC Metro. And you know I’ll be picking your brain 🙂
I don’t know where exactly y’all are looking, but you might talk to Ashley. She bought a condo in Reston last year.
We’re looking at Manassas, so a bit farther out. I’ve got some leads on realtors but will hit her up if I need to 🙂
come be our neighbors!!
Haha, too bad that commute wouldn’t work…..
Where are y’all looking? I love NOVA! We lived in Leesburg for 3ish years a few years ago.
Sounds like y’all have a great list!! Our wish list for our house was 4bd, 2 bath, basement, price, and neighborhood.
I had no idea you lived here! We’re looking in Manassas.
I totally understand about buying further from the city. Austin is cheap compared to DC, but it’s actually really expensive when you look at the wages paid in the city. We live in the city, but pretty far north, and only were able to afford this area because it was the middle of the recession and we were doing well financially. We couldn’t afford to buy in our neighborhood now. It’s nuts.
Our house is on the smaller side (about 1500 sq. ft) and I totally agree with you about not having a bunch of space you won’t use. My husband thinks we are staying here forever, I said 10ish years (M would be 9 if we lived here 10 years). Realistically I think we will make it 7 years here. It’s only 3 bedrooms, I work from home, we plan on homeschooling, and we have a lot of guests. At some point, we either need to build on an addition (which is an option we’re looking at), or move. If/when we move again, that’s it for me…I never want to move again!
Good luck househunting! I have a real love-hate with homeownership 🙂
It’s so crazy. I occasionally look at home prices in other parts of the country…then make myself stop because it just makes me sad. I totally don’t want too much house anyway though – all the mcmansions around here are ridiculous!
And I’m so with you on the moving….so so annoying to move!
It is so hard/fun looking for a new home! Good luck to you!
So Much Sunshine