Four years ago, my wife and I decided that the time was right for our family to purchase a new home. With a down-payment in our savings, we started our search. Here’s how we found our home –
We began our search within a 20 mile radius of my wife’s workplace. We live in a rural part of our state – but there are several small neighborhoods within our desired area.
Once or twice a week, I would check the local online real estate listings. We found four or five homes that we liked, but all of them were outside of our price-range. I also checked our local paper, but had no better luck.
Speaking of our price-range – we qualified for a substantial loan amount – but we were only comfortable taking out a loan that we knew we could pay back in 15 years, or less. We were not simply focused on the payment we could afford. We were focused on the house we could afford.
Eventually, we found houses in our price-range, but upon viewing, none of them worked out. We were looking for a home that was move-in ready and relatively new.
One evening, we took a drive, and ended up in a neighborhood that we had never before considered. That’s when we saw it – our new home!
It was for sale – by owner – so it was not listed online.
We called the number listed on the for sale sign – and a friend of the owner came over with a key and showed us the home. Instantly, we loved it. (I think I read somewhere that most folks decide if they want to purchase a new home within the first minute. For us, this was definitely true.)
We called the owner and were excited to hear that the four-bedroom home was well within our price range. Over the course of a several conversations, we negotiated and settled on a price. For us, working directly with the owner kept things very simple. Even though we loved the home, we took our time and stuck to our budget and price-range.
Over the course of the next several weeks, we went through the mortgage application process, packed up our stuff, closed on the home, and moved in. The process was pretty straight-forward and we love our home.
Looking back, I’m so glad that we took the time to search for the perfect home for our family. By knowing our budget, our desired size, and our preferred location, we were able to take our time and find just the right place.