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Posts tagged ‘Home Buying’

My Homebuying Guide

Here is the My Lesson In Motivation (tongue-in-cheek) Home Buying Guide:

Step 1: Fall madly in love with an architect and decide to buy a house with him (or her – in my case, it was a him)

Step 2: When looking at/purchasing a house with said architect, let his imagination run wild with possibilities

Step 3: Listen to those possibilities with an open heart and admiration for your partner’s genius

Step 4: Reign those wild fantasies in by imposing a strict timeline/deadline and a strict budget!

In reality, this plan basically did work out for us. My wonderful architect is not a residential architect, I’m sure that makes a difference. Instead, mine works in the “science and technology” sector (read: he designs crazy lab space for research scientists at universities and pharmaceutical companies). I think it worked out nicely because he wasn’t a snob about residential design, but understood it well enough to recognize a home’s “good bones” or hidden disasters. He was also looking for a house that would grant him a few hands-on projects. The downside was that he’s used to dealing with multi-million dollar  budgets… which we don’t have! (see Step #4) 

Additionally (which would be a more serious suggestion), we created a “needs and wants” list. Here’s an example of our list:

Need: A yard
Want: A LARGE yard
Need: Bedrooms on a separate floor from livingroom so when Mr. Light Sleeper goes to bed early, he’s not disturbed by Ms. Night Owl watching tv
Want: Fireplace
(etc) 

We reviewed it with our realtor as well, which was a good idea because he could ask things like “which would you rather: a house with a new roof or a house with a new kitchen.” That was easy: roof! Our rental has an avocado colored kitchen and we’ve been living with that for 4 1/2 years, but we’re sick of living there because the roof leaks…

Look at that hideous green floor! The countertops match one of those greens... (and then there's my Prissy Pants as a kitten playing with a paper towel roll for scale... and to distract you from how truly ugly that floor is)

Look at that hideous green floor! The countertops match one of those greens… (and then there’s my Prissy Pants as a kitten playing with a paper towel roll for scale… and to distract you from how truly ugly that floor is)

We ended up getting a house with all of our “needs” and some of our “wants.” Plus, the wonderful architect still got a house with projects to keep him busy.

One thing I’ve personally found funny is that everyone we show the (still empty) house to (with the solitary exception of my mother… who has been SUPER awesome enough to help us with all of our projects so far), says something along the lines of “well, have you considered doing this…?” to which, T always responds so politely, “Oh, that’s a good idea.” And I giggle in the corner because apparently our friends and family don’t realize that they are talking to an architect who has envisioned that house a million different ways. (Seriously, he did a mock-up of a dream kitchen that was so detailed I was in the rendering as a reference for scale. And while he had built a tv into the wall so “we could watch cooking shows,” he had placed a more likely, still image of a Patriot’s game on the tv since neither of us actually like to cook!)

Or our loved ones ask “Why aren’t you doing this…?” To which, one of us will reply “well, we considered it, but then Jen’s wallet started to cry, so it was tabled to a later date/moved down the priority list, etc.” (again, see Step #4).

We also casually shopped for houses for 4 years and had a good idea of what was out there, what we liked, and what we didn’t like. I think that really helped… but might not be a possibility for everyone…

If you came across this page because you’re actually thinking about buying a house: good luck! Happy house hunting! 

Or to my regular readers: what would your home-buying suggestions be?

Other People Can be Awesome!

Wow… it’s certainly been awhile! I’m sorry I vanished.

What have I been up to since I last posted?

  • Well, I’ve attended three weddings (and two rehearsal dinners because my wonderful boyfriend was a groomsman/best man).
  • I did one race, which I still need to update you about! It was fun!
  • I was intensely under the weather for over a week with a super powerful stomach bug
  • And I’ve been working towards buying a house!

All big and crazy things. Although the house isn’t a sure thing yet. We had put an offer in on it earlier, and the owners chose to go with someone else who bid more (can’t blame them there). However, the other bidder had to pull out because their bank wouldn’t give them enough money to buy the house, tear it down, and build something grander that they could sell off. I’m sorry for them, but psyched for me! It’s been a bunch of work already though. I’m guessing that the seller can’t afford to keep their house, which is a major bummer and I feel very badly for them. However, it also meant that they couldn’t afford to do the proper testing required to sell a house. Which means that we’ve had to pay for all of that and we found out about an hour ago that the house failed a major test! (It’s failed a few little ones already). When I say major, I mean it will cost about $20k to fix and it’s not something we can live without (unless we have no interest in ever using any luxury a bathroom offers… shower, toilet, or sink – and I’m not the kind of girl who can give up indoor plumbing). So we’ll see… I’m not sure the owners want us to take $2ok off our offer.

However, this is a motivation blog. You don’t care about my silly house woes which will resolve themselves either way.

So let me talk about motivation. Let me tell you what has been getting me through all of this stress.

I often like to say that I find other people to be motivating. For example, when I first started running outside and was loosely doing the walk/run of the Couch to 5k program, if I could see another person when it came time for walking, I would keep running until they couldn’t see me anymore. A little crazy? Heck yes, but it really helped increase my running distances. Plus, I live near Boston… so there are always people on my running path.

Well, during this last month, I focused again on other people motivating me. Specifically, my wonderful boyfriend. When I was struggling with that stomach bug, I didn’t want to eat anything ever because as soon as I swallowed something, my intestines would seize up. I didn’t even want water. That’s just not right. He was there the entire time, making sure I wasn’t starving myself.

When this home buying thing got a little scary, he was always there making sure we were on the right track. (I hate spending money, it makes me so uncomfortable. No joke, buying a cell phone makes me want to vomit. I had my last cell phone for 8 years before finally getting a new one. I could never be a member of the iphone cult that has to get the new product the second it comes out. Makes me queasy just thinking about it.)

And I really believe that motivation can completely come in the form of other people. It’s super important to have someone in your corner even when you aren’t. My boyfriend is a truly wonderful person who is always cheering me on or taking care of me or supporting me in whatever way I need. He’s a very positive person. I think that’s really important. Negative people have a way of draining motivation from us. And that’s really not helpful when we’re draining our own motivation.

If there’s anything I can wish for you is that you have an equally wonderful person (partner, relative, friend, whatever) to help motivate you towards what you want (not what they want) when you need the extra boost.

Good luck!

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