Wow, it feels like forever since I have posted and truth be told I miss writing. It has officially been two months since we closed and moved into our house. I did not intend to stay away from the blog this long but this new house has been taking up all of my time. But no more, I feel ready to share new blog content with you and excited to get back to work again. For my first post back, I wanted to share my house buying/living experience with you and what I have learned along the way. I am just going to dive right in.
Buying a house is a stressful and time consuming process. There is a lot of work involved, rejection, and at different times through out the process it just sucks. But it is also exciting, fun, and probably the biggest purchase you will ever make in your life so take your time with it. Do your research, find a realtor, meet with many banks and mortgage lenders before hand to see what type of loans and dollar amount you qualify for. That way when you start looking you have a much better idea of what you can actually afford and won’t get your heart set on houses way out of your price range. And just because a lender may say you can afford a 300,000 dollar house, if you believe it is out of your price range look for something less expensive. You will be much happier in the long run if you trust your gut when it comes to your personal finances.
From start to finish it took us about a year to buy a house. We started looking at resale houses last April and after seeing a few that were out dated and out of our price range decided that we wanted to go with a new build. We then spent every day after work and on the weekends driving to different neighborhoods around Austin and its suburbs. Met with a ton of builders and saw many a model home. Got our heart set on a few and then lost out on them because we got out priced. So that definitely sucked and was very hard and discouraging for us. It seemed like every week builders were rising the prices on the houses we were interested in and that maybe we would not be able to buy after all. But then one day we found a new builder in Cedar Park in an area that we never thought we could afford and found a house we loved. Since we were building our own house we did not have to compete with other buyers. We then met with their preferred lender who gave us a pre approval for a loan and were able to go to contract on our house. We chose our lot and went to the design center a few weeks later to choose all of the finishes we wanted on the interior and exterior of the house. Choosing our finishes was great because we really were able to build the house of our dreams and pick out all of our favorite granite, tile, hard wood, etc. etc. We went to contract the end of June 2013 and closed April 17th. The entire process took around 10 months and the house was also late by two months which was very frustrating. But in the end we got to buy a house that we loved and that was brand new so it was well worth the wait and the stress.
Closing on our new home was one of the best days of our life. It felt like such an accomplishment because we never would have been able to buy a house let alone apt in NYC. And proved to us that we made the right decision to move to Austin two years ago. I wanted to share some things I learned after moving in as well.
1. Don’t furnish your new home all at once. It will cost way too much money and you do not want to go into debt furniture and appliance shopping. All of the big purchases we bought we paid cash for and financed two things, our bed, and a water conditioner for the home.
2. We only bought a few new items of furniture since or house was 2500 sq ft. Two couches, a coffee table, bed, dining table and chairs, a couple etagers, lighting, and a washer/dryer and fridge. The rest of the furniture we have had for years and have no plans to replace them any time soon.
3. We decided not to paint any of the rooms to save money and are adding color to the home with pillows, accessories, and art.
4. Unpacking is a really stressful and time consuming process so try not to get down about it. Focus on one project at a time and when you finish treat yourself to something sweet like a Starbucks. Unpacking is also not a race so don’t feel upset if it takes too long and you don’t finish in a weekend. It has taken us about two months to truly unpack everything and we still have a ton of art work to hang. But as the weeks and the months go by the house is starting to come together and feel like home.
5. Remember that decorating is supposed to be fun and take your time with it. Buy pieces you truly love and somehow everything will work together.
Have a great weekend,