Writing out that title was surreal.. haha. Not gonna lie, I still wake up and pinch myself that we own this house.
I told you I would be writing a piece on our home buying process, what we learned, what we would do differently, our story, etc etc and here it is. Keep in mind- we are new to this whole process and are STILL learning this whole I’m a homeowner thing. I am not a realtor or a professional by any means, nor do I use the correct terminology in this blog. You’ll see. I’ll tell you what I don’t miss though - LANDLORDS. Yeah, bye.
This is going to be a giant story time blog so, buckle up.
First things first: We got pre-approved. Best thing we ever did and we later learned that it played a huge part in our offer being accepted for our home. Sellers love less hoops and if you do all of the paperwork and steps beforehand, that’s less shit for them to do or worry about and less shit for you to worry about too. Everyone wants to be in and out during this process. Quick and dirty, haha. We got referred to a lender by a friend and lucked out, she was super cool. Having someone you trust and you know CARES about you is a huge thing. We trusted her and that made this entire process much easier. It does take awhile so don’t think you’re going to be going out looking at houses that weekend or anything- it probably took us around a month to get an actual number of what we could afford and what we needed to save as a down payment. We had been saving for a little bit but it’s always better knowing a specific goal you have in mind like ‘OK we need to save X amount’. Your pre-approval for a loan is valid for a few months so you don’t need to buy anything right away; there’s no ticking clock so that was comforting.
Tip: Don’t go out physically looking at houses until you HAVE your downpayment. Hell, this includes looking online. Nothing more painful than coming across a house you love knowing there’s no way you’ll have the money in time and it’ll be snatched up soon. It’s way better to wait and look when you know you’re able to say ‘Let’s put an offer down right now’. Trust me. The excited part of your brain wants to sit on Redfin constantly but you have to refrain for your own sanity. It was really hard for us and I wasn’t perfect at it.
Once we were ready, we were referred to our realtor by a friend of mine. Hit the jackpot. Find a realtor that GETS YOU. We knew we didn’t want a suit and tie person… we get constantly judged and didn’t want to deal with anyone who wouldn’t take us seriously. We really lucked out with her- she even played a huge role in why we got this house as well so choose wisely. This person represents you so don’t feel bad if you don’t feel a good vibe and want to find someone else. This is YOUR story, you call the shots.
We started looking, we must have looked at 8-10 houses one weekend and didn’t really like any of them 100%. This is a long as fuck term commitment so location was everything to us, but we also didn’t want some boring cookie cutter home and we also needed something bigger than our last place because we want to grow as a family (not yet, calm down heh). So, not gonna lie, we were starting to feel super discouraged. We came across a house we LOVED but it needed a lot of cosmetic work but the location and size was perfect… so we said fuck it, and put down an offer. Right afterwards we didn’t get a good feeling from the seller, she had an attitude and seemed to be going through some personal shit so she wasn’t going to negotiate ANYTHING. This is where you need to trust your realtor and why finding someone who GETS YOU is important… because she even said, “You don’t wanna bother with a seller like this, it’s going to be a nightmare.” and we backed off. Spencer was very upset… that was the first house we saw hope in. I was bummed too of course, but one of us had to be positive, right? Haha. Looking back NOW, I’m so glad we didn’t get that house. OH man. So keep that in the back of your mind, that everything happens for a reason and new houses pop up every single day. Okay? Because..
*cue choir music
I was sitting on the couch, refreshing Zillow every hour like a mad man. I was determined to raise Spencers spirits and find us a home. And there it was. Boom, posted 1 hour ago. Our dream home. A little over budget but nothing too insane. I immediately sent it to our realtor and she called them right away. I cancelled our plans that night and literally 1 hour later we went over there to look at it. We didn’t know this at the time, but we were the only ones the seller allowed to come do a walk thru because OUR REALTOR was the only one who ‘sounded genuine on the phone.’ See - again - finding a good realtor is everything. We fell in love immediately and stayed for almost an hour just chatting with them. I walked away in a daze like, “We need this house.” Hopes way too fucking high it was dangerous. Don’t do that.
*Now, funny back story. This was 2 days before Spencer proposed to me. I obviously had no idea at the time, but he did so I can only imagine HOW cluttered his brain was in that moment… trying to plan everything, our friends were flying in the next morning, oh my god. I love you Spencer, you did so good.
Okay, back to what I was saying. We were told they were having an open house that weekend so we didn’t want to make an offer until AFTER so we could see what the other offers were first. Again, a smart move by our realtor. So, we walked away… and had thee most magical amazing weekend of my life so far, getting engaged and celebrating with friends. A literal dream. I remember texting our realtor Sunday evening a photo of the ring being like “Add this to our offer to sweeten the deal haha” as a joke - and she totally did it. I got a call from her Monday morning in complete shock… I assumed it was bad news but she quietly said “Nobody put down any offers all weekend……” and I remember being like “Well let’s get in there then!!” Freaking out. I wrote a cover letter, she 100% added our engagement photos, everything was good to go. We were then told they weren’t going to choose an offer until motherfucking Friday… thee longest week of my entire life. You have no idea how hard it was for me to keep my mouth shut about it online because I didn’t want to jinx anything.
It was Thursday evening… I was driving home from an appointment and I got a text message from our realtor saying “I probably shouldn’t show you this but here you go.” and my heart sunk. I thought, we didn’t get it and she’s softening the blow.. okay.. it was a screenshot of a text message conversation between her and the seller. Now, I was driving so I literally pulled over. It was the seller basically saying she loved us the most and it was a no brainer when we met that it was supposed to be us and she just has to finish up the paperwork and she will send over everything in the morning and I cried.
It has to be fate, right?
Who gets engaged and lands their dream home all within 6 days? Fucking nobody that’s who.
So, me trying to be sneaky, I kept this information from Spencer because well - he got to surprise the hell out of me a few days ago and I wanted the chance to surprise him. I told the realtor that when she has the official acceptance letter to not tell Spencer and only me because I wanted to surprise him at work the next day.
Woke up, Spencer is texting our group chat freaking out so nervous to hear an answer, meanwhile I’m drinking my morning coffee on top of the world, and the letter arrives. It’s here. We did it. I jumped into my car 10 minutes later and went towards his office. And now, the next part, I can’t fucking make this shit up…. I can’t….
I am literally pulling onto his street and he calls me. ?? He doesn’t ever randomly call me. I have to act like I’m not right down the street and I’m like “Hi?” and he sounds so upset, he goes “Someone just smashed my window and broke into my car and stole all my shit.”
Yeah, told you I can’t make this shit up.
Well I had to play it off like I just HAPPENED to be downtown so .3 seconds later I pulled up. I was just talking to myself like, ‘shit.. what do I do? How do I do this?’ He’s on the phone with the cops pacing back and forth, and I’m standing there trying to figure out how to give him good news… ???
He’s off the phone and I couldn’t hold it in and I’m like “I’m sorry… well… hey, at least we got the house.”
And he’s like “Wait, what? What?? You heard??” and I’m like “Yeah, last night. I just wanted the paperwork before I told you, I wanted to surprise you.” *nervous laughter
I tried, you guys, I tried. It was so funny but also not funny at the same time. Everyone around was like “Congrats on the house, sorry about your car man.” hahaha. LIFE, Am I right?
So - back to the house - our offer was accepted and we went straight into escrow purgatory. I know these times vary on the situation and where you live, etc etc but we lucked out with only 30 days. Or did we?
Suddenly, we had only 30 days to: Pack up our entire home, save as much as we can for a bit more on our downpayment, ship out hundreds of hoodies from that pre-sale we had just done, prepare for our halloween launch as well, oh and Spencer had 3 out of town work trips and I had to shoot an out-of-state wedding. No big deal, right? I’m tired just typing that.
Somehow - we did it. Isn’t that always how it happens? You sit there staring at your calendar like how the fuck am I going to get through this month or this week or this year and you always do. That’s what’s cool but always daunting in the moment.
Now, I do feel like we got lucky in the fact that we found a house in 2 months from beginning to end… because I hear stories of people looking for 6+ months to a year but I do feel like our whole process wasn’t too bad. It was stressful of course… but saving beforehand helped us a lot. We set up an automatic transfer from checking to savings every month so that I wouldn’t have to be aware that it was happening. Life saver.
And here we are…
(some photos from before we officially moved in)
If you would have told me that we’d own a home before we turn 30 I would have laughed in your face…
This, to me, is proof that hard work and PATIENCE really do pay off. We’ve been through shitty apartments with no AC, where the windows were painted shut (did we ever really live anywhere where we could open our windows?), apartments where our walls were infested with rats, houses with shitty electrical work and WINDOWS THAT DIDN’T OPEN. Seriously, why? But we made it. This is the house we will grow in. This is the house we will have our babies in. I just got the chills writing that. This is the house we will create our memories in and I am overwhelmed with hormonal emotion right now just thinking about it. I can’t wait to also document EVERYTHING and share it with you guys.
To those who’ve been with us since the beginning and even to those who just stumbled upon us today, I’m glad you’re here. I’m constantly so humbled and in awe of the people that surround us (you) and I want you all to know you inspire the shit out of me. I know whenever compliments like that are thrown my way I sort of cower in the corner like ‘ok, thank you’ but I’m dead ass serious - You all inspire me and I’d like to think we all play a big part in keeping each other afloat. The love and respect is so mutual. That’s all I ever wanted when creating this blog, our shop, everything - was to create a big family where we can all be vulnerable and real and connect because life is fucking hard sometimes and we all need help from others. We got this.
I’m so glad you’re on this journey with us and I can’t wait to see what happens next. I will definitely be blogging about how we decorate each room and what not. :)
I promise I will write more from now on. I’m sorry.
I love you all. We love you all.