Monday, June 22, 2015

Our House-Buying Story Part I

Christopher and I have officially been homeowners now for over a week. As I was browsing the internet, it was difficult to find home-buying stories or advice, so I thought I would share mine here.

This post is turning into a bit of a series. There is so much to write about, I cannot fit it into one post.

If you had told me in March that I would be a homeowner in June, I would not have believed you. Christopher and I knew that we eventually wanted to buy a home in this area, however we were content at the time to remain in the apartment.

Then came the Great Flood of 2015...

Noah would have felt right at home in our apartment...

Sometime in March there had been a little leaking from our kitchen ceiling. A local handyman was called, but nothing was done. A month later, our kitchen was FLOODED with sewage water. We ended up losing everything in our kitchen and were unable to live in our apartment for two weeks.

Our landlord was downright nasty about the ordeal and made life very stressful for us.

Christopher and I began searching for rentals, but nothing came up. One day we frustratingly jumped into the car and started driving around Bangor and Brewer looking for some place, ANY PLACE to rent. We stopped in one neighborhood and got out to take a walk around a park. As we were walking we noticed there were a lot of "for sale" signs in the neighborhood. That is when we decided to stop looking for rentals and start figuring out whether we could buy our own place to call home.

That following Monday we called our bank and spoke to a mortgage lender. Before we started the process we wanted to see if we had any chance of qualifying. Our mortgage lender seemed hopeful and submitted a pre-approval application for us. We passed with flying colors and started to search for houses.

Christopher and I had a list of wants and needs. We needed at least three bedrooms, two baths, a good-sized kitchen, a decent backyard for our massive dog and for the home to be within a reasonable driving distance from Christopher's workplace and my school. We also knew we needed a home that was ready to move into. While I would have loved a fixer-upper, we both knew that it was not the right time for us to tackle such a project.  We qualified for the rural development loan, so we wanted a place that meet the loan's specifications. For more information about that loan, check out this website. We wanted a home that had a bathtub (not just a shower), a garage, a laundry room, and was near water.

I used the websites Trulia and Zillow to look for homes. If anyone is interested, I could write a separate blog post about that experience. I really liked both these websites and was able to get a general idea of what was available in our area. I saved homes onto an inspiration board through the website and then sent inquiries to homes I was really interested in.

To see what our touring experience was like (aka the fun stuff), tune in next time. That's all folks!

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