Thursday, June 21, 2018

5 Tips for Buying Your Dream Home

We have officially been homeowners for a year and almost three months.  In just 45 days we started the house hunt, put an offer in on two houses, got our offer accepted on one, got the house inspected, agreed on repairs, waited, waited, waited and finally closed on our dream home.

But it felt like so much longer.

Here's my five tips for buying your dream home.

1. Patience.  I have friends that closed faster than us and friends that endured a painful 90 day closing.  House buying is a lot of back and forth and waiting around.  It really isn't much fun for those who don't have patience (my husband..).

Can we just pause for a moment and reflect on the fact that all things "adulting" require WAYYYY too much patience?!

2. Know what you want.  That market in our town is INSANE.  Unless your house has some really extreme negatives or you've priced it for more than it is worth and aren't willing to budge (the first house we offered on)... houses don't stay on the market much longer than a month in this town.  Our house was on the market not even 48 hours before it had 3 offers in on it.  There is absolutely no time to think on it, so you have to know what you want and be willing to make a quick decision.

3. Figure out your giving points.  Originally Rob wanted a 3 car garage, a basement and a second living area.  In this town... our options were EXTREMELY limited.  Our first day out looking we saw 4 houses.  Only one had all 3.  We knew if we wanted to quickly get into a house we needed to figure out what could go as a priority.  For us it was the 3 car garage, as long as the garage was not a standard 2 car garage.  Our home has a 2 car oversized garage, a basement and a second living area.  And I'm happy to report we are all content.

4.  Find a good realtor.  We went with someone I had already met through a playdate I hosted at my house.  Tori was quick and dealt with everything we threw at her.  We are the people that know what we want and aren't afraid to be a little bit aggressive.  Tori kept us in check and got everything done and submitted quickly.  Luckily we didn't have any real negotiations (since there were 3 offers, they asked for best offer from the get go and then picked the best one for them... we won!) but I'm confident no matter what Tori would have been able to get us what we wanted.  A good realtor is key in this very stressful time. You want knowledge and confidence.  Both of which we got.  Plus we came out of the deal with not only a house, but new friends as well! I will never stop thanking you Tori!

5. Don't invest all of your time and energy into making something work that isn't going to happen.  From the very beginning Rob told me to keep an open mind.  He knows that I get attached easily to the idea of things.  We put an offer in on one house.  It was the layout we wanted, but needed some major updating.  They had it priced well above what we wanted to pay for it, so we shot them an offer and they came back to us with a very weak counter.  It was clear they were not going to be negotiating off of their price.  So we walked away.  (They sold it almost 6 months later for what we originally offered them...) Being able to do that is a HUGE deal when it comes to buying a house.  Because we weren't overly invested it wasn't a major loss for us.  Nothing is ever a given until you sign on the dotted lines at closing.

House buying is stressful.  In the year since buying our house we have had small projects and large projects.. there is always something to do.  But having our own space at this time in our life after years of renting is worth it in so many ways.

Do you have any home buying advice?

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Monday, June 18, 2018

Father's Day.

I have known my husband for 11 years this fall. Been dating my husband for 10 years this winter.  And been married to my husband for 9 years next spring.  Somewhere in there it dawned on me that this man would be my person.  My best friend.  My other half.  The one I would start and raise a family with.  Here we are, 3 kids later... and I can honestly say I've never once doubted what this man is capable of and how much he loves the kids and I.  I hope he feels this way everyday, but I really hope he felt how much we love him on Father's Day.

It was a low-key day consisting of brunch, a round of golf (for him) and naps (for the rest of us), finished off with dinner with my parents and sister and an extra large fishbowl of beer to celebrate fatherhood.  Naturally.  The girls, dog and I gifted him a personalized coffee mug that will probably become a new pen cup at work, along with a card personalized by Grace herself.  I don't think a single thing we gave him meant as much as the girls telling him on repeat all day long "Happy Father's Day!"  There is just something about parenthood that humbles a person.

Growing up I always had a good model of how a father should be.  My parents are still married.  My dad is an encyclopedia of knowledge and wisdom.  My parents successfully raised two daughters, that I would say aren't a burden to society (well, my sister maybe - ha ha - just kidding, Erin!).  My dad worked his butt off to instill a good Catholic foundation, the true meaning of hard work, and the word respect.  To this day I am still forever thankful that he's there for me as my dad and holds the special title of "gaga" (Grandpa) in such high regards.

Being surrounded by these men (among many, many others) both on Father's Day weekend and everyday - I can say I am very very lucky.

One final note from Father's Day and the weekend as a whole --- a special thank you goes to my husband for holding down the fort with all three kids Saturday afternoon so that I could go drink wine with my mom and a crew of other ladies from the country club.  We were driven to KC Wine Co. (local friends - you MUST check this out!), given a flight of wine, a free drink of our choice and the most amazing scenery to unwind with.  It was a great afternoon away from my crew, and would not have been possible without my husband, super dad.  So thank you, babe.

Happy Father's Day to all the people lucky enough to call themselves a dad.  You deserve all the love, laughs and beers, on Father's Day and everyday.

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