Friday, December 12, 2014

Update on Our Home Shopping

Many of you are probably wondering how our house shopping is going.

We have now visited eight different homes. Four were in our town, one was in a town south of us, and three were in an adjacent northern town.

After a lot of prayer, we're pretty sure we're supposed to move to the northern town. However, we still haven't found the right home. We've liked aspects of almost all of the homes, but we still haven't felt that we know where we're supposed to move yet.

We really liked one home, but someone else has already made an offer on it. We're kind of hoping the offer falls through, but if not, we'll keep looking.

It's been pretty exciting to look for a home, and it's been really fun to look at all the different homes. As we've viewed them, we started realizing what we really want. We're looking for a 3-4 bedroom home with 2 bathrooms. We'd prefer that it have a basement and a fenced in yard. It needs to be in fairly good condition, because we don't have a lot of extra money for repairs. Other than that, we're not too picky. A few trees would be nice, and we'd like it if the kitchen should have most modern accommodations (a.k.a. built in dishwasher).

We've learned a lot about house shopping as we've gone through this journey. Hiring a real estate agent is a pretty good idea. They usually know what they're doing, but it's important to find one that you feel comfortable with and who cares what you want.

It's also important to realize that the mortgage calculators on all of the real estate sites are not going to give you an honest assessment. They will tell you how much the mortgage is going to cost, but they don't factor in other costs like home owner's insurance or taxes. FHA loans tend to add those in. We're looking at getting a USDA loan instead, but it still it is going to have those additional costs.

So, it's important to know an estimate of costs before you decide how expensive of a house to go for. Grig has pretty good credit, but I don't have any. So, while getting pre-approved, our lending agent gave us an estimate of how much homes we were looking at would cost, and about how much the lender would loan us for a home. That helped us to decide how much we really wanted to spend on a house, and how far into debt we were willing to go.

It's been a great journey so far, and we're excited to see where we end up!

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