M and I are on the brink of something big—buying our first home! Okay, we’re not that close to making an offer, but we’ve gotten our pre-approval and are actively looking at houses. We’ve come up with a wishlist (3 bedrooms, yard, within biking distance of the city… and not too expensive!) and are crossing our fingers and hoping to find the perfect house.
Along with our list of things we hope to find, we
’re coming up with a list of things we hope to avoid! Some things are fixable (strong odors, peeling paint, and minor damage) while others are harder (awkward lay-out, dark rooms, not enough outlets). As much as we love the idea of buying a fixer-upper and transforming it, neither of us is very handy, and (to be brutally honest) we don’t have a great track record of finishing projects!
It’s hard not to get excited about the possibilities, but there are some harsh realities that are keeping us grounded as well. The housing crisis is still fresh in my mind when I look at the price tag that comes with some of the houses I’ve browsed online. I don’t want to over-extend myself financially. Life is unpredictable, and it would be irresponsible to ignore that fact that something bad could happen.
Then, there are lifestyle considerations. As much as I enjoy living in a city, I miss having a quiet yard to relax in, and green spaces
nearby where I can go for walks. I fell slightly in love with a house that was not right for us simply because it had a gorgeous back patio and a yard that abutted a large forest. For M, the big consideration is whether he can bike to work. He’s much happier and relaxed when he has exercise built into his day. And then, there’s being close to friends…
There are a lot of things to think about, and I’m sure many more considerations will arise as I get deeper in the home-buying process. I’m optimistic that M and I will find what we’re looking for, as long as we keep our eyes open, keep saving money, and don’t settle for anything that doesn’t fully satisfy our needs. At the end of the day, I hope to find somewhere I’ll be happy to call home for decades to come. Daunting? Yes. Exciting? Absolutely!