Just thought I'd post an ode to my favorite TV character, Dr. Gregory House. He's pretty great.
OK, this isn't really an ode to him. Actually, I wanted to tell the world that Bobby and I have been pre-approved for a mortgage loan and are in the process of looking for our first house together!
We actually were approved a couple of weeks ago now and have had a chance to do some looking, but we both finally told our parents, and I didn't want to post it on the Internet before they knew. We started talking about it I guess about a month ago now (give or take), and we figured that with the interest rates so low and a lot of good deals on the market, it would make a lot of sense for us to buy rather than rent. Especially since our mortgage payment likely would be comparable to what I'm paying now for rent. And we wanted a house regardless, and rent for a house is generally pretty outrageous in this area thanks to the university and all the students who want to rent.
So we looked at some houses online, and we called my friend Tricia, who's a Realtor. Within just a few days we were able to start looking at houses. We've seen quite a few of the ones we picked out online. Some of them have been incredibly awesome. Others -- not quite so great. We've seen several foreclosures that were just scary, and even some where the previous owners had gone to great lengths to make sure the house didn't sell. The worst was the one where they had spread manure over all the carpet. Yep. It was disgusting.
We have a definite frontrunner as far as favorites. It's a 2 or 3 bedroom (Bobby and I have been back and forth about this) and 2 bath house with a big, fenced-in backyard and a nice workshop out back that Bobby could turn into an office. It's in a nice neighborhood in Tuscaloosa that's really convenient to pretty much any place we'd want to go. The asking price is around $102,000. Ideally, we'd like to get the seller down to $95,000. The house has been on the market for a little while, so they might be willing to drop the price some ... we hope!
Another of the ones we really liked was a garden home in east Tuscaloosa. It was really perfect, but in some ways, maybe too perfect for us. We would be able to move in and leave everything just as is, and it looked really awesome with a great color scheme and some cool light fixtures and fans and other things the previous owners had done. But if we did that, it wouldn't really be our house so much as the house we moved into that someone else had decorated and put effort into. It's also a bit above our price range.
Coming in a distant third place so far is a foreclosure home that's listed at $89,000. I seriously doubt we get this one, because it would need a lot of work. It also had a big backyard, and it had a really cool half story where there was an upstairs room with hardwood floors that was really open and nice. I don't think we could commit to making that house what it could be, though.
We also still have about seven more homes on our list to visit. We are going to four of those on Thursday and hopefully will see the final three in the next week. Then we are going to revisit our favorites, make a final decision and talk with Tricia about making an offer. Since my lease runs out in June, we're going to try to close near the beginning of May in order to have a month to move in. That would also mean our first mortgage payment wouldn't be due until July.
I'm extremely excited about this. I'm looking forward to having a place of our own that we can make exactly what we want. There are scary parts of this, too, especially knowing that if anything goes wrong it's up to us to fix it. But mostly it's exciting. I'm looking forward to finding a house that's perfect for us.
I'll likely post some pictures of some of these house once we've narrowed down our options.
I'm not joking.
4 months ago