Let me start by
admitting proclaiming that I am a devoted HGTV viewer, borderline junkie. I blame my parents really, who have embraced the channel for as long as I can remember and almost always have it on in the house. With the exception of Fixer Upper, House Hunters has always been my favorite because what’s not to love? You get to help a nice couple choose the perfect house that fits their lifestyle and dog best from three very different options. Rarely are there major issues and you don’t have to sit through all the gritty details including finding a realtor, getting the loan approved, all the underwriting, actual moving, etc.
You can imagine my excitement when Taylor suggested we start looking at houses to buy a few months ago! Searching for our first house to buy together = MAJOR! Visions of the two of us touring gorgeous homes with perfect light while that upbeat HGTV background music played lightly was exactly what I saw in my head. Oh, how wrong I was! The entire ordeal was fun but at times incredibly frustrating, however Taylor and I got pretty lucky finding our place after only a couple weeks of searching – more on that later! We learned quite a bit on our roller coaster to finding our sweet house, including:
Location is King
You can find the house of your dreams but if it’s on the worst street in five blocks you have to say no thanks, no matter how pushy the seller is. We learned real quick that we needed a quiet street that’s ideal for walking with nice neighbors AND has strong resale value.
If there are no photos then the seller is more than likely trying to hid something
For us, on houses we visited that had missing photos of certain rooms it was because the rooms were so tiny. And I admit, if we had known how tiny the room was, we wouldn’t have visited. So they want to intrigue your curiosity and get you there so you can at least see the rest of the house.
What you want in the beginning may change as you go through the process
We found this incredible house on day one and were infatuated with its classic lines and charming white picket fence. After a couple tours of said house we realized we didn’t need that much space (hello, upkeep) so we shifted our focus. After touring many other houses we learned we loved a large backyard but not three acres and that an open floor plan was ideal for our growing family. What we wanted at the start evolved and changed into so much more at the end.
Your realtor isn’t the end all be all
With this being our first house, we relied heavily on our realtor for the first week or so until we realized we needed to be proactive in the process, too. We spent extra time researching homes in the area, best practices for first-time home buyers, and asked our parents a million questions. Knowledge is power and we learned so much from not just giving the reins to our realtor.
Go with your gut
Real talk: I said more than once “Who would live here?” and “Who would put a master bedroom off the kitchen?” Some houses were just not good and didn’t feel welcoming in the slightest. When we walked into the house we will Lord willing own by Monday afternoon, it felt right. I could see our furniture fitting perfectly and future dinner parties in the open dining room laughing with our friends and family. I could see it all and Taylor could too – we put in an offer that week and the rest is history! xo