Monday, March 11, 2013

House Hunting Hoopla

Daylight savings weekend seems to be the unofficial start to spring, and in that spirit we went to our first open houses on Sunday. The weather was nice, despite the recent dump of snow, and it seemed a lot of people had the same idea we did. Some even had the same routes planned. We saw a range of houses: some without finished walls (or any walls at all for that matter) and some that were so updated they looked like an IKEA showroom in Dubai (if you saw the house this would make more sense). Because of all of this grown up "fun" we've been having, I thought I'd share our reflections on the home buying process thus far.

1. Every bank assumes you can't actually afford a house, have the worst credit on the planet, and are up to your eyeballs in debt.

We've talked with 3 banks so far and the conversations always start off the same. Here are a few highlights:
  • "Your debt ratio can only be 41%."
  • "Unfortunately you need good credit in order to qualify."      (Hey now, we have excellent credit!)
  • "You're a teacher? So you make what? 30K?"
  • "That'll put your monthly mortgage payments around $1800." (We pay $1640 in rent and it goes up to $1795 on 6/1)
After we establish that we are actually competent, rationale adults things proceed much smoother from there. But it's not over yet so I kind of want to make a T-shirt online with our financial stats. Thoughts?

2. People have terrible, crazy taste. I mean terrrrrrible. 

This one, let's be honest, is no surprise to anyone. But it is staggering how much junk people accumulate and how little people "design" their homes. Has no one been watching HGTV? You've got to stage, buddy! I can't imagine myself living in your house with a picture of your round, hairy, shirtless man circa 1984 on the dresser. It's March: your penguin Christmas decorations are distracting me!

3. Houses priced correctly sell FASTER than you can schedule a tour. (Literally!)

I've been saving houses we like on Redfin for open houses or future tours. Every day I log on I have to delete at least 1 house that now has a sale pending, just days after appearing on the market. How did they even get their paperwork together that quickly? Does everyone have a fairy downpaymentmother? Is there anywhere I can find one? 

Overall, it was exciting and overwhelming to look at houses, but we saw one we liked which was encouraging (we'll see how long our luck holds out). This is all just in time really, because our neighbor's "performances" are reallllly getting old.

Anyone have an entertaining house hunting stories of their own?


  1. There was a nice hiatus from the neighbors for a bit after we called security on them one night, but yes, it appears that they are back and with a vengeance at that.

    Also, I always thought it would be sweet to live in a pimped out showroom of a house, but surprisingly, I thought it was a little too sterile and a little too swagged out for my taste.

  2. Good luck with your house hunt! Do they have Ikea in Dubai?

    1. There is IKEA in the United Arab Emerates so one has to be in Dubai. Also, if you're interested, Saudi Arabia and Qatar have IKEA as well.