Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Screeching Halt....

So I may be being a tad over-dramatic (I know what you're all thinking, "Stephanie?!?! Dramatic?! Those two words don't belong in the same sentence!" You're too kind.) Anyways, today Ben and I continued our search for a house. We met a really nice realtor that we like very much. She has been sending us lists of houses to go through and we have sent her the ones we were interested in seeing. Many of the houses we had showed interest in have been going under contract right from under our noses unfortunately. But today we headed out to Stephens City, VA to view 6 properties that we had liked from the listings Julie (our realtor) had sent us a couple days ago. By the time we arrived (10AM this morning) to Julie's house (also in Stephens City) 3 of the 6 houses had gone under contract within the past 2 days. So she had pulled a few more houses to show us.

House 1
The first house was actually right across the street from Julie's house. The neighbors there were all very friendly, they waved to each other while driving by, etc. It was a really nice neighborhood feel. But unfortunately the house wasn't exactly what we had wanted. The biggest drawback, for me, was that there was no basement. So we left for house number two.

House 2
House 2 was in a newer allotment and was brand new itself. It was a beautiful house. We both liked it very much. It wasn't too big and had an unfinished basement that had the rough in for a bathroom. The kitchen was stunning: granite countertops, stainless steel appliances (GE Profile), dark wood cabinets....I loved it. The master bedroom was enormous! The master bath was really nice. Everything was perfect. On top of everything else, the subdivision was offering special financing for 30-year fixed mortgages at 4.875%. As if that rate was not good enough, they were also offering $10,000 towards closing costs, and a special mortgage rate of 3.8% fixed for the first two years and the 4.875% for the last 28 years. The price had also been reduced $100,000. Perfect.

Houses 3-6
Nothing to speak of. Water damage on the ceiling in one, lots of cracks in the other, nothing that compared to House numero 2.

The realtor took us out to lunch at a local Italian restaurant. The food was really good, and they even have homemade mozzarella sticks....yummy. I was sold. I loved the area all together, the neighborhood feeling was there that we miss so much from Ohio, the realtor could tell us all about the areas whether they were good or bad, how the schools were, if they were safe, etc. All things she isn't really supposed to tell us, but that we greatly appreciated and wanted to know.

Back to House 2
We decided that we would go back to the house that we both loved so much. We sat down with the sales consultant in the office and discussed numbers and the down payment. The down payment was $9,000. And we don't have $9,000 readily available. So we said we couldn't sign a contract at that moment but we wanted to see the house one more time. So as we went back to the house, another family was coming into the office to talk about the same house.

Ben and I talked all the way home about how we could come up the money so we could get this house. The whole time Ben is nervously biting his nails as I chatted away about what we could do where, all the while hoping that other family didn't buy the house.

They went into contract a couple hours later. I cried...stupid i know, but I let myself get really excited. And to be fair, I was upset not only because we loved the house, but because of what a great deal it was with all the incentives. We both felt like we really missed out on a wonderful opportunity. As the realtor said, if it was meant to be we would have gotten the house.....I just wish it had been meant to be. :(

Our search, for now, has come to a screeching halt.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Hunt is On

Ben and I have started to look for a house. We have mutually decided that although we love our apartment, we would rather be paying towards a mortgage rather than paying rent. Our biggest set back is the location we can afford. In order to get out of the $400,000-$500,000 range, our house hunt has led us an hour West. That, of course, means a much longer commute for Ben. We like the area we are looking well enough, but we will be sacrificing certain things (i.e. Ben's commute time and being close to just about everything). Nothing has been decided, and we certainly don't expect to be moving anytime soon. With the housing market being so low we figured now would be a good time to buy a house, if we find the right house at the right price.

Just today we walked through a house in Winchester (the area an hour West of our apartment) that was on Apple Pie Ridge Road. We really liked the house. It is a small house but it sits on 2 acres. I will be posting photos soon that I took while we were at the property.

On Friday we are heading back out to Winchester to check out another property. And I will do my best to keep everyone updated on our House Hunt. :)

What's a Puggle?

Several weeks ago Ben and I were able to visit our friend Brett Custer back in Ohio. He had recently adopted a new member to his family. Brett named his new "son" Buster Custer. Buster is a Puggle, which is a mix between a Pug and a Beagle. I have to admit, I was a little skeptical on what the cross between those two types of dogs would look like, but Buster is absolutely adorable. Just see for yourself....