Saturday, August 24, 2013

Adventures in Home Buying Part I

(So remember in my last post eight months ago when I said that 2012 kinda sucked.  Well joke was on me and 2013 has proven itself to be unlucky thus far.  But today the sun is shining so lets move on).

We bought a zoo!  Just kidding.  We are almost done with the process of buying our first house, which seemed like an excellent place to start up blogging again.  I want to start at the beginning because I really had no idea what this process would be like.  So hopefully if you are getting ready to buy your first house, this will help you out.

A little bit of background before we begin.  In college, I lived in the dorms my freshman and sophomore year (at the time, the school had a rule that you have to live on campus your first three years unless you were living with your parents).  Then my junior year I was in Cambridge and we lived in a dorm but had a lot more freedom (and a housekeeper which was nice).  When I got back, I knew there was no way I was going to be able to stand living on campus for my senior year, so I rented a duplex with a couple of my sorority sisters.

After college we finished out the lease on the duplex then in the fall right before I started law school, I moved into a little apartment in mid-town KC with another sorority sister.  It wasn't exactly high class but it was cheap and the location was great for school and work.  My sorority sister moved out after a year and a friend from law school moved in.  She stayed for a  year too then Alex moved in.  We had only been dating for a  year and looking back on it, that doesn't seem like much time before making a big commitment like living together.  But I needed a roommate and he needed out of his parents' house so we did it.  I like to think that having three roommates in three years doesn't say anything about me, but who knows.

Alex was never really a fan of the apartment, so after I finished the bar exam, we started looking for a new place to live.  We wanted to rent a house instead of an apartment, so it took a while.  My experience when looking for a place to rent in Kansas City is that you have to pick an area where you would like to live and drive around, calling all the places you would consider.  We ended up finding a cute (and new) little house that was really nice.  I'm not going to go into the whole ordeal here, but after a little over a year, we had to move because the guy who owned the house stopped paying the bank.

We had planned on renting that house for about 18 months then buying but due to a multitude of circumstances beyond our control, that didn't happen.  Right after Christmas, we had to find a new place within a couple of weeks.  We ended up with a short term lease in a cheap apartment in a suburb close to where some of our friends live.  It was always supposed to be temporary and we don't really fit there (going from a house back to an apartment really sucked).

With our lease getting close to being done, we knew it was decision making time.  We decided to buy rather than rent for a few reasons.  First, I am sick of renting and not being able to decorate and being at the mercy of a landlord.  Also, the financial and housing markets aligned and so we just decided to go for it.

Deciding we wanted to buy was the easy part.  Deciding how to go about it was considerably more complicated.  We are not married but plan on being someday (don't ask me when--God is doing his best to make sure we take our time on that one).  Since we aren't married, we did not feel like it was a good idea for both of us to own the house.  Heaven forbid something should happen, we just didn't want to deal with the mess.  Financially, it made more sense for me to buy so that is the route we are taking.  I am sure a lot of people have had great experiences buying a home with a boyfriend/girlfriend, but the lawyer in me just wouldn't let me do it.

Looking back on it, these seemed like big decisions but in hindsight, they were just the tip of the iceberg.  Check back soon for part two of our latest big adventure.   


Kathleen Fisher said...

You'll be so busy you won't even have time to consult all those home decor ideas on your Pinterest boards. Enjoy!

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