Updated: Apr 6
Joe and I have been up and down with the whole house hunting process; getting so close, and then having to go back to square one all over again. I had even begun packing my belongings in hopes that that would speed up the process. We tried to put everything into perspective, more so Joe than I, since I kept stressing out this very long, drawn-out process.
Our plan was once I graduated and after our San Francisco trip, we would begin the search for a home; Joe and I had been dating for four years at that point and still living apart, in our parents’ homes. Both of us knew we wanted a house, and both agreed to skip the step of renting an apartment before purchasing a house. Renting an apartment in a NYC borough can be as much as a monthly mortgage of a house. Instead, we put that “rent” money into a savings account and began building a fund for “our house”.
However, Joe threw a curveball my way and proposed! Now I was even more eager to live together, making our “laissez-faire” approach to the process more constricting. Starting in late August, just a month into our engagement, we began house hunting.
Picking a realtor was easy for me. Off the bat, I knew Maria worked in the areas Joe and I would plan to be looking in and she has a great and honest personality, making her our perfect match! I reached out to Maria and we got the ball rolling. Maria had advised us about one neighborhood she thought would be perfect for us, but we found ourselves constantly returning to this other neighborhood we fell in love with during our dozens and dozens of viewed listings on Realtor.com. Just something about it drew our interest, and soon we found one home that seemed to have potential. It was a 1950s split level home with lots of old charm. However, after a second viewing of this house with our parents, we learned quickly we were in over our heads and a fixer-upper was not our way to go.
About a month or so later, we came across another house for sale in that area, on that same block! It was fully renovated and even more ideal than the last one. It was a 1956 two-story cape cod and the interior was ideal to what we were looking for. We were ready to move forward in the next steps when we discovered that the neighborhood we were loving so much was a flood zone, which was not financially ideal for us. After this realization, we knew we had to walk away and start all over with the search again.
By this point in our house hunting journey, I was beginning to lose hope. Everything happens for a reason, right? At least that’s what we keep telling ourselves, but I couldn't help but think, maybe, after all, it just wasn’t the right step for us. We knew everyone’s experience with buying a home is different and it’s something we had kept reminding ourselves about as well.
We began our research, again, to try and find the next desirable neighborhood for us, browsing various listing on Realtor.com, scrolling through picture after picture. We were trying to keep our heads up, our eyes open, and just letting the universe lead us where it may...and that is when it lead us here:
While commuting to work, Joe sent me a text with a link from Realtor.com. I instantly fell in love with the house displaying on my phone's screen. Being so interested in this listing and not wanting this home to slip through our fingers too, I messaged our realtor and she set up an appointment to see the home right away! The best part was, the house was located in the neighborhood Maria recommended to us on day 1! Note to self: your Realtor knows best! 😆
After seeing dozens of houses, we finally found the one that was perfect for us! It was a 1950s ranch with a lot of windows, on a cheery little street. It checked off most of our wants and needs in a home and was only listed for a few days. Knowing how quickly homes like this had been going, we put in an offer within the hour after seeing it.
There was a bit of back and forth as the home entered a bidding war. After reorganizing our financial spreadsheet, we put in the best offer we could afford and waited until the end of the weekend to hear back. We knew this process was normal, but man was that a stressful weekend! Naturally, we began envisioning where we would place furniture, ideas for the bathrooms and kitchen. We had already begun visualizing holidays and birthdays in that house…plans for the yard. You can imagine where our heads were at. Then Maria called and told us our offer was ACCEPTED!
We were over the moon, nervous, excited, and ready for the next steps. Not too long after, our loan was completed and we received the preliminary thumbs up of approval. Went through the inspection process and now nearing towards closing day!
As we begin to fully pack up all our belongings, finalize all closing paperwork, and make arrangements to move in, the realism that this is all happening and we won't be living in our parents’ homes anymore it starting to set in. We are beginning to feel the bittersweet feelings of this whole process. When the week of our closing comes, I predict I am going to be an emotional mess. All the books and blogs I read, nothing will prepare me for the real-life experience, but we are ready!
Stay tuned for our homeowners' adventures to begin soon to the blog!
US Rent Control Laws by State: https://www.rentprep.com/rent-control/
Maria Cappillo, Real Estate Agent for New York and New Jersey: www.coldwellbankerhomes.com/nj/holmdel/agent/maria-cappillo/aid_197273/