I have so many thoughts and feelings about this, I don't even know where to begin. Owning a home is something we've been praying and dreaming about for years, and here we are, finally in a position to make it happen.
Before I go into details about our adventures so far, a little background info: Kyle and I have been looking at online listings for houses for a little over a year now. We had a pretty good idea of where we wanted to settle after Physical Therapy school, and we watched the market to see what was available at different price points and to see if the prices fluctuated at all. We did a lot of research on different types of loans and what would be required for down payments, interest rates, insurance, etc. We started saving money for those things, and then found our real estate agent in August of last year. Fast forward to March of this year, and we finally had a concrete answer on where we were going to live. A job offer came in for Kyle with Atlanta Rehabilitation and Performance Center at one of their Gwinnett locations, and he accepted! We could not be more thrilled.
So with all of the required documents in hand and the knowledge of our future combined incomes, we met with a loan officer this past Friday and got our pre-approval letter. From there, we looked at about 5-6 houses on Saturday with our real estate agent. This was fun and exhausting at the same time. I'm pretty sure my head was spinning by the end of the day. I'm planning on writing about our top choices once we close on a home so I can remember what our journey was like, but I'm probably not going to share any pictures before then. After looking at houses, we spent the entire Easter weekend with extended family, and everyone was so supportive and excited for us, saying they remember how fun it was to go house hunting with their spouses.
Now about five days in, I'm not sure fun is the word I would use to describe this process. It is definitely a roller coaster ride, which admittedly can be fun at times, but there are a lot of highs and lows. In Georgia, and I'm sure in other parts of the country as well, this is actually a really frustrating time to be a buyer. Inventory is getting low (aka there aren't as many houses for sale), and prices are starting to trend upward. While this is good news for the overall economy, it isn't the best news for buyers like Kyle and me. If we see a house we like, we have to act quickly if we want to make an offer. Which goes against every instinct I have when it comes to spending money. If you've ever gone shopping with me, you know that I like to look at the ENTIRE store before I decide to try something on and maybe purchase it later. I like to know all of my options before I make a decision. And that's not how this current housing market works. The newer houses are especially going fast, sometimes even selling over list price. We can no longer put in a low offer and expect it to be accepted, and in most cases we're going up against multiple offers on the same home. It's frustrating.
But despite the frustration, I know the Lord has the perfect home waiting for us out there somewhere. The one where we will hopefully start a family and continue to build our marriage in, and also pour into the lives of others through ministry. We might have to experience a few disappointments and wait a little longer to find it, but in the end I don't want to settle for anything less. :)
So let's talk: If you are a homeowner, what was your house hunting experience like? Was it an overall enjoyable experience? Or kinda frustrating and stressful? Maybe somewhere in between? If you have any advice for these first-time homebuyers, feel free to send it our way. We are all ears!