House Hunting: 8 Lessons Learned

So this is the fourth and last update regarding our 2014 house hunting experience. We have now been looking for 4 months, toured 70+ houses (we stopped counting after 70), and officially decided to stop looking this week. Besides needing a break, as the holidays get closer I feel it will be harder and stressful to both find a house and sell our home, and honestly…I love the holidays too much to be upset and frustrated. So even though we haven’t clearly mastered the buying process, here are eight house hunting lessons learned.

Listen and accept your significant’s other opinion. It was harder for my husband to see potential in the houses we toured. So I had to learn to step back and put the ball on his court. I decided we were only going to tour houses he liked online that fulfilled our wish list. I realized I was more flexible so I had to change the way I was handling the search and be less obsessive and stressed over the process. Additionally I started learning from his house tours feedback and extrapolating that into new listings.

If you are buying and selling, buy first! I was really nervous about this one. The possibility of having to deal with two mortgages scared me. But the longer we took searching for houses, the more I was thankful that we didn’t have the pressure of finding a home in a specific time frame because we sold our house.

Is that house really in your budget? Consider insurance, HOA, taxes, and closing costs. And even if it is in your budget, are you and your partner comfortable with that budget? We debated this one a lot as we found houses we liked.

“You will find the one.” This is what everyone tells you…But we didn’t. We started looking in July and decided to stop the first week of November. We might be the exception though because we already own a townhouse, we are pretty picky, and every time we found a house we liked there would always be a reason not to commit.

Your wish list will change. As we toured more houses we realized you need to be more flexible. We started searching in areas we were not considering, we started going farther than we thought we were comfortable with, and we even started looking at houses with fewer bedrooms than we originally wanted.

You will get your heart broken. Whether your partner doesn’t love a house you do, or you are too slow to put an offer in, you will be discouraged but you will keep on searching. It is literally emotionally draining.

You will feel a little psycho but rightfully so. After loosing homes that could have been THE one, you become really anxious when you see a good house online, and feel slightly desperate to go ASAP to tour it. In this market “you snooze, you loose.” It is really counterintuitive but you need to make the largest purchase decision of your life in the shortest amount possible.

And finally…

  • The HGTV show “House Hunters” does not equal real life, but I really wish it would only take 3 houses to find THE one.
  • I will not buy a “short-term” house, a.k.a. to live only for around 5 years, because I do not want to go through this process again, or at least until I forget how frustrating it is.
  • I hate house hunting! It is exhausting, upsetting, it plays with your feelings, it makes you resentful, and it drives you a little crazy.
  • We have the best Realtor EVER! Thanks to my mother-in-law for her patience and positive attitude!
  • In the future, if we go through this process again, we will definitely build our home.

One thought on “House Hunting: 8 Lessons Learned

  1. Pingback: House Hunting: We Found THE One! | Val Brotherton

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