Tuesday, February 25, 2014

On #ThomasHouse2014: The Hunt

Don't even begin to think that hashtag means 2015 will hold a new house because now that we've intensely remodeled and boxed and unpacked let it stand: moving is not for the faint of heart

Several people have asked about our process of buying the ThomasHouse. And, at first, I thought there's not much to say. But, I'm a talker, errrr, writer, who loves to share and quite possibly over-share, so why skip this part?
Our home buying process was relatively frill and thrill free. That is, until escrow. But we shall begin at that first moment where we realized we had most of our ducks in a row and it was time for a house in which to put them. 
To house hunt or not? 
That was the question for two years prior to our big purchase. Finances were so much a part of it, as was my dad's health, our marital philosophy (the honeymoon period where we wanted no major responsibility last years for us), the local housing market, and the list of moving parts goes on... Finally, come the end of summer last year and our second wedding anniversary we decided to dedicate ourselves to the search. 

Jason loved to do the looking online -hello Zillow and RedFin. Numbers and stats spoke to him, all I saw were things I didn't like and big price tags. For me, it was about going to the house, seeing the neighborhood, walking the lot. We found a few we loved (at least from what the website could show) so we made appointments to see them. And they flopped. 


Do you believe in love at first sight? 
I never have and, after house hunting, probably never will. I really struggled going into house after house and wishing SO DEEPLY for it to have the feeling of "the one". But then, that didn't happen with my boyfriend at first. I guess for some of us romance is determined by time and relationship, not by intense, immediate emotion. Call me a pessimist, a bitch, or someone with expectations too high; I never walked into a house and just knew. In fact, it usually took me a good three hours, warm meal, and glass of wine to get any feeling that could be put into words. 

Often Jason was the visionary, seeing walls that would warm up with some fresh paint, carpet that could be replaced to update the home, and a way to open up what felt like cramped space... I didn't. Usually I'd see clutter, dingy walls, dirty carpet. I'd see their stuff in the space and be convinced it wouldn't look comfortable with any of mine. 

Priorities puh-lease.
So, to help a wife out, Jason suggested creating a list of priorities. We'd done this before, but the moment we walked into a home we'd lose focus on the list. So we rededicated ourselves and it was a blessing. We each got two things that were non-negotiable and our "expertise". That's to say mine were: a kitchen worth cooking in and an open floor plan conducive to child-raising. His were: a sizable lot and garage worthy of man-cavedom. Then there were our third choices which were important but not needed. Mine: an area to host my garden and rose bushes. His: room for a boat one day. Likes, loves, but not completely necessary. 

The priorities allowed us to leave the house and ask the right questions. Did it have my top two? And his? Both answers "YES" move to the bonus points. Sometimes the YES answers were conditional or contingent upon some set of changes, others they were straight, no-doubt, easy answers. Our home was the only one that had all four base points plus both bonus features sans ridiculous renovations (though those did come our way). 
And now that you're overwhelmed with house-hunting goodness go ahead and tune in next Tuesday for more on the #ThomasHouse2014. 

23 comments:

  1. Yay! So glad you're sharing about this! I feel SO overwhelmed by the entire process! We have made a list--now to find one that at least meets our "non-negotiables." :)

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  2. Gwen @ OursweetlifeFebruary 25, 2014 at 6:28 AM

    Making a list is the best place to start! The hubs and I did that as well, helps when you go look at a house so you know what you really want :). Can not wait to hear more about the new place!

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  3. i'll say it again...i don't know how you did all the remodeling all at once. you're both crazy people! but that's kind of what i love about you.

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  4. I love that all my friends are getting houses. I get to see all the behind the scenes work before we get ready for a house. I just wnat to get settled and watch everyone else decorate their place.

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  5. When Marcus and I start to house hunt we will have to use your rules because that is a great way to do it. I'm the same way you are. When it comes to apartment shopping, which we have been doing, I look at how they decorate it or the floors and sometimes I can see are stuff in there and sometimes I can't. I need be to more... Open minded I guess lol. Can't wait to see photos!!!!

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  6. It really is so hard to walk into a house, especially if it is still occupied and see it ANY other way then the way it is set up.

    I did end up falling in love with our house when we first walked in. What did also help it stand out to us above the others was that while looking in the middle of a damn snowstorm, the sellers had the heat on (even though it was vacant). Seems like a little thing...but when we walked in, it just felt like a cozy retreat in the middle of storm. And from there- everything just seemed to get better.

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  7. We are about 2 years away from purchasing a home again, but Chris and I are always looking on the realtor sites online making lists of what we each want in a home. We've come across so many that I wish we could buy now, but I'm sure the right house will present itself in its time. I'm sure when the actual house hunting really starts it will be hard for me though, because I'm the most impatient person ever! My necessities are a fire place and an actual craft room/art studio!!

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  8. There is so much to think about when making such a big decision! Right now, with the lifestyle we foresee, we don't imagine ever owning our own home--but if we do decide to pursue that one day...I know that will be a big task to accomplish! Still, it would be cool to have a place truly your own that you could remodel!

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  9. So glad you posted this! I think it's great to start with "must haves" for both of you and not to negotiate outside of that. Can't wait to hear more about your new home!

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  10. House hunting is not even a process. There isn't a word to describe it. My husband and I just bought our second house. I honestly thought we'd never find one. But we made priorities and things we wouldn't cave on. Eventually we found one. Good luck and don't give up... it will be totally worth it in the end!

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  11. House hunting for us was so hard as well. We close this Friday and I can't wait to get in to the house and officially have the house hunt be over.

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  12. lists of 'must haves' are so important when house hunting! but also "the feeling"; not the "OMG THIS IS HOME!" feeling but i often go with my gut and how much i can see myself feeling comfortable in the house.

    -kathy | Vodka and Soda

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  13. The way you simplified it is so genius, though. I'm going to have to remember that when we are finally on the hunt! It is SO overwhelming when you first start out.

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  14. I heard about the priorities list on an episode of house hunters one time and thought it was a good idea. Glad it actually helps! I'm a long way from buying a home but I'd probably be more like Jason, finding ways to make every house "home worthy". I'd need a list to reign myself in.

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  15. I can't wait until we are settled in a place long enough to buy a house!!! :-) I love that you found one that you love. :-)

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  16. you're so gorgeous! congrats on the new house!
    laurenofthedoxey.blogspot.com

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  17. This is exactly how the process was for us! It's both exciting and stressful at the same time. Now that we've been in our home for over 4 years we are finding some of our priorities shifting (like, how were we to know 4 years ago that our group of friends that only consisted of one child at that point would be up to 13 kids in 4 years! makes getting together a little difficult at times).

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  18. It's so, so overwhelming and I'd love to say it gets easier as the process moves along but the whole thing just feels SO stressful and foreign... Or at least it did for me. I'm hoping that by sharing our adventure will help other's feel more comfortable in totally unknown territory!

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  19. I wish you could have heard my squeal when we walked into the family room and there was a fireplace... Not that we "need" it in southern California, but oh how I love the mantel and the fire on cold nights and mornings and the way it makes the room look so rustic (ours is brick).


    Timing and patience was the hardest part for both Jason and I. It's so challenging to wait it out for the "right" house but now that we're on this side of the process I realize that it would have been so challenging to settle in somewhere else the way we have here. :)

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  20. IT WAS ABSOLUTELY INSANE. Seriously so many tears and so much drama, but now that it's done it makes sense why Jason pushed so hard to get through those phases. Now that we're in, I'm thankful we weren't trying to do it on top of move and unpack... Though our master bathroom and kitchen cabinets will eventually be receiving updates.

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  21. Wait until you're comparing those terribly decorated ones with staged ones and empty ones... I had the HARDEST time seeing anything but the furniture and how much it DIDN'T go according to my aesthetic. :) Also... I can't wait for you to visit and see all the changes! :)

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  22. so fun! it is an exciting and stressful process but a happy adventure for sure!

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  23. Madi, Congratulations on your house! Seriously such an exciting (and stressful and exciting time). Please tell me you're going to be sharing about it?!?

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