You should have seen us with our Zillow apps. Every night after June went to bed, we’d get on our phones and scroll through the day’s newly listed homes until our eyelids began to droop. The desire to find our Forever House was intense and wholly consuming. June would grow up in this imagined house. The Astronomer and I would grow old in this imagined house. It had to be just right.
Ironically, I had zero desire to own a home until June came into our lives. I relished the freedom of renting, not having to deal with unpleasantries like clogged pipes and leaky roofs. I also loved how theoretically I could jet off and live abroad again without too much “stuff” holding me back.
A two bedroom apartment held up pretty well until about six months ago, when June’s worldly possessions took over the entire place. It was a claustrophobia-inducing situation that needed to be remedied. And so we scrolled…
The first house we seriously considered and even put an offer on was a recently flipped Spanish-style in Pasadena. The house was situated on a very busy street and the bedrooms were on the small side, but the abundant natural light, new fixtures, and unique architecture had us smitten. Also, the house had been sitting on the market for a while because it was initially overpriced, so the timing was ripe to pounce on a good deal.
We didn’t have a real estate agent at this point in the process, so we took a chance on the random guy showing the place at the open house, which ended up being a big mistake.
Lesson #1: Find a real estate agent you can trust.
Even though our offer was accepted and we even went through with inspections, we walked away from the deal due to a lack of trust between the agent and us. I mean, he tried to tell me that an Ikea-made farmhouse sink was “top of the line.” When there’s this much money on the line, clear communication and trust is paramount.
The Astronomer and I were pretty gun-shy following the Atchison debacle and didn’t make any moves for a few weeks. It wasn’t until we saw an adorable home on Glen Avenue that we were ready to get back in the game.
Continue reading ‘The Suburban Years: Lessons Learned in Home Buying’