We have owned 2 homes- our current home, and one previously. The first house we gutted and redid everything ourselves. We purposely SOUGHT out a house that looked awful, because it meant we might be able to afford it. The second home, well, we bought it while I was pregnant. We knew we didn’t mind fixing it up but really didn’t want to have to rewire electrical stuff, move plumbing stacks, etc.
When we bought our first house, I had my full mental faculties and was not pregnant.
When we bought this house, I was pregnant with my first baby. This, for me, also meant I didn’t really have my full mental faculties. Buying a home can, I suppose, be fun and simple if you don’t have a strict budget and there is a buyer’s market- but we, as luck had it, bought in a seller’s market (yay for getting a nice fat profit selling house #1 but bad for buying house #2) and still on a strict budget. Fun, yes, but could be more fun. My big thing, since I was pregnant, was that I insisted we have 2 bathrooms. Really, 2 toilets. I’m fairly certain had the realtor shown us a house with a toilet in the living room I would have been perfectly happy seeing that second toilet in the house and signed my name. (See?? Not.all.there.). If you have been pregnant or know someone who’s been pregnant you know they need to use the bathroom quite frequently, regardless of how little their fluid intake is.
The toilet thing was a HOT BUTTON issue. After that poor realtor (Randi, again, apologies for my psychoses…) brought us to one house with the lone bathroom- we were fine. She learned I meant business and no houses with 1 bathroom were brought up ever again. I was happy to look around. I even tested every single bathroom in every house we viewed. I wasn’t able to go more than 5 minutes without having to pee so when I tell you I tested them, I am not kidding. At all. I got really into critiquing how people decorated their bathrooms from visiting so many.
Buying a house when very pregnant also meant for me that I was always VERY HUNGRY when we were browsing. Hungry like I’d start crabbing at my poor husband who started about an hour into the process to stash snacks in both of our cars to tide me over until a meal could be found. Lots of houses have pantries- walk in pantries, with all the food showing. His smartly planned snacks that were high in protein meant to fill me up until we could get to dinner were refused, poor guy. I wanted what THEY had. Their crackers looked better and omgwhydoesntourgrocerystorecarrythesetheylooksoyummycanwestopandgrabsomeonthewayhomeplease. (NO I didn’t eat other people’s food- IEW!! but oh, man, did it make me want more snacks).
Between the peeing and the wanting other people’s snacks, I wasn’t exactly the most objective (nor sane) person to be house hunting with. It’s really a small miracle at all that my husband didn’t just go alone and bring back photos to share with me! Thankfully, HE remembered our “list” of wishes and wants and was able to stay level headed and sane throughout and in between my crazy
I can tell you a few things that I will be remembering – and always recommend to others-when and if we house hunt again:
1. Figure out what matters most to you – minimum number bathrooms, eat in kitchen, flat yard- stuff like that.
2. KNOW WHAT YOU CAN AFFORD. Look at your income and your personal budget (s)- the bank always tells us we can afford almost double what we’d be comfortable living with in terms of a mortgage payment (or we could afford the payment, but not any furniture, utilities, clothes nor food to put inside of the house).
3. Use a realtor to help you or do your research on your own- but learn what you can about the town/city and areas you are looking in
4. If possible, don’t house hunt when pregnant.
5. If #4 is not possible and you are pregnant, or your spouse is, I highly recommend having a stock of snack supplies (hidden in your trunk lest it offend her you have a small convenience store in the back of the car) and her favorite toilet tissue. You just never know.
6. Get an inspection.
7. If #4 isn’t possible and #5 happens, be sure to laugh at it down the road. Its good to laugh at yourself sometimes. Keeps things in perspective.
8. Paint colors are easy to change. So are light fixtures. Not reasons to walk away from a house.
We’ve only house hunted here in Connecticut, but I’d imagine these same tips will apply whether you are looking at Wyoming, Texas or Missouri Real Estate.
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