Our realtor set up a few MLS searches for us, according to our condo and bungalow desires and we began exploring.
Simultaneously, we began the loan process – yes, we obtained a pre-qualification, just as I recommend to all of my clients! More on that later.
After a couple of weeks of digging through the MLS, we finally started to find some homes that we were interested in and met our criteria.
The first home we looked at was fantastic – a bungalow in a great neighborhood, in excellent shape, smaller than we want but with room to expand. We loved it. But within 24 hours, it was under contract with someone else. We were so disappointed, but that’s the Austin market.
We also looked at a couple of condos, but they just didn’t fit our needs or we didn’t like them.
We moved on a few days later to another bungalow, one we knew would need an addition and some work. The builder of our current home was kind enough to meet us there and give us the run down on what it would take to get the home where we wanted. And boy were we surprised! This home was about 1200 square feet, so we would have needed to add a second story to get the additional space we wanted, plus redo the kitchen and build a garage. The quick estimate was $300,000+! Much more than we anticipated. While this home was a great option, the necessary work put the project outside of our desired budget.
With this knowledge in hand, we re-focused our search criteria. We looked at a few more homes, many which were great options, but didn’t meet other criteria (such as neighborhood feel and walkability). We also checked out a few new condo developments, which presented interesting opportunities to pick out fixtures, tile, etc., but in the end were not what we want.
And then we found a really fantastic bungalow style house. The house had been on the market for over 3 months and the price had just been reduced. And it looks so much like what we wanted our end product to look like after our projects, that we just had to look at it. This home is just north of the University of Texas campus, so we were a bit concerned about the location, but the neighborhood was a wonderful surprise – quiet and adorable, well kept homes all around, and amazing old growth trees everywhere. The street dead ends into a neighborhood park – perfect for Jack. And we loved it.
That night, we discussed it further and arranged to visit it again the next day. When we met with our realtor, we asked her to tell us why we shouldn’t buy the house; after a full tour, she told us she couldn’t find a single reason not to buy it! She did a bit more research on the house’s history and the neighborhood, and we put in an offer.
After a few days of back and forth, we are under contract!
I can’t believe it happened so quickly. And while it’s not a fixer upper, there are definitely several projects we want (and need) to undertake. Its the right size, the right style, right layout, etc.
As excited as we are, we are also keeping a damper on it. The house was built in 1936, which means it is bound to have some issues. So on to the next step…the inspection. Fingers crossed!