The Charron Clan is chiming in today with an exciting announcement to share with you!
…Before I lead anyone on too much, I’d like to preface this by saying it’s a fairly small announcement, though an exciting one nonetheless. You see, it’s a big deal to us, and we’re all things excited, nervous, slightly confused and, well, not sure where to begin. Ready for it?
…We’ve decided that it’s time to start thinking about buying a house. This is huge for us because it’s the first time we’ve had this even remotely on our minds. As city dwellers for nearly a decade, we’ve grown accustomed to renting, because quite frankly buying a place of our own has been too expensive to even consider. But with a toddler at home, baby on the way, and an apartment that is filling up far too fast, it’s become very clear that we simply need more space.
Our twenties are now freshly behind us, and we’re in a position where we want to feel more grounded; like we’re not throwing away our money on rent when we could be paying an equal or less amount on a mortgage that’s going toward owning a place of our own. Perhaps something with more space and a yard, even? One can dream.
To give you a bit more context, here are a few realities of our current living space:
- We have only two closets inside the apartment, and both are tiny. One is in Doug and my’s room, and one is in Grace’s room. Because of the sizing, Doug and Grace essentially share a closet while mine holds clothes and other things that have no other place such as our filing cabinet with important documents. Poor baby #2 doesn’t even have a closet; her nursery isn’t technically a room, it’s a small office that we’re getting creative with.
- Our “Master bedroom” only has room for our bed, night stand and dresser. Literally. And it should be noted that our bed is a queen despite us longing for a king, because our door physically wouldn’t be able to open with a larger size.
- We have a large flight of stairs that we need to climb up to get to our apartment, and no elevator, which makes it challenging when you consider things like bringing a stroller up and down, or grocery shopping. It’s hard enough with one kiddo, I’m not sure how we’ll do it with two!
- We have a few boxes of things that we store in the basement, which is shared with other tenants in our building. The basement has flooded a few times so that’s lead to ruined items and lots of awful clean up.
- Our washer & dryer are in the building next door, and they’re shared with about 10 people, so there’s always a line. We typically go to the laundromat as a result, because it’s easier to just do it all at once.
- Dishwasher? Nope. All hand-washed dishes here!
See? Things aren’t necessarily bad…they just set us up for living much more creatively.
Even with its downfalls, I’ve got to admit: I love our little space. It’s actually been refreshing to constantly keep “de-cluttering” as a priority. We don’t have things we don’t need because we simply don’t have room, which has led to a simplistic mindframe where we keep only things that have meaning or utility. But, despite fond feelings for it, I do feel like we’ve outgrown our space. It’s time to find something where we can all breathe a little more, you know?
So, the search has begun!
Only problem? We had no idea where to begin since we’re such newbies in the process. Particularly for those who, like us, are just starting the search, it’s a very confusing realm to navigate. We needed a place to go to learn more in depth information about neighborhoods, schools, amenities, and even costing structure.
Enter: Realtor.com. It’s safe to say the site and I are on BFF status currently. It’s intuitive, easy to navigate, and I’ve enjoyed that it updates constantly depending on the current status of a place.
The key search items we’ve found helpful to narrow our search is defining the minimum & maximum price and location specifications. I love the site’s map view because I’m such a visual person and, while looking to buy, it’s so key to see what’s within walking distance. (Side note: Have you seen their Instagram account?! Talk about home envy!)
Other things I’ve found helpful? There’s a “Neighborhood” section where you type in the general area you’re looking at and it surfaces the median listing price & median closing price, and within that section there’s a “School” feature that lists the schools within the area you’re looking at and their ratings.
Oh! And the app is amazing (download here for iOS or Android). We spend a lot of time on walks with Gracie, and it’s fun to pull up the app in real time to see what’s being listed in your area. Through using Realtor.com and their app, I’ve honestly learned a lot about the value of homes, and what attributes drive pricing up or down. I also love that it sends notifications for new and price-reduced listings, and that I can save our custom searches. …So there you have it! We’re in the beginnings of our search and are excited about the opportunity that home buying holds.
I’ll be sure to keep you updated with our progress in the coming months! Honestly, right now we’re focused on having a smooth transition with the new baby on the way and are just beginning to look, so we’re thinking we’ll make more firm decisions toward the end of summer. But, you never know when the perfect house will pop up, so we’re keeping our options open!
Are any of you currently on the hunt for your first home purchase? Have you tried Realtor.com or their app yet? Any pieces of advice for those like me who are entering the market for the first time?This post was done in partnership with realtor.com®, however all opinions, headaches of our current apartment, and excitement of home buying are my own!