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Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Let the House Hunt Begin!

Back in late 2009 when Matt was getting close to being done with the Marine Corps, we tossed around the idea of possibly buying a house when we got out of the Marines and back to Minnesota. Our knowledge of mortgages was slim to none, and we were halfway in fantasy land, because we really had no idea what it took to qualify for a loan to buy a house. 

We quickly realized that the GI bill didn't count as income in the bank's eyes [if you drop out of school, the money dries up. Duh! Of course that doesn't count as income]. And with me deciding that I wanted to be an entrepreneur and give my photography business a go instead of being a nurse like my diploma indicated I should, we clearly weren't at the right place in our lives to consider home-ownership.

So we found the nice apartment complex that we've been living in these last 2.5+ years. It's been good. It's been nice. It's clean, it's mostly quiet, and it's fairly affordable. Most/best of all, it is in the ideal location and a great part of the city. That's the main reason why we've liked living here as long as we have.

Matt and I aren't really sure where life plans to take us, both literally and figuratively. When we started to rent, we weren't sure if we'd be in the Brainerd Lakes Area in the near future, so we were very hesitant to put down any type of permanent roots. Commitment is scary enough, but throw in tons of your hard earned $$ and it's downright frightening! However, with him graduating with his bachelors degree last December and getting a job that he likes at Ascensus, we started to see ourselves here for the foreseeable future. We aren't going anywhere, at least for the next 3-5 years. 

So! That realization naturally led to tiptoeing into discussions of homeownership.

Matt and I were both raised in financially conservative households, and we discovered the realm of Dave Ramsey which further strengthened those financial beliefs and principles in the last year or two. So spending large sums of money, and making major decisions like these are ones that we consider carefully. I am more the natural saver in the relationship and Matt is the natural spender, so I have had even more fear with the possibility of homeownership than him. But we started to talk and decided that this was the right time to start the next step. 

For most people, they're fluent in the language of home buying and home ownership. Things like interest rates, principle, mortgages, appraisals and closing costs are tossed around without a second thought. To me, I've heard the words before, but it's like a foreign language. Thank goodness for my mom to translate. I started by talking to a lender at my bank, and we got a starting point. Then, Matt and I met with and chose a realtor. 

Now, it's official! We are on the hunt for a house!

I received the email from our realtor this afternoon, which activates the multiple listing search service that will continue to pull properties that might match our criteria. I can only look at it in small doses though, because I get overwhelmed easily.

But overall, I am excited. 

Matt is totally excited. Remember, I'm more of the one with the anxiety about change, the fear over major purchases. But his excitement is contagious. I am excited about the possibilities.

The process of buying our first home is one that I never want to forget, which is why I plan to blog about the process as a way to memorialize it. 

Let the House Hunt begin!

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