Finding & Purchasing Our First Home

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**Literally the only picture we took on moving day- whoops!**

Ryan and I are still in utter shock at 1) we are homeowners and 2) how quickly it all happened! We know that some people search for months and months before they found their dream home but Ry and I were very lucky that ours popped up right away. 

Everyone has different situations and experiences but I thought I would share our home buying experience because before we started, I had no idea how ANY of this worked so hopefully some of what we went through will help you! If you missed it, you can read the part 1 of buying a home that I wrote a few weeks ago and how we handled prepping to look for a home. 

Taking the plunge: There were a few instances in West Palm- nothing dangerous or to us personally- but just downtown situations that kind of pushed us to finally call Matt (our incredible real estate agent) and officially start looking for a home in Jupiter. We were just so over being downtown and wanted to see what was realistically in our price range and if we could really afford to do this. Within 24 hours, Matt had given us a list of 16 properties- all townhomes and all in Abacoa. Then there was one- I was obsessed! I told Ry that we had to see it immediately. It was adorable, in a great section of Abacoa, and in a price range we could afford. 

Seeing the first house: So we saw this house at lunch the following day- Ryan and I definitely had disagreements on the house but we made an offer anyway. Writing this now, I still can't believe we did it. Luckily, fate was on our side and we didn't get the house- seriously the best thing that ever happened. it was wasn't the house for us so don't let yourself get swept away in something you both don't absolutely love. 

Our home: At this point, we had received our loan approval and realized we had a little more flexibility in our budget than we thought- woo hoo! So this opened a few more doors for us. Ryan was leaving to go to Tampa for two weeks so we wanted to look at one more property- just to compare it- to see what we could get for our $$$. So Friday evening, we saw it. It had 10 foot ceilings, as open of a layout as you can get for a townhome, away from the main road, and a two car garage. All of a sudden Ry and I looked at each other and realized it could be the one. The one that was supposed to just be a sample was quickly becoming our home. 

We saw our home Friday afternoon. Made an offer Friday night. Had a counter offer Saturday morning. Made a counter offer Saturday afternoon. Had a counter offer Sunday morning and were signing contracts Sunday afternoon. 

Over the next 30 days, there were countless emails from the mortgage company, insurance agency, home owner's association, inspection company, Matt, water company, sewer company, FPL, the list goes on- but if you just keep in mind what it's all going towards, it makes it way easier. Also, if you're local, we used Family Mortgage and guys honestly- they made things soooo easy. They handled so much of the paperwork- and dealing with other vendors- on their end it took a huge weight off of us. I highly recommend them! 

November 13 rolled around real quick and a couple of hours later we signed the papers and got the keys! Again, I know some people don't have the same experience and Ry and I feel so blessed that we did. 

We're so excited to finally have a place of our own! I am hoping to do some before and afters and updates on decorating because I'm kinda obsessed with all of that. But first, rush to unpack so I can decorate for Christmas!! 

the outlaw,

christine

Buying a Home | Part 1

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this post Friday afternoon and frankly, A LOT has happened over the weekend. Bottom line, is Ry and I are under contract for our first home! I will definitely write a post on how we got there but I wanted to still keep the feelings I had on Friday (before we saw our soon to be home!) Hope you enjoy! 

P.S. These photos are from our time up in Mackinac and have nothing to do with this post but that's what happens when you have an idea and 48 hours later, everything changes and you have to post ASAP :) 

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Christine here! For a change of pace, I'm not going to just share a cute dress that I just bought but I wanted to share a very big thing that Ry and I are attempting to go through right now-- buying our first home! 

While it's definitely a daunting process, he and I are trying to enjoy every little bit of it that we can because if we're going to be eating ramen for the next four years, that home better be worth it! 

I will say, before about a month ago, neither Ryan and I had NO IDEA where to start. I kid you not, like didn't know how a mortgage worked, what was normal for a down payment and frankly, totally underestimated the fact that we don't pay HOAs right now. But, that's why I'm writing this! I'm hoping that our few tips will help you when you go through the process one day. 

I wanted to share a pre-home buying list on this post. I'm hoping that as we see more homes I can do another post on what to look for, things to pay attention to and keep in mind while looking at showings and of course (hopefully!) the entire closing process! 

We are at the very beginning of this adventure (we've seen one property and boy that was a whirlwind) so you guys know how this will end as well as we do- we hope you follow along on our journey to find our first little (yes, it will be little- don't know if you're aware but we live in South Florida) home! 

  1. BUILD A BUDGET: If you don't already, build a budget! I built ours in excel -- I have a love affair with that program -- and it definitely took some tweaks the first few months, but it's seriously so helpful. (Read: we spend HOW MUCH on coffee?!) I googled and googled for how to build ours but basically I started with our biggest expenses- obviously rent, groceries, gas, phone bill, etc. and then kinda adjusted as we went on. We realized we spent a lot of money going out so that got it's own section. For a while, we had weddings ALL THE TIME- so that had it's own section. You just have to get a feel for everything. 
  2. FIND PEOPLE YOU TRUST: This was a huge stress point for Ry and I. I was scared to even start the process because I didn't want to end up with a real estate agent we didn't feel 100% comfortable with. Enter: Matt Brannon. Matt is a friend of the family and even though we have just started, he's already been such a huge stress-reliever and totally understands where we're coming from. Because we have so much confidence in Matt, he pointed us in the right direction for a mortgage broker- which is a huge deal because you hand over literally every piece of financial paperwork of your LIFE to these people. Finding people you trust is so incredibly important! Don't have a family friend? Ask around! People buy homes all the time so definitely reach within your own little network and go from there. 
  3. HAVE A SUPPORT SYSTEM: Ry and I realize how incredibly lucky we are to have family so close. My parents have actually been coming to the showings with us and while some people are probably saying woah calm down, Ry and I know ourselves well-enough that we need outside, unbiased opinions. My mom has taken my phone calls from "We're going to go bankrupt" to "This is my dream home" (that hasn't happened yet but hopefully will soon!) Now, I understand that not everybody has this but your spouse can be your support system! Which brings me to the next point...
  4. BE ON THE SAME PAGE: This is HUGE! Ry and I already had our difference of opinions on the first home and I honestly thought to myself, this is going to be miserable isn't it?... But we took a step back and realized it wasn't the home for us. He lowered expectations, I saw the property for what it was, and together, we realized it wasn't meant to be. We have had COUNTLESS conversations about what we want, what's non-negotiable, where we want to be, what we're willing to sacrifice, talked in circles all before we even reached out to Matt. I know it seems obvious, but your marriage comes first (Matt told me that on the phone yesterday-- see, he's amazing). 

I hope this little tidbit helps and stay tuned on updates! 

the outlaw, 

christine

 

Two-Two Cute

Can you believe that we celebrated Gemma's second birthday this week?!? Is it just a mom thing to be in complete denial over the passage of time? She's such a big, strong willed, smart, and capable little lady.

We threw Gem a little birthday shindig two weekends ago when both Tim's parents and Gemma's godfather were in town. The theme was Two-Two Cute and party guests wore crowns and enjoyed all of Gem's favorite snacks including pirates booty, berries, apple sauce, and pickles because she likes what she likes. A special thanks to Shannon for making the donut cake from scratch!

Finally, I will never resist an opportunity for matching outfits and if they are tutus, even better.