Hello everyone! I am so excited to be starting this blog and embarking on the journey of our first house with you. I will give you a bit of background on us and how we got to where we are. Steve & I met in St. Louis, MO. We fell in love over a course of outdoor adventures (mountain biking, camping, geocaching, and adventure racing). We were recently married (October 2010). Shortly after our wedding (3 weeks to be exact) we picked up our lives and moved from St. Louis to Omaha, NE. We wanted to be closer to our families and find a smaller town to plant our roots and raise a family.
We arrived in Omaha with a job for the Hubs, and unemployment for me. We weren’t sure what to expect with the current job market, so rather than risk getting over our heads, we rented an apartment with the intent of staying in it for a year. I was EXTREMELY lucky and I found a job within 2 months of moving here. We found our plans quickly changing…we have 2 mutts, 60 lbs and 30 lbs and with no yard and their first Nebraska winter. We’re all a bit cooped up in the one bedroom apartment and collectively are driving each other a bit nuts. We went through our budget and found that a house was easily doable for us with our dual incomes and the awesome interests rates right now. The Omaha housing market hasn’t been hit as hard as other places, so home values have held relatively steady, and the job market here is strong as well. Overall, we feel like we’re in a good position to move forward with finding a house.
We were excited to jump in, but weren’t really sure what to expect and figured we would learn a lot along the way! As a perpetual reader, the very first thing I did was head to the library to check out all the books I could find on how to buy a house. I read several books, but one of my favorite books was Tips and Traps when Buying a Home, by Robert Iriwn. The book can be found here on amazon.com (or of course at your local library!) This book did a great job of giving guidance on all of the things to think about as you are looking for a house…features, dislikes, etc. It also had great information on foreclosures as well.
The Everything Homebuying Book by Mark Weiss and Ruth Rejnis was also a great book to helping me really understand the mortgage process. I was having a hard time grasping the process of what happens after you find a house, and this was an excellent book for walking me step-by-step through the process. I referred back to this book several times during the mortgage process to validate what I had heard or what we were thinking.
If you are a reader type of person like me, these books will definitely help you feel at ease.
After I did my reading, Hubs and I sat down to start to make our list for our future house. We knew we wanted a fenced in yard for the dogs to run, we wanted to have 3-4 bedrooms so it would be a house we could grow into, and we wanted a bigger kitchen (our apartment kitchen has NO storage or counter space and only one of us can fit in it at a time). We were also hoping for a large 2 car garage or a 3 car garage to allow us some workshop space for all of our projects in addition to our cars. With this minimal criteria, we set off to check out some open houses. Next up– we start our search!