- Got married.
- Had a baby.
- Sent a kid to college.
- Bought a house.
Yeah, I think we’re officially grownups now.
We closed on a house on Thursday in a suburb about 20 miles away from our current house. The good news is that it’s less than four miles from my work and the commute involves no freeway and a maximum of two stoplights. That’s hard to be mad about even if we did end up leaving the confines of our beautiful city of Minneapolis. I will miss it dearly, so it’s nice that we can get there in less than 15 minutes.
We started house-shopping in the end of June. We were kind of guessing at what we could afford and what we wanted to afford. We’ve been paying a CRAZY low amount for rent the past few years, so we’re spoiled when it comes to leftover money for living expenses. The biggest thing we knew we wanted to do is avoid being broke as hell all the time, sitting in our living room pissed off because all of our money was going towards a house payment.
We found our realtor (Joe Anderson with Re/Max) from a referral on Twitter. I mean, where else do you find anyone anymore, right? But then we realized we probably needed to figure out how much money some crazy financial institution was going to give us, so we found a super awesome loan officer (Cheryl Stuntebeck). We found Cheryl’s information on Joe’s blog, because if you’re not finding a referral to some sort of professional on Twitter, you might as well look at blogs. THE INTERNET, YOU GUYS. IT’S GOING TO TAKE OFF. (I seriously cannot say enough about Joe and Cheryl, so if you’re buying a house or selling a house or doing something that required financing for something to do with your house, these two are A+ individuals, the cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees, and stand up solid dudes and ladies.
We got pre-qualified and it wasn’t anywhere as scary as I thought it would be, plus we had a heck of a lot of information we actually understood when we left Cheryl’s office. We let Joe know we had money to spend and we were off.
At first, we wanted to live in Minneapolis and only Minneapolis. Joe took us around to a few houses one night and then we realized maybe Minneapolis wasn’t the exact right answer. We expanded to Richfield and St. Paul, and then we added West St. Paul and Bloomington. My real hope was to stay as central as possible, just meaning I didn’t want it to take a half an hour to get to my friends’ houses in Minneapolis and I didn’t want to spend more than half an hour commuting one-way.
We looked at a house that was in the path of about 19 runways from the MSP airport, which was super cute and would have fit us nicely, except it was also right next to the freeway. While both of us grew up next to train tracks, this was more like growing up in a box car. That same trip, we went into a house that had been flipped and the doorways were so narrow my shoulders barely fit through. There was a super awesome house on that trip that we absolutely adored and then we got into the one part of the basement where the teenager would be sleeping when he was home from college… and the ceiling was less than six feet tall. We like our teenager’s head and face, so we decided that probably wouldn’t work.
We looked at a house in St. Paul that had a heavy punching bag hanging in the kitchen and one near our current house that smelled like fourteen cats decided to have a pissing contest in the front room. We saw gorgeous old houses that would do great on shows like Property Brothers. We saw so, so many stucco houses.
Our checklist wasn’t terrible. We wanted at least three bedrooms, with at least two of those bedrooms on the same floor. We wanted a decent sized kitchen with more counter space than we have now and it needed to be upgraded enough to where we wouldn’t have to do any major updates on it for the next few years. We didn’t want to walk into a house that would require a ton of work, but we were open to a few projects! And we really wanted to make sure the big ticket items weren’t anything that would have to be immediately replaced, like the roof or electrical or central air, etc.
Our dream list included things like central air, fenced in backyard, main floor laundry, no stucco, decent neighborhood, four bedrooms, finished basement and a two car garage.
We somehow ended up with everything on our checklist and our dream checklist. Not only that, but we came in way under what we were approved for and feel super comfortable about that six digit figure we’ll be paying on for the next 30 years.
We packed in a load of boxes on Thursday right after we closed and another two car loads yesterday. Today, we took over a carload full of our wall art and stopped to pick up a new TV stand we bought. We also headed to the furniture store where we bough a new coach and loveseat. So, things are moving along at a pretty good clip. We have movers coming on Labor Day to deal with the heavy furniture crap, so we’re hoping to be able to move most everything the rest of the week and be living in our new home on September 8th!
And then, I swear to everything, we are done with anything major in our lives because I’m about exhausted from all of these life changing events. I mean, there’s probably nothing else left to do anyway until retirement, right?