Over the last few months I have been searching the housing market for a house. After graduating from college and starting a full time job I decided that it was time to move out of my parents house and find a place of my own. I started late last summer by trying to narrow down what I wanted in a house, where I wanted to live, and other very important things that need to be decided for the home buying process to begin. This took a lot longer than I expected, but by early December I had it narrowed down to what I wanted, or at least what I thought I wanted. I was looking for a house with a minimum of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms in the Jenison, Hudsonville, or Grandville area. I also needed it to have a least a 2 stall garage so that I would have a place to store and work on my vehicles and I wanted to stay around the $100k price range.
Throughout the month of December I began to look at houses with my realtor, Steve Frody. He helped me to find houses that matched the criteria I was looking for. After just the first few houses I found on that I really liked. With this being my first experience with the housing market and the process of buying a house Steve helped to walk me through the process of putting in an offer. We put in an offer on the house only to find out that they already had 2 other pending offers on that house. After a few days of waiting I heard back from the bank only to say that they were accepting one of the other offers.
After keeping busy with the first serious weeks of my housing search the holidays were beginning to kick in…this meant that the housing market pretty much shut down, just like everything else seems to around this time of the year. So for the next few weeks I enjoyed time with time with my family and friends and a nice week off from work for Christmas.
The first of the year kicked back in with a huge rush of houses and I was once again going out one or two nights a week after work to look at houses. It made it hard to see many houses during the week seeing as I worked until the sunset almost every night. But Steve was willing to help me out in any way that he could and he would often stop by and take a look at most of them first before I would try to take off of work early to meet him to go through the houses.
On one particular Friday night I had lined up 2 houses that I wanted to take a look at in the area and Steve told me that he had one more that I might be interested that he had been keeping an eye on. We went in the first two and they were nothing that I was even interested in, but when we went to the last one I immediately loved the house. There was just a few small problems with the house that kept me from wanted to put an offer in on it right away. The house was just a little above my ideal price range, it was on a busier street and there was no A/C. There was also quite a few great things about this house. They had just put in a new boiler heating system, new carpet and paint in the entire house, and a brand new stove and dishwasher.
After spending the weekend thinking about it I decided to go ahead and put an offer in on the house. I started about $15k less than what they were asking for the house and to include closing costs in hopes that they would drop the price down a bit. After what seemed to be an eternity (2 days) they came back with a counter offer of $2k less than the listed price and not to include the closing costs. With a little advice from Steve I decided to put in a counter offer for $10k less than their counter offer and to include closing costs. I was expecting them to come back with another counter offer of just a bit lower than their original offer, but much to my surprise 2 days later they came back saying that they were going to accept my offer.
This is where the real fun begins. For the last month or so I have been filling out paperwork for the house, getting a home inspection, finding loans and homeowner’s insurance. Along with the technical side of things I have slowly been collecting many needed items to furnish the house once I move in and making plans for the painting, decorations and layout of the house. I still have a few weeks before I am closing on the house and its coming fast…maybe too fast. I am planning to close on the house the 21st of February, one day before my birthday (kind of a cool birthday present if you ask me) and once that is done I can begin to move my things in. Before I move in I am planning on remodeling the old outdated bathroom and painting a few rooms. There are pictures of my house located here and if you have any ideas or suggestions for remodeling, decorations, etc. please feel free to leave me a comment.