Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Moving up

Ok besties, I need you.
Tyson and I are beginning the stressful process of looking for a home and I was just wondering if you had any advice about that.
What do you love about your house/apartment? What do you hate? Is there anything you wish you had thought to get in a home but didn't? My mom has already given me good advice (thanks mommy!) and I thought I would just poll the rest of you for your opinions.
So, what should I do? Or not do? Or look at? Or avoid? What if I hate my realtor? Some of those realtors on house hunters drive me crazy! What if I get one like that? Aah, my brain is melting!
What say you, friends?


  1. i would say don't waste your money on a realtor... if you're willing to look yourself you can save that huge percent, and you can find a lot on your own...
    i would also say that you need a master bathroom. every couple does, especially once you have kids. and if you find a split level look for the laundry to be on the same floor as the bedrooms.
    good luck!!!

  2. I might write a book, but hopefully you'll find it helpful! Let's see, my number one advice is while it's important to stay within your means, take advantage of this market! We happened to buy a house that didn't have much room to grow, at the peak of the housing market in 2005, and we are now stuck in it because the value has gone down so much since then. You are buying at an EXCELLENT time in the economy and housing market. You'll get a steal on both the house and interest rates, so take advantage! Buy a house you can stay in for awhile, because you have no idea when the market will improve, so you can't bank on being able to sell it when you're ready for something bigger. I think a lot of things are individual, so I won't give a lot of specifics on what to look for, but don't settle for a house that doesn't have the few things you really care about. You'll regret it later! One thing that I'll never live without again is STORAGE space. I don't know if houses out there have basements or not, but I personally won't buy a house without a basement again, because of the storage space. I know some places out west don't have a lot of basements, so if that's the case, at least make sure there are big closets, a spare room, etc! Good luck!!!

    p.s. Oh, and having a good realtor is important too. If you don't like the first one, get a new one!

  3. One thing that I never thought about while house hunting was having a "kid friendly" house. I know you and Tyson want kids so I would suggest finding a house with an 'open layout'....where there are not too many nooks and crannies where you can't see a kid. Since Caleb has started walking we have had to get a gate to separate the kitchen from the hallway and living room. He LOVES to play in the kitchen and dinning room but since they are separated from the rest of the house (I can't seem well) I can't let him play in there unless I am in there. Anyway, that is one thing I want in my NEXT house :) Hope this helps a little. Praying for you guys with your transition and house hunting!

  4. ooh ooh. also, our has a million windows. we liked it until we got the first heating bill. not very energy efficient.

  5. Okay, so I don't really know anything about buying a house, but I have watched plently of remodel-types reality TV shows. Go for quality in the bathrooms and kitchen! Ha!! No but seriously, I will be so, SO happy when I have a garage for two reasons. 1-To park my car in to I don't have to scrape ice/snow off every morning, sometimes several times a day; and 2-to have a garbage can. It will be so nice to not have to always take stuff all the way out to the dumpster!! Oh yeah, and I'd like two bathrooms, for obvious reasons.

    Good luck house hunting!!!

  6. I'll be short. SPACE IS EVERYTHING! Even if it's not all grandiose... make sure you've got adequate storage space and such inside and out. THAT'S something I wish I had more of... and trust me, you WILL need it, kids or no kids. and then kids triple your need.

    Location is muy importante. Check out the schools... crime rate... sexual offenders...good shopping...nearest hospital, etc. GOOD LUCK!!!

  7. make sure your kitchen drawers are more than 6.5 inches wide. you will have to jimmy rig a drawer organizer.

  8. Realtor.com

    Google crime rate maps to check out your prospective areas.

    Make sure the kitchen cupboards open the way you want! I have one that I can't open if the dishwasher is open. Bugs the you know what out of me.

  9. I think you can do w/o a realtor if you are willing to take the time to do the research and running around. Realtor.com or realestate.com are both good. The market is AWESOME right now, so don't feel like you're in a huge hurry...look around and find what you really like, don't settle.

    I love having two seperate living areas. I have a family room with my nice furniture which I try to keep toy free, and a playroom which can be messy and I don't care. Two bathrooms is important; if I were you, I'd also look for three bedrooms. Storage is an issue.

    Find a kitchen you really like, with either plenty of cupboards or a pantry. And definitly check the crime rates (we have a sex offender directly across the street..but I've checked him out :-)---I keep my eyes open.)

    Also, having a "REALLY NICE" place isn't as important as having a LARGE space you can make nice over the years.

    If you want a realtor...ask people in your ward if they know anyone.

  10. Don't know if you know this... but I'm a Realtor.
    Find a couple homes that you think you might like
    Let the Realtor that has the listing show it to you, but do not let them get you to sign anything. Look at 3-4 homes with 3-4 different agents and then pick a Realtor that you like and work well with.
    The first comment (the one from Morgan) is way off. (Sorry Morgan) As a buyer you are not paying ANY commission, the seller is. So please do not do it on your own... especially for your first home. You need someone to be there to walk you through it.
    As far as the home itself... do not buy a bi-level, I HATE MINE. I have 2 flights of stairs to carry my laundry up and down. Unless you like running up and down stairs, stay away from bi & tri-levels.
    2 bathrooms are a must if you plan on staying there awhile.
    & avoid really light carpet.
    I think that's all I have for now... I'll let you know if I think of anything else.
    Good Luck & have fun with it!!!

  11. *sigh* wish i was house hunting....

  12. Everything already said is good advice-but may I add-check out the ward. You want to be somewhere in a ward where you can be happy since this is a big part of your life too. Good luck! I can't wait to see your adventures posted-they ought to be great with your writing gift and sense of humor.
    I agree with "storage" and "open" plan too...

  13. Here's my two cents:

    1) Pick a good neighborhood, preferably close to great in-laws :).
    2) Check out the ward
    3) Get as much house as you can reasonable afford
    4) Make sure that the master bedroom and master bath are completely closed off from each other. Seriously, there is nothing more annoying than trying to sleep while someone else is getting ready (and I mean that in the least lazy tone possible).
    5) People make a big deal about having an upstairs laundry-I don't think that's a big deal either way. You end up carrying it all over the house anyway.

  14. First, document your search on House Hunters.
    Second, if I were lucky enough to buy a home, I would need plenty of counter space in my kitchen with an island and the bedrooms a good distance away from the living areas because when you have a baby, there is nothing more annoying then loud noises when the kid is trying to sleep.

    Thats all. And I love you.