Ok, now that we’ve gotten that first post out of the way, let’s dive right in. Since we’re a year+ into marriage, we’re starting to move onto the next big steps, one of which is buying a home together. Whether it’s smart to be looking at or buying a home right now is not the point. We all know the market is insane right now, especially in the suburbs of major cities. But, here we are, out growing our space with stuff and wanting to find a home we both love 🙂
Truthfully, I don’t know if the market out here in the bay area is that much hotter than usual since I have nothing to compare it to and have literally never looked into buying a house anywhere, until now. I’m told it’s a bit crazier than usual, but if this is just “a bit” crazier, then man, I can’t imagine what it usually looks like. How do people deal with the competition and stress, not to mention the heartbreak when you get outbid?! We’ve been casually looking at homes for the last 4 or 5 months. And by casually looking, I mean cramming 7-8 open houses in per weekend day since August.
While we’re not in any kind of hurry to find or buy a house, I have always felt like I moved into Dan’s house (hello dark blue and green walls, newspaper curtains, and no coffee or end tables) and I can’t wait to put my touches on a new house that can feel like mine too. We haven’t quite nailed the location down yet, still debating whether we should be in the city or in the suburbs, or deep in the suburbs. With both of our jobs being hybrid forever (starting someday), we have some flexibility, but also still need to be commutable, and we’re open to lots of locations.
When we think about how our lives will be if we lived in the city, it’s different than if we lived in the suburbs. Both have pros and both have cons. What you can get for your money varies, but it also just depends on what’s important to you. I grew up on a quiet street with a huge yard to play in and lots of trees around; Dan grew up in the city with parks, museums and great restaurants nearby. When he sees trees in the yard, all he can think about is the possibility of the tree falling on the house, or the $$$ it’ll cost to cut it down. When I think of the city, I immediately stress over the thought of never being able to find parking and having to share walls with our neighbors (as if I didn’t do that for the last 10 years of my pre-Dan life lol).
Suburb Dan & Steph (from 10/2021):
City Dan & Steph (from 1/2018, oldie but a goodie):
For people that come from such different backgrounds and have very different priorities, how do you agree on finding the right home? Yes, location is probably the most important aside from safety, and we’ve had tons of discussions about what’s important to each of us and where to compromise. But on top of that stress in finding the right house, there’s the stress of how quickly homes are selling, and for so much over the asking.
I was recently talking with someone who purchased a home in Florida. I asked if the market was crazy there too and if they paid a lot more than the asking price. They said, “Yeah! It’s very crazy, we paid $40K over asking!!” I smiled while a single tear rolled down my cheek, thinking about the one home we’ve put an offer on so far. It not only had upwards of around 42 disclosure requests and got 16 other bids, but the house also ended up selling for $500K over asking after being on the market for less than one week, and sadly, to not us. Costs are all relative, I get it, but that difference is the price of an entire house where I grew up!
We are open to a little fixer-upper situation. I’m not against it, but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like anyone else here is against it either. I’ve been laughing recently and sharing this one house in particular on my Instagram story. It was listed for somewhere around $1.2M in a town that does have great schools, but it was a 3 br/1 ba and looked like it had been vacant for the last 30 years. It just went into pending a few days ago, and I can’t wait to see what it goes for. Favoriting and following homes like that has become a fun game I play. I always tell Dan – “Remember that one house with the tree coming through the deck and was on the side of a cliff? Well it sold for $xxx” It’s truly mind-blowing sometimes.
Here’s a picture of my open house outfit from SF a few weeks ago, when I decided I’d start blogging again. It brought back the memories of trying to find the right lighting and making sure I like the picture before I dismiss Dan from his duties, but I really don’t want it to be like that again. That was my least favorite part of blogging, honestly. But, a velvet tank top because its holiday but also CA, and mom jeans.
Thanks for stopping by! I’ll keep you all updated on the house hunt. There was a new one posted today that I’m very excited about! Send highest bid vibes our way (assuming we like it when we go see it this weekend!). Ps. make sure you subscribe and like this post 😀