Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Confessions of a first time home buyer

In the spring of 2011, I set out to do something I'd dreamed of since being a starry-eyed college graduate:

I wanted to buy a house.

Ok, so maybe I wasn't entirely serious at first.  I mean, it might have been kind of fun to buy that 8 bedroom fixer-upper, but the 3 furnaces and the crack-house-esque decor may have been a bit much for little me.  Then one day, it happened; I confessed this dream to mom.  It's interesting - looking back, I realize that most of the times I tell her my goals and dreams, they come true.  Hmmm....hang on a second, I may have to call my mom right now "Hi Mom!  Someday, I dream of winning the Powerball."  Actually, these successes probably have a lot to do with the effort she invests when she hears those endeavors and not as much luck.  Wow...just realized that.  Epiphany!!!

So, here we sit at my favorite neighborhood coffee shop, apple symbol glowing, when we pull up a real estate website and see.....IT.  Literally, the first property on the page, this picture made me feel like I was raising an eyebrow slyly while in reality I was probably just staring.  Was it a house?  Nope, condo.  Closer to work?  Slightly.  In my beloved hometown of Saint Paul?  Negative.  Even worse...it was in a suburb.

Thinking back, I don't think I was serious yet at that point either; I was buried in work 0.349 seconds after the tab loaded the info.  After a double take I ask, "Is that in the same building as Grandpa?!"  My mom offers to call for a showing and little lightbulbs go off in my head and create a glow around me.  I realize my commute would be 10min shorter due to being closer to a highway, I'd be close to one of the coolest relatives I have, and due to the majority of the residents old enough to remember FDR's fireside chats, I drooled over the possibility of being able to practice music without worry.  The price was ok, it looked pretty cool, and I loved everything about the scenario but the zip code.

Ironically, I was greeted for my showing by the same cheerful agent that showed me the monster house.  I walked through the showing, but I didn't really need to.  It was a little worn, it was very beige, but best of all, my artists eye caught potential.

So this was July-ish and I thought long and hard about entering into a mortgage (did you know that it literally means "death pledge"?!).  On August 16th I made my first offer, very well under the asking price.  I was prepared to drive a hard deal and thought I would have it all set and done before my proposed closing date of September 22nd.  Silly freshman homeowner...

This is where my story really begins.

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