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It’s something, huh?

James and I are in the midst of all the joy and stress of buying our first house. I’ve lived in rental properties (four different ones) since graduating from Calvin and never really even considered buying. It made sense to do so now, a major reason being that if we do eventually decide to buy a house in England we want to have some equity built up as housing costs there are astronomical – at least compared to West Michigan.

So about a month ago we contacted Linda – a friend of my aunt and uncle who is a realtor and has helped a few other members of my extended family find houses. She faxed me a list of about 34 properties in the general area that we had specified (in short, within about 10 minutes walk of central Eastown). We selected a few to look at and were at first a little discouraged about what we were finding in our price range. But then a couple came along that we were more optimistic about and could see ourselves in. We started taking second looks, and then we found it: The House.

I fell in love with it immediately upon entering and just got more excited as we walked around. The listed price was toward the top of our price range but it was in such great condition. There was nothing that needed doing immediately; the floors, paint, appliances, roof, yard – all in great shape! James was excited about it but didn’t have the immediate emotional reaction that I did – which is okay because he’s a guy. 🙂

Next comes the securing of a mortgage lender which ended up being a pretty easy process for us. One of my co-workers highly recommended her and her husband’s mortgage guy, and after meeting with him and finding out that this was actually going to cost us a lot less per month than we were expecting, we were ready to move forward. [Side note: my conversations lately have been peppered with all kinds of terms that I hadn’t had a clue about a month ago like PMI, ARM, disclosure statements, etc.]

The day that we made the offer I had to work, but James and Linda spent a good two hours in the house looking around and writing up the offer – after which James was really excited about the house too. They came over to my office around 1:00 that afternoon so I could sign the offer papers too. Linda faxed them to the listing agent shortly after. And we waited. And waited. And waited… The offer expired at 10:00 p.m. Linda called us at 10:30 to say she still hadn’t heard anything. At midnight we finally went to bed. Thankfully I managed to sleep despite the suspense. Linda called at 7:30 a.m. to let us know that there had been a counter-offer. We decided to accept it. Later that evening Linda called us to let us know that she had heard from the listing agent and we were all set. Pending inspection and all that, the house would be ours.


The tentative plan is to close sometime after July 23 and take possession the last weekend in August. I think it’s going to be a little frustrating not to be able to move in earlier, but it will all work out. We’ve been doing some furniture shopping now that we know what sort of space we have to put the furniture in. It’s a lot more fun that way!

It’s kind of strange that I’m so excited about having hundreds of thousands of dollars of debt. I kinda think this is worth it though.

4 Responses

  1. #1

    Congratulations! It looks like a great house. I like the sellers’ design sense, too, although of course they’ll take most of it with them. But it’s always nice to see a house that looks like one you could live in, rather than having to try to see through the owners’ hideous taste.

    I’m in a similar situation, just a couple weeks farther along, and I’m very much with you on the contradiction between the joy of getting a great house of one’s own and the shock of handing over all one’s money and then much, much more.

  2. #2


    I’d love to fly over and help you move out… hmm, let’s see… (checks diary)… last weekend in August? … I seem to be busy then.

    Well I guess it’ll further take James’ mind off what he’s missing!

  3. #3

    You’re quite right, pab. It certainly does have that advantage!

    So long as I have internet access to get the odd update from the festival…

  4. House buying

    As Kari has noted on her blog, we’re in the process of buying a house. After looking at more houses…

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