Life in Portland Blog

Home Buying, A Geek Odyssey Part 1: Introduction

For many of us who dream of being first-time homeowners, buying a brand new (slightly-used) house might conjure up visions of slapping a little paint on the walls - and a weekend project of building a succulent-studded chicken coop - before it's Pinterest-ready. And as someone who is fairly new to the behind-the-scenes workings of the real estate industry, it was a bit of a shock to discover just how complex and competitive the process really is.

Without being a Debbie Downer, buying a home can be fraught with complications, many of them hidden from the naked eye - much like yesterday's news story of a Portland woman who fell into a sinkhole in her own back yard while searching for her dog (who had also fallen down the hole). As a potential buyer, I never would have thought that I'd need to investigate the possibility of sinkholes on a property, or that such a thing could pose a danger to myself or my family. Urban Nest broker Susan Zazzetti, who sent me this article, affirms that the city requires that cesspools and abandoned septic tanks be decommissioned, and that it's a good tip for those looking to buy and/or sell a property. So there's my - and your - lesson for the week!

I'm Catt, Office Manager and Staff Photographer at Urban Nest. My understanding of being a first-time homeowner is pretty much exactly how I described in the first paragraph - limited. My husband Wade and I are ready to buy our first house. Well...nearly ready. In the coming weeks and months, I hope to detail here our milestones along the way - from acquiring a mortgage loan, to turning that key in the lock. I'll share the ups, downs, and the run-arounds, and hopefully our personal (and no doubt emotional) experiences will assist others in the same starting position as we are, or those just coming around to the idea of homeownership. Maybe our potential mistakes and missteps could help you avoid yours?

The process of buying a residential property, from what I've seen, is an emotionally fraught investment, with many unexpected obstacles along the way. I'm lucky to have a unique perspective  - after all, I am in the privileged position of working for a dynamic group of passionate and principled real estate brokers here at Urban Nest. And I even have David Bunker - a respected local mortgage broker and pretty awesome guy - on-hand to assist us with our financial choices. But that doesn't mean it won't be hard. It will be hard. And yeah. We are ready for it.

And I still do want to build that succulent-studded chicken coop.

Catt (& Wade)