Life in Portland Blog

Home Buying, A Geek Odyssey Part 4: Where The Heart Is

It's been a while since my last update, but so much has happened in the interim - and all of it in the past week! Wade and I were (finally) pre-approved for a loan (yay!), and everyone who had been patiently waiting on standby sprung into action. David immediately set up an appointment, refreshing us on the financial logistics, providing us with an in-depth assessment of our options, and emphasizing that our budgeted range is very dependent on a property's taxes. Rachel and Ceil (our showing agent) got together on Friday afternoon to compile a list of houses for our 'educational tour' on Sunday, and we even ducked out that same afternoon after work to view a property that seemed to have everything going for it - everything - but still didn't feel 'right'.

And that's what I want to talk about here. This house was "hot", and bound to go quickly. Great curb appeal, lovely garden, raspberry patch - solar panels, even! All the character and vintage touches that make my heart go pitter pat. Extra space in the basement, desirable neighborhood, a work shed for Wade to build guitars in, and an ideal-for-us entertaining area out back under a large, shady tree. Etc, etc. All this at a price within our budget. So when Wade and I walked out of that adorable house and were anything but exuberant, I felt this weird sense of...guilt. Why, when this house was so close to 'perfect' for us, was I anything but moved? In the months (and years) of watching houses come and go online, some being the stuff of night terrors, why were we not jumping for this obviously amazing abode?

It's actually pretty simple. The house wasn't Meant For Us. Rachel has often talked about this - as do other Realtors at Urban Nest - but I certainly needed some reassuring. We'll just KNOW when we've found our place. I have to have faith in that. I've been waiting so, so long to own my own home that it's crucial to be extra careful to not make impulsive decisions. I have to quell my near-panic in this unchartered and competitive market, and trust in my gut - and my Agent. And this is where your Agent proves invaluable, not only guiding you through the maze of home buying, but also keeping you calm, optimistic, and steady for the duration. It's a tumultuous process, and I'm already a bit emotional about it, even though we've barely just begun.

Lastly, I wanted to share here some encouraging words from my best friend, Mary, who is also working around the clock to keep me sane and level through this experience. For those of you joining me in the deep end of the Portland real estate market right now, I hope that you can also take away a little comfort and reassurance from this post, and these wise words;

"I know you know this, but wait until it feels right. This is your life, your future home, don't grab something just because you want to strike while the iron is hot. You will find the one you're absolutely in love with , and while you will need to compromise, you won't have to settle - there's a big difference, there. You'll know it when it happens - I mean, you've waited this long, why rush into something now? I've gone house-hunting before, and I know how unsure the decisions may feel (which is how you know it's not time, frankly), and how unsettling that question of whether you're ever going to find something can be. You can, and you will. Plus, you've got the best of the best on your side, helping you along in the process."

And it makes all the difference.

Catt (& Wade)