After Hector proposed to me on Valentine’s Day, we agreed on buying a house together.
Initially, I wanted a house in Columbia County, under $150K, less than 10 years old, brick exterior, on a slab foundation, and a fenced in yard. During that period, Zillow was my holy bible and I was only focusing at houses with an increase in value in 10 years. Unfortunately, there were not many houses under 10 years old that costs under $150K. With our options running thin, Hector and I were constantly disagreeing and arguing. We sought family and friends for some advice, but the advice we received slowly started to back fire, and it became really busy and not really applicable since people were just sharing their own experiences from the past without comprehending what Hector and I want to do or our future plans.
In addition to the complication of the house, the mortgage loan options, down payment and providers were giving me a headache. At that point, so far Hector and I agreed on nothing except the idea of buying a house. The house hunt was nothing but two magnets with the same magnetic pole.
After running low on options for houses in Columbia County, my realtor friend told me I should consider Richmond County houses. She said if I were to live where National Hills is, I could make a lot of money on Masters rental as she has done many times in the past. Even if the home was build older than 10 years ago, there was still chances of finding remodeled homes that could be as good as new.
The joint effort between her and Hector opened up my mind and I finally agreed to look into Richmond county, and within a few days we found a house we love and fell in love with it.
The “feel” walking into this home left us with a very positive, clean, modernistic impression. Walking into the house the first impression I received was open and refreshing. The high ceiling with open windows allow maximum sunshine into the house to brighten up the living room and the kitchen. The house has all hardwood floor, which sparkled the sunlight above and gave the house a very modern feel. There were 3 bedrooms and there was a full bathroom for each bedroom. The house did not struck me as a 20 year old house at all.
Photos from Zillow
When we saw the images posted on Zillow, were were skeptical. The pictures were definitely staged, but having furniture as prop to show how the space can be utilized is not necessary a bad thing. We’ve seen houses where the photos look much prettier than the actual place so many times due to over embellishing Photoshop, but we actually visited the location and proved that it was not the case. We got a good look at the kitchen appliances and casework up close, and they were replaced 3 years ago and were still in great condition. Many of the other places didn’t even include half of the appliances this one did. They were honestly much better than anything else in any other home we’ve seen at this price.
The house itself has a smaller square footage inside, but that was the reason why it was such a great house for working class newly weds like us. Furthermore, the architect made excellent use of the area and it’s spatially interesting. A tall common room compartmentalized with the kitchen in a smart and efficient way, while the stairway provides an unfettered view of the public areas. It’s a well organized use of space, but not cavernous for sizes’ sake. In this case, As an aside, we’ve toured some clunkers in the 1500+ SF range that had rooms in the outer corners of the home that just weren’t being utilized well. We saw some rather oddly laid-out floor plans with multiple extra bedrooms all scrunched together and questioned their utility.
Initially I wanted to buy a house with a great resell value in 10 years, but looking at this older neighborhood I knew it would be a stretch. However, the location of the house was actually even better for my plans- I’m planning on leasing it instead of selling it. The house is in National Hills, walking distance to the Masters, in addition to being in a very convenient location to downtown, MCG, and hospitals. This area will be a great place to lease to students, golf tours, and contracted temp professionals.
The house was built on crawl space instead of slab foundation that I had hoped for, but I realized that I could use the walk in crawl space as a basement in case I need to store my personal belongings during the master week that if I were to rent out the house.
After submitted the offer letter, our offer was accepted with minor changes.
The same week I lost my job was also the same week we’ve decided to apply for a bank loan for the house that we were looking to buy. We were already pre-approved back in February, and we scheduled an appointment to officially apply for the loan followed by the appraisal, and to have a home inspection just mere few days before I lost my job.
When I left my job on the last day, I lost hope in everything, including my dream house.