I am going crazy out of my mind with excitement about it and cannot (will not!) tally the amount of time I spend on Redfin.com. I’ve come up with all sorts of searches to whittle down to what we want. Our budget is constrained so at first we thought it had to be condo. A condo is good in theory, but one of the few drawbacks to our living situation now (apart from it being small) is that we have to be considerate in terms of noise. This isn’t the biggest deal for me, but it often stymies Cute Man when he’s really into a game or a movie. It would be nice to not have to think about it when we have our own home. Also, I’d hate to pay large condo fees that aren’t tax deductible like the mortgage payments.
But could we even dream of buying an actual house on our budget? The answer, is maybe. I’ve discovered that it may indeed be possible for us to buy a townhouse or even a single family home as long as we’re flexible on location. Of course, we need to feel safe wherever we move, but it might be more of an up and coming area, rather than a neighborhood we’re already familiar with.
We really need to be within walking distance of the Metro (train) due to being a single car family, so that puts a lot of constraints on things. We also want to stay as close-in as possible, but really, anything that is walking distance to a metro isn’t going to “too” far out anyway, I guess. We definitely need to stay below $300,000 and would prefer something more in the $250,000 range. Depending on where you’re living, that might seem high or crazy low and impossible if you’re from this area. But in my searches, at least online, it is theoretically possible. I’ve found a dozen or so move-in ready homes that look good online that are close to a Metro station. It makes me wonder each time if there’s something wrong with the place or neighborhood, but that will only become apparent when we start actually going out to see them ourselves. It’s just good to know that options are out there.
My absolute favorite discovery is a new construction development of townhouses out in Landover near FedEx Field. I couldn’t believe they were in our price range. We might have to be somewhat considerate of neighbors with our sound levels, but not to the extent it would be with a condo. And I like the whole townhouse set-up which will have a garage (!) and Cute Man’s “man-cave” on the first floor, the kitchen, dining room, living room, and powder room on the second floor, and two bedrooms plus two full baths (one being a Master Bath!) on the top level. I also love that the washer and dryer are on the top floor with the bedrooms. Trucking down to a basement to do laundry never made sense to me. To top it all off, it’s only a 5 minute walk to the Metro!
Of course, I’m slightly ahead of myself and we have a couple hoops to jump before actually getting an agent and going out to see places. First, we have a meeting on Monday with NACA to finalize our approval to go through their first time homebuyers program. I had to clear up a couple mistakes on my credit report first, which I’ve done, so we’re good to go. Then, we have a home buying class to attend… Once that’s out of the way, we’ll find an agent and get rolling. The goal is to be on track to take advantage of the federal tax credit before it expires in April.
It’s getting harder and harder to contain my excitement. I keep reminding myself to slow down and just go through the process. Now that things are starting to pick up, I plan to chronicle the process here. If anyone has any home-buying advice, please chime in!