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The Process of Looking For a House

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By : Paul Escobedo    99 or more times read
If you’ve never gone out to look for a new home, you might be in for a shock. The process is nothing like you have ever imagined, and, sometimes, it’s worse than trying to buy a new car.

When my wife and I decided to go looking for a house, we started out with a realtor who was a friend of a friend. He was a very nice guy, but not much of an agent in our opinion. We told him what we were looking for up front, as well as our price range. He took us to come fairly eclectic properties, but none of them were what we’d described as what we were looking for.

For instance, the first house we saw was a contractor’s dream. On the outside, it looked very nice, and was in a nice neighborhood. Once we walked in the front door, though, it was a disaster. The people who had lived there before must have thought they were going to be evicted, because the inside of the house was destroyed. No wonder the house was going for so little; it was going to cost twice as much as the house was worth to restore it. Our agent told us we could qualify for a $25,000 home improvement loans to get us started; we weren’t impressed.

The next house he took us to wasn’t in the area where we said we did not want a house, nor even close to the style of house had we said we wanted. It was in a style of the 60’s modern home, where it had 5 split levels because it had been built into a little hill. The back door was actually on the lowest level, and the master bedroom was on the 3rd level, underground, with no windows. It looked like the kind of house James Bond might have found cool back in the day; we hated it.

The last house we let him show us was in the area and it might have looked like what we had asked for. I say it that way because the house was hidden by too much flora and fauna. Actually, the entire yard looked like tall grass had grown out of a swamp. The previous owners never mowed their lawn, as they were conservationists, and that meant that the original plants that were indigenous to the area covered both their front and back yards. On top of that, they had built a large glasshouse that extended into the back yard, and when we were walking through the house, some of the vegetation had decided to make a run for it and had spread into the hallway, as the greenhouse door was left open. As you can imagine, this didn’t make a good impression on us at all.

After switching realtors, she took us to a house that we thought was almost perfect. Even though we had said we didn’t want a ranch, what she showed us looked like a ranch out front, but was in actuality a two story home. However, the living quarters were on the main level. It was beautiful; we couldn’t believe this house would be going for the price that we’d been told it was. That is, until we went to the lower level. The family had 3 teenaged boys who had come to live at home after college, and it was destroyed as well. Half of the windows had been broken out and were covered by wood. There were broken glass and dirt and beer bottles all over the place. Someone had ripped out the sink, as it was apparent that the downstairs was originally a second apartment of sorts. All that, plus you had to go into the garage, where the doors didn’t totally close, to go to the lower level.

In all, we looked at close to 25 houses before we bought the house that suited us at the time. We even almost purchased a house neither my wife nor I wanted because our agent was in love with it, and we got caught up in her euphoria temporarily. In the end, the house we purchased was one we found online and asked our agent to set up a visit for. Truthfully, that wasn’t the most pleasant experience either, but at least we felt like we had some control over our choice.

This may give you some idea of what you’re in for. It can be a long and grueling process. At the same time, almost every house you see will have something that you’ll tell yourself you hope to have in your own home one day. Be patient, though; if not, you’ll feel nothing but stress, and this isn’t supposed to be a negative process for you.
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