Monday, August 24, 2009

A Follow-Up

We are homeowners!!! Not completely officially, but pretty much. We found a great condo in Oakton (yay!), in our price range (yay!), that will also give us cheaper payments every month then where we live now (SUPER YAY!) This condo is 2 bdr/2 ba, about 1140 SF. We've been eying this property for a while, but it was always overpriced, and at the beginning, out of our price range anyhow. But it was meant to be because we put down an offer (less then what they asked for) and they accepted it!

We had our inspection yesterday and everything is in tip-top shape. The place was kept in really good condition by the sellers and has a recently renovated kitchen, with glass door cabinets that will show off our colorful new dishes VERY nicely! What we love about the space is that it has defined areas, including a nice dining room, breakfast nook, and sun porch. We figured our current eating set-up will work better in the breakfast nook, so for a while, we will have an empty space in the dining area. No worries. The bedrooms are smaller, but the closets are bigger, so in the end, it evens out.

We hope to settle around mid-September so we would then have 2 weeks to paint and move-in before our lease runs out at our current place. We are just very excited and can't wait to move into our first home AND have our first visitors!!!! Contact me if you'd like to see pictures of the place.


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Can I sign up for Property Virgins to get the free gift? Oh, and a place to live?

Bruno and I have been house hunting since the beginning of the year. Yes, before our wedding. Obviously we didn't get too serious about the searching initially because we had a wedding to plan! But after all the fun and merriment, it was time to crack down.

We put an offer on a condo in Fairfax City a week after we returned from our honeymoon. It was a quick decision, but it needed to be. The condo was a short sale and had been on the market for less then a week. If we didn't jump on it, someone else would. So we threw our offer on the table and proceeded to wait... and wait... and wait some more. Funny thing about a short sale - it's not short at all! Our realtor told us to expect to wait 30-45 days to even hear anything. So of course I made a countdown on my calendar. While we waited, we scouted out other places, but none seemed as great as this place. Sure the layout may be a little small for our stuff and the storage may be lacking, but you really can't beat the location.

On day 54, the bank rejected our offer. It was too low. Devastated, we hung our heads and asked our realtor what we could do. We couldn't offer anymore money, we were at our limit. Or were we? Our relator looked into another bank for a loan and low and behold, we were approved for more money! Hot dog, that condo is ours! But wait, if we are approved for more... couldn't we find a NICER place, or even a townhouse or single family home? Hmm... this opened a whole new realm of possibilities.

This is where we are now. We counter-offered on the condo with a slightly higher price, but in the meantime, are checking out other options. We've basically ruled out single family homes because although we can afford a little more, those we can afford still need a lot of work and we really aren't the fixer-upper types. So we are focusing on condos and townhomes. Our relator tells us a townhome is a better investment and of course it has more space. Dilemna? We can't afford townhomes where we WANT to live (Oakton, Vienna) but where we can afford them, is a bit too far (Reston).

We just don't know what to do. Our relator tells us it's a lifestyle choice - condo close in or townhouse further out. Well I don't know! We looked at 2 townhomes in Reston yesterday. One had a great downstairs and patio, but the upstairs sucked (small master suite, huge guestroom). The second one had a great upstairs (good size master suite, 3 bedrooms) but a terrible downstairs (useless and undefined space). We refuse to settle on anything, so we'll keep looking.

The idea of Reston is very appealing. The town Center is really nice, and has a lot going on. The neighborhood of the townhomes looked so nice and friendly AND we could have a grill. BUT I work and play softball in Arlington. The thought of driving 30-45 minutes home after an 11pm softball game in Pentagon City really doesn't appeal to me at all. I can do Reston, but about as east of Reston as we can get, and still be on the toll road.

So that's all we have to find... by October (to close by Nov 30). A nice townhouse in East Reston off the toll road. No biggie, right? Right...... this will really put our realtor to the test!