When we last left off on the home search front, we were getting pre-approved for a mortgage. I am so, so glad we did this step right away. I can’t really go into detail yet, but if you’re thinking about looking, get pre-approved as quickly as you can.
Tuesday evening after work, Chris and I drove to Cranford to meet our realtor and look at two homes. We’d seen both online, and the first was our front-runner. It looked really charming in the pictures and had a cute brick front. We really liked the look of it when we drove up. The neighborhood was nice and the front and back yard were really well maintained. When we stepped inside we started to notice a few little things that would need repairing. There were some light cracks in the walls and the crown molding was beginning to separate. The ceilings had a few dark stains from leaks, and the carpet was pretty old.
The other major thing that bugged us about this house was that, while it had two full bathrooms, one was in the basement. The basement was semi-finished, and our realtor made a good point by saying that a full bathroom in the basement would be good for guests. She’s definitely right, but we’re hoping to find a house we can grow into, and with kids, it’d be nice to have two bathrooms closer to the bedrooms.
We left the house, and Chris and I swapped opinions in the car. We decided we could definitely live in that house. The space was right, there didn’t appear to be any structural flaws, and the yard was beautiful. However, we would need to put a lot of time and elbow-grease into fixing it up and turning into a place we’d love. We’re putting a lot of money into just buying the home, so even small DIY projects will need to take a backseat for at least a few months after we move. Neither of us were thrilled about living in the house as-is while we saved up to do some minor repairs.
We followed our realtor, who is lovely by the way, to the next home. This one was on the opposite end of town, but still only about a mile from the train station and town center. From the outside it looked really adorable, but had a noticeably smaller yard. We walked inside and immediately felt very cozy. The house had a warm, inviting feel to it for sure. We found ourselves loving everything about this home from the design all the way down to the paint on the walls.
It was clear the owner’s had put so much care into making the house wonderful, and we knew right away we could move in and be totally happy living there without making any changes for some time. We told our realtor as much, and she told us to go home, think about it and let her know what we wanted to do next and if there were any other houses we wanted to see.
We followed her advice and after a quick dinner in our potential new town, started the drive up to Jersey City. When we were less than a mile from our apartment, the phone rang. Everything that happened next moved very, very quickly…