42 responses

  1. Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs
    April 22, 2014

    Ooooh, so fun! We’re starting to think about moving out of our starter home, and I’m already excited! I hope you & Derek find the perfect place soon 🙂
    Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs recently posted..Weekend Update: Many Photos & Few Words

  2. Rebecca@Running.Food.Baby.
    April 22, 2014

    Fun and exciting! I understand what you mean by a house never feeling like a together purchase when one lived before another moved in. The home I’m in now has never been ‘mine’. Haha – we also get those stupid special assessment fees. One year it was a stupid amount! But for the past 4 years we have had small ones.

    Good luck!
    Rebecca@Running.Food.Baby. recently posted..Easter Weekend + Boston Monday

  3. Becky @ Olives n Wine
    April 22, 2014

    Before we moved to Chicago, we owned in an association and by the end, we were SOOO fed up with the HOA. Ridiculous assessments and annoying neighbors abound in those things, haha! I am with you on not being a DIY-er either. My suggestion would be to pick the top 5 things you NEED in a house and then learn to be flexible with the rest. So, if a big kitchen and closets along with a fenced in yard are yours then make sure your place has those or you’ll regret it!
    Becky @ Olives n Wine recently posted..#32 Treat Yourself Tuesday

  4. Becky @ RunFunDone
    April 22, 2014

    We bought our first home less than a year ago. I would say: 1) Find a realtor who is super quick and responsive. 2) Look at as many places as you need to in order to feel comfortable with the market/comfortable in making an offer (we got better than our realtor at predicting what houses would sell at because we saw so many houses). 3) Don’t get emotionally attached to any house. Ever. 4. estately.com is updated way more frequently than zillow or trulia, so it’s much more reliable for looking at houses online.

    Good luck! It’s an EXHAUSTING process!
    Becky @ RunFunDone recently posted..Giveaway: Spartan Race! #SpartanUp

  5. Stacy
    April 22, 2014

    Awww….we got married exactly 6 months after ya’ll and we are going through the process of building a house right now.

    I’m a little concerned though—we’ll be in a subdivision with a community pool…what is problematic about it? Our HOA fees are only 40 per month, so I figured it was “worth it.” What are your experiences?
    Stacy recently posted..Birchbox April 2014 Review

    • Meghann
      April 24, 2014

      It varies by HOA. Don’t let my personal problems scare you, $40 per month sounds like a great deal for HOA fees.

  6. Laura
    April 22, 2014

    We avoided any places with crazy HOA involvement when house hunting and ended up in a neighborhood with no HOA at all. I can’t image being told what you can and can’t do with your house. One house had an HOA that didn’t allow outdoor clotheslines.
    Laura recently posted..Long Run & A New Restaurant

  7. Rachel
    April 22, 2014

    How exciting! Have you listed your current place for sale?

  8. Linda
    April 22, 2014

    My advice would be BUILD! We built our first home and upon completion it was worth at least 25% more than what we paid. Four years later, we sold that house and moved into the big, beautiful family home with the huge garden and room to grow (and opportunity to develop / renovate to add value). It’s a huge investment and, while creating a “home” is first and foremost, you have to remember to choose an opportunity that will provide future growth.

  9. Sara @ LovingOnTheRun
    April 22, 2014

    That is so exciting! We are moving in June and while we are not buying a house we will be renting a home (We’ve been apartment livers up until now) and one of the MUST haves for me was some kind of yard for our dog. She just needs more freedom!
    Sara @ LovingOnTheRun recently posted..Boston Marathon Day in Pictures

  10. Molly Rose
    April 22, 2014

    My husband and I are (kinda) in the same place as you guys! We are in a condo in Tampa and it is perfect for us right now. Probably next year we will start looking for something bigger/a house. In a non-rushed way like you two 🙂 We deff want to stay in Tampa too for our work but where!??!!? South Tampa, Carrollwood, and Lutz are where we go back and forth with. But who knows! Best of luck house hunting, its a chore, but it is good you are picky and know what you want!
    Molly Rose recently posted..Two Blocks Away

    • Erin
      April 23, 2014

      My dad lives in Lutz in a four bedroom house with a yard (that’s not currently fenced but could be) and has been talking about downsizing for awhile. If you’re seriously interested in maybe moving out there, let me know. Maybe you could convince them to finally take the plunge and sell their house!
      Erin recently posted..West Loop Run Group [plus the Chicago Primal Gym Giveaway winner]

  11. Christine @ BookishlyB
    April 22, 2014

    Be prepared for Mello Roos (if that’s a thing in Tampa… I don’t know)! For some reason here in Southern California the realtors were pretty hush hush about telling us about them upfront and I’d have to double check myself. One house we looked at had $5,000 worth a year! Almost double the property tax! Ugh.
    Christine @ BookishlyB recently posted..Books on Your Back: The Shit Writes Itself

  12. Ida
    April 22, 2014

    No advice, sounds like you guys have a good approach going, but i love reading about the adventure of house hunting and hope you do more posts on this topic! good luck:)

  13. Jessica
    April 22, 2014

    Man, I have heard nothing but bad things about HOA’s and I live all the way across the country from you… so maybe its the same everywhere. 🙂 To me, the whole point of buying your own home instead of renting a house or apartment is that you don’t have to follow anyone’s potentially nit picky rules. My husband and I are juuuust getting started looking into buying soon so I am looking forward to following you along in the process. Thanks for sharing and good luck!

  14. Jojo @ RunFastEatLots
    April 22, 2014

    That’s exciting that you’re buying a house! Good luck in the search. It may take a while, but when you find the one, it’ll be worth it!
    Jojo @ RunFastEatLots recently posted..The Weekly Chase 4/22

  15. Anne
    April 23, 2014

    We bought our first house a year and a half ago. I just want to tell you to not be discouraged. We found what I thought was the perfect house, but my husband was hesitant because it was a foreclosure. We went away for the weekend, and it was gone by the time we got back (as expected). I was REALLY bummed. But then we found a house that just felt right, and we both knew it the first time we saw it.
    Other than that, be sure to get a home inspection. Best of luck!!

  16. Homa
    April 23, 2014

    Hire a plumber with a sewer camera to check the lateral line for any property. Inspectors don’t really check issues like pipes with roots or what have you that might turn a dream home into a money pit.
    Homa recently posted..The Stories We Tell (or: Legalities in Labeling)

  17. Ryan
    April 23, 2014

    You should check out St Pete. We live in the Euclid-St Paul neighborhood and it is great. No HOA, great houses (a lot that are post-flip) and it’s minutes from DTSP. It’s going to be really difficult to find any place in Hillsborough that isn’t HOA ruled to death.

  18. Nikole
    April 23, 2014

    My only advice is to keep in mind that there is probably no perfect house but like a husband, find the one that has the important qualities you are looking for and the annoying things you can learn to live with 🙂
    Think about stairs if you are going to have kids. We have a front to back split and now with two kids I hate it! Too many stairs! Another thing to watch if no HOA is if people park on the street. Our street is horrible with so many cars on it all the time. Drives my husband bonkers.

  19. Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian
    April 23, 2014

    Loved house hunting when my boyfriend bought his condo. Like you, he bought it when we were dating and it honestly took a really long time after I moved in for the place to feel like mine too. We hate our HOA and our building’s management company (two different companies in our building) and I can’t wait to move to a house. Another couple of years and we’ll be there.
    Sarah @ Blonde Bostonian recently posted..Grateful — 118th Boston Marathon

  20. Courtney
    April 23, 2014

    We stopped and started looking a few times before we found our home. It is a hard process, but my only advice is to STAY AWAY from watching HGTV. Watching shows like Holmes on Homes about disaster stories and International House Hunters just made it harder to trust anything or remember what was actually important to us! Enjoy the process! Hopefully it is something you grow old in and never have to do again!
    Courtney recently posted..Creature of Habit

  21. Emily @ Relishments
    April 23, 2014

    Be patient! My husband and I looked for our first house for over a year, finally settling and closing a year ago. Though we were pretty sure what town we wanted to live in, our dream house ended up being in the next town over. We’re so happy here and so glad we were flexible in our search. You’ll find the right place, it just takes time!
    Emily @ Relishments recently posted..Making My Menu Plans More Efficient

  22. Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel
    April 23, 2014

    This sounds dumb, but one of things I wish we’d considered is which direction the house faces and where the sun rises/sets. Our backyard is to the West and pretty tree-free, which means the sun beats down on it in the evening. It’s too hot and uncomfortable to eat dinner out there for most of the summer, which really sucks. It’s something I never would have thought of our first time around, but I’ll definitely pay more attention next time around!
    Jess @ Flying on Jess Fuel recently posted..Toasted Coconut Cupcakes

  23. Carly
    April 23, 2014

    I would interview multiple realtors, especially if you’re going to sell the condo as well as buy a new house. When we sold our house we interviewed three realtors and picked the one we felt understood our needs the best. Similar situation to yours, my wife inherited the house and I moved in, then we sold it and found a house together.

    One thing that helped a lot was going to open houses even without our realtor, just to get a feel for what was out there. We even went to open houses where we knew the house wasn’t right for us, just so we could see why houses were priced where they were-it helped us grasp what was worth paying up for and what was overpriced.

    I would also look at houses outside your area even if you’re dead set on certain neighborhoods. You never know what you might find, and if you can get 2x the house for the same cost and a slightly longer commute, that might end up being worthwhile long term. My commute is longer than it would have been if we bought by my office, but our house cost 1/2 of what it would have if we bought near where I work.
    Carly recently posted..Gigabyte Brix Pro (i5-4570R) Review

  24. Rachel W. Miller
    April 23, 2014

    Nothing insightful to add to this, I just wanted to say good luck! I actually loved house hunting (closing was another story) so hopefully since you aren’t in a rush you can enjoy it for what it is and you’ll end up with a place you love!!

  25. lilah
    April 23, 2014

    I bought my first house in 2012. It’s definitely an exciting time but also nerve-wracking.

    My advice is to just take your time and look at a lot of houses, it will really give you a good idea of what you want, where you want to live. My husband and I came into the process wit a pretty clearly defined list of what we wanted/didn’t want but that list changed and evolved over time when we saw what was in our price range.

    The other thing to consider (and maybe this is coming from someone who lives in a neighborhood of smaller hoems) is that maybe you don’t have *have* to have 4 bedrooms. I think often we buy things just to take up space in homes and the more space you have, the most stuff you buy.

  26. Mary
    April 24, 2014

    We are currently in the process of buying our second house. The house we live in now I bought on my own before my boyfriend moved in and even though he’s been living here for three years now the house is still set up as ‘my house’ so it will be great to move into a house that we have chosen together and decorate ourselves the way we want it to be.
    My top househunting tip would be set a list of ‘must haves’ for a house and stick to it, although you sound like you’ve pretty much done that already.
    Also, look at lots of houses, and when you think you’ve found somewhere you like, drive by at different times in the day to see how busy the street is/if the area was tidied up just for your arrival/etc. If you can chat to any neighbours beforehand that’s another good idea so you can get a feel for the community.
    Good luck with the hunt! 🙂
    Mary recently posted..The real cost of the London Marathon and eating healthily on a budget

  27. Runner Girl Eats
    April 24, 2014

    Good luck! We loovee our current house…but the neighborhood isn’t the best for when we have school age kids. Luckily that is a few years away so hopefully we will find something that fits our budget/needs by then.
    Runner Girl Eats recently posted..Go out and watch a marathon

  28. Paige
    April 24, 2014

    It is such a good idea to know exactly what you want when you start looking–and most importantly not to “settle.” I really enjoy house hunting–It’s an exciting journey. I can’t wait to see where it leads you and Derek! 🙂
    Paige recently posted..Spring Break Staycation

  29. Amanda S.
    April 24, 2014

    Advice….Get a Home Inspection! Enjoy the search. We moved into our first home just over a year ago and I love it. Also, don’t stress. I have read so many stories of people finding this process so stressful and for me it wasn’t. I had just moved cross country 6 months prior and only 5 months before that gotten married. Throw in a few more incredibly stressful things and I should have been incredibly stressed, but I looked at it as an adventure and it was. Good call on the 4 bedrooms. We have 4, could probably live with 3, but the extra space is sure nice. Have fun & Good luck!

  30. Laura
    April 24, 2014

    So exciting! We have 4 bedrooms and only 1 baby right now and I am SO happy we have 4. Our room, baby’s room, guest room and office for now. But when we have another, we will still have a guest room- which is huge for family that comes to visit.
    Our experience with an HOA has been pretty positive. One thing to think about, the neighborhood across the street from us without an HOA has RV’s and boat’s parked in people’s driveways and in the street for months at a time. Some yards look kind of crappy and things are not kept up as well. Yes, our HOA sends us a letter when our yard gets a little brown, but at least our neighborhood looks nice and all the common areas are kept up very nicely- also a good thing for resale value. Just something to think about!!! Good luck!!

  31. Sara@RunningInPinkProject
    April 24, 2014

    Its like buying a wedding dress. Youll know the perfect spot when you find it!
    Sara@RunningInPinkProject recently posted..The Weekly Weigh In Post- Week 2

  32. Ashley
    April 24, 2014

    Good luck! We bought our first house a year ago and it was a LOOONG process. We looked for over 6 months before finding one, but it was totally worth the wait.
    Ashley recently posted..Spring Training Week 4 / Whole30 Week 1 Update

  33. Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner
    April 25, 2014

    I have no advice, as my husband and I are still renting, but house hunting is an exciting (if somewhat stressful) process. Good luck!
    Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner recently posted..The Easiest Dip Ever

  34. melissa @fitnessnycblog
    April 26, 2014

    So many exciting things in your future–house+kids! Yay! I watch hgtv obsessively, and yet I can offer no advice on the actually house buying process. But I’m excited for you and I’m sure I’ll learn a few things from your hunt!
    melissa @fitnessnycblog recently posted..Yay Boston and Soul Cycle

  35. Heather
    April 29, 2014

    My husband and I may be moving to Tampa for a new job (if all goes well!) and I am just curious about your thoughts on areas to live? I have no idea, honestly. My husband would be working in Tampa and I’d be in St. Pete. Would love to hear any insight you have as neither of us are familiar with the area (apart from a quick weekend trip years ago).

  36. Kelly
    May 2, 2014

    I commented on your other post as well since I love talking about housing. 🙂

    My advice:

    1. Get a good realtor you trust and who is experienced. When I first started looking I used a realtor through Redfin because I liked the idea of getting a commission kick back. It was bad idea. There were mistakes made with both of the contracts I did with that realtor. I ended up getting a different realtor who was on the ball and it was a much better experience. Because of him I was able to find out about a home before it even hit the market and he was a pro at negotiating.

    2. In the beginning, I found it helpful to look at a wide range of homes. It helped me to get my bearings and to confirm that my priorities were really my priorities.

    3. Be prepared that you may not get everything and anything you want, no matter how long you look or up your budget so staying focused on the true priorities is important.

    4. Be prepared that finding the home you love is just stage one in the journey. Things do sometimes fall apart when it comes time to negotiate a contract or you get the inspection. I always worried I’d never find a house I loved as much as the one I initially put in a contract on, but I did.
    Kelly recently posted..Smoked Eggplant and Goat Cheese Dip

  37. Kelly
    May 2, 2014

    Of course I wrote a long comment and then thought of more I wanted to say. 🙂 I wanted to add that I think no matter what shape your house is in when you buy it, it is hard to avoid some DIY work down the line (especially if you want to stay 10-15 years). Seems to be just part of home ownership because things do have a tendency to break, fail, etc. with use. And I would also add that buying brand new doesn’t excuse you from these kinds of things. For my first place I bought new and still had things that came up that I had to fix in the first 5 years of home ownership.

    If you buy a flip especially I’d just make sure you are clear on what was fixed and what wasn’t. Sometimes it is just the cosmetic stuff and the truly costly stuff (i.e. HVAC, plumbing, etc. has been left untouched). I’d also be curious about the quality of the work. I know my fear with buying a flip would be that someone might not be qualified to do the work they are doing so things might seem okay on the outside but might be a mess underneath making for more work and headaches in the end. Which isn’t to say there can’t be some very good flips or gut rehabs, you just have to be careful.
    Kelly recently posted..Smoked Eggplant and Goat Cheese Dip

  38. Kath
    May 9, 2014

    Very smart to consider 4 bedrooms!! We are busting at the seams when just 2 years ago we had oodles of space 🙂
    Kath recently posted..Elderberry Lemon Basil Cocktail

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