So now it is January 2 and we are living with my parents. They were great to help us out. I know it was cramped for everyone and it took some getting used to but I appreciate them so much! Wally our cat went to live with Katie and we brought Molly the dog to my parents with the kids and I. But this was only going to be for 6 weeks at the most! We knew we'd find something super quick and we would all be together so soon! Right?!?!?
Jim started driving around neighborhoods. I would go through Redfin and find a list of houses then we would narrow that down to the best ones. After that Jim would drive through the neighborhood and we would narrow the list down even further. We didn't have a real estate agent yet so that made it a little more difficult. There was one house we in November that Jim loved but it had gone off the market. He decided to drive past it in January just to see it again. There was a sign out front of it and it had fliers on it. We couldn't find it online so Jim decided to call the agent listed. He made an appointment with him and they chatted for 3 hours. Michael, the agent, told him about the house and said it was a great house, beautiful neighborhood, in fact he had actually sold the owners the house 10 years before. He said however unless we could afford to put the kids into private school that we shouldn't buy that house. The elementary school that the kids would go to, if we bought that house, wasn't good. That right there showed me the integrity of this agent. He would have been the buyers agent and the sellers agent but he chose to let us know that this house wouldn't be a good fit for us because of the school. He also went through and emailed us a list of homes in different schools that were higher rated.
We went through this list and did the same thing we did with the lists I had come up with. We narrowed the list down from 65 to our top 20. Then we went through those twenty and rated them on a scale of 1-10 If they came in under a 6 we knocked them off the list. We got the list down to 10-13. Jim and Michael drove around and went to see the houses. We knocked them all off the list. So we started over. I think this happened 2 or 3 times. (We didn't think we were THAT picky lol) But none of them felt right.
We found one that we liked and decided to put an offer on but the house wasn't worth what they were asking and the owner wouldn't budge on the price so that one was gone. Jim had a hard time with it because he was worried about picking the wrong house. I got to see pictures of the homes and he would Facetime me while he was at the houses if he could but I couldn't really get a feel for the houses.
By February we were getting frustrated but still looking. Jim found one house that he liked but I wasn't 100% sold on it. We discussed where all of our stuff would go and if everything would fit where we wanted it. Jim couldn't say for sure that it was exactly what we wanted. We both were having a hard time with this. Jim said "I can't make this decision without you here. If I pick a house and you come out here and hate it then it's all my fault" So we booked a flight for me to come out and look at houses with him. He had a list of 15 houses to go through and narrow it down because we were only going to have a couple days to look at houses.
Michael said "They teach us in Real Estate to show the worst houses first so that way you end on the good ones. But I'm going to show you the best ones first and go from there" The first one Jim didn't care for and he didn't love the second one either. The third one he walked in and said "this could be a contender" It was gorgeous and had a lot of the things we were looking for. He liked the fourth one too. But then he walked in the fifth one. He called me and said "I found our house. This is it!" He sent me pictures of the house and we agreed to put an offer on it. The problem was the seller's agent didn't like Big Banks or VA loans and we were going with both. On top of that they had 2 other offers. We were really nervous because we loved this house and it was looking like we wouldn't get it. Jim put the offer in Tuesday morning and within 3 hours they had accepted it!!!! We were finally in escrow!