Yep, we're officially "really looking" for a house. Well at least I am. I don't know if it's because we're hoping to have a baby soon or if it's because there's so much I wish I could do/change with the house we're living in now but can't because since I don't own it- I'm not putting money into it, but I've majorly gotten the itch lately, ever since we looked at that last house I had been hoping for (Check a few posts back...we didn't end up getting it because it had mold issues!)
We've decided that my ideal of finding the perfect house and just building on if needed but staying put is just a fantasy. With our budget that is highly unlikely. So we have a new strategy. We're looking for a house we like in an area we want (out of town, so we can get the USDA loan which pays your down payment for you). We want to make sure it's enough of what we want that if our finances and the economy don't improve, we'd be ok staying there (maybe building on if needed) OR hopefully, in 5-10 years, sell that house and move to a bigger house farther in the country like we want (or BUILD a house in the country that we want). If we stay in the areas we're looking at, we'll have plenty of country to move out to and still be in the same school district so our kiddos won't have to change schools.
The good thing about that last house we didn't end up buying is we met a great realtor who's been helping us a lot. She's a real sweet lady, down to earth, and a bit "motherly" to us, which actually we like. :)
We experienced our first disappointment. We found a house we REALLY liked, like were probably going to put an offer on it later this week or next-- but someone beat us to it. They offered the asking price literally the morning after we looked at it. Boo. But I guess that's just not the house for us. So we're still looking.
We're still not in a hurry- we have a decent place to live right now and even though we are trying for a baby, it'll be a long time before they start school. We aren't going to SETTLE for something we just kind of like, we're going to have to love it. But I'm checking listings every day, and we're going to be looking at a lot of them still I'm sure!
We're going to the credit union tomorrow to meet with a loan officer and get pre-approved. We put off doing that earlier because it only is good for 90 days and each time they do it, they do a credit check, which many of you know, when they check your credit repeatedly it actually HURTS your credit score. So we didn't want to get pre-approved over and over again. But we decided we needed to go ahead and do it, since there were so many houses we'd been looking at, so that 1- we don't miss out on something and 2- so we know how much to even offer. Right now I'm not sure how much of my income they are going to be able to count because I'm a sub teacher and it's not a steady income. So we're going to go tomorrow and do that, then we'll have a better idea where we stand.
Right now we're going to go drive by a house tonight and possibly look at it later this week, and then there's a foreclosure that the realtor is checking on for us too.
So yeah this is going to be quite the adventure-- I'll keep you all updated!