As you might know, we've been thinking about buying a house for quite some time. We're both supposed to be adults and have made the decision to stay in Waterloo for a while, so we figure that buying a house makes sense. Plus we're getting to that stage where we've got a lot of stuff and we can't make the kinds of changes to this place that we want to in order to store this stuff.
As you might also know, we're lazy, so while we've talked about buying a house, we've done next to nothing to get the process started. We did talk to the financial advisor in... August? but we'd let things slide since then.
Fortunately, we have friends who are way more organized than we are, and one of them emailed both us and the realtor they'd recommended to introduce us. That was the impetus we needed to get off our butts and get this house-buying party started. I'm grateful to our friend for giving us the recommendation and following through the way she did.
We met with that realtor tonight and we liked her, so she'll be our realtor. She first talked about the process of choosing and buying a house because we're complete newbies at this. After that, we talked a bit about what we're looking for in a house and where we want to start looking.
Out of that talk came twelve listings that we're going to look through over the next few days. If any appeal to us, we'll arrange to see the houses - to do some window shopping, really. We're also going to take a look at some of the areas that we don't know so well, just to get a feel for what the neighbourhoods are like.
The realtor will take us to see a few places so that she can also get a feel for what we like and want in a home. After a while, I expect that she'll be able to look at a listing and know whether it's right for us or not. That'll make the process easier.
Our goal right now is to get a sense of what we can get for our money. Even if the financial advisor hadn't made us promise that we wouldn't buy the first house we saw (which she did), we don't want to just buy a house without really knowing what's out there. We also don't want to be buying a house in the winter because we want to be able to see the foundation and yard.
Our realtor explained that after we've spent time looking through houses and really getting to know what's out there, we'll be able to walk into a house and know quite quickly whether it's right for us. That will make the buying process much easier because good houses tend to go very fast here when it's not cold and snowy.
I'm quite excited about the prospect of buying a house and having a place of our own. This is going to be quite a year, I think.