I am pretty sure Evan and I broke every "How to Buy Your First Home" rule, but I am equally sure that we couldn't be happier with how it turned out.
We were only casually looking at homes on Saint Simons Island, knowing we probably wanted to wait until after the wedding, so short of stalking Zillow we didn't take many efforts to look into the market. But like the start of most good love stories, it happened when we were least expecting.
Evan and I both came across the house separately and while we were personally intrigued, neither of us thought the other would be interested. After a day or two it finally got brought up and we were surprised how eager we both were to see it in person.
Evan reached out and set up an appointment for the next day under my "it's now or never" advisement. The house had only been on the market 5 days, but in the island market, a house of this size, acreage and price doesn't last long.
During our first visit we tried to play it cool. Tried is the key word. I couldn't. At one point I actually jumped up and down in excitement of the kitchen's size (cough, big, cough). In fact, the whole place was just so big! A wonderfully open floor plan and giant deck out back had thoughts of hosting parties dancing in my head (you know I love entertaining).
When we left I told Evan, "It's too big. I'd feel guilty taking it away from a family who needs FOUR bedrooms." I don't think he replied. We put our offer in the next day.
The rest is history... right?!
Because we knew we had to act fast, we never actually reached out to a buyers agent. To this day we are still uncertain what benefits a buyers agent would have brought us, so any insight on the subject is welcome. Instead, we did our homework. The internet was our best friend and worst enemy. It gave us answers and nightmares. There was one Saturday morning during our due diligence period that I woke up panicking and went on to read one too many articles on the horrors you find during inspections. I woke Evan up in the midst of my freak out and not five minutes into my rant did our inspection results come in... nearly perfect.
In addition to the internet, we used word of mouth for recommendations. On a small island this is best anyway. We found a bank who believed in us, an insurer who could supply flood insurance, and an attorney who would sign the papers. They all became our best friends over the following weeks, holding our hand as we submitted paperwork, paid to have more paperwork created, and asked 101 questions. It wasn't easy, but we did it. We got almost 10% off the asking price, plus had enough in rebates from the sellers agent, bank, and repairs we asked for to cover our $10k in closing costs.
Monday we closed on the house. Evan and I met at the attorneys office to sign the final papers and get the keys... then we went back to work. Whomp whomp! That is real adulting people. But it's ours!!! We popped the champagne that night in a hot, dark house. And it was perfect!
Now for the real work to begin.