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Our Home Buying Journey

Whitney CarlsonComment

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust Mortgage. All opinions are my own.

This post was sponsored, and paid for, by SunTrust Mortgage. All opinions are my own.

Many of you know we recently moved but this move wasn't exactly what we had in mind when we put our house up for sale. Our house went under contract in one day and everything went smoothly with closing. During this time Scott was also offered a job in Montana (yes, our FAVORITE state). He ended up turning that down but while we were making that decision we were looking at land and houses in Montana and not in Georgia. Once we decided we were staying in Georgia the hunt was on. Originally, we wanted to buy land and build a small house on it (around 1,000-1,400 sq ft), whatever would fit the minimum building requirements for the county we bought in. We quickly discovered this was not going to happen very easily as it was almost impossible to find buildable land where we needed it.

We decided we should start looking at existing homes as well and during our home buying process (besides looking in Montana) we also had offers in on seven acres of land, a townhome, and a home on Lake Lanier. We were actually under contract on the 1,000 sq ft lake house when we closed on our house. Two days later we got the inspection report back and it was a lot more than what we expected and we weren't up for that much of a "fixer upper". For some people a fixer upper is great, we are not those people!

The day after we backed out on the lake house (we were still under our due diligence period), a home was listed that was a little bit bigger (a little over 1,700 sq ft) than what we were looking at but still a downsize from our last home. We immediately fell in love in with neighborhood because it fits in with our lifestyle so well. The neighborhood is huge and has kayaking, miles of walking trails, pools, tennis courts, fire pits, etc. The sense of community is amazing.

I don't think I mentioned, in the middle of closing on our home and buying the new one we moved into my cousin's basement for five weeks! That just added to the already crazy moving experience.

It was a wild ride, filled with tears, fears, and some smiles. The job offer was turned down in Montana but we ended up moving onto Big Sky Drive (Big Sky is where we would have been living in Montana). The process was an emotional roller coaster with decisions that we had to make but no way to know which one was really correct.

Owning a home is a dream for many people and it usually is a very stressful period. There are so many things to consider about the home you want to buy and things to consider about the process in general. We are excited to share with you an amazing (seriously I've never seen anything as thorough and easy to read like this is!) guide that SunTrust has put together. It guides you through preparing to buy a home, shopping for the home, buying and closing on the home, and my favorite part planning tools! You can print out the guide and at the back, there is space for you to fill out their budget worksheet and an easy way to see what loan amount you can handle. Take a peek here.

Aside from the typical things to consider like which area you want to live in and how much you can afford, you will likely have a list of "must-haves". Must-haves can definitely change espeically if you are buying in a market with limited inventory or have a very small area range where you want to live.

For example, these were a few of our must-haves:

  • Downsize (Less than 2,400 sq ft which was the size of our last home.)
  • At least two bedrooms and two bathrooms
  • Open kitchen
  • White cabinets
  • Land
  • Oil rubbed bronze door knobs, fixtures, etc (Our last house had gold and we ended up "painting" them bronze! See how we did it here.)

We weren't looking for a house in a neighborhood like we bought in. Like I mentioned, we originally wanted to build on quite a bit of land. But once we drove into the neighborhood we were in love. We honestly didn't even know neighborhoods like this existed! The driveway is really short, the yards are small, and the houses are close together which we have grown to love but could have been a deal breaker if we weren't willing to look past that.

Even though we had a list of must-haves we were willing to bend on them. We didn't get a lot of land (thankfully!), or the bronze knobs but it doesn't make us love the house any less.

The house was less than one year old, the previous owner was being transferred to another state and honestly didn't even really ever move into the home. There were NO holes on the walls and some of the rooms were never used. With that being said, there wasn't much to be done to the house. We moved in and hung our artwork (almost all of our artwork is from our trips). Below is an example in our kitchen. We LOVE the gray walls with the dark wood.

A few weekends ago we did do our first DIY project which was to add industrial piping shelves in the bathrooms. We love them even more than we thought we would! We may paint an accent wall in the living room and the bedroom but other than that we love the house as it is. It has the color walls, wood flooring, and kitchen that we would have picked out ourselves!

SunTrust Mortgage truly wants to help buyers understand the ins and outs of the home buying process. The key is having the confidence needed to make home happen.

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