Halfway There

The bedrooms are done!  I’m so relieved that it finally feels like I’m getting somewhere with all this painting.  I think my bedroom looks great, even though my family argued that I went too dark with the color.  I disagree!

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Excuse the blurriness; a photographer, I am not.

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Also, ignore the junk everywhere.  It’s hard to keep things tidy when you’re constantly moving things around!  Again, my bedroom was Behr Classic Taupe.  The closets and trim are Behr White- keeping it simple.  Also, debating whether or not I should keep that desk.  The previous owners left it behind, but I can’t decide if I have the room for it.  Decisions, decisions!  Below is the finished second bedroom:

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I’m really proud of this room because of how good the accent wall came out.  I think the two colors look amazing together.. I really lucked out on the selection!  Just as a refresher, the purple is Behr Purple Mauve and the grey is Behr Silver Chalice.  Apologies for the pictures of the living room- it has the most clutter by far.

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The color here is Behr Raffia Cream.  As you can see, I’m not quite finished with this room.  It still needs a few coats on the trim and baseboards, but I should be finished in here by Thursday.  That means, as soon as I get the wood rot fixed, I can get my new floors!

Of course, that wood rot is a whole other issue.  I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve called the condo management company and the contractor directly.  I just cannot seem to get anyone to actually come out and do the work.  Do people really run their businesses like this?  Any advice for me on this matter?  I have to travel for work soon, so I’m hoping to have all of the flooring work done by then.  But the way this has been going, I definitely won’t be holding my breath.  In the meantime, my awesome family has been able to help with other jobs that need doing around the condo.  My mother was able to paint all the ceilings (go Mom!), so forget every bad myth you’ve heard about painting popcorn.  Trust me, you’ll be fine.  My father got to doing some of the less-appealing jobs, like caulking all of the cracks around the windows and spraying the hornets’ nests that have set up camp on my balcony.  Not fun.

Meanwhile, I’ve moved on to painting the bathroom.  My bathroom is separated into 2 rooms, which I’ve started referring to as the tub room and the vanity room, just to tell them apart.  This is the current status of the vanity room:

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The color here is Behr Valley Mist.  I’ve decided to just put a fresh coat of white in the tub room for now.  While I eventually want it to be this nice teal color, right now I have a most hideous bright blue tub and toilet, and those colors would clash for sure.  When I get around to replacing those fixtures, that’s when I’ll change the wall color in the tub room.  Since this picture was taken, I’ve taken the mirror down.  My sister’s fiancee does carpentry work, and he’s going to build me a cute white frame to go around the mirror’s edge. (“Cute” is my word, of course, not his.)  I can’t wait to see it when it’s finished!

 

Edges of Glory

I find myself being very grateful for the long holiday weekend, because I was able to get SO much work done!  The edges and seams are finished in both bedrooms and the living room, as well as the ceilings and closets.  Progress!

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That’s my future bedroom there.  You would not believe how big of a difference painting the closets has made.  Before, they were dark, dirty, cave-like, and definitely not somewhere you would want to hang your clothes.  Now, at least they are usable.  The color that this room will be is Classic Taupe (again, Behr brand in Eggshell).  I actually made enough progress in this room to be able to graduate from a regular paintbrush to a roller.

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Ignore my ensemble, it was 95 degrees outside.  I hear that you aren’t supposed to paint when it is that hot and humid outside because of the risk of paint physically sliding down the wall.  However, I have yet to encounter any problems with that, but I’ll be sure to rant about it here if I do.

I’m super happy with the way the accent wall turned out in the second bedroom.  The silver color that I bought reflects the purple perfectly.. I like it even better than the color in my room!

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That particular seam is a great example of how the color reflects.  The window is opposite the purple wall, so the light bouncing off that color projects onto the silver, and actually makes it look like a lavender.  Very cool!  We were able to start using rollers on this room too, but we were so busy working that I didn’t have time to take a shot of the finished room.  For the next post!

The only progress made in the living room so far was to do the space around the windows.  These windows are quite odd in that they have no trim around them, so we have to paint right up to the vinyl.  It won’t matter that there is no trim since I plan on putting sheers over all the windows anyway.  I think the room looks super bright now that the ceilings are freshly white:

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My ceilings are actually shorter than what is average today- 8 feet is today’s standard, and mine are about 7’9″ (typical for structures built in the ’70s).  I think the ultra white ceilings give me the appearance of that extra 3 inches!

As far as other developments go, I have still not heard from the contractor that my association hired to repair my wood rot & sliding glass door.  I’m getting really frustrated because every time I call them, they assure me that someone will call me back to schedule the work.  I’m on the phone with you right now- why not just schedule it while we’re already talking?  Right now, the timing is not a major issue.  Out of all the jobs that need to be done, the painting needs to be finished first, so that the flooring can go in when that’s done.  But if that wood rot isn’t fixed by the time I’m done painting, it’ll hold up the flooring install, and I will not be a happy camper.

 

Slowly But Surely…

It might be a small miracle, but there have been no major disasters for the past week.  Woohoo!  Everything is coming along quite nicely, which is making me more and more excited for move-in day.  Painting is really in full swing now, and it is finally starting to feel like my place.  I began painting the living room wall edges on Saturday, and the color is exactly what I had wanted, which was a nice light oatmeal-y color.  I’m using Behr brand everywhere, and this particular color is Raffia Cream with an Eggshell finish.

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I should probably start taking digital camera photos to eliminate that wonderful greenish tint my iPhone gives me, but hopefully you can still get a good idea of the color there.  So far, I have only tackled the ceiling edges, seams, and all other spots that cannot be done with a roller.  I’m hoping to break out the rollers this coming weekend.

For the little bedroom, I had imagined a nice purple mauve color, so appropriately, I bought Behr Purple Mauve in Eggshell finish.  Unfortunately, the color turned out WAY darker than I had hoped!  With the exception of the bathroom, it is the smallest room, so using a dark color on that whole room will give off the impression of a cave, so I had to scrap that whole idea.  But, since I already got this dark purple paint on the walls, I’m going to try experimenting with an accent wall.  I went out to Home Depot and picked up a gallon of Behr Silver Chalice (again in Eggshell finish), which I thought would complement the purple nicely.  I’ll be sure to let you know how it turns out!

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You can also tell that this particular paint will definitely need 2 coats, so I’m glad I will only end up using it on one wall.  Although now I have an extra gallon of that paint since I bought 2 to begin with.  Anyone in the market for a gallon of mauve?

Since the painting is coming along swimmingly, I am trying to coordinate my new floors with the end of the painting work.  And I must say, it’s been nice not to have to worry about drips and splatters on the floor, and trust me, there are a lot.  I’ve been shopping around to find the best option for both flooring materials and installers, and I have finally settled on a particular company and product.  I was hoping to be able to put in wood laminate in both bedrooms, the foyer, and the living room.  However, after 3 companies sent their estimators, I’ve learned that laminate flooring will not be possible in the little bedroom. Well, at least not on my budget.  There is a seam in the middle of the floor that is particular cause for concern.  When anyone steps on a 2-foot section of one of the plywood sheets, it gives under your feet.  Now I’m not saying you’ll risk falling through the floor or anything like that, but all of the specialists assured me that there is probably a rotted joist underneath.  This creates a problem in that the floor bows too much to handle laminate flooring.  I could have a carpenter go in there, rip up the plywood, and see what they find, but because it’s such a mystery without taking a peek, no one can even give me an estimate as to what it would cost to fix.  So, it will be carpet in that room after all.  And perhaps I will have the association take a look at that issue somewhere down the line.  I’m headed down to the flooring company today to make my final choices.  As of now, I’ve narrowed it down to 2 laminate options and 2 berber options.  I’ll probably end up flipping a coin!

 

Let There Be Paint!

I wish I could start this post by saying the painting was all done and the place looks great, but we’ve only scratched the surface of what needs to be done.  But at least we have progress!  I spent most of last week continuing to spackle; it feels like that’s all I’ve been doing for days on end.  I know I had said I hoped to be ready for paint in the kitchen and bathroom by the weekend, but now I can see that was completely unrealistic.  Some tricky spots need to be spackled and sanded multiple times, and I’ve been waiting one day for it to set and dry in between applications.  Most of the stubborn spots are located above the windows and the sliding glass door, like this spot here.

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This is what it looks like underneath where we pulled the trim off above the sliding glass door.  Some of the wall is crumbling at awkward points, so I’m not getting too crazy trying to be accurate with the spackling.  After all, I may need to replace the door to fix the wood rot problem.  Luckily, I have heard from the association about that issue.  The roofing on all the buildings in the complex is in the process of being replaced, and the board agreed to send the roofing company to repair the damage, and to pick up the tab for it as well.  Score!  I haven’t heard from the company itself yet, but I’ll be sure to give an update when I do.

Applying painter’s tape all over the condo has been the next step, and although it takes a while, it’s been my favorite job so far.  Probably because it’s mindless and easy.  However, taping does really highlight where the builders had issues in the construction of the condo.  For example, at first glance, the kitchen counter looks totally normal and pretty much standard in terms of installation.  Applying the tape from left to right, I noticed that one side is perfectly flush with the wall, but the other end it’s at least 3/4 of an inch away, and the gap has been filled in with silicone caulk.  Pretty cheesy (and lazy) if you ask me!

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Now, especially with the tape on it, it’s all I can see when I look at it!  Hopefully putting paint on the walls won’t make it any more noticeable.  By the way, the kitchen looks spotless in that photo.  Thanks to my aunt for scrubbing the place down!

As the title of this post might suggest, we have actually been able to put paint on a surface.  We started with the ceilings, which (unfortunately) are popcorn ceilings.  Apparently popcorn ceilings were all the rage in the ’70s and ’80s, but now they’re just outdated and kind of sad-looking.  Not to mention, early spray-on varieties of popcorn ceiling contained asbestos, before it became illegal in 1978.  As luck would have it, my complex was built in 1977, which means it’s highly likely that there is asbestos in the popcorn formula.  It sounds like a big deal, but it’s not a problem unless you try to go about removing it.  So, in all likelihood, the popcorn is here to stay.  Almost every single person I have been turning to for handywork help advised me not to even think about painting the ceilings, because the popcorn texture tends to fall off, sticks to your roller, and becomes a huge hassle.  But I’m on a budget here, people, and I wasn’t going to hire some fancy painting company to come spray paint my ceilings.  Plus, once the popcorn has been painted once, you really don’t have to worry about the texture coming off; it’s pretty much a done deal.  As I predicted, we have had no problems with the ceiling so far.

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Since my mother is the resident expert on painting this kind of ceiling (we have popcorn ceilings in our house now), she is heading this operation, and has done an amazing job so far.  We started by painting just the edges with a regular paintbrush, using Behr Flat Ceiling paint in Ultra Pure White.  Just look at that color difference!  My ceilings are very low to begin with, so I bought the whitest white they had, hoping it might reflect more light and make the rooms look a little bigger.  Just as a disclaimer, the taping job I did in that picture looks horrible, but I swear there’s a wire coming out of that hole that made it a particularly difficult spot.

Here are the painting supplies I’ve used so far:

  • 1 qt. of Patch-n-Paint lightweight spackling (we had an extra lying around the house, no need to purchase, but it goes for about $7)
  • 1 5-sheet pack of 3M 9″x11″ assorted grit aluminum oxide sandpaper (I’ve been alternating between medium & fine grit)
  • 1 stiff putty knife (already had one)
  • 2 rolls of ScotchBlue .94″ painter’s tape
  • 1 roll of ScotchBlue 1.88″ painter’s tape
  • 1 3″ flat paintbrush
  • 1 plastic paint cup (it’s handy for going up and down the step ladder and not having to return to the paint bucket)
  • 1 2-gal. Behr Premium Plus Flat Ceiling paint in Ultra Pure White

I’ll keep this list updated as the painting continues!

 

Endless Paint Prep

This weekend was all about prepping the walls for paint.  After spackling and sanding for hours, I figured they were ready, but one glance from my folks and they could tell I still had a long way to go.  Who knew paint prep would take so long?  I’m trying to focus on getting the bathroom and kitchen ready first, since those are 2 rooms that aren’t getting new floors right away.  I’ve started to tape those rooms, and I hope to have them ready to begin painting by this weekend.  The other larger rooms will need some extra sanding, probably by way of an electric sander.  Unfortunately, the condo association has rules about construction noise, and limits the time you can do that sort of work to business hours only.  Hopefully I can bend the rules just a bit.. I do have a job after all!

One of the other projects I had planned for this past weekend was changing the mailbox lock.  The seller was supposed to provide me with keys to the mailbox, but apparently they never had a set.  So I called the town post office and arranged for a mailman to meet me at the mailbox so I could pop out the old lock and replace it with a new one.  On Friday, I went to the local locksmith and purchased the most universal size they had for a mailbox lock, which came to about $13.  The salesman there explained to me how I could go about changing it, and when I told him I had just replaced a deadbolt recently, he assured me I would have no problem.  Well, when the mailman arrived on Saturday, the two of us took quite a long time figuring it out.  It took us about 30 minutes to change the lock, and I’m very grateful that he took the time to help me; I can only imagine how long I would have been there if he hadn’t.

Because no post on this blog would be complete without a new problem arising, it’s only fitting that I discovered another issue on Saturday.  I was minding my own business, cleaning in the bathroom, when out of the corner of my eye, I noticed water coming UP from the sink drain.  Who even knew that was a thing?  I hadn’t run the faucet or any other bathroom fixtures so far that day, so I knew the water was coming from somewhere else.  So I frantically scooped the rising water out of the sink and poured it down the tub to try to get the situation under control.  When it seemed to calm down, I ran down the stairs and knocked on the downstairs neighbors’ door.  They had never heard of such a problem happening in their unit, so I placed an emergency call to the association.  They transferred me to the person on-call, who sent the local sewer company.  Turns out, whenever the people across the hall used their bathroom sink, the water came up in my drain.  To me, that’s just crazy!  The plumber had to cut and replace the pipe to fix the problem, but now the water is draining normally.  Looking on the bright side, the bill for this job goes to the association, not me, since it involved more than one unit.  I’m grateful that at least this issue was cost-free to fix, but if I find one more unexpected problem, it’s really going to damper my spirits.

 

A Broken Window… Or A Ghost?

This has been quite the tedious week at the condo.  I’ve been doing plenty of boring but necessary jobs to prepare for the first cosmetic changes, which also happen to be the biggest- new paint and new floors.  I’ve finally finished pulling up all the staples in the floor, and with the exception of my back and shoulders being in a permanent hunch, it was an easy task.  I ended up using a flat-head screwdriver for almost the entire job, with the exception of a pair of pliers to pull out the stubborn ones stuck in one end.  I tried to sweep up as much of the staples and leftover bits of padding as I could, but with hundreds of them throughout the condo, it was tricky to get them all.  Let’s just say I won’t be walking in there barefoot any time soon!

I have not yet heard from the alarm service technician who did the original installation, so I reached out to a few other independent companies, hoping they’ll have some info for me on how to get rid of the old thing.  While I was poking around in the storage room yesterday, lo and behold, I came upon the master control for the system.

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After unscrewing the front panel, I found an extensive installation manual.  Turns out, the darn thing is connected by wires to every single room.  It’s probably more complicated to take the system out than leave it in at this point!  (Also, I discovered that the installation date was in 1992, so not quite the Stone Age.)

The landmark problem of the week, however, definitely goes to the broken window.  On Tuesday, my dad had decided that he would take on the task of removing my window screens, which are so worn out they clearly haven’t been doing their job for years. The screen in the guest bedroom was in the worst condition, so it made perfect sense to start there.  The windows tilt out, so we popped the screen out, put the window back in place, and left for the day.  Imagine my surprise when I arrived to work on the condo two days later, after some pretty torrential rain I might add, to find the window was out of the frame, laying on the floor of the bedroom.  The fact that the glass panes hadn’t shattered was probably a miracle in itself, but I was more concerned with the possibility of more water coming in.  I tried, to no avail, to put the window back in the frame aligned on the track, while still being able to completely close.

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It would either not line up with the track on the side, like you can see here, or not shut at the bottom, as you see below.

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I called in some reinforcements, better known as my parents.  My dad, for one, was in disbelief, because he swears he closed and locked the window before we had left two days prior.  I mean, I suppose it’s possible I have a ghost, considering the previous owner of my little corner condo passed away a year and a half ago.  The more likely culprit?  The tooth on the tilt-out lock had been snapped off at some point, and now the window is unable to stay in a locked position.  We have a temporary fix for now, which involved a good slam of the window downward, and putting a more permanent lock on the one good side.  The reality of it is that I will probably need a new window in the not-so-distant future.

And the hits just keep on coming!

 

An Unexpected Mess

I had not intended for the first project on Saturday morning to be replacing the deadbolt in the front door.  The keys I was given for the condo had been used to lock the doorknob itself, which I had noticed was a little temperamental.  But after lugging gallons of paint up to the third floor to begin the day, that doorknob just did not want to unlock.  Here I am, not 24 hours into this project, jimmying the lock while sitting on the hallway floor. After a good 20 minutes and an almost-meltdown (“I’m locked out of my own condo!”), I finally managed to bust in, and replacing the deadbolt become priority number one.

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For my first official project, I think I did pretty well.  It’s a standard-issue Home Depot deadbolt, and cost me $9.97 (although the peace of mind was priceless).

The next project was the alarm system.  I had questions about the alarm system since my realtor first showed me the place.  I thought it was odd that the keypad itself was connected to a power switch, so every time you turned the switch on, the alarm went off.  Not to mention the thing looks like it’s from the Stone Age, and let’s face it, I really don’t have the budget to be paying money to an alarm company every month.  But, how to disconnect it?  I mean, I’d like to be able to use that light switch for something!

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I found an ancient business card taped to the alarm manual (which, regretfully, did not include a code), and gave the guy a call.  No response yet, but here’s hoping I hear something soon.  Otherwise, I’m going to have to go cutting the wires, which I’m pretty sure is illegal…

The biggest project on the condo was always going to be ripping out the flooring.  There were no less than 6 different kinds of flooring in the condo, which is ridiculous because there are only 4 ‘official’ rooms.  I had already decided to go with wood laminate in the living room and bedrooms.  My realtor and a few others tried to convince me to go with real hardwood, but who am I, Rockefeller?  To cut my costs even further, I knew I wanted to rip the carpet out myself.  That way I could avoid the extra fees that would magically appear when it comes time for installation of the new floors.  Special thanks to my mom and aunt for their help with this!

Here is the ugly, and clearly worn, carpet. Now you see it…

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Now you don’t!

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It took about 4 hours to rip up the carpet itself, the pad underneath, and the nail strips against the wall.  We used 2 utility knives with heavy duty blades to cut through the material, and a hammer and pry bar to pull up the nail strips.  For the next few days, I will be using a flat-head screwdriver to pull up all of the staples out of the plywood.

Unfortunately, we discovered a real problem around the sliding glass door to the balcony.  Once the corner of the carpet was pulled back, we found some serious wood rot.  Water has clearly been coming in for years and gathered mostly underneath the corners of the door.  Even the sheet rock behind the wall crumbled in my hands.  Yikes!  Not exactly the best thing to find when you’re on a pretty strict budget.  Now the condo “politics” begin.  Since the water is coming in from outside, and technically I only own everything from the walls in, we have to determine whose responsibility it will be to find the problem and repair the damage.  I’m really hoping the management’s insurance company will cover it, since I may have to put some other projects on hold while we get it sorted out.  Here’s hoping for the best!

And So It Begins

On closing day, after signing my name so many times that I started spelling it wrong, I was handed the deed and the keys and officially became a homeowner.

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Naturally, the first thing I did was drive straight there to start celebrating!

Now, I had started a list of everything that I wanted to change and improve way before the closing date.  But when I stepped over that threshold, I realized that some things were going to have to wait, while others would definitely take priority.  First of all, I never really noticed just how dirty the place was.  The fingerprints on the walls were a lot more noticeable without furniture in the rooms to distract your eye.  Granted, the condo hadn’t been lived in for about a year and a half, but you could tell the previous owner’s cleaning habits weren’t the greatest.  So, after writing a to-do list (and a grocery list of cleaning supplies!), I vowed to return Saturday morning, ready to work.

 

“Why Rent When You Can Own?”

You may have seen this phrase in the real estate listings for teeny tiny little houses and apartments converted into condos to try and entice buyers that just happen to fall in my demographic.  The listing for my condo said “Bring your decor ideas and enjoy!”  If only the process was that simple…

I started contemplating the idea of home ownership in the summer of 2012.  Living with my parents was starting to annoy (‘where are you going?’ ‘when will you be home?’), and renting seemed the likely next step.  And then the news stories began: Record lows for mortgage rates.  I thought, why not?  Throughout the chaos that ensued from that point, I’ve found that these were the most helpful steps:

  • Organize your documents
  • Find a good team
  • Research, research, research

I must stress this fact: I absolutely did my due diligence when researching mortgage information, and you should too.  Knowledge will be your best friend throughout this process.  You’ll get hit with paperwork from every angle, and the more you know ahead of time, the less likely you are to stumble across something you don’t understand that will slow you down.

Organize Your Documents

I knew from word-of-mouth that the first step in buying a home is to get pre-approved from a lender.  For all intents and purposes, it really does not matter which lender you get your pre-approval letter from.  I went with the major bank where my other accounts were held because it seemed like the easiest option to start, plus they have my entire financial history, so what more could they need, right?  Let me tell you, I had to unearth some of my most obscure financial documents right off the bat … and this was just the pre-approval!  The mortgage application process in itself is an even bigger beast, so my first tip is to organize all of your pertinent financial documents.  Of course, these will be different for everyone, but it is a good rule of thumb to start some file folders with your recent tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs, and statements from all of your accounts, from regular checking to mutual funds.  Once you’re a few weeks in, many people will expect you to know a lot of this information off-hand, so making sure it is in one convenient place is the best favor you can do for yourself.

Besides all of the boring (but important!) financial paperwork, I also recommend keeping notes on all of the properties you go to see.  Many people just rely on pictures they take, but pictures cannot always give you the whole story when you’re looking back a week after the showing.  What was your initial impression? Did you get a feel for the neighborhood?  What did you hear? (or, God forbid, smell?)  Did your realtor mention any issues he/she knows of ahead of time?  These are all things you should jot down when you’re looking at a property, as well as some of the general listing information, i.e. beds, baths, address, and listing price.

Finding A Good Team

Thanks to my good buddy, the World Wide Web, I was able to look through tons of resources that explain the steps to buying a home.  (I recommend checking out Wells Fargo: My First Home.  It’s interactive and free!)  But the Internet is no substitute for a hard-working human team.  Everyone in your life, including family and friends, will obviously play an integral role in supporting you throughout the process.  But for our purposes, when I refer to my “team,” I am including 3 people: my realtor, my mortgage broker, and my lawyer.  I cannot stress enough how important it is to find people who will work hard for you.  Trust me, you’ll thank yourself later!

My realtor was absolutely top-notch.  She listened to all of my requests and demands (“Don’t you dare show me anything out of my price range.”) and would meet with me at any time of day to show me a listing.  I have a reasonably flexible job, but this was still very important to me, which leads me to my next point.  Make sure you know what you want in a realtor before signing an agreement.  I was looking for 3 qualities: someone who would be available at the last minute (hey! sometimes a good Zillow listing comes out of nowhere), a fun personality, and someone who would offer up plenty of information about a property.  Have a face-to-face  conversation with your realtor to see if you’ll be a good fit.  It’ll help in the long run too- the more they knew about you, the more intuitive they will be into your wants and needs in a home.

My broker was also outstanding.  I ended up choosing a brokerage firm instead of going with a major bank mostly because my realtor recommended my broker to me.  I found that this happens a lot in real estate; many people are looking to work with someone that they know has a proven track record, especially throughout this long and often frustrating process (not to mention that referrals are half the business).  However, that didn’t stop me from looking up the broker on my own.  I also had a long sit-down chat with her, and I asked her to go over every single point on a cash-to-close worksheet, which she gladly took 2 hours to do.  What I was looking for in a broker was flexibility and a willingness to answer every single one of my questions.  During the mortgage application process, you will find yourself sending and filling out endless amounts of paperwork with so much fine print your head will spin.  So, in my humble opinion, someone who will take the time to answer your questions is absolutely crucial.

My lawyer is actually a friend of the family, so I didn’t have to do much searching.  However, I do recommend using an attorney who specifically handles real estate law, and is not so much of a trial attorney.  The last thing you’ll want is to have to postpone your closing because your lawyer has to go to court for a few weeks straight.

Research, Research, Research

As with any major undertaking, don’t forget to stock up on information.  I looked around at the housing market, including rates and trends, and determined what kind of property I wanted and what the market was doing in my preferred location.  Appraisals often look at the selling prices of similar properties nearby, which can help you determine the kind of deal you’re getting.  I was willing to go with a place that needs some work as opposed to move-in condition, so I made sure to research the cost of improvements I wanted to put in.

Above all, I researched what I could afford.  Your pre-approval letter will give you a ballpark range to help guide your search, and I also asked my broker for a sample cash-to-close worksheet on every property I was interested in, but I never stopped double- and triple-checking my numbers to ensure that my offers and expectations are realistic.  No one wants to have to foreclose on their first home.

From the first meeting with my realtor to the time of my closing, it took just over 6 months.  It was frustrating and discouraging and exciting all at the same time.  I found that I kept having to remind myself to enjoy it.

But in the end, I now have a brand new home to try a whole bunch of Pinterest hacks!  Because that’s what’s most important, right?

Closing Time

Tomorrow is the big day.  After months of searching and planning and paperwork, I close on the little corner condo, which in turn, will make me a first-time homebuyer.  Yikes!

This blog is about the trials and tribulations of being a first-time homeowner and everything that goes along with it.  The good, the bad, the ugly, and the Pinterest hacks that didn’t quite make it.  I’ll walk you through all of the steps that I’ll be taking into making the little corner condo my first home.