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PART 1: MEET THE TAYLORS,PART 2: FINDING THE RIGHT REAL ESTATE AGENT,PART 3: CHOOSING A HOUSE,PART 4: WHY WE DIDN’T GET OUR MORTGAGE FROM A CREDIT UNION,PART 5: OUR MORTGAGE 5 MONTHS LATER,PART 6: 3 WAYS TO HELP FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYERS,PART 7: WHAT WE’VE LEARNED GOING FROM RENTERS TO HOMEOWNERS (COMING SOON)
Victoria Taylor, a marketing and engagement manager at Callahan & Associates, and her husband, Matt, are on the hunt to find a perfect home. Join them on their journey in this CreditUnions.com timeline exclusive.
Choosing A House
Matt and I had no idea what to expect when we started to look at homes. Our only experience until now has been hours of watching House Hunters, Fixer Upper, and The Property Brothers.
HGTV makes buying a house look easy. But we’ve learned some things ourselves along the way.
It began by sharing our must-haves and nice-to-haves with our real estate agent, Patrick. He took those into consideration when choosing homes for us to look at.
The Taylors’ House Priorities
- Location.We’re targeting northwest Greensboro, NC, in our search. This area is near Matt’s office, restaurants, and shops, and it’s easy to get into the city center. It’s also a great location for resalevalue and schools. We were also open to looking at the surrounding communities of High Point and Jamestown and in southwest Greensboro. After looking at homes in those areas, though, we narrowed our search to northwest Greensboro because we enjoythe slightly older homes and overall feel of the neighborhoods.
- Space.We’re looking for a four-bedroom home. We want a dedicated space for a home office and still have enough guest rooms to accommodate our out-of-state families when they come to visit. We’d like at least twobathrooms mostly for resale and convenience and at least a 0.25-acre lot.
- Outdoor Living. Greensboro is called GREENSboro for a reason. We’re looking for a spacious backyard and a great deck or patio where we can enjoy outdoor dining, entertaining, and grilling. Winters in North Carolina are a biton the mild side, and we’re looking forward to enjoying an outdoor space well into the late fall. We’d also like a fenced yard or an easy-to-fence yard for our dog.
Of course, there are some nice-to-haves in the back of our minds, too, like a garage or carport, spacious bathtub, fireplace, kitchen island, and lots of storage space.
Matt and I went into our home search with a clear list of what we were looking for, but we also realize we might need to settle when it comes to some of the extras.
The Great House Search
Us Taylors aren’t great at making on-the-spot decisions. Going into the home-buying process, that was a fear that could make buying a home difficult. See, Greensboro is by no means the most competitive market in the country looking at you,California but a competitively priced home in a good neighborhood does go fast.
Many people told us that when we found the right house, we’d know. We were skeptical of that sentiment.
We spent two Saturday afternoons with our agent looking at a variety of homes within our budget. Our agent never took us to or tried to push us into a home that was more expensive than we were comfortable paying thank you, Patrick!
After our first outing, we found a house we really loved. But it was right before the July Fourth holiday, and we wanted to think about it. It sold over the holiday.
We went into our second outing feeling a bit discouraged. Patrick lined up a mix of homes to tour some he selected, others we picked out.
From the minute we walked into house No. 9 that day, we had a feeling of home and a sense of peace. We could envision ourselves living there. Our lack of decisive decision-making wasn’t a problem.
We’re excited to share with CreditUnions.com readers that we made an offer on that house, and we’re currently under contract. We’re set to close on our first home on Aug. 22.
Home is in sight.
Matt Taylor contributed to this article.
Click through the timeline below to see homebuying milestones and read more from the series. Come back to CreditUnions.com to read about the Taylors’ experience in making an offer and financing a home loan.