Wow! What a wild few weeks it has been! If you follow me on Instagram you know how crazy the past month or so has been for me. So I thought this would be a great opportunity to do a little ~life update~ post to fully catch everyone up to speed.
This year as a whole has just been chaotic. January started with us putting an offer in on a house and that offer being accepted! After we got the contract and we realized they didn’t *truly* accept our offer and refused to give us what we had initially asked for (a contingency on the inspection since the property had been on the market for about 18 months). This all happened the week of my 25th birthday – needless to say it was an “it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to” moment – haha. Once that fell through we looked at some other properties for a few weeks but didn’t like/pursue anything.
In late February we went on a much needed vacation and just took some time to reflect and weigh our options on things. When we got back in March we decided to open up the conversation to a townhome since we saw something pop up on the market that interested us. We took a look at the place in person and really liked it – so we put in another offer! We got a notification from the seller’s agent that they wanted highest/best offer – so we prepped that offer and submitted it. Unfortunately, we were outbid by an all cash offer – and while we really liked that neighborhood we didn’t find anything else for sale there that was for us.
Just a day after that offer fell through I noticed something else popped up on the market. A new build townhome in a good location, below budget, etc. So I sent it over to our realtor (my Dad) and we looked at it the next day. Thankfully the seller’s agent worked for the builder that developed the community and we had known her previously from other properties and from when we considered building. She was great to work with and really did us a solid by getting everything done quickly and smoothly so we had no other competition. About a month after we signed the offer we closed! And now we’re homeowners!
While a townhome isn’t what we originally had in mind, overall it definitely worked out in our favor. Thankfully it is just a duplex so we have no one on the one side of us – plus no building will be built directly beside, behind, or in front of us. It will be a good step up from what we’re currently renting (almost double the size) but not too big where we’ll get overwhelmed with upkeep. We travel a lot as well and while we actually have a little bit of a yard, it will be cared for by the HOA – which we see as a plus so we won’t have to worry about it (I know, I know – but in the area we wanted to be in, it’s extremely common to have an HOA).
If this property wouldn’t have worked out, we were planning on building. However, with mortgage rates right now it can be extremely risky since lenders aren’t really locking in rates for that length of time (despite what so many people claim). So whatever percentage rate things are at when you close is what you’re stuck with – or you could just not be qualified for your home anymore. Plus, any home builders in our area are at least 8 months out right now – so then we would’ve had to extend our lease AGAIN, which we wanted to avoid at all costs.
That all being said – we’re really happy with how things ended up – and it’ll be even better for us in the long run than the other plans/properties. And while this isn’t our forever home, it is a great start and we are blessed to have above and beyond what a lot of people would consider a starter home.
Though it is a new build, we didn’t pick the finishes or anything like that – the builder chose everything then put it up on the market afterward. But we like *almost* everything! The only big cons are the floors – a little too gray for our liking – and the walls – which are also gray. Over the past few days we’ve been painting the walls white to hopefully brighten up the space and take some of that gray out of the flooring. The floors are going to stay as is, since we can’t seem to justify changing them when they’re brand new. But paint is overall an affordable and feasible fix! We’ve also switched out the handles in the kitchen and we’re getting new lighting fixtures for the kitchen space. Plus, in some other rooms we’ll be doing little things here and there.
One of the things that sold me is the primary bathroom and the primary bedroom closets! While it doesn’t have a tub, it is the biggest bathroom we’ve seen in any of the properties we considered. It has a stunning shower – and even has a rainfall shower head. Plus, there is space for me to put a vanity in the bathroom as well – so overall it’s a major win! Since moving back to Pittsburgh in 2020, we’ve only had one sink in our primary bathroom in both apartments we’ve lived in. Needless to say, I am ready to have my own space again! And while the primary bedroom itself is laid out a little weird, it does have two walk-in closets and the large bathroom so it evens out – haha.
Another thing I love is the kitchen and living space. We have a HUGE island which has always been a must for me. And we have an electric fireplace in the living room. I grew up having fireplaces in my home and have really missed it. Plus, it being electric is a huge plus in my opinion because we don’t need to upkeep it nearly as much! The fall and long winter will be much cozier this coming year.
I am so excited to take you all on this journey with us over the coming months of doing some minor updates and moving into our first home. I truly can’t wait to start decorating – there has been a lot of brainstorming happening as you can imagine! It will all take some time but it will be so worth it in the end.
It is crazy to think that I started blogging years ago as a college student. I’ve taken you on my journey of school, content creating, moving, getting engaged, getting married, and so much more. And now homeownership! Thank you for being here!
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Monica VanBeekum says
Congrats! It’s beautiful! May you fill it with love, laughter, and happiness!! ❤️