I have to say I am not the best writer nor the most organized with getting my thoughts on virtual paper. I am sure this post will jump around a bit and with that here we go.
I mentioned in the May Net Worth post that we had bought another house and are planning a move. We are moving from New England to the great state of Georgia. Where do I start with this one? I was born and raised in the same area of New England for my entire life and my wife has lived here for about 15 years. This is a huge change for both of us. Trading in the cold weather gear, 4 seasons, and the snow (No more snow blowing!!) for warmer weather, longer swimming season and slower pace of life.
Over the last 10 years, my wife’s immediately family has moved to Georgia. My wife and daughter have visited 3 times amount of times I have, but we have spent a good bit of time in Georgia over the years. It was always nice to visit in the winter and get away from the cold and snow. We have been discussing moving closer to her family for years, but it really gain traction over the last year.
Like most things in our life, I had put together a couple of spreadsheets over the years. This allowed us to narrow done the areas we wanted to live, rank the school systems, and eventually rank houses based on certain criteria. As listing came up, I could pop them into the spreadsheets and see if it was a match or not. This was fantastic and so began our online window shopping.
I have to say starting this site really opened my eyes and assured me we could take this chance at this point in life. Having full visibility to all incoming and outgoing money, being able to see in an instance where our net worth stood, seeing how much our investment are making, all reassured me this would be ok. With that we decided to seriously start looking, there was a trip planned over school vacation this past spring and a list of houses to check out while in the area was created. It was here that we realized houses that fit our criteria mentioned above would go under contract in a day, maybe 2 days. The market was hot (pun intended) and the weeks’ vacation quickly came to an end.
Back at home 1,100 miles away, we decided we wanted to move over the summer and our daughter would start the new school year in a new school. If the timing didn’t work, we would wait until next year and time it out. Another year of thinking about this, talking about it, looking at houses, tracking spreadsheets, etc. Why? Why wait? Let’s do it. But wait, we are 1,100 miles away, how are we going to see the houses? We weren’t going to, we decided to utilize our family and have them be our eyes to check out houses. The next couple of weeks were like mad dashes to see houses ASAP, some were under contract before they could be seen, some would go under contract before we could bid on them.
How the heck are we going to buy a house like this? OK, OK, this was getting a bit out of control and hectic. There has to be a way to figure this out. Oh, there was, back to those spreadsheets. After taking another look at all the houses we looked at, and doing some research online, I found out that if we looked at houses that were $10,000+ over our criteria amount they weren’t selling as fast. With this new information, a new search began. I know what you are thinking, “you are going over budget”. Nope, my plan was to use that fact that higher priced houses were not selling as fast and still bid within our budgeted amount. In fact, a house that we actually did drive by a few weeks earlier when in the area was still for sale. It was a perfect match on paper, except for the price, it was $30,000 over our budget, but it was still for sale. We sent the family to look at it and send us pictures. It was a great match, met all areas of our criteria, looked good (or so our “eyes” said so). With that we made a bid on a house that we never saw in person. More on that in another post. At the end of it all we got the house for $30,000 less than asking price and within our budget. I love it when a plan comes together. We did finally get to see our new house, but had to wait until the day of the closing.
Have you ever bought or would you ever buy a house without actually seeing it?