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A move is coming

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?

13 Comments

  1. I think I would have a tough time buying a house without ever seeing it. My wife and I have looked at some pictures online and then gone to the open house and have been greatly disappointed. Pictures can lie 🙂

    • 100% agree that pictures can lie. It was good having the family there to look things over and verify what we saw in the pictures.

  2. That’s a pretty large purchase to buy without seeing it yourself. I dunno if I would do it, flights aren’t that expensive within the states. I guess it isn’t so bad if you have a family member that knows what they are looking for.

    Anyways I was born and raised in Massachusetts. Wouldn’t live there again. I don’t much like taxes. I do like New Hampshire though, no income or sales tax just a high property tax.

    I am really flexible as to where I live, I like anywhere that has good internet and is cheap. I have lived in Delaware, Turkey, England proper, Hawai’i, and Arizona since leaving Mass. Georgia would be fine with me.

    • It is a huge purchase, but again having the family there to take a look help ease some of the nerves. We also had a really good agent who would give his honest opinion, not just I want to sell you a house opinion.

      Wow, you have traveled quite a bit. Were the moves work related or life related?

      • Yes, the moves were for work. I actually saved the most money in Hawai’i. It doesn’t have to be as expensive as people think. My rent was just $650, all utilities and internet included.

  3. Oooh, that’s a toughie. I’m not very trusting, so I’d need to see a house in person before buying it. But hey, it’s a little easier if your family took a look at it for you, so you just have to trust their judgment.

    And enjoy Georgia! I was born there and really enjoyed it. The cost of living is much better, although it definitely gets H-O-T.

    • Thanks, we are looking forward to it!
      Even thought this went off without a hitch, I can’t honestly say I would do it again.

  4. I picked out our house when Mr PoP was out of the country! He looked at the pictures I sent him (including the ones with water damage from leaky sinks) and took a virtual walk around the neighborhood using GoogleMaps. After that he said he was all in! I think it mostly comes down to trusting the person you send in your stead. =)

    • Excellent point! Trust was a huge factor and isn’t Googlemaps a wonderful thing. I used it to check out the area as well.

  5. I wouldn’t =) buying an asset that’s so illiquid without even looking at it? No way Jose. Too risky. I’ve had so many situations, when the wife and I were house hunting, where the pictures looked so good, but there were things missing from what was reality. Need to see this type of stuff in person. It would suck to find stuff out only after you purchase it. Especially when we’re talking about a huge financial commitment like a house. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for stopping by. Completely understand and I am not sure I would buy a house if I didn’t have family at least looking at it.

  6. Moving is a scary thing. Buying a place is even scarier. I remember the first property I purchased. I spent a lot of time researching the local market and neighborhood. It’s not always easy to identify all of the potential problems before buying a place. Thanks for the great insights.

    • Thanks for stopping by. On top of family taking a look, the home inspection eased a lot of concern and identified no major issues.

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