Now that our house has sold, we are taking baby steps toward future home ownership in the DFW area. Currently, we’re living further north than we would like which means hubby has a commute. While that is fine temporarily, we certainly don’t want to settle this far away from his job. Yet, we are still trying to familiarize ourselves with the area which makes it challenging to even have discussion about where we might want to live.
Recently, I contacted a realtor to gather some information and she is now set us up on a listing portal. The listings we receive are only those houses that meet our requirements of radius to hubby’s job, number of bedrooms, number of bathrooms, price point and swimming pool. While we’re not quite ready to preview the homes, we are very ready to take a look at the neighborhoods. So the girls and I ventured out last weekend to drive by a couple of the houses on our portal and it’s amazing how much you can learn just from taking a drive.
We checked out a couple different neighborhoods in Carrollton, TX. One home was in an older neighborhood and the other in a newer neighborhood.
The older neighborhood had cute little homes, with well-kept yards, nice sidewalks and we didn’t see many cars driving thru the neighborhood. We did see a little boy run across the street and cut through the yards and as we drove past the back of the house, the same little boy was playing basketball with a friend. Granted, we only spent about 10 minutes there, but we very quickly sensed it was a nice neighborhood and the longer we drove around, the more we liked it.
The newer neighborhood, while not terrible at all, didn’t feel like home. We spent a couple minutes driving around and then left because it didn’t feel like a place we would want to live and the way a neighborhood makes you feel is as important at the house.
Since any homes in that area would cut hubby’s commute in half, we’ll leave Carrollton on our list of possibilities. (To get a better idea of his commute, we live just south of Aubrey and he works in Irving.)
And as a side note, the first house we drove by had just gone on the market a couple days earlier. It’s no longer on our listing portal, so apparently there is already an offer on the house. Not all houses on our portal have gotten offers yet, but they are houses that we aren’t fond of. Apparently, most people looking at them feel the same. I wanted to get a better idea of how much preparation we need going forward, so I chatted with the realtor about the speed in which houses move in the DFW area. In essence, she said we will need to be ready to make an offer on any house that feels like the right house for us. No taking a few days to think about it. No going back for a second look. If we look at a house we like, we need to spend time in that house and then make an offer. Otherwise, we risk losing a house that we really like the first time through.
We’ve only purchased two homes in our lifetime. There was no rush on our first home. We were able to look at the house and take a second and third look before making an offer. We built our second house and spent months looking at house plans before settling on the one we liked best. So this will be a very different process for us and I plan to put together a check list of “must haves” and “wants” that we can carry with us when looking at houses. It’s very easy to focus on something really nice about a house and miss other things that aren’t so nice because we’re too focused on one or two great things about the house. Knowing we may not have the opportunity to take a second or third look at a house, we need to go in with a very definite list of priorities and make the offer when we find that perfect house.
Because I would like to keep a record of our home buying experience here, my blog will become my record keeping tool.