Saturday, March 1, 2008

House Hunting Examination

At exactly two weeks from today, I will have to have accomplished the following things:

- catch up in the Marriage Law reading, write four, 5-page reaction papers on something in the reading
- read 200+ pages in Con Law, create outline, write something on the Exam
- create outline for Sexual Orientation and the Law, write something on the Exam
- write reaction paper to final Law & Politics Workshop meeting for the quarter
- talk with Austin loan officer and realtor to make schedule for home buying trip March 18-20
- go through the hundred Austin listings our realtor has sent, do research, create list of homes to see on our 3-day home buying trip
- have apartment surveyed by moving estimator to get timeline of summer move (tomorrow, 11:30)
- get Landon sleeping through the night so we can all get a little rest before his surgery and our trip to Texas send his sleep schedule back to hell
- go to hospital for Landon's surgery (March 6th), pretend like I will study while there, spend the night watching children's movies instead
- play with beluga whales
- pack and fly to Texas

I'm not very stressed out about the school stuff because my expectations are embarrassingly low. I really meant it when I said I just want something to be able to write on the exam (it's also embarrassing how much work I'm going to need to do in the next few days so that I will have something to write on the exam). Con law is my toughest class, but it's case-based rather than statute or code-based, and that's easier for me to prepare for.

No, exam stress lies on the periphery of my mind. At the forefront are the lack of sleep, Landon's surgery, and the fact that we are buying a house in two weeks. I've spent all morning at the library, supposedly writing reaction papers, but actually perusing the home listings online. I love this kind of research- looking at pictures, floor plans, virtual tours, maps, etc. and trying to picture us in each home. My stress levels surrounding the home buying have been extremely low so far. I'm completely trusting our loan officer and realtor (both highly recommended by close friends), but yesterday I was perusing (is it any wonder I'm so behind in my reading?) and discovered hundreds of books about buying your first house. I realized that I have done no research on this - none - and other people do lots! This is so unlike me. Normally I'd have read at least three books cover-to-cover and created a detailed list of questions to ask the realtor, a color-coded map of each subdivision with the distance to the pool, park, and elementary school noted for each house, an entire excel spreadsheets with our projected costs for next year, and so much more. Right now all I've done is save a few favorite listings in a folder online. And oddly enough, I'm okay with this. Maybe it's an implicit acceptance of my limitations, with finals, the non-sleeping baby, and the beluga whales all demanding my time. Maybe my OCD is relaxing as I get older. Maybe I'm going to start FREAKING OUT about this very soon. But for now, I'm just excited to go buy a house. It's just like buying something at the mall, right?


  1. Good luck! House hunting is stressful, but it's also kind of fun... when else are you encouraged to snoop through other people's houses?

  2. Can't wait to hear more about the house! I have been obsessed with looking at condos/ apartments lately and I am not moving for another 6 months. I can't imagine if it was 2 weeks away. I also know nothing about buying a house (or in my case, a tiny condo).

    Good luck!

  3. Eh, I kind of found myself in the same boat as you -- much more obsessive before kids and now fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. The reality is that it is very unlikely that you will stay in this house forever, but it is also unlikely that, with the help of a great realtor, you will end up in a stinker. We did a long distance house hunt and I sent my parents on initial searches, then came down for a week to look and pick, then made my Dad accompany the realtor on the inspection and other things since we were 2,000 miles away and couldn't do it ourselves. That made things easier. It'll all work out.

    I'll be praying for the little guy during his surgery.

  4. yes, just like the mall. Only your mortgage interest rate better be A LOT lower than the interest rate on your credit card.

    Oh, and no return policy. But other than that? No big difference.

    Good luck!

  5. luckily, buying a house in austin is fun because the prices are insanely low. You should be able to buy a lot for your money. The only time house buying isn't fun is when everything costs $500 per square foot and you feel like you need a bulletproof vest in your front yard :)

  6. Buying a new home is stressful. The more houses you look at the better idea you will get of what you want. I started out with very little idea of what we were looking for but by about 15 houses we were able to walk in and veto a house in 5 minutes.

  7. You look pretty busy :) But buying a new home for you and your family should have been fun, it's one of the most important things which will influence your life for a long time! And especially now, when US prices have fallen and you have wide variety to choose - be happy you have so many options! Hope you have good realtor, who is giving you a big support and hope you buy wonderful house. Best wishes from Julie Kinnear team :) !!

  8. IF you want one more thing to read (this one is an easy read), my husband and I both got a lot out of THE VIRGIN HOMEOWNER by Janice Papalos (sp?). Everything you need to know about how a house works -- I only wish we had read it before the home inspection, prior to closing!

  9. I bought my first house like I was shopping at that mall! LOL

    If you have a good finance guy (er, person) and a good realtor, it will make you think that it is TOO easy to buy a home.... Literally, walk through some floor plans or existing homes, sign some papers, and walk in the door with your own set of keys. Scary, really.

  10. I have a pretty good book about buying your first home if you want to borrow it - we just bought a house over the weekend, so I guess we won't be needing it anymore!

  11. i can honestly say that i stressed very little throughout our whole recent home-purchase. totally like buying something at the mall. only you don't get to go to orange julius.

    can't wait to hear about YOUR house :)