Today marked Day 1 of what will likely be a LONG process of buying my first house. I've now been in Austin for 6 months... and with a lease that ends this summer, a multi-year work contract and an Austin housing market that's only getting more expensive... I figured now is the time to start looking. Exciting, overwhelming... and of course, worried. The commitment, the big & small decisions, the price tag... the whole process stresses me out.
Other than the guidance of my parents and a few articles on Google, my knowledge of buying a house is... limited. And if we're being honest, I only know the basics: down payment, mortgage, home insurance... simply, a lot of work & a lot of money.
I'm not too sure what I want yet - which doesn't make things any easier - but I'm leaning towards 'single family home' within 30 miles of town. My "must-haves" list includes 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, a backyard & a garage. Outside of that, I'm open to options.
I started with new builds today, finding a few new developments I liked on Zillow and setting up appointments for home tours. It's hard not to like a brand-new house, even if it doesn't have all the things on my list, but overall, I learned A LOT even visiting just three properties today. Here are a few of my "beginning notes":
I would say Day 1 was successful... as I walk away 60% overwhelmed, 20% confused & 20% excited. Being in the very beginning of this process, I'm still leaving myself time to look at some resale homes and find a realtor. I am also looking for any and all helpful tips / advice for a first-time buyer. (Flashback to last night as I frantically google: "questions to ask when buying a home") What are the right questions to ask? What sneaks up on you when buying a home? Are there any red flags to look for? And also, why isn't there a class in college to prepare you for this?
I'll keep you updated.
I'm big on resolutions. I'm not so hot at keeping them... but I'm big on making them. Every January 1st, I write them down (I'm also big on lists). It feels different when it's written in ink. But I use resolutions as a focal point for where I would like to make changes in my life in the upcoming year.
This year was no different. I took some time on Wednesday to write out 10 resolutions I would like to work towards in 2020. I won't share them all -- but here are my 3 biggies:
1. COOK MORE AT HOME: I've fallen into a bad habit of not keeping enough food at home... which would then leave me too tired, too impatient or too burnt out to make something when I got off work. The result? Picking up something from a drive-thru or stopping somewhere for a quick bite. (It got to the point that at the end of last year, I was eating Raising Canes, Joanne's *and Taco Ranch at least once a week... and sleeping late so I didn't have to make myself breakfast. That bad.) So this year -- I'm making a bigger effort to cook meals at home (this was also my resolution for 2019. LOL.) More recipes, more meal prep, more dinners at the table. More pinterest-ing recipes, less "#3 with a diet coke & an extra sauce". For my body (and wallet's) sake.
2. LESS ALCOHOL: Now I don't want to come off as an alcoholic. I feel that is more severe than my actual situation. But I will admit, I have a deep love for a glass of wine when I get home from work. Whether it's to help recover from a bad day, release stress or simply because it sounds good, I go straight for the Sauvignon Blanc. It's not that I have a problem with alcohol, it's just that I would like to not use it to help "fix" problems (& not to mention, the extra lbs it adds that I 100% don't need). I'm actually attempting "Dryuary"... or a dry January. I say attempt because I have a birthday at the end of the month... and I may or may not make an exception. (It's my freakin' birthday, ok!?) But we'll see. Game time decision.
3. WORKOUT 3x A WEEK: I fell in love with Orange Theory Fitness about 2 years ago. It's been the only workout I feel gives me what I need -- 50% cardio, 50% weights. (I used to do Crossfit which I ended up enjoying too. But I came to the conclusion that I really just loved the people and wasn't too crazy about the actual workouts.) I've used my schedule and the out-of-state move as an excuse to not go as often... but moving forward, I'd like to stay more consistent. Between the physical benefits and mental stress reliever, I'm making it a goal to go at least 3 times a week. (It doesn't sound that hard - especially when living in a city full of beautifully, fit, athletic people - but for me, it will be. This will be the resolution that's really going to test me.)
Now I know not everyone believes in making resolutions, but I would love to hear what some of you guys are working on this year. I'm hoping this blog helps me with accountability. I've now put it out into the world... so I have to stick with it, right?!