With only my income, I was worried that we wouldn't even have the money to buy a home, even though our apartment rent was nearly what a mortgage payment would be! I have a realtor friend named Lora who helped walk us through the initial steps of getting pre-approved. We worked with Spectrum Mortgage in Indy, and they were really great. They got us qualified to buy a home at a great interest rate (and a surprisingly "high" loan amount...considering I thought we would qualify for about 1/3 of what we actually got). We started this process in April, and by Luke's birthday (April 25), we were ready to put in an offer!
Once we got the approval, the fun began. Lora took us to several homes in the area we told her we were interested in. I guess, let me back up. It took a lot of work to figure out the "area" we were actually going to buy a home. I didn't want to leave Royerton in Muncie, and Luke can't really leave Indy :-), so we had to compromise. We settled on homes that were on the north side of Indy. I can get to Muncie in about 50 minutes from there. It was much better than the 70 minutes I was driving each way to our apartment (in retrospect, we chose the WAYYYYYY wrong area to live during our first year of marriage)!
I felt like we were on House Hunters. It was hard not to look at the actual decor of the homes rather than the structure, style, lot, neighborhood, etc. We found a few the first time out that we really liked, but the one that we were favoring (ok, I was favoring), was one that we toured during a random open house on a Sunday. We were in the area, and we drove around a cute little neighborhood off 96th street. We noticed that there was an open house later, so we got some Qdoba and went to the open house. We were the only ones there (with a very weird realtor), but we really loved the home. We told Lora about this home and asked to see it again. It really only verified to me that this was the home for us.
Luke was interested in another home that was off Pendleton Pike (a little tooooo east for me). It was older, had hardwood floors, and a KILLER backyard. It was beautiful and peaceful for sure. I just didn't have the feeling about that house though.
We thought about it, and we even drove past the house off 96th street at night to see what the neighborhood was like at night. We liked the safety and security. We liked the 2 police officers as neighbors! We LOVED the huge pear tree in the front that was blooming!
The next day, we celebrated Luke's birthday at Buca's with family. We shared the news that we would be looking at houses the next day, possibly to place an offer. Luke's dad and my parents offered to come with us to check them out.
At first look, I could tell my parents loved the place. I think Luke's dad really liked it too, and his opinion helped sell Luke on the house on 96th street. We didn't even need to see the other place...we were ready to place an offer! We went to McDonald's and sat down with Lora as she drafted up a contract for us to "sign our lives away!"
After a few "back and forth" offers, we finally settled on something that we all could be happy with. The former owners were super nice and helpful. The closing was very nerve-racking. TONS of papers to sign! However, after it was all over, we had keys to our home on Haddington Drive!
We had a very smooth home-buying experience, and I am thankful to Spectrum Mortgage, Lora, and our former home owners for being so great to work with!
Me trying to figure out what to do in our empty house!
I truly love this view into our back yard
We painted half the room a nice blue/turquoise (it doesn't look that bright in person)
Part of the kitchen. The cabinets used to be dark brown, but I love the paint we chose. Word to the wise - painting cabinets SUCKS!
The chandelier was from Goodwill...originally brass, but now beautiful!
The office...where Luke will spend most of his time studying :-)
Our beautiful bedroom (and part of Edna in the picture)
Little creative touch