Newlywed Edition: House Hunting 101

Newlywed Edition: House-Hunting 101

After having numerous “stress attacks” while Connor and I were house-hunting, everything of course worked itself out perfectly and here we are, exactly two weeks away, from moving in. There were so many times I was soo worried about making the right decision, but when the time came, the decision was easy. I couldn’t be more excited, and believe me, I already have almost a whole spiral notebook full of lists and ideas. I can’t wait to begin! But it all starts with step one, which is finding a house, which is why I want to first share some tips from Connor and I that helped us through the process.

1. Go With Your Gut: Connor and I made a “scoring” sheet that had all of our wish list items. When we looked at different properties, we would grade them on a scale according to our score sheet. It helped for some things, but sometimes everything added up to our standards on paper, but didn’t seem like the right fit. Overall, we would tend to walk into a house and almost always know right away if it was even an option for us. You get different feelings from different houses, and when it’s the right one, you will just know.

2. Don’t Compromise: There were many times I started to run out of patience, get frustrated, and either considered houses I didn’t like or giving up all together. But then, a few days would pass and 20 new houses would show up on the market. The right house will come, so don’t settle for less, and you will be glad you waited.

3. There Are Reasons: There are reasons that the house you thought was “the one” didn’t work out. Try not to get overly attached to the properties you see. Keep in mind if it doesn’t work out, there is a reason for it, and it mostly has to do with the fact that something equally as good or something you like better will come.

4. Look At Your Options: It is probably best to look at many different properties, and not just buy the first one you see and like. Consider what different neighborhoods, home types, and prices have to offer. Should you buy something cheaper and renovate? Or, do you want something move-in ready? Know what is important to you in a home, but also don’t be afraid to keep an open mind. When Connor and I got a revised budget, we said that we wanted a single-family house. But, all of the properties we looked at that were single-family just didn’t meet our needs in other aspects that were important to us. We checked out a townhouse, and it offered much more than the single-family homes, but it still felt like a home to us, inside and out. Needless to say, we bought it.

5. Ask Questions: Ask questions to yourself, to your realtor, to your lender, and any others involved in this adventure with you. They understand the process and are great resources for many of the questions you will face along the way. If they are good, they will have no problem answering the same question over and over (this happens!). Sometimes, I got overwhelmed with the logistics of things, especially with the financing, and I started to let things just go over my head. Then, I realized how important of a decision this is to make and that I needed to have my head in the game for something as serious as this. I got more involved, and when I got confused, I asked questions until I understood.

6. Work As A Team: One of the best choices we made was after our original company choice for home mortgages got a little flaky. They were taking forever and never answering our phone calls, so we asked our realtor for suggestions for lenders. It turns out they usually have several options for people they work with. She set us up with one she often worked side by side with, which made it so easy for us to all be in the communication loop. The process went so much smoother, faster, and it was great to have them contact each other directly  when they needed answers. Also, don’t hesitate to get opinions from several lenders, in case one of them falls through. Find the people that work together best, including the people who best match your personality. You will be spending plenty of time with them, and you will want to spend it with someone you get along with.

7. Try To Have Fun: I say “try” because for me, it was a long and often stressful process. I was always excited to house-hunt, until I saw way too many dirty nasty properties that made me want to be a life-long apartment renter. Just kidding. But it was close enough for me to feel like we needed to wait. The fun didn’t really start until we began seeing properties we really liked. So, as I said, try to have fun!

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Chase Your Dreams

Chase Your Dreams | The Urban PigWhen life hands you lemons…

Sometimes it can be hard to give up something good for something that is unforeseen. How do you know if something in the future, when you don’t even know what that something will be, will be better than what you have going for you now? Because if you stay true to yourself and seek what you are after, it will be better. If you follow your heart, demand that your goals become achievements, and never settle for anything less than your most precious dreams, then I can assure you that when life hands you lemons, you will make some darn good lemonade. I promise.

I know things will all work out some how. I am not yet sure what my lemonade will be, but I think it will be worth it.

Newlywed Edition: From Surviving to Thriving

Newlywed Edition: From Surviving to Thriving | The Urban Pig

Even though I enjoyed school, it was intense and I never realized how much it weighed me down. I woke up in the morning and spent the full day in classes, Connor would pick me up after work at 5 or 6, we would go home to make dinner, clean up, then the rest of the evening I would work on homework then go straight to bed. Some weekends we had free time to spend together, and we tried to enjoy the occasional evening tv show before bed, but there wasn’t a whole lot more. We were simply surviving. Working hard to make it through. Things weren’t bad. We still enjoyed each other’s company, we still sometimes cooked dinner together, we still loved each other. We just didn’t always go above and beyond.

After graduating from college, I found that Connor and my relationship took a huge turn for the better. Not that things weren’t good in the first place, (because they definitely were!) but things changed. The weight of the world and all the stress that had accumulated over four years of school, it all was gone instantly. I felt so incredibly happy, and those emotions totally rubbed off onto our relationship. I enjoyed free time throughout the day for both myself and for Connor. We started going on adventures and we had time to watch movies at home and go on dates. The stress from school no longer carried into my home life, and you could tell.

So, this all may raise the questions: What if you are still stressed from work/school? What if you don’t have time to go on dates or spend time together? How can I manage to make my relationship better? Well, I can’t answer this for everyone, but what I am learning is this — make time. Make time for yourself, your friends, your family, your spouse. There is always going to be work to do, no matter how much you get done in a day. FYI, I am not saying to quit your jobs or school or slack and not get anything done. I AM saying to find time by cutting out unnecessary things, less internet surfing, or maybe the house can wait to be cleaned for a few days. For me, I realized that instead of working on homework until the very minute before bed, I should have stopped an hour or two early, at least some nights. No matter how many hours I worked, I still had a lot to do at the end of the semester, but I always managed to finish everything on time. Whatever it may be, in the end, the last thing you should sacrifice is your relationship.

Since moving to Colorado and starting new jobs, etc, we are still trying to incorporate these lessons into our lives. It is a process you have to work at. It is really easy to split off into our own Facebook and phone worlds, but we have been continuously planning activities to do as well. They don’t have to cost money, and there doesn’t need to be a reason to have a special date night. Sometimes we do simple things like going on a hike, and sometimes we spend a little money to go out for dinner, or go rock climbing, or something new and fun. We are making time for each other, and we will continue to do this even as our lives get busy. No relationship is perfect. So far, my favorite thing about being newlyweds has been going through things together, learning these lessons and growing from them, consistently working to strengthen what we already have, even by the smallest and simplest things. To thrive.

Bremerton

Bremerton | The Urban Pig

Bremerton | The Urban Pig

Connor and I have been doing a lot of exploring the last few days, and a big part of this is trying to figure out the next steps of our life since finishing school in Pullman. “What should we do?” and “where should we live?” are questions which have been reoccurring  in our lives recently, and the only way to really find an answer is to try things out and see what happens. Whatever is meant to happen, will happen, and although having patience can be difficult, it is usually this process of learning and discovering which is the best experience in retrospect.

Until these questions are answered, we will do our best to enjoy the process, and so today I bring you a few more pictures from our mini-vacay. Just some snapshots of the little town of Bremerton and surrounding areas! Remember, you can always see more over on Instagram!

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