Mike and I decided back in 2005 that we were ready to buy a house. We contacted a local realtor and unknowingly signed a contract that stated we would use them to buy a house, or we'd owe them money. So we went with our newly licensed realtor and checked out some houses. We were approved for a ridiculously high amount but we were reasonable and looked for a house in the lower end of our budget. We had a few things we needed: 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, garage, yard and preferable a fence because we wanted to get a dog.
We looked a a few houses. Most were old, and were really run down and needed a lot of work. One had a fire in the kitchen, which our realtor only mentioned when we commented about the smoke stains on the ceiling. One had the master bedroom in the attic and Mike was too tall to stand straight in it. One was great but no garage. One had a garage but it was so beat up it would take us way more money than we wanted in order to make it livable. One was perfect.
We made an offer. They countered and we just walked away because we didn't want to spend as much as they were asking. We found another house and were going to make an offer, but someone else beat us to it. We had only been looking for a few months, but really, we were doing all the searching. Our realtor would call and say she had a house and we'd tell her about 4 more that we had found on our own. Then our mortgage broker mentioned Highmark Construction.
I didn't think we could afford to build a house. I mean, brand new?? That's gotta be pricey, right? Wrong! We ended up building a house for the same amount we were going to buy a pre-exisitng house. And we got to pick the layout, the paint, the carpet, the appliances, etc.
Sure I'd change things now if we could go back and do it again. I'd get the basement finished, and the landscaping done. We'd have a larger master bath. But oh well. The house we have isn't just a house, it's our home.
Mike and I moved in just the two of us, but now we are a family of 4. We put in the sprinklers (with the help of my father in law) and the lawn. We're going to finish the basement ourselves. We have had Christmases and birthdays in this house. It holds so many memories and we've only been here 5 years.
The other day I mentioned that I don't think we need to move any time soon. We still have plenty of room, even if baby #3 comes along soon. We have a list of the things we want to do (fence is next and then the basement), but it doesn't mean our house doesn't work for us now, as it is.
Ok enough of the physical part, the other part of my favorite location is the "home" part. Being here, with my family, is the best part of my house. I could be in any other building, but as long as I'm with my family, it will be our home. And right now, with the way the economy is, I'm very thankful that we have a roof over our heads to keep my family safe and warm.