So, the decision had been made. The great Earthling Dream was going to come true. It should be simple, right? Find the house, contact a lender and we would be on our way to bliss. Sadly, it never quite works out the way you think it should.
Being a happy child of the Internet age, I started my search on the web. Real estate sites abounded, some with good information some with not-so-good information. I found one that gave me the ability to search all of the available houses here in Denver.
During the first week, I probably fell in love no less than four times a day. I realised, in the deepest, darkest, most hidden even from me part of my heart that I needed to down a little and think this thing through.
The first thing that was going to present an issue was money. How much did we make and - knowing that - how much house could we afford? Once again, I turned to the computer and found calculators galore that all told me different numbers and all claimed to be correct. This was, needless to say, confusing in the extreme. More specific help was needed.
This forced my hand. I called a realtor1 for the first time. This was a huge step for us, because it moved the whole affair from the theoretical to the practical. The realtor, a very nice lady named Cathy who was just starting out, put us in contact with her prefered lender, Ed. They did all they could at first to make us comfortable. That was until we went to look at houses.
Now, I am terrible at looking at houses. I can find parts of each house that I love desperately and don't want to give up the chance of. The first day that we went out, Cathy showed us six houses. And they were all very nice. The one that sticks out best in my mind, however was the one we refered to as 'The Clairemont House'2.
The Clairemont House had just been remodelled inside and out. Its shining wood floors and fresh paint seduced us. Big windows and a beautiful fireplace lured us into a false sense of security. And we made the mistake of saying that we liked it.
I say mistake, because Cathy was then off and running, deciding that - even though we had told her it would be at least 3 months before we could really afford that house and we were just looking to get an idea of the neighbourhoods that we liked - we had to move now and buy this house. Looking back, if we found the Clairemont House today, we probably would have put in an offer. Then, however, it would have been disasterous.
We explained that to Cathy each time she called. (Once every half hour that night.) We explained it to Ed when Cathy had him call us. (Only twice that night.) Neither of them wanted to understand that we simply were not ready.
Needless to say, this first experience left us with a bad taste in our mouths. I didn't look at houses on the web for quite some time afterwards and Erik flat-out refused to deal with realtors in general. This was all to change just a month ago when our friend decided to look for a condo.