House Buying: Navigating A Crazy Market

In my annual goals post back in January, I wrote for one of my 2015 objectives:

“Start looking into what it takes to purchase a house or condo.”

I’ve made progress on all of my goals so far this year, but little did I know that I would go far and beyond exceeding this goal.

Well, sort of.

Not only have we’ve started to look into the house buying process, we dived head-first into the adventure back at the end of May. In the past four five months, we’ve 1) found a realtor, 2) found a bank, 3) walked through approximately 40 60 80 or more homes, and 4) conducted an estimate on a fixer-upper listing and pre-inspections on two others, and 5) put in an offer on three four different properties.

FOUR offers. You would think that after four very strong offers (alright, maybe only 2 or 3 were really strong), I would be the proud co-owner of my first home. But that is not true. The Seattle housing market is so fierce that I’ve heard multiple stories of people placing over a dozen offers and still not finding their dream home.

Thankfully, I’ve at least gotten something out of it: I’m learning the Seattle market. I know (relatively) where I want to live. I know my likes and dislikes, and I understand important things to consider when touring a house. Going through so many different scenarios has allowed me to see various aspects of the business, like submitting an offer with a renovation loan vs. traditional loan.

One Week.

If the house is priced correctly, that’s all the time you have to tour the home and assemble an offer.

The typical week looks something like this… Continue reading

June 26th, 2015

This is going to be an incredibly impromptu post, but one I felt I had to write.

Today, the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in favor of same-sex marriage nationwide. Same-sex couples can now get married anywhere in the country, and that marriage is recognized in every state.

This is monumental. While I live in a state that has “allowed” same-sex marriage for years (a term I hate using because it’s absurd that it had to have the stamp of approval in the first place), it is certainly uplifting to see the entire United States covered in a rainbow.

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Another Year, Another Reflection

2014 was another great and successful year for me. While there were no cross-country moves this year, I did have two epic adventures – an excursion to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, as well as a hop across the pond – and continued to explore Seattle and become comfortable living on the west coast.

It can often be difficult to make friends as an adult, and I think this is especially true if you pack up and move thousands of miles. Now that I have lived in Seattle for a year and a half, I’ve started to establish more life-long friendships and relationships with people in my new city. Even though that wasn’t a goal that I listed at the beginning of the year, I consider this one of my top accomplishments.

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Castles & Guinness: My Trip to Ireland & Scotland

I packed up my bags and went on yet another adventure this year. This time, the destination was Ireland and Scotland!

We split our time up pretty evenly between the two countries and had approximately three days in each location. This allowed for a bit of time for exploring in Dublin and Edinburgh, as well as day trips to Northern Ireland and the Scottish Highlands.

First Leg: Ireland
Dublin is an awesome city and I surely wouldn’t mind traveling back someday. I even managed to get out to Phoenix Park for a few runs, which was necessary since I was in the midst of training for a marathon.

Phoenix Park(Of course, a stop in Dublin wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Guinness brew house and a few Irish pubs as well!) Continue reading