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Amparo Bertram

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07:20 am: House Hunting
After years of talking about it, I have finally taken the plunge and contacted a real estate agent to start searching for a house. Sadly, I won't be able to find anything in the same area where I'm living now (all the houses in my neighborhood are worth double or triple what I can afford), but I may find something promising in one of the towns farther south.

The tricky part will be finding a property near public transportation. There is only one bus route that will get me to work on time in the morning, and most of the properties currently available in my price range are separated from the bus by over a mile, not to mention a major highway with only one overpass. Since I don't want to walk 35-45 minutes in the dark (and the cold and the rain) every morning to reach the bus, that limits me to a smaller number of houses that are near the bus route. Luckily, I don't have any pressing need to leave my current apartment, so I have plenty of time to find the perfect place.

I'll be starting my search on Thursday, when the agent will be taking me to tour the various neighborhoods with available properties. I'm looking forward to seeing things in person rather than snapshots from real estate websites.

In other news, I couldn't resist ordering a few more plants for my balcony, including this Passiflora vine. The poor little thing dropped its leaves after I transplanted it into a larger pot, though, so I hope it recovers. My other plants are doing all right. The bay laurel tree I got several months ago has just shot up to nearly double its height over the past couple weeks. The pineapple sage now has tall stalks of bright red flowers that have attracted at least one hummingbird. And I finally have a bunch of serrano peppers nearly ready to harvest.


[User Picture]
Date:October 5th, 2010 04:20 pm (UTC)
Congrats -- it's a big decision, but I'm never regretted buying my place. There are some great books and resources out there for a first-time home buyer -- definitely make sure you've got a handle on how the whole mortgage thing works right off the bat -- points are very treacherous things. :P

Try to make sure your loan officer is a straight shooter -- mine kept trying to change the terms of my loan and being surprised when I caught him. :p Read your paperwork!!! And if your realtor isn't helpful in the ways you need her to be, don't hesitate to talk to another one. I didn't find another one, and I still regret it a little. Oh, and you want a lawyer when it comes time to close; that's not something to nickle-and-dime on. My lawyer was worth every single penny I spent, and I got him at a flat rate.
[User Picture]
Date:October 6th, 2010 12:27 am (UTC)
Thanks for the advice! I hadn't thought ahead to getting a lawyer, but that does make sense.
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