At long last, I will soon be a homeowner! I have had house envy for years as all my friends were buying houses but I had to keep renting apartments. It’s been an exciting whirlwind these last couple of months, looking at properties online (my favorite site for searching was Redfin for how easy it was to use and for the amount of detail you could see about each property) and talking with my future husband about the kind of home we want to create for ourselves. I will admit up front that we were lucky to have the process go very quickly and very smoothly—we decided to start looking in mid-May, made an offer at the end of our first day of touring with a realtor and will settle on our new house before July! This is a first home for both of us and we thought it would take us several months to find something “just right.” Thanks to the research I did before we started, we knew what to expect during the entire process and understood some of the pitfalls and problems we could face.
Now the fun begins! We considered buying a “fixer-upper” but most of the ones we looked at needed more fixing and upping than we wanted to handle. (Remember the movie The Money Pit? I had visions of that happening to us.) Our new house is in great shape, but we plan on some minor repairs and updates and using my green thumb to cultivate a small garden and adding colorful flowers around the house to really make it ours. The library, of course, has loads of resources to help us plan and undertake all these projects.
What we can’t do ourselves will require help from a professional. We’ll definitely be checking the ratings in Washington Consumer’s Checkbook as we get to know local services and contractors. We’ll also be consulting the ratings in Consumer Reports when the time comes to replace any major appliances or purchasing new electronics. (All library branches subscribe to the print versions of Washington Consumer’s Checkbook and Consumer Reports. In addition, you can find other consumer information online through our consumer information resource page).