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March 26, 2019

The 3 Best (And Worst) Things About Buying a House – 1 Year Later

Today marks ONE YEAR since I closed on my first home! To celebrate, I’m sharing a little bit of the story behind how we decided to buy & what the process felt like, along with some photos of my VERY amateur decorating! 

What a process! I moved back to Oklahoma from Nashville over two years ago and have ZERO plans to ever leave again (we’ll see how that works out for me! Hah!) Once I had hit the one year mark, I started feeling like it was about time to make things official and plant roots – I had moved every year since I was 18 (ask my Dad how he felt about that), I knew I wasn’t leaving the state any time soon, and renting in Norman was a headache with college kids and subpar landlords.

I was beyond fortunate to have my parents holding my hand throughout the house-buying experience. I would not have had a clue about how to go through the process without them and it is not lost on me that it was a privilege to have their knowledge and guidance. The 4 months we spent looking at homes was a roller-coaster – one of my biggest decisions I had to make was whether I wanted to be in south Norman, North Norman, West Norman, or South Moore, which leads me first to a few of the not-so-fun things I learned through the process:

best and worst things about buying a house

1. Ranking & weighing your priorities.

This was the #1 hardest part for me. It wasn’t as easy as just pros and cons – different things held different weight. As time went on and we looked at more and more homes, my list kept shifting and changing. There were non-negotiables (I knew I did NOT want to do any major renovations, so finding something that somewhat fit my style was a big one). I also wanted to be in safe part of town with nice neighbors. An open & split floor plan was also a high priority.

best and worst things about buying a house

2. A rollercoaster of emotions.

This was the #2 hardest part, especially after putting in offers on two homes and not getting them. As cheesy as it is, I never had the “it” feeling like I wanted and imagined having as soon as I walked in to my future home. I ended up having to spend a lot of time considering each house we put an offer in on – buying into the pros of the home and emphasizing what I liked about it. And then when we didn’t get the first two, the frustration and discouragement set in, wondering if I would be able to find something that met the standard.

best and worst things about buying a house

You’re My Favorite Tea Towel – Anthropologie

Baker Stripe Dish Towel – Anthropologie

3. Not knowing what you don’t know.

I had no clue why price per square foot even mattered in the beginning of this. It wasn’t until I put in my first offer that I had ever even heard of comps. Thankfully my Dad was walking me through the process and obviously knows what to look for & ask, but I would have been straight up clueless had he not been there. On another note, I learned that I couldn’t make a decision unless I slept on it and was able to look at the house a second time. No matter how much time I spent in the first showing, the second time was when I started looking at the details & trying to get a sense of how it would feel once my stuff was there.

And for the PROS!

1. Making a house a home.

This was one of my biggest fears in this process. I didn’t want to end up in a house that I didn’t feel like was mine or that was a good fit. Naturally, it was hard to see past a lot of the cosmetic things in some of the houses we looked at, but I knew what I was willing to change and what would be livable the way it was as soon as I moved in. I also had to realize that this is my first house, and not everything is going to be straight out of Magnolia. Especially with my lackluster decorating skills haha. It also leads into my next point…

Bedding – Rivulets Quilt, Anthropologie

2. Having a safe-haven.

I have no plans to move in the immediate future. I get to make this place my safe-space. Decorate it how I want, paint whatever color I want, etc. It’s a retreat for me to get away from work, campus, photography, and everything else. My room has always been that for me (I even remember feeling this way in the dorms freshman year!), and now I get to make my entire house feel that way as well. This is especially important because there is not a whole lot that makes me happier than time at home alone to recharge and reset!

3. A fresh start/cleaning out.

Who doesn’t love being organized? I was giddy just thinking about all of the clutter I was going to go through and get rid of. Being productive and starting fresh were a huge bonus to moving for me personally. I know that may not be a commonly shared point, but I remember being so excited to refine my style and to start getting rid of the things that don’t fit anymore! This is definitely an ongoing process – I know that my bedroom furniture is not my dream set, but it’s really nice quality furniture that I can appreciate. Even though I have a lot more space to decorate and spruce up, I really haven’t bought a ton of decor. 1. It’s expensive! And 2. I realized how much I loved keeping things simple and minimal. Less clutter = less overwhelming.

Last but not least – one of the sweetest parts about closing on my home was how friendly, kind, and considerate the previous owner was. She left everything SPOTLESS. We were honestly shocked when we arrived at the house straight from the closing to see that it didn’t even look like someone had been living there. She also left me a bunch of detailed notes, including neighbors names and the house blueprint/selection details. It made the experience that much more of a positive one.

Thanks for following along friends! My first senior shoot kicks off TONIGHT and I can’t wait to get into the swing of things this season! See you guys soon!

Melanie

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