Sure, why not? We buy everything else from the comfort of our couch. That’s how Lance and I bought our next dwelling. Would you like to hear the story? No? Well, that’s ok. Resume your internet browsing. Maybe even look for your next house, online.
For almost 4 years now, Lance and I have made it our hobby to search for places to ‘settle down’. We’d often say ‘when we get settled, we’ll get this’ or ‘do that’ or most often ‘it sure would be nice, just to be settled’. Each evening I’d scour the internet for potential properties.
~http://www.bhammls.com/ is a public site that lets you see all the new listings for each day (in Birmingham).
~http://www.craigslist.org/ is a good place to find for sale by owners.
~http://www.hotpads.com/ is a fun site to navigate (choose ‘buy’ rather than ‘rent’ on the top labels).
~The Traders Helper (weekly classified print ads) if we felt like splurging, we’d buy the booklet (.90 cents). I’d often take out ads in it, asking if anyone had property for sale that met our criteria.
Instead of going to the movies or taking trips to the beach, we would set out on the weekends with our list of potential properties in hand and our trusty GPS mounted on the windshield. On special occasions, we’d line up our Realtor, Rockey, to show us a listing. Lance would drive us for hours to different locations, some not on a map. Many required a 4-wheel drive to get to and out of (thankful for the trusty Explorer). We’d get ‘close’ on some properties, but eventually God shut the door on them, sending us to search elsewhere. God was very patient with us, gently closing doors, for which we are most grateful.
After expanding our search to include 3 states (AL, TN & KY), doubling the amount we’d pay, we still found NADA, nothing, zilch. I may have put the cart before the horse on this post. “Why, Idaho?” would make a good blurb on this blog (stay tuned for that). After reading about how we found Realtor, Chris (in said future blog post), we figured if he were to find the ideal spot for us, we’d have to act FAST. Alas, being so far away, it wasn’t likely that we’d be willing to drop everything just to see if he found our place (we’ve named our future settledom house ‘our Retreat’). After 2 hours on the phone w/Chris, Lance says something to the effect (he hates to be misquoted, so I’m quasiquoting* here), Maybe what we need is a dinky house with a big arse pole barn (see future story on pole barns). While on the phone with Lance, Chris got an email from one of his clients, telling Chris to drop the price of his lake house. He just wanted to get rid of it. Said lake house has a big arse pole barn! Once I got home from work that evening, Lance and I reviewed the online photos and made an offer that night. After a little back and forth, we had a contract. BAM, by the following week, we owned property in Idaho. The closing was all done via phone/fax/email and FedEx. Check it out on the links to the upper right –>Next House Project.
SO, what shall we do for weekend fun, now??
*patent pending on the word quasiquote