Monday, January 21, 2013

Saying Hello to Homeownership

So we've (kind of) kept our house hunting on the downlow. Mostly because we weren't sure if we would come out with anything when we first started. It even took me a few weeks into the process to realize we were getting serious. We've been actively searching for a home for about 2 months now. It alllll started with a casual unintended peak at Trulia and finding what I thought was our dream home in our price range. We quickly found a realtor, applied and qualified for a loan and went to look at the house that weekend. We quickly came down from our cloud and realized through our realtor what a terrible decision it would've been to have bought that "flipped" house. There were visible cut corners and even externally we could tell they were hiding some major issues.

Nonetheless, we had opened the pandora's box that was house hunting. We quickly realized how un-fun the house hunting process was when you're limited to a lower budget for the area, increasing demand/competition and a shrinking inventory. The housing market in NOVA has quickly become a seller's market rather than a buyer's market. Houses get scooped up in days, we saw it time and time again. And we were having no luck finding a place that met all of our major needs.

After again, coming out of my cloud, we realized we had to move our house search further outside of Fairfax. We had a few criteria must-haves while we were looking:
  • It had to be close to our church: We want our house to be used for ministry purposes and to be an option for hosting church functions, small groups, Christmas parties, etc at our house. Currently, our church has few options where more than 10 people can show up and not have parking issues. We want our home to be open and used for Kingdom work.
  • It had to be close to move-in ready. Obviously, this eliminated a lot of the properties we saw that were closer in--like almost all of them. The comparison to what our money could buy closer in was simply not worth it once we saw what we could get 15 minutes (without traffic) out. Granted we'll have a slightly longer commute, but that was really the only con. 
  • It had to be detached. I personally was on the fence with this one...I would've moved into a townhouse if it meant we could be closer in and it didn't look like 1970s had thrown up all over it. But Ryan on the otherhand, would not settle for a townhouse or condo. He wanted a yard. I could've cared less about a yard. I think it's because deep down he sees a dog in our future. I eventually came around and besides, who really wants to share walls with people and have to constantly worry about your sound system having too much bass? Right, Ryan?? ;)
I was also picky about a lot of random things that I originally didn't think were a big deal. For example, I hated any house with those old rectangular 70s small windows, I automatically loved any room that had recessed lighting, I actually wanted a fireplace, and if the bathrooms were horrendous it was a no go. All of that to say that last Sunday, we randomly decided to attend an open house advertised on Zillow out in Centreville. We went and fell in love with it. It met every single one of our needs. So we went home, signed all the necessary documents and put in our offer on a house that had been on the market for 3 days. Ryan made me wait until we went through inspection before I could announce anything, but I can now say that on our 6 month anniversary our offer was accepted and we are officially BUYING A HOUSE and will be homeowners! We are thrilled and excited and we are praising the Lord for his sweet provision!

So without further ado, say hello to the new Shaughnessy household:


  1. That looks really nice! Congratulations to you both. I feel you on the sound system Ryan. That is very important!

  2. Firstly, congratulations on your loan approval and on your new house! =D The long journey of house hunting, with some frustrations as you’ve mentioned, has finally come to an end. I think you found just the right place for you guys. After all, it’s the people living in the house that make a great home, not the price of it.

    Genny Stutesman


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