Moving On Up

Tales From A First-Time HomeBuyer

Thanks to our supportive families, fearless realtor and copious amounts of wine, my fiancé, Matt, and I just purchased our first home. Liberty Township–here we come!

I must admit, I naively thought the home-buying process would be all fun and games. Everyone on HGTV seems so happy. Just pick a neighborhood, number of bedrooms and set a budget. Multiple homes will fall out of the sky and land on your MLS page, so just choose the best one out of this long list of near-perfect homes. It’s that simple, right? If you’ve purchased a home, I know you’re laughing at me.

Matt and I knew we wanted to move to West Chester/Liberty Township, a place we both called home throughout our childhoods. Excellent schools, great value and we would be closer to family. We met with Tiffany Allen-Zeuch the last week of December. Pre-approval letter in hand, we gleefully walked into Sibcy Cline ready to rattle off our check list of “must haves,” including hardwood floors, finished basement with a bar, big yard, lots of windows, updated kitchen, fence for the dog, carpet upstairs, all new appliances, move-in ready, excellent to perfect condition and of course the elusive tree that grows money in the backyard.

With a twinkle in her eye, Tiffany grinned at us and kindly walked through what I’ve learned to be the critical element of home-buying: seeing potential. Being the expert professional that she is, Tiffany smiled at our list of ideals and said, “Let’s start with number of bedrooms and bathrooms. You can paint, update or change virtually anything you want inside.” She was right, and thankfully to each house viewing, we wore our interior designer glasses that magically show the potential of a home when you step inside.

For a week straight, Tiffany showed us houses each day after work, often pointing out small nuances that Matt’s rose-colored glasses didn’t see, or gently reminding me that an orange living room can be changed to whatever color I darn well pleased after we moved in.

There were several homes that one of us loved and the other would forego to live in a tent. I quickly learned the importance of great communication and light humor in our relationship. Thankfully, on most days we have both.

After seven days of walking through homes during a very slow real estate month, Matt and I stepped into THE ONE. They say you know when you first walk in, and boy did we know. Tiffany opened the front door, and I breathed a sigh of relief. Her giddy little home buyers were over the moon with this three-bedroom house and all of its features. Without hesitation, we put an offer on the house that evening, and Tiffany stayed up until 11 p.m. on a Friday negotiating our contract.

While there’s not a money tree in the backyard, the house is near perfect for us first-timers and we couldn’t be more excited to move back to West Chester and Liberty Township. Now if only we can get HGTV to swing by and give us a few tips, we’ll be well on our way to settling into our dream home.