On buying a house

On 11th February in 2015, I decided to buy a house in Portland.

At the time I was working on my laptop at Hivolt, a coffee shop in New Orleans. I ordered a cup of pourover coffee named Burundi Buziraguhindwa. The menu described it as “natural sundried, juicy, strawberry, raspberry”. Turned out to be one of the best coffees I’ve ever had. It was the catalyst, because a few minutes later I had made the decision. When I told Jenni about it, she started calling it “magic coffee”. I love her.

Fast forward to August. My cross country road trip has ended, and I’m back in Portland. I’ve been talking to friends about buying a house, and looking for an agent. Amber recommends Laurie Gilmer. I meet Laurie and the house search begins. Two weeks later I make my first offer. She suggests I write a “love letter”, so I do. It doesn’t work out.

About two months pass. I see a bunch of houses. I make an offer. It doesn’t work out. Four days later I make one more offer. It doesn’t work out. The love letter is getting better all the time, I think.

Another month passes. Another offer. I really wanted that one. Nopes. Two months pass. I see a bunch more houses. Another offer. I really really wanted that one. Same story.

With every offer I got sleepless nights and elevated stress. Prices of houses in Portland have gone up by 12% over the last year. That trend goes back a couple of years. Each time it didn’t work out, I wondered if I would be able to buy a house at all.

Tick tock. It’s leap day 2016. Laurie informs me of a house that is being prepared to go on the market so we go see it a couple days later. I like it. On 3rd March I make the offer. On the 4th, it is accepted. 😱

Five days ago, on 11th April, I got the keys to the house. I’m so happy and excited, even though I suspect that it hasn’t fully sunk in. I’ve never bought a house before, and except for six months, I’ve never lived in a single family home my whole life. I can’t wait to move in next week.

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Photo by Jenni.

P.S. Oh, and by the way, if you know where I can get my hands on some Burundi Buziraguhindwa coffee, please let me know. I have more decisions to make in life. [Update: It is available at Counter Culture Coffee: https://twitter.com/tomburns/status/721458685797466113. Thanks Tom!]

P.P.S. If you’re in a similar boat, I wish you the best, and I highly recommend Laurie Gilmer, Laura Wood, and team at Think Real Estate. And also, Anne Viola at Rose City Mortgage.

 

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