How I Picked Out my First Home in Two Weeks

My lease was almost up on my latest sublet and I just knew it was time to buy a house. Bad landlord after bad landlord had left a bad taste in my mouth, and I wanted to call the shots.
So, I sat down and made a wishlist of the things I wanted in a house: close to the bus, big front porch, small yard but enough room for flowers, hardwood floors. I started by going online and looking at listings, but the open houses I visited on the first weekend were awful. The first real estate agent I worked with showed me only homes that were out of my price range, or that needed way too much work (which in my newbie mind meant wallpaper that had to be stripped.)
The second real estate agent showed me the house that became my first home - it had all the requirements on my wishlist, and I put in an offer $5,000 below the asking price. To my surprise, the offer was accepted and the sale proceeded smoothly. I'm still living in my first house, and let me tell you this: it needed WAAAY more work than I wanted to do, but I couldn't tell with my inexperienced eye. My next home search will have a very different wish list: dry basement, newer furnace, newer roof, working AC, and trees that are not so near the house that they grow into the foundation! (*no, I wouldn't do it again!)

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