The ABode(n) – Our Home Buying Story

Since our first date, Daniel had talked about being ready to buy a house or a condo but never actually acted on it. About a year and a half after that fateful day, he had officially occupied two different Wauwatosa duplexes only 4 blocks apart, and he was confident Tosa was where he wanted to make his official residence indefinitely. At the time, I was working as an assistant to my now business partner, Chris, and started looking at houses that were on the market. In terms of the search, Daniel did not have many requirements in regards to the house other than it needed to fall within a 6 block radius from the duplex he was currently living in. Needless to say, he sure didn’t make my job easy but I was up for the challenge.

tosa-wbs-1-Wauwatosa-Sign

When it came to looking at houses, we didn’t physically walk through that many. Actually, the majority of our “first showings” happened online. (Note to homeowners thinking to sell: this is the norm! Please don’t use anย agent that does not hire a professional photographer. Trust me on this, if the photos aren’t that great you significantly decrease the amount of people who will walk through your home. Not only will you have less showings, but you will likely decrease the purchase price of your home and prolong the amount of time your property sits on the market.)

The third house we walked through, we thought was the one. Until we had our second physical showing where my dad joined us and found a lot of issues, that as an experienced homeowner, he strongly advised against. So we waited for more properties to hit the market. And then, one fateful night, Daniel had taken Riesling outside to go to the bathroom before we headed to bed and he noticed a new listing sign in the front yard across the street and a few houses down.

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The next morning I received an email from the listing agent detailing the specifications of the house and that it was hitting the market that afternoon but they were not allowing any showings until the next day. So I made sure to schedule a showing for around the time Daniel would be coming home from work. Conveniently, my dad was flying in from a business trip at the same time so he was able to drive directly from the airport to look at it with us.

Long story short, we loved it. And my dad didn’t note anything alarming. So we went back across the street and wrote the offer. Because of the neighborhood, we knew there would be quite a few showings the next day and multiple offers if we let it sit too long. So we wrote a full price offer and gave the sellers a short time frame to accept.

Not long after, we went to bed. In the middle of the night, Daniel woke up and checked my email to see if they had responded. He saw the email from the listing agent that stated the sellers wanted to know more about us so at 3 am, we sat down at my computer and wrote them a letter.

We told them how we had been across the street for about a year, how we loved the neighborhood because it was the perfect combination of young professionals and families, how this house would be the transition for us as well as our favorite features of the home.

After reading our letter they were less concerned with the terms of the offer and felt confident that after 23 years of ownership they were selling it to people who would love the home as much as they had. So they accepted our offer, after only about 24 hours of being on the market.

Our Humble ABode(n)

In a month it will be the 2 year anniversary of our closing date. I can’t believe its been 2 years already. Our first year of ownership we updated the first floor including all new flooring and paint. Within the last year we moved upstairs putting in new carpet and painting all the bedrooms and most importantly made the bonus room a walk in closet (being that our house was lacking in the closet department, I finally have enough space for all my clothes).

Upcoming house projects: outdoor landscaping, reducing the required maintenance; staining the handrail and banister, and maybe finally tackling the grey/blue toilet and tub in our full bath.

How did you go about buying your house? I’d love to hear your home buying story.

xo, CoCo

48 Comments on The ABode(n) – Our Home Buying Story

  1. Tabitha Shakespeare
    February 8, 2017 at 10:59 pm (2 years ago)

    This is such a sweet story! I love that if was just across the street already! What a dream move! We are looking for a house now and it is not easy let me tell ya!

    Reply
    • CoCo
      February 9, 2017 at 9:58 am (2 years ago)

      No, it is not! Certainly not in this market!

      Reply
  2. Joanna
    February 8, 2017 at 9:57 am (2 years ago)

    I actually think the home y’all bought is beautiful! Definitely my style. Yea, when we listed our home a zillion years ago, and it didn’t sell, I might add, they took their own photos, and they were less than stellar. Bad lighting and angles…i could have done a better job. Anyways. Great tips, and I love the story of how you found the home you bought.

    Reply
  3. Terri Steffes
    February 2, 2017 at 9:01 pm (2 years ago)

    We didn’t know anything about house buying and no one sat us down and gave us the scoop. We ended up in a poor neighborhood but with good neighbors.

    Reply
  4. Sheila
    January 13, 2017 at 12:11 pm (2 years ago)

    Your house is adorable! I have learned from my past years of experience that waiting for the right house always pays off. I love to look at Realtor.com and you could not have spoken true words about getting a professional photographer. Sometimes I look at houses and say…Are you kidding me? Sometimes I think people really don’t want to sell their house. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  5. Kathryn Kinsley
    January 12, 2017 at 3:41 am (2 years ago)

    That house is adorable! I just moved away from Milwaukee – I’m sad to leave, but I’m glad I don’t have to deal with winter this year.

    Reply
  6. Jen
    January 12, 2017 at 3:30 am (2 years ago)

    Love your house story! We’re almost neighbors – I’m up in Sheboygan! It’s funny with houses how you know you’ve found THE ONE. It’s kinda like men in that regard, when you know, you know! Looks like you have a beautiful place and your dog is adorable. What breed is he? We have a Goldendoodle puppy Kenai who is 7 months old. He’s a handful!

    Reply
  7. Sarah Jean Althouse
    January 12, 2017 at 1:42 am (2 years ago)

    Your house, your furniture, your style – everything is just so beautiful! I am looking forward to following along and seeing more of what of your cute house!

    Reply
  8. Candy
    January 11, 2017 at 8:59 pm (2 years ago)

    Sellers were happy sell within 24 hours. Writing letter at 3 in the morning impressive. You found you new home. Congratulations

    Reply
  9. Sarah Jean
    September 15, 2016 at 4:43 pm (2 years ago)

    I am in love with your house! My husband and I were looking in DC but it is just so expensive

    Reply
    • CoCo
      September 15, 2016 at 6:05 pm (2 years ago)

      I know, it’s so hard when you are in that type of market. Did you ever consider a condo so that you can at least build equity in something or would you move outside the city a little?

      Reply
  10. Toni
    May 2, 2016 at 8:22 am (3 years ago)

    Buying a house can be such an arduous process! But in the end it is all worth it. We bought our first house about 15 year ago. Congratulations!

    Reply
  11. Haley
    May 1, 2016 at 11:01 pm (3 years ago)

    Love this story! I am always so intrigued when I hear that sellers request a letter from the buyer! I love the idea that it is like finding their home a new owner. How special and what a gorgeous house!

    Reply
  12. Mardene Carr
    April 30, 2016 at 4:03 pm (3 years ago)

    There really is no place like home. Nothing compared to that feeling of owning your own home

    Reply
  13. Stacey
    April 30, 2016 at 2:58 am (3 years ago)

    Time does fly by! It sounds as though you really found the perfect house. Congratulations!

    Reply
  14. Deb
    April 29, 2016 at 2:44 pm (3 years ago)

    We bought our home eight years ago and honestly, until we downsize I’m not moving again. Too stressful.

    Reply
  15. laura londergan
    April 29, 2016 at 3:42 am (3 years ago)

    what a fun story & one you can tell your kids someday maybe. ๐Ÿ˜‰ I am currently in the process of purging my condo to get it ready to put up for sale.

    Reply
  16. Michele
    April 29, 2016 at 12:49 am (3 years ago)

    I can so relate to a parent having a lot of red flags go off when looking at what you think is your dream home. At the time, its so frustrating, but in the long run Im so grateful to have that input.

    Reply
  17. becca
    April 28, 2016 at 11:34 pm (3 years ago)

    Your home is sooo cute! I love the colors. We’ll be house hunting in a year or so.

    Reply
  18. Heather
    April 28, 2016 at 9:26 pm (3 years ago)

    That is the cutest house ever! I love looking at real estate. We aren’t in the market for a new house, but I definitely love to dream!

    Reply
  19. Diane
    April 28, 2016 at 7:41 pm (3 years ago)

    I love open houses, especially in my own area. Congrats on your house it’s so cute.

    Reply
  20. Erin
    April 28, 2016 at 2:07 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my gosh, your home is beautiful! It looks like something out of a novel. Just lovely!

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 3:22 pm (3 years ago)

      Thanks!

      Reply
  21. jill conyers
    April 28, 2016 at 7:27 am (3 years ago)

    As soon as we saw our house I knew it was THE one. We looked at others and came back to it.

    Reply
  22. Sarah @ Foxy's Domestic Side
    April 28, 2016 at 5:12 am (3 years ago)

    I love reading these! I just realized I’ve shown everyone all of our renovations but never told them about how we bought it! Thanks for the idea! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
  23. tiaras and tantrums
    April 28, 2016 at 4:40 am (3 years ago)

    what a great story and so unusual that the sellers would want to more about your personally. My husband and I both married in our 30’s so we had our own homes before we married. We built a home from the ground up as our new home together.

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 3:23 pm (3 years ago)

      Our next house might be a new build. After buying an old house and figuring out all the pains of small closets and bathrooms its looking even better to build hah!

      Reply
  24. Blythe A.
    April 28, 2016 at 2:57 am (3 years ago)

    I loved reading your buying storing. It was full of great tips and felt like I was there with you guys while you found your new home.

    Reply
  25. Debra
    April 28, 2016 at 2:32 am (3 years ago)

    It is such a gorgeous home! It really is just picture perfect. Oh so cute!

    Reply
  26. Roxanne
    April 28, 2016 at 2:04 am (3 years ago)

    We have been in our house for nearly a decade. But, I still like to look around at other house b/c it’s just fun. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Reply
  27. Carolyn
    April 28, 2016 at 1:33 am (3 years ago)

    I love that you found a house so close to where you were. Such a great idea to write a letter letting the sellers know who you are so they feel good choosing you as the new owner.

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 3:24 pm (3 years ago)

      A letter is a great tool in a competitive market!

      Reply
  28. alexandria
    April 28, 2016 at 1:00 am (3 years ago)

    I am from WI so it’s so cool that I found your blog! Your house is cute. I have a friend who is in Tosa. If we ever move back, maybe I’ll use you!

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 3:25 pm (3 years ago)

      So cool! Well if you have any friends in the Milwaukee area needing a real estate agent send them my name!

      Reply
  29. Amanda Love
    April 27, 2016 at 11:29 pm (3 years ago)

    I remember having my realtor sending me listings of all the requirements that I wanted in a house. We probably looked at about 11-15 until I finally found the one I wanted. Since we already owned a house, this is our second, I knew what I wanted in a home unlike the first time where I just chose the first one I “liked”.

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 12:47 am (3 years ago)

      Sometimes there are things you think you can live with until you actually live with them and then you begin to loathe it! It was my goal to have two full bathrooms when we bought our house and the best we could find in our budget and desired neighborhood was one full and one half. Its fine for the two of us now, but when we have guests staying with us I start to really wish for that second shower!

      Reply
  30. Yanique
    April 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm (3 years ago)

    I didn’t realize how important it is for people to be able to view your home online when selling. We plan on putting our house on the market in a year and this is great info to know!

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 12:48 am (3 years ago)

      YES! First showings happen online, make sure the photos are great otherwise you will severely reduce the amount of potential buyers that come through your door!

      Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 12:48 am (3 years ago)

      Thanks!

      Reply
  31. Ana De- Jesus
    April 27, 2016 at 6:57 pm (3 years ago)

    Aw it is like a little love story isn’t it? l love your house it is so charming and quaint!

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 12:52 am (3 years ago)

      Definitely a little love story, but even better because of who I share it with!

      Reply
  32. Mimi
    April 27, 2016 at 4:50 pm (3 years ago)

    Oh my gosh, that’s so exciting! I absolutely adore your new home. It’s so charming. I love that they wanted to know why you wanted to purchase their home. You can tell their house was meaningful to them. Have fun creating so many wonderful memories there.

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 12:51 am (3 years ago)

      Yes after 23 years they weren’t going to sell to just anyone! Glad they chose us!

      Reply
  33. Terri
    April 27, 2016 at 3:13 pm (3 years ago)

    I love hearing home stories! Thank you for sharing yours! I have a history of our homes on my blog. In our nearly 39 years of marriage we’ve had a few homes!

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 28, 2016 at 12:50 am (3 years ago)

      My parents have been married for almost 32 years and have owned one condo and one home – the home going on 27 years about. Crazy how things are different now. Average ownership is now 5-7 years.

      Reply
  34. Robin Masshole Mommy
    April 27, 2016 at 12:56 pm (3 years ago)

    We found our house at an open house and knew it was the house for us. The rest is history and I’ve been here for 14 years.

    Reply
    • CoCo
      April 27, 2016 at 2:13 pm (3 years ago)

      Open houses are one of my favorite ways to spend a nice weekend! You never know what you might find!

      Reply

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