Buying a Home in Chicago
At the end of May, I told you guys how we’re really struggling to find a place to buy here in Chicago. Sadly, the struggle continues. I’m not gonna lie, I jumped into this home buying process thinking it would be full of fun and excitement. Yes, at times it is fun & exciting…but there are a heck of a lot of other emotions thrown in the mix too. Scary, stressful, anxiety-filled, exhausting, overwhelming…just to name a few.
When we got pre-approved, Finn came home with a bottle of champagne for us to celebrate and I remember feeling so ready for the journey ahead. Now that we’re knee-deep in the home search process, I’m feeling a little hopeless and unsure that we’re going to find “the one.”
Right now, there isn’t much inventory in the Chicago market. So the few properties that are listed, get scooped up in a matter of days…sometimes even hours! It’s crazy competitive, and I’m so nervous that I’m going to miss our shot at buying a good place that I’m constantly scouring MLS, Zillow, & Redfin. Every morning the realtor sends any new properties our way and I instantly zone in on any potentials. Is it in budget? What’s the HOA fee? How far is it from the train? Could we change the color of those cabinets, or rip out that outdated tile? Man oh man, I never thought my days would be spent crunching property tax numbers, and google mapping various routes to work!A purchase like this is such a big financial decision and I’m terrified that we’ll make the wrong choice. Plus in Chicago it’s just so.much.money for such a small slice of real estate. We know that our place isn’t going to be huge (2 bed, 2 bath at most!) and it’s still going to cost an arm, a leg, heck maybe even a whole body! When driving back from Lake of the Ozarks a few weeks ago, I perused Zillow during our long drive home. Every town we went by, I looked at the available properties. I kept saying, “Finn, look at this one! This one is on 10.5 acres and it’s below our budget! Let’s move to the countryside!” or “OMG we could have a chicken coop in the backyard with this huge piece of property! What’s so great about living in the city anyways?!” But we keep reminding ourselves that suburban (or even country living) will always be there, and right now our priority as a newly married couple is to be near the action in the city. So downtown Chicago it is!
Honestly, I was hesitant to share all of this on the blog, but Bridget encouraged me to just put it all out there because it isn’t always rainbows and butterflies around here. We try to avoid being negative Nancy’s around here, but these feelings are a part of our homebuying process. Plus, I’m hoping that I’ll be able to look back at this post and think about how far we’ve come, and how our patience paid off! Fingers crossed that’s the case.
I think this is a good lesson in patience…a trait which doesn’t come naturally for me. I just need to trust that it’s all going to work out in due time, and stressing about it isn’t going to make our dream home magically appear.
So I know this isn’t much of an update, but I wanted to keep you guys in the loop! Hopefully the next time I write about the home buying process, I’m back with a set of new house keys & more champagne!
I’m Casey Finn, the voice behind The DIY Playbook. I’m married to Finn & mom to Rory and Ellis. Together we’re creating our dream home in Chicago, one DIY project at a time.