The prettiest penny tile and my awkwardly skinny feet. #Cowgirlbootsocks
With our move to Austin coming up in just over two months, our to-do list has grown exponentially. It feels like every week we’re making a major decision (anyone have a good mover?!), which is both exciting and intimidating. But mostly exciting. :)
One of the first things that we wanted to take care of was our housing, since we knew that we would only have one long weekend to visit Austin before we moved. Before our visit, this felt like pressure. Knowing that you have four days to find your home is a bit much, even for two people who are pretty decisive.
But! Here’s the good news — we found a place that we love. We submitted our application last week on a little two-bedroom house that is charming and sweet and I can’t wait to start decorating! Now our nights spent watching TV together are also spent furniture window shopping online. :)
I love the original details in the home, like these knobs. They’re so charming I can’t stand it.
Here are a few of the things we did that made a huge difference in our experience house hunting, and that ultimately made it a success.
- Do extensive research ahead of time. If you’re on a short timeline, as we were, putting off research until you arrive for house hunting will make the whole experience much more stressful. We talked to people ahead of time about the vibes of different neighborhoods, checked Google Maps for travel times during rush hour, and researched price points before we arrived. We still had several neighborhoods that we were interested in, but we felt much more prepared and knew what to expect from each tour.
- Spend time visiting each location at night before you visit. This was huge for us. The first night we arrived, we dropped off our suitcases, grabbed dinner, and then drove in our Silvercar around each of the neighborhoods we were considering. It was incredibly telling — one neighborhood was quiet and tree-lined, but perhaps too quiet, one neighborhood was brand new and gorgeous, but filled with construction, and one neighborhood was lively, but not as relaxing. We kind of had these impressions already, based on our conversations with Austin friends, but seeing the neighborhoods in person solidified (or changed) our impression. This helped us narrow down our search and saved us time touring complexes and neighborhoods that wouldn’t have worked anyway.
- Consider hiring a realtor. Tim and I have moved twice as a couple, and helped friends find places another two times, so we’ve done a lot of moving without help in the past few years. And it’s been great! But this time, we were moving across state lines to a city that we weren’t familiar with, so we decided to hire a little help. Our realtor has been extremely helpful — there are so many questions when you’re moving to another state, and having someone who is there to answer those questions is worthwhile. Plus, in Texas, the realtor’s fee is paid by the lessor, meaning that it’s essentially a free service for you as a tenant.
- Take a million photos. No seriously — don’t hold back. We took photos in each location that we visited (which ended up probably being at least 10 apartments and homes) and I still wish we would have taken more. It’s crazy how easy it is to forget what is on the other half of that room. We have about twenty photos of our little home and there are still gaps in my memory — was there a closet there? I don’t remember if their dining room table was for four or six? What did that half of the backyard look like? Of course, we always asked permission when we were taking photos of a home, as opposed to a staged apartment.
- Create a form for each visit. My boyfriend, who is practically addicted to Excel (I know — nerd ;)) created a spreadsheet for each location. The idea is that you brainstorm all of the questions you want to ask, all of the information you want to have, and then put it into a spreadsheet so that when you’re there, you don’t blank and forget to ask about parking. Or what utilities are paid for. Or who does lawn work, or whatever. Again, you’re going to be going to several (if not a lot) of places, so it’s really easy to forget to ask a question that you feel like you’ve already asked six times. This makes it much easier to compare later!
I hope this helps! Moving is always such a crazy process — it can be so stressful to pack everything up and try to coordinate the move, but it’s also really fun and exciting to head out on a new adventure. :)
Hope you’re having a good week! Do you have any moving tips for us? I would love to know.
P.S. I wish I could share more photos of our place, but at this point, it’s still staged with all of the current renter’s furniture (she has incredible style — I hope we’ll do it justice!) so we’ll have to wait until it gets cleared out. :)