Third in a Five Part Series
1. Deciding to Move – A Realtor’s Story- Part 1
2. Should We Sell or Buy First – A Realtor’s Story – Part 2
Being a Destin Realtor with over 20 years experience, it’s good to go through the home selling and buying process every once in a while. This is the third in a five part series describing my recent journey.
Having decided to move, then deciding to buy a home before selling the original, the search for a new home began. The “search” is my field, being as OCD on research as I am. One of the key criteria in my new home search was “privacy”. Never again did I want a home where the adjoining lot owner could build an edifice and take down every tree. The other criteria were location, age, size and price. And my strange minor requirements, such as not having the kitchen sink on the other side of the breakfast bar.
It’s true that over 90% of buyers start their home search online.
That’s what I did. I scoured the MLS every day for six weeks. I would look at every lot or house with my target criteria that was already for sale, new to the market or back on the market – online. I went a little above and below my price range. I looked a little outside my top locations, Niceville and Destin Florida. I would pull the aerial of the lot from the Okaloosa Property Appraiser website
to check the adjoining pieces – to see if there was the privacy I wanted. On some lots I would do a FEMA flood zone search
. I would look at all the online photos. I must have looked at a few hundred properties in this manner. (Yes, I am nuts!)
My husband and I only drove to four lots.
We eliminated those. Some were too “downhill”, one was in a flood prone area and one gave us a lot of bug bites! For houses, we only made appointments to see three over the course of the search. One was quite an experience, where the owner was home during the showing
. The last house, however, was “the one”. I remember when it came on the market. Location? Check! Price? Check! Size? Check! I looked at the aerial and plat from the property appraiser website. There was an unbuildable public marshland behind and to one side, and the house was situated deep and private at the end of a cul-de-sac . I grabbed my friend and drove off during work to see the vacant house.
When I pulled in the driveway – I knew!
This was it! The trees were sixty feet high. The driveway, 100 feet long. It was private. When I walked inside – I knew!
The inside felt “right”. It had a huge open living room with a high ceiling, an open dining area and a sunroom beyond. The kitchen had an adjoining breakfast room with a vaulted ceiling. It would need major updating to make it perfect for my style (much later blog), but I was excited. I called my husband and told him he had to see it immediately. He liked it, too. I even showed my builder, Felix Beukenkamp
. “Can you remodel it for us?” “Of course!”, he said. We wrote the offer…. just before my back surgery.