It all happened pretty fast starting in the early weeks of October 2009. The Man and I had been living together for a little under a year and were out doing our Sunday shopping. We drove through what is referred to as the "Mill Village" and saw a sale sign in front of a house I had long admired. I just loved the character of the older houses and the potential each one had. The Man suggested we at least grab a flyer, just for kicks, when the neighbor saw us stopped in the drive. She offered to show us the house if we'd come back later that afternoon.
I couldn't resist a tour, even if it was just for kicks. We returned a few hours later to check out the house. It was very much a mill house, and not at all what we were looking for (even though at this point we weren't even really looking.) I kept wanting to tear out walls, replace cabinets and fixtures and re-paint everything. I loved the hardwood flooring and the classic front porch-- but it couldn't compensate for all the changes we'd want to make.
After touring, we piled up on the hand-me-down love seat at our apartment and talked houses. I had thought about buying before the Man came into the picture, but decided I ought to wait until the time was right. The Man felt the time was right and we never looked back.
I began reading everything I could about buying a home, choosing a realtor, and the home buyers rebate. I knew at this point we were working on a deadline, but didn't think we would really find anything and close in a month and a half's time. Have I mentioned that I can become somewhat obsessive about certain tasks? Within 2 days I had appointments to meet with three different Realtors. Two of which specialized in being buyer's agents which I was determined we would have.
"A buyer’s representative (or simply buyer’s rep) is a licensed real estate professional who represents prospective home buyers in their property transaction" --RBAC
After one popular agent in the Auburn/Opelika area informed us that what we were looking for was impossible to find, we dug our heels in deeper and called in reinforcements. I asked my co-workers, friends and family for recommendations. It's through one of my Dear Mother's cohorts that we were introduced to Mike Rogers.
We like Mike. Not only was a great resource for us nerdy newbies, but he was friendly, funny, down-to-earth and exactly what we were looking for. He didn't give us any pressure to sign with him, to buy, or to rush into anything. One of the great things about Mike was that he was really cool-- he gave advice without being patronizing (like so many other folks were) and we trusted him. We really believed that Mike would show us homes we could afford and do the best he could to find us our perfect home. He knew our price range would be difficult to shop for, but he never once said "impossible." During our meet and greet he pulled up a listing of homes we could afford. Within an hour of meeting him, he had shown us a picture of our home. We just didn't know it at the time.
After meeting Mike, the Man and I had decided to do some scouting on our own. At this point we were a week into the hunt and had house-stalked every night. I had a running list on Trulia of favorites. I really loved Trulia. I know it's probably not accurate, but I still house-stalk on Trulia just to see the pictures of local homes that are for sale. We would pull the addresses from Trulia, plug it into Samantha (our GPS) and go house-stalking after work. We'd drive up to the house, walk around it and peer in windows if possible. This went on for a while... at least 20 or so houses.
But I never went inside one.. not until we called Mike a few days later, on a Saturday afternoon.