The Road Leading Up to Purchasing Our First Home

For the last year or two Jenn has been on a mission. That mission, for us to purchase our first home. After renting for the first 5 years of our marriage she was ready to settle down. Me on the other hand I could have stayed at our current apartment indefinitely. Eventually Jenn got me to come around and we began the journey. 

The initial push to purchase a house was when Jenn made the job switch to PIMCO. I'm not sure what clicked at that point in time but we not only sold her car but we started heavily focusing on saving money. It's not that we weren't doing that before, but we never focused on it. That was November of 2012.  When Jenn and I put our minds behind something we go at with everything we have. We were able to save a lot of money while still maintaining our lifestyle and travel schedule by just being smarter about what we spent money on. Now two years later we had enough money saved up to finally get into the market and look to purchase a house.

We looked everywhere. Our initial search was in a small radius surrounding our beautiful Newport Beach apartment. We found an awesome neighborhood in Turtle Ridge that we fell in love with called Chantory. The rub was that it's a pretty expensive neighborhood and they only have a couple of units available a year so we didn't want to put all our eggs in that basket. So we kept looking. Our next stop was Aliso Viejo which we heavily considered for a couple of months but never fell in love with the area. Then we branched out further and started looking further south into areas like Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, and Coto De Caza. We liked all of them but just neither of us wanted to increase our commutes so slowly we started too cross those off the list. 

Over this past summer we really began to get serious about our home shopping. We got pre-approved for a loan, and started spending many weekends looking at houses. In fact over the summer we came very close to purchasing a Townhome in Cypress Village in the Caserta housing track. We found a floor plan we liked, inquired about a release, and had an appointment to purchase the home the following weekend. At the very last minute we backed out of that decision and both Jenn and I felt so relieved afterwards. The house was gorgeous, and the floor-plan was really spectacular but we just couldn't get our minds around living in the Woodbury area again. 

After the almost purchase at Cypress Village we took a step back and started thinking about what we really wanted out of this house purchase. For both of us it came down to location. We agreed that we would seriously start looking at purchasing a home following the Epic Europe Trip of 2014. We kept looking at open houses and driving through neighborhoods leading up to the trip. When we got back from Europe we contacted Redfin and scheduled some tours in Irvine (Northpark) and Tustin (Columbus Grove). Neither of those areas felt right. So the following weekend we went and looked at both Turtle Ridge (Ashton Green not Chantory) and Quail Hill. We looked at 3 different homes in Quail Hill and fell in love with two homes there. Once again this felt a little far from the beach but one house was priced really well and we were going to be able to get it for a price that would allow us to customize it the way we wanted. We asked our realtor for some time to think about it and once again came close to putting an offer down but decided not to at the last minute. The Turtle Ridge homes we saw in Ashton Green weren't our favorite so we decided to hold off.

Our conversation over the next couple of days was to hold off on purchasing a home and move to Bordeaux to rent a townhome in Newport Coast. I liked the idea but when we sat down and did the math we realized that the rent vs buy scenario just didn't make sense. So we were completely lost. Then on November 24th, Jenn came running up to our apartment, panting and out of breath. I'll never forget this for the rest of my life but she said your never going to believe this but a home in Turtle Ridge (Chantory) just came up today and its gorgeous. We e-mailed our realtor a couple of minutes later and went to go see the home.