A home in Denver Pt 1

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Ian and I bought our first house just a few months after getting married in 2006. The house was beautiful – and huge. Just the two of us in a 2100 sq ft house. It was new construction so there wasn’t a lot of upkeep and I loved working on improving the lawn + gardening. We closed in January of 2006 and got caught up in the housing bubble that happened 2006 – 2007. Seven years later, when we were ready to sell, the market still hadn’t recovered in the rural area we were in.

We were able to eventually sell the house but at a loss which left us with a bitter taste in our mouth in regards to home ownership.

We moved to Denver in 2012 – one of the best decisions we’ve ever made. After renting for about 5 yrs I started to get the itch for a place to call “home”. All of our residences since moving to Colorado have been rentals – I never felt a connection with any of them. The decision mostly evolved around whatever was the most affordable place to live at the time. We were bounced out of two properties in two years because the owners wanted to capitalize on the significant inflation of the Denver market. I don’t blame them, it just sucked to have to move so often.

Once I started to get the house itch I took a serious look at our credit. It wasn’t great. I knew it would take 12 – 18 months to work on the areas we needed to improve in order to get a better rate on a mortgage. I also started pursuing better jobs because buying a home in Denver is nothing at all like the market in Texas. You simply can’t get as much here as you can for your dollar so that meant we would have to get serious about saving. Generally, the fastest way to increase your income is to move positions and possibly organizations.

There were lots of ups and downs, and of course, the IRS cropped up every few months with something or another to take a bite out of the wallet. I landed my dream job and was able to speed up the savings process. In late 2017 I started to really look at the housing that was available in Denver and surrounding areas. We prepped ourselves to consider the worst case scenario for this market which was a condo with no garage or covered parking. I started looking into the other possibilities, primarily town homes and expanded my search area to include everything from Castle Rock to Longmont.

I searched for months… the outlook was grim. We have four dogs and three cars, so a yard or access to one was non-negotiable. Also of importance was a garage or at least covered parking for our vehicles. As you can imagine there aren’t many condos that offer both of these things which meant the most affordable housing option wasn’t going really an option at all. Next, I began looking into town homes which turned up results that were much more palatable including one community that had new construction town homes with a very affordable (for Denver) 2 bedroom floor plan.

It was during the town home research I found out about paired homes. This wasn’t a common style of housing in Texas so I hadn’t ever heard of it. The basic description would be a duplex but paired houses are a bit different from duplexes in the way they’re constructed to offer more security and privacy for the homeowners. We looked at quite a few of these and came close to making a decision but in the end, the timing wasn’t right and we decided to put the research into buying a home on hold for another year.

Fast forward to March 2018 – the itch was back and more intense than ever. We had been saving and getting our credit in order and felt ready to make a decision. We revisited the 2 bedroom town home we had seen before, the builder didn’t have one available so we looked into their other floor plans and housing.

There’s much more to our journey to home ownership. Part 2 we’ll explore the decision we made and the process of building our new home.

Apologies to those who were looking forward to more Destiny Grimoire reading today. Our power was out for 4 hours this evening and I simply didn’t have a chance to record before this entry needed to be published.

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