When I decided what I wanted in a house, and figured out what I could spend, I started searching. Of course curiosity got the better of me on Zillow. What could I get if I spent $5,000 more? $15,000? I mean what’s the difference over 30 years… right?
As my accountant/best friend Marissa knows all too well, this sort of financial rationalization is something I do. So searching uncomfortably far from my budget, I found The House, a three-bedroom beauty in Alexandria.
The House was old, had lots of character, a pretty yard and it was close to Old Town. Nice neighborhood too, the house behind it sat sold at 1.1 million. The pictures inspired me to do a quick drive by of the house, and I just loved it. Sitting outside of my future home, I called the agent on the sign and set up a showing for the next day.
Later that night I met with my friends had also just bought a house. When I told them that I was meeting The House’s agent, they advised me to secure my own agent. Which at the time I thought pretty pointless, I wanted to buy the house, what did I need my own agent for?
My friends’s agent was out of town but referred me her colleague: Kate Herzig Over the phone Kate explained why having my own agent was in my best interest. So Kate took over, got me a showing of the house.
Now I had talked to a few real estate agents before. I had even emailed a few over the course of the last few years, but Kate was different. The agents I had spoken to previously didn’t really seem to care about me, or what I wanted. Most just asked what I would spend, and sent me a list. Which is acceptable, but it’s really the bare minimum. Especially living in this expensive area, I felt that most agents looked down upon my schmedium budget.
Getting inside of the house made me love it even more. It had two fire places, and a lovely central kitchen. The backyard was private, and had raised garden beds. Sure the basement had one too many spiders, the bedrooms small, and it didn’t have a garage, but whatever! I loved it and I had already spent time (two hours) looking at it, I had to buy it. I could get a roommate to help with the payments (even though I. hate. people.)!
Kate got me in contact with a few loan officers who walked me through VA loan process. I got a few rough estimate of the payments from the loan officers and it took me a week or so of flip-flopping to come to a decision. I could afford the mortgage payments, tax and insurance. However, I’d be eating ramen noodles without cable for the next 30 years. So after all that work and back and forth, I let The House go and started the search over.
In the weeks to follow, Kate was patient. I thought about getting a condo or townhouse. I changed where I wanted to look. I debated even buying at all, and when I wanted to move. Kate always answered my questions quickly (be it text, email, phone or bat signal), and always provided sound advice.
Buying a house alone is scary. I’ve watched enough HGTV to know that having a spouse chime in isn’t always fun. But having two people to cover one mortgage payment, might be worth having someone bitch about the color of the rooms during the shopping process. Fear can make you brave but it can make you foolish. In this case I was the latter: I overestimated how much I could pay, and I got emotional about a business decision. Luckily I had people who steered me clear of a bad decision.
Even though I wasted energy and time trying to buy a house I shouldn’t have even looked at in the first place, I did get something out of it- a great real estate agent. Eventually Kate got me in my home.
Kate is honest, professional, and very patient. And not that it should matter, but she’s got the cutest haircut.
If you’re looking for a house, you should definitely contact Kate Herzig today: http://www.kateherzig.com/