House Hunting – Round 1

What an insane weekend! I feel like I normally start my weekend recap posts by saying that, but I honestly mean it this time.

Thursday after work, Kev and I left for St. Louis and got in just in time to see my parents for a bit and go to bed before getting up really early to drive to Louisville for our first appointment with our real estate agent.

We timed it from door to door and from my house in STL to the St. Matthews neighborhood in Louisville, KY, it was exactly four hours. NOT BAD!! I’m so happy to be closer! Four hours is so much better than five or five and a half hours. You think I’m crazy but believe me, that last hour is the worst in my opinion. From STL to Valpo, it usually took five hours and fifteen minutes and from STL to Des Moines, it takes right at five and a half hours. I always get the most antsy during the last hour! Plus, when you get off work at 4 or 5 p.m., driving 5+ hours puts you in pretty late, whereas with a four-hour drive, we could get home by late dinner time. It’s closer and that’s all that matters – I’ll take it!

Driving to Louisville was absolutely gorgeous. The hills and changing leaves made for an incredibly scenic drive…SO much better than driving through flat land and non-stop corn fields from DSM – STL or STL – Valpo.

Technically this was my second time in Louisville. The first time, I had flown through their airport once, but I didn’t see the city or anything. Coming from St. Louis, we had a great view of downtown coming across the Ohio River – I was so excited to see our new city!

Once we got to Louisville, we met with our realtor right away and started looking at houses! She had made all of the appointments for us and took us from house to house, explaining the different neighborhoods, areas and things nearby as we went. It was so nice to have a Louisville-native as a realtor because she really knew her way around.

I’ll spare the details (because there are a lot!), but we looked at 15 houses on Friday. Kev and I completely agree on all of the things we want IN the house.

For example, we both want a house with a:

  • Basement (can you imagine a meteorologist buying a house without a basement? “Take cover, go downstairs!” … oh wait…)
  • Fenced-in backyard (for Gracie)
  • Driveway or a garage (you’d be surprised how many houses have on-street parking)
  • Open kitchen (or the ability to be opened in the future…my dad is pretty handy with houses)

Deal breakers:

  • Galley kitchens
  • Split-level homes

You’d think pleasing us would be simple because I don’t think we’re being too picky, but where we differ is in the TYPE and LOCATION of the home.

Going into this search, Kevin had his heart set on living in a big suburban home, whereas I dreamed of living in a cute, older neighborhood that is near things to do and closer to the city. (Actually, I’ve always wanted to live IN a city in a cute little loft, but I know that’s not realistic for buying a home.) From what I’ve heard, the St. Matthews area in Louisville is the area that I’m looking for.

So of course we want two different things, naturally. 🙂

Even though we disagree on that, we both decided to go into this weekend with a completely open mind. Our realtor took us to all sorts of areas – tons of houses in St. Matthews and plenty in the suburbs to please both of us and really show us our options.

At the end of the day, I told Kevin that I was really digging some of the suburbs we saw and he really liked St. Matthews more than he thought! Being open minded works apparently!

After looking at a ton of houses on Friday, we said goodbye to our realtor and headed up to Cincinnati for the night. From St. Matthews (where our car was parked to meet our realtor) to Kevin’s house in western Cinci, it took exactly an hour and a half. How’s that for close to family!! Seriously, this move is going to be amazing.

When we got to Cinci, Kev and I grabbed some beer and invited Danny and Sara over to watch the Cards game with Kev’s mom and sister. When it became 0-6, I definitely had my doubts that our season was over. And then, just like last year, with us being down to our LAST STRIKE, we somehow pulled a win out. IT WAS AMAZING!  There cannot be a more exciting time to be a Cardinals fan…that’s for sure!

We stayed up way too late Friday night because our 7 a.m. wake-up call on Saturday was not fun, but we had to do it because we had another appointment with our realtor that morning to show Kevin’s mom the area. We didn’t look at any new houses (there aren’t a lot of homes in the areas we like, with what we want, in our price range), so we took Kevin’s mom to the two houses we liked the best from Friday – a St. Matthews home and a suburb home.

The two totally differ: the St. Matthews home is smaller and more quaint, with original hardwood floors throughout, a smaller (but not galley!) kitchen, one-car detached garage and a little cape-code style loft upstairs (cape cod style homes are popular in that area). Whereas the suburb home was two stories with four bed, two and a half bathrooms, had a huge backyard with a nice deck, a gigantic kitchen, carpet and vinyl throughout and a two-car attached garage. The St. Matthews home had a really nice finished basement and the suburb home had a huge basement that wasn’t completely finished (it was framed and studded so all we would have to do would be dry wall/paint and flooring).

Both options had everything we wanted, but they were totally different styles and in two completely different areas.

Kev and I definitely weren’t in the mindset to put an offer down on anything, but it was amazing to be able to see what we could get, where we could get it, and for how much money.

We told our real estate agent that we loved both houses and both areas, so we’d appreciate it if she’d keep showing us things like that. I can’t wait to be in Louisville so we can house hunt whenever we want!

I think we’ll find the perfect house and we’ll know that’s where we will want to be – I refuse to stress over it! Now we keep discussing the houses that we saw, but they’re all blending together! We took good notes, but I keep saying, “remember the 4th house, with the great living room and backyard?” but then we realize that house had the awful backyard but fantastic living room and two bathrooms. It all gets so confusing (my dad told me it would!) so I’m glad we got pictures and remembered our notes to go back and look.

After looking at the two houses again, we drove by Kevin’s new office and a couple other neighborhoods we heard were nice but didn’t get a chance to see with our realtor. Before heading back up to Cincinnati, we drove by our temporary living apartments and it ended up being in a really nice area of town, right by the suburb house we liked. We lucked out with that one!

Once we got back to Cinci, I took a nap (house hunting is exhausting!) before heading to the casino with Danny and Sara. I lost and Kevin won, go figure. I only lost a couple bucks…I didn’t bet our down payment or anything, so it wasn’t that bad!

Today we went to church, out to lunch with Kevin’s family friends and watched the Bengals game talked about wedding stuff with Danny and Sara (can you guess who did what?) before driving back to St. Louis.

(Can you tell we’re thrilled to be living so close to Danny and Sara????) 🙂

Now we’re on the road to STL, driving through Indiana and Illinois and hitting construction every 15 miles. We were scheduled to be home at 8 p.m. but with this construction, we won’t get home until more like 9. Good thing we get 1120 AM so I won’t miss too much of the Cards game!

I’m so excited to be in STL because my baby brother is home! Unfortunately he’s home from college because he has the flu and only three people in Springfield have the flu B right now, so he can’t go back to school until next week. Thankfully, my dad was able to go get him and bring him home. Kev and I will avoid him like he has the plague (because he technically does) but it will be nice to see him, even if it’s from 15 ft. away!

Tomorrow we’re going to be doing wedding stuff – SO excited! We’re going to see our reception venue, see our church and meet with two potential DJs. Woo – I’m pumped!

So the verdict on Louisville? WE’RE GOING TO LOVE IT! I’m super pumped to have loop highways with more than four lanes again (Louisville has two loops!) haha. Just kidding, sortof, but in all seriousness, it’s such a fun and pretty city and we cannot wait to be there for good!

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2 thoughts on “House Hunting – Round 1

  1. So glad everything went great! You guys really are going to love it here. The 1.5 hour drive to Cincinnati is NOTHING 🙂

    What neighborhood is your temporary housing in?

    • Thank you!! And I’m pretty sure it’s in Springhurst…right by Kentucky Country Day schools. Do you know that area?

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