Venus Trapped in Mars Sports and Lifestyle Blog Dallas

11 December 2015

7 Things We Learned After House Hunting

Nearly six months ago CB and I moved in together, and so far it has been absolutely amazing. We both still gush to each other how much we love the place we chose, and how darn cool it is that we get to live with each other. Aside from the fun of living with a boy, I think I most love the fact that I don't have to mess with planning and packing an overnight bag anymore. 

Although I was dying to go on House Hunters during our search, I don't think our wants and needs were far enough apart to ever be cast on the show. Bummer. I totally could have worked on an alter ego, we'll call her Shauna... 

Shauna: *as she stares at gigantic walk-in closet built for 7 families* "Ok, but where will YOUR clothes go, honey???

Perhaps the next home search......
I'll continue to develop Shauna's character until then. 

CB and I are both very laid back, so I can't say we went in with this amazing, well-written, fully documented plan of attack for searching for a home. CB had been a homeowner for the past 10 years, so I pretty much considered him an expert and trusted him to know the ropes. After going through the house hunting process together, here are the 7 lessons we learned. 

1. Don't jump at the first house
This one was hard for me because it was just silly how excited I was over the whole thing. Impulse is my middle name and that was my problem from the get go. We saw the first house and I was like, YEAH YEAH YEAH YEAH THIS ONE THIS ONE!!!

While the first one we saw was certainly cool, and very urban, it was on a bad street in a bad neighborhood. Luckily CB reminded me that we needed to see more than just ONE house.

2. Don't get emotionally invested
Do not let your emotions get involved, instead, look at the purchase as a business transaction. Two of our friends were searching for houses at the exact same time we were, but they had a much more difficult road to finding their perfect home. Over the course of several months, they had put offers in on multiple houses. They planned out rooms, envisioned where they'd put their couch and where the TV would hang, only to find out that the seller accepted one of the other 6 offers posted on the same day. Their heart had been broken several times during the house hunt process, and they had to remember not to get emotionally invested going forward.

3. Find a realtor you trust, then remember to TRUST them
Let's go back to that first thing I listed. Although I thought that first house we looked at was the perfect place for us, our real estate agent Jeremy (who was nothing short of amazing and if you live in DFW, you need him as your agent) gently said in so many words, we can find better. And he did, he found way, way better.

Trust your agent, they're the expert that has done this a million times!

4. Consider the amount of maintenance needed to maintain the home
This is a tip from CB. We aren't exactly the type to spend Saturday working on the yard. You're more likely to find us posted up on the couch with a box of Pizza Hut and football on the television. There were some absolutely beautiful homes that we ruled out because the yard maintenance was just unrealistic for us.

5. Select a lender that is reputable and on top of their game.
Take the time to get pre approved so you don't set your expectations too high and keep your search within your means. Capital One Home Loans has launched a completely reimagined, personal and digital home loans experience which allows customers in select markets to get pre-approved for a home loan in just minutes and from any device. One of the many steps Capital One is taking to make the home loan process smarter for customers is their Mortgage Loan Calculator. This allows you to make adjustments to what you'd like to pay monthly, and see exactly what you'll be able to afford. Capital One is empowering their potential customers to take charge, by providing  the transparency you want every step of the way.

6. Drive through the areas you are interested in
Drive the areas you are interested in both at night and during the day to get a feel for the neighborhood. CB and I had a search area which covered ALL of DFW. I'm talking everything from downtown to the very definition of the word, suburbs. I'd go on my lunch break and check out neighborhoods that were near my work, like Lewisville and Flower Mound. We would drive during rush hour to different places in East Dallas to see what our commute would be like. This helped to rule out places that were really not right for us at this time in our lives, and places that would leave us sitting in traffic for over an hour trying to get home.

7. Prioritize, you won't get everything you want
This probably seems obvious, but it is still a helpful tip. The number one thing we NEEDED was a way of separating the dogs and cats. CB's cats and my dogs DO NOT get along, so it was imperative we found a place with a big back yard and a room that would keep the cats and dogs separated. Due to this priority, we had to sacrifice some other wants that were initially on our list.

Are you tossing around the idea of starting a home search?  If you're in the DFW area, I have an event you might want to check out tomorrow! To celebrate the launch of their new digital and personal experience, Capital One Home Loans is partnering with Jillian Harris and Todd Talbot, the stars from HGTV’s Love It or List It, Too, to host a free Open House event on Saturday, December 12 at the Stonebriar Centre mall in Frisco, TX. During the event, they’ll share do-it-yourself tips and tricks for simplifying the entire home buying and owning process. For more info on their event tomorrow, visit

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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.


  1. Great house! How are you liking the neighborhood?

  2. Your HOME is adorable!!! I adore that back deck area! Outdoor space has always been important to me. My hubby and I rented for quite a while before purchasing. I really think that by the time we made it to our 3rd rental house (in 8 years) we had a list of pros, cons and WON'T do withouts! Our first apartment was great, downtown, close to everything but the washer and dryer was shared with all the tenants, it was like an angry Melrose! Next house had washer and dryer hook-up and a washer and dryer included in the rent - but it was outside, and we had no dishwasher in the kitchen (deal breaker, we stayed for like 1.5 years)... next house was all about LOCATION, having a washer dryer hook-up, we purchased our washer and dryer, and while the house was small, we had a GREAT screened in porch for parties on the back side and a HUGE yard, with lots of tall foliage to cover the view of the hospital. I worried we'd live in a loud area due to that, but it was the QUIET ZONE so even the ambulances turned off their sirens coming into our hood - it was so quaint I hated to leave (we shared a hood with a Frank Lloyd Wright house for Pete's sake! Sadly when my mom passed we had to move to a bigger home to house all her stuff I inherited. Cut to the last house, probably the best rental solution for us. Nice corner lot, all the things we needed for dishes and clothing and our bodies and our dog had a great fenced in yard, and we had a killer front porch for our happy hours. We lived there for 2.5 years... got married and finally chose to INVEST in ourselves... We probably toured about 8 different houses physically and browsed about 20 online... it's a tough choice, sometimes you wish you could SHOVE them all together to get what you wanted... in the end, while I compromised on having a "den" for him and his video games (he said he was fine with just a spare bedroom) I think we got just what we wanted. Right hood to grow in (with children one day), right location (close to work and downtown), established beautiful hood, trees, and great surroundings, a nice backyard, now with lights, hammocks and a firepit and patio, and great front porch... white picket fence (something I never thought I'd literally have) it looks like John Cougar Meloncamp designed our home hA!

    I hope that you and CB and the fur babies LOVE your home- I swooned when I saw the front of it and all the interior stuff - THAT DINING table is the bees knees!!!

    I can't wait to see more, congratulations again and sorry for this book :)

  3. You and Neely had the same sponsored post today, but I love both your houses. I feel like I need this sponsored post since we currently own three homes. lol so glad you are CB are enjoying the house and the hood and well that the pups are happy.

  4. I am so impressed with your house (as you know) i just love it and the both of y'all! I am so in awe of how fast y'all found a house- these tips are spot on!

  5. I hear ya on the yard work, that's why we went with a condo style townhouse! It's also important to figure out what else needs to be done to your house when you move on. We've looked at houses that have lots of beautiful details, but things like the kitchen and bathrooms look like they haven't been touched since the 70s. We aren't big DIY people, and some of those things we'd want to take care of right away, so that's something you have to figure into your total cost.

  6. This is all such good advice! Dane and I are on the house hunt and it is so dang overwhelming!!

  7. I did a lot of these tips when I brought my first home.

  8. I just love your home and your decor! <3 Where did you get your kitchen table? I love it!

  9. We just bought our first house and moved in last week (can you say STRESSED out??) And it was SO so hard not to get emotionally invested in homes that just weren't right for us. I wanted so many but (after over a year of looking) we finally found one that met all of our NEEDS, rather than just looking pretty. These are great tips!

  10. We just bought our first house and moved in last week (can you say STRESSED out??) And it was SO so hard not to get emotionally invested in homes that just weren't right for us. I wanted so many but (after over a year of looking) we finally found one that met all of our NEEDS, rather than just looking pretty. These are great tips!

  11. So agree with all these points. Home shopping is so fun but so exhausting at the same time. I totally broke the "don't get emotionally invested" rule - we found a great house that had an offer on it already, but looked at anyway - it was perfect and I was so sad afterwards. It was in a bad area though and I like the house we chose in the end better. Everything works out!


  12. We learned a lot of similar lessons when we shopped for our first house this summer!


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