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Just Moved: Jacquelyn & Luke

Find out how this couple outsmarted a tough Northern California market to find their dream home.

Location: Lincoln, California (a suburb outside of Sacramento)
Setup: 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms
Style: Traditional single family home
Square Footage: 2,145
Price Paid: $276,000
The Deal: $129/sq. ft.

How long were you looking?
We began by looking online and going to open houses. We did that for about seven months. When we finally hired a real estate agent, it only took about six weeks to find the house of our dreams.

How many homes did you visit and look at?
We probably looked at about 30 houses and put in offers on three other homes before finding this one.

What was the hardest part about finding your new home?
In Northern California, the foreclosure market was heavily inundated with developers and investors. This meant that each house we put an offer on generally had multiple offers. In fact, the house that we bought had 13(!) backup offers on it.

What was the best part?
Having dinner at our dining room table with our family on the day we moved in. It was a long journey and definitely more emotional than either of us had anticipated. Sitting with our family knowing that the house was ours was such a wonderful, indescribable feeling.

Was it hard to compromise and find a home you both loved?
We have very similar taste with respect to layout, kitchen cabinets, space, and flooring, so it was easy to find a home that had the elements we agreed on. However, there were a few hiccups; my husband was focusing on the garage and backyard patio (where he could put a barbecue), and I was looking more carefully at the kitchen and master bedroom. Having said that, when we walked into this house, we both knew it was the perfect one for our future family.

Do you have any advice for Nesties who are still looking for their first home?
Consult a mortgage broker before purchasing. We began the whole process by finding someone that could give us good advice and help us to determine exactly what we wanted to spend. Simply getting a prequalification isn’t enough because it only tells you what you qualify for, not what kind of payments you can actually live with. Once we knew what we could realistically afford, it made the whole process less stressful.

What’s your favorite thing about your new home? What's unique about it?
We both love the white picket fence in the front yard.

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