After living in a ~550 sq/ft apartment in downtown Seattle for close to two years, we decided to accept the commute and take the plunge into home buying. We used Redfin to book several home tours (~30-40) over the course of several weekends. Our experience was that it the Redfin associates were hit and miss. Some of the associates went above and beyond, knowing the neighborhoods, comps, and even doing a lightweight inspection of crawlspaces and attics looking for signs of fire/water/rodent/structural damage. Others sat quietly aside while we walked the house. In the end, I’d recommend Redfin to those window shopping, familiar with neighborhoods/location, or veteran home buyers. I appreciate that they’re not paid on direct commission so their feedback is more honest and real than the conventional real-estate agent. The downside to this is that Redfin associates may not be as driven to find the right house for you.
After touring countless homes and driving around for hours every weekend looking at open houses, we came across a builder with model plans available to tour. Immediately after seeing the models, we knew we’d found what we’d been looking for. A few more open houses later (for due diligence), we decided to go back to the builder to see if we were still as excited by these homes as we were. At this point, we engaged a realtor to ensure we had someone giving us the right advice and counseling. We compared floor plans and locations for hours on end before reaching full agreement on all aspects of our build.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll take our first step by putting up some earnest funds, confirming our build site, and agreeing on the details of our build with the builder. Here’s hoping we’ll break ground around April 10th!