Essay To Buy A Home

Buying A House Essay

My husband and I had been married for almost two months, when we started thinking about buying a house. We had been living in an apartment for about four months, and we knew we wanted a bigger place. We wanted to have a backyard for our son and all the other commodities that come with owning a house. We were a little scared about committing to a house note for so many years. However, our logic to that was that we were paying almost as much for an apartment that would never be ours. Therefore, we decided we wanted to have our own place, to which we could change, add or do anything to if we wanted to. Subsequently, we began the search for our new house! The search was difficult in the beginning and time consuming. We had to decide on a price range, how much we wanted to pay a month, and also consider interest rates, which at the time were up and down. We looked for a couple of weeks, then one day we were driving down a street and we noticed this cute little house for sale. The front yard looked nice, and the house seemed to be the right size for us. We took note of the information and the next day our Realtor arranged an appointment for us to see it.

It is no wonder that people say to keep an open mind when looking for a house to buy. That was the advice I received from a friend that had done this before. She told me that when looking at a house for the first time, not to be disappointed if I saw something I did not like, as long as it could be fixed or changed. Therefore, I kept that in mind when my husband and I went to see the house the first time. When we first walked in, the living room was pretty spacious, but it had hardly anything in it. The people that owned the house then, had a desk, a table (not a coffee table or center table) just a table, that looked like a picnic table, and a couch. As a result, I had to try to picture the living room with our furniture and our things and try to imagine how it would look. Next we noticed the carpet was in pretty bad shape. We could not tell if its original color was gray or blue. The carpet would definitely need to be changed.

We then continued on to the back yard, which was not attractive at all. There were a few nice bushes, but they needed to be trimmed. Then there was also a dog that had dug most of the grass out. Despite all this, my husband and I knew the backyard had potential if it was well taken care of.

Next, we went back inside to see the rest of the house. There were three bedrooms, two medium size bedrooms on one side of the house and the master bedroom on the other side. We looked at the smaller bedrooms first and I immediately knew if we decided to buy this house, which bedroom I wanted for my son. Again, our first impression was not a perfect...

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If you've always wanted to be a homeowner but were financially unsavvy enough to become a writer, here's great news: Your lovingly crafted words, plus $150, could win you a sweet little Texas bungalow.

Just write an essay. Actually, just write the best 200-wordessay explaining why the owners should sell it to you. Bet you wish you'd paid attention in that high school persuasive writing class now, right?

The owner of the two-bedroom, one-bath, 1,056-square-foot bungalow in the Houston Heights neighborhood, Michael Wachs, a real estate agent himself, devised the plan. Each applicant pays a $150 entry free; if at least 3,000 people enter, he'll have raked in $450,000—close to what the market price would have been anyway. Many homes of similar size and with similar features in the same ZIP code go for over $400,000.

"This is the only method that we can think of that we could get our money back and also give a chance to someone to start a new life or build a home right in the city," he told Houston's KTRK-TV. He didn't exactly break the Internet on Thursday, but his website did crash soon after launching.

Yes, it's a clever marketing ploy, but Wachs isn't the first to come up with it. People tried it (unsuccessfully) 20 years ago. Some other people tried it two years ago. It's been done in Alaska (although that one didn't get enough entries to sell it), Iowa, and Ohio. And the most recent attempt to reignite the idea of a personal essay contest with a house as a prize came in March. The owner of the Center Lovell Inn in Lovell, ME, offered up the seven-bedroom inn for $125 to the winner of a 200-word essay contest. In fact, that's how owner Janice Sage acquired the inn herself, in 1993.

With the real estate market strong in so many cities—51 metro areas saw double-digit increases in home prices last quarter—why resort to literature to unload a home? Perhaps because we live in the age of the personal essay, when outlets from BuzzFeed to the The New York Times publish true tales of ordinary people.

The reason is pretty simple: Readers gobble them up; they are clickworthy. Stories such as “Why I’m Jealous of My Dog’s [Health] Insurance” get published because of the reaction, a Times editor told the Washington Post (anonymously).

This could be good news in these challenging days of American education, now that many people rely on emoticons rather than words to express emotion. Or we use abbreviations to replace entire phrases, at least IMHO. So perhaps these promoters of homeownership through literature are performing a societal service, a nationwide English lesson. Infusing 200 words with enough passion and persuasion to beat out (potentially) thousands of other eager writers is no easy feat.

But in the end, words can do only so much. If you're the lucky winner of the Texas bungalow, you still have to cough up some cash. While Sage pledged to give the winner $20,000 to get started in the innkeeping business, Wachs wants buyers to pay the closing costs. And if he doesn't get the entries he needs, he'll have to list the house the traditional way.

Lisa Davis has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Time, among others.

Follow @lisaselindavis

Related topics:ContestHouston TXMaine real estatepersonal essay

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