Wednesday, January 26, 2011

House Hunting

Recently (so recently that this still all feels like a whirlwind) my husband and I took the first steps towards buying our own house. We got the pre-approval for a mortgage a week before going out to look at houses with our realtor, and we fell in love with one home right away. It's not a lock yet - there's a lot of paperwork and approval to be done - but I feel good about it, and I adore the place.

I was curious about how to approach the entire process with my hearing loss, but there isn't a whole lot of information online. So these are my general thoughts about househunting, and my own experiences.

One consideration for me was how much the homes echoed. Of course, empty rooms echo more than rooms filled with furniture, but if an echo is pretty bad I anticipated it might continue to be a problem later on. We ran into two homes that had a noticeable echo. When I mentioned the acoustics, I found out our realtor also has a hearing loss, a profound loss in her left ear. It made me wish I had mentioned my own deafness sooner.
"House for sale" on Wikimedia Commons

The layout of the house was also something I didn't think much about when first looking, but which became apparent as I looked. I like the open floorplan so that I can be aware of where people are, where to look, and also so that it's easier to hear. The house we are planning to buy has an open living room/dining room/kitchen area that is really nice and will allow me to easily have conversations with people in any of those three rooms.

The process with the bank has been great for me so far because everything has been handled through email. The mortgage officer, our realtor, and even our inspector communicate almost entirely through email, which is great for me.

Does anybody else have any thoughts about house hunting while deaf? How easy is it to find an interpreter or a realtor that knows sign language?

6 comments:

  1. Question about pre- approval for a mortgage? where did you find a good bank to get pre-approval? I just started to shopping around online to find a bank to get loan but there are so many websites I look up and don't know which one I start with.
    Your tip is greatly appreciate .

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  2. Anonymous - we went with our local credit union, whom we've been banking with for years. That's what I'd recommend... look into the bank or credit union you are most familiar with first.

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  3. Thank you for the tip. I do have a credit union account then I better to check the offer from my local credit union.

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  4. Anonymous - Great! Hope it works out for you!

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  5. Megan,it sounds like you've really thought this through. I didn't think about it at all when we bought our house because I didn't really know the extent of my hearing loss then. I have thought about it with appliances - we spent more for a very quiet dishwasher. I hope this works out for you both.

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  6. Megan,

    I'm doing pretty much the exact same thing. I just put an offer in and am waiting to hear back. One thing I'm very happy with is that my realtor is happy to e-mail rather than talk on the phone.

    I hadn't really considered room acoustics of the houses I looked at. Although I did look for a door bell I could wire a strobe to.

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