updated 08/11/2007 AT 8:00 PM ET
•originally published 08/11/2007 AT 8:20 PM ET
How is Emmy-nominated Ugly Betty actress America Ferrera biding her time before the Emmy Awards on Sept. 16? By house hunting with her longtime boyfriend, Ryan Piers Williams.
The couple very recently began looking for a new home together, a friend of the pair tells PEOPLE.
“They’re excited about it,” says the source. “All that matters to them is that they are together and that they find somewhere private. They aren’t one of those flashy couples.”
Ferrera, 23, first met Williams, an aspiring director, at University of Southern California when he cast her in his student film. Together, they have a golden retriever named Buddy.