A House!

May 4, 2014

by — Posted in Life at Home

We’ve been casually looking at houses for the past 9 months or so, thinking that eventually, we’d like a bigger home. I wrote a whole blog post about why. So far, only 1 house peaked our interest and we really shouldn’t have looked at it.

There were 2 houses with the same floorplan, one a forclosure in rough shape, and one that was well taken care of. We were thinking if we liked the well taken care of one, perhaps we could go for the foreclosure and bring it up to the level of the other one. Sadly, the forclosure sold in TWO days, and there was a miscommunication, etc, etc, etc… and we ended up only being able to look at the well taken care of one and fell in love. It was in a neighborhood I don’t want to be in, but it would have been worth it. With one minor detail… the price. It was a good $30,000 above our budget. *sigh*

We had pretty much given up hope that we’d find one anytime soon, and decided to focus on paying down our house so we could afford one like that one (because there are more of those floor plans in that neighborhood, which could potentially come available when we eventually could afford it).

Tuesday, April 22nd, our patient realtor, Renee, emailed me saying that I needed to look at this 4 bedroom house. I was a bit reluctant because I hadn’t seen anything new on Zillow or Ward Jone’s website (the firm she works for), and all the older stuff was nothing we were interested in. I asked where it was listed, but she didn’t answer that part of my question. I agreed to go see it. So Wednesday I met her at her office and she rode with me over to the house, directing me as we went. It wasn’t at all where I expected. It’s an older neighborhood, but nice and settled. Cute 80’s ranches on the street.

This was 11:30am. We walked in and it was beautiful. They had staged it well, and there was so much space. I mean, so much space. 4 bedrooms and not one, not two, but THREE living spaces. The kitchen was perfect with a family room right next to it for easy child watching and the master was giant… with it’s own separate study, so a bedroom doesn’t have to be taken up by an office space for Ansen. I wasn’t sure, but I told the realtor, “I think Ansen needs to see this. Can we come back at 1:30?” That happened to work for her and the owner… and I called Ansen.

He sounded a bit annoyed that I thought he definitely needed to come see this today. And then he looked up the address on Google Maps and looked at the street view, which only made him more skeptical. But he came anyway.

He too, felt the space. This was a seriously well taken care of home, and they had done all of the un-fun things, like roofing, HVAC and windows very recently. But at the same time, not everything was done. There were still some fun projects, like a pink bathtub that would be fun to update at some point in the future.

The problem? No garage. Well, not anymore. They had converted the garage into a den. It was well done from the inside, but the outside looks a bit funny. And it leave you putting children into a car in the rain, snow, etc… and always scraping frost off of your windows.

You see, we’re those people. From day one we parked in our 2 car garage. Ansen said “both cars will ALWAYS be in the garage.” And with a few minor exceptions when I was working on projects, like staining Avie’s baby bed, we have. We like our garage. It’s a safe place for our cars, and a safe place to work on projects. I never thought I’d get hung up on a garage!

But after waiting for the weekend and neither of us being able to get the house out of our head, we decided that the house itself was for us, and we could work on getting a nice structural carport that tied into the roofline, etc. This needed to be our home, but we had to go see it one more time to know for sure.

Sunday night we finally made this decision, so we were scrambling Monday to get a viewing schedule. It didn’t happen until after Ansen was off work at 7, but after walking around, taking pictures and sitting in the home, we were ready. We put together a fairly strong offer, full price, with a bit of closing cost, thinking maybe we could use the closing cost as wiggle room. They got the offer Tuesday morning had until Thursday at 10am to get back with us. The husband was out of town, so we thought we probably won’t hear back until Thursday for sure.

In the meantime, we had to get our house ready to sell! Monday, Ansen and I worked on our bedroom, bathroom and closet. We got it mostly show-ready. Then, Tuesday evening, my awesome sister-in-law and brother-in-law came over to help us do some outside projects and begin the process of purging and cleaning every nook and cranny. After they left, Ansen and I worked on the office. Arielle is just plain awesome and came back to help on Wednesday as well. I am so grateful for their help! There is no way I could have possibly done it all myself. We slowly made our way from one end of the house to the other, finishing the kitchen and laundry room just as the realtor came to take pictures for an official posting. She came back a little later and put a sign in the yard and a lockbox on the front door. It’s official, our house was for sale.

But we still hadn’t heard anything back on our offer. About 9pm, Wednesday, she texted me to say that they had accepted our offer, as is! We are in a contract, contingent upon the sale of our home! Now, we just have to get ours sold!