Friday, July 6, 2018

Homeowners

Hi friends! I cannot even begin to tell you how excited I am to finally have some GOOD news to share! Things have been tense around here to say the least...that's no secret. In my last Life Lately post I mentioned that we were trying to buy a house. Well, we are now officially homeowners!


That cute little pink and white chevron key has been on my key ring for just about a year now. It doesn't unlock anything yet...it's just one of those keys with designs on them that you can select in the hardware department. It hasn't been cut yet, but it will be soon. See, my husband gave it to me last year. We moved into this rental house knowing at the end of our lease it would be time to buy, but I was feeling impatient and pissy (as usual). So one day he came home with this key and said "I'm going to buy you a house next year." Cute, right?

It's been a long time coming and it's been quite a journey to get here. There were a few times when I thought it would never happen and I gave up hope. We had tons of roadblocks thrown our way and it took a lot of time and work to get to where we needed to be financially. We've come a long way, we still have a long way to go...but we did it! We may have done a lot of things ass-backwards, but we reached this goal and bought a home for our family. At long last, we won't be eternal renters after all. 

Fun fact about the new house: we bought it from our friends. You guys, I really truly think things happen for a reason and that timing is everything. Last time I mentioned us buying a house on the blog, I talked about how we'd missed out on an awesome house we'd fallen in love with after a low-ball appraisal that left us really hurt and frustrated. We had our hearts set on this "dream house" and were naive in thinking that because our offer was immediately accepted that we'd just glide through the rest of the process without any issues. Gosh, we were so clueless! 

Anyway, the day we'd put that offer in an old friend on Facebook messaged me and asked if we were still looking for a house. I've known this gal forever (we lived a block away from each other and rode the same bus to elementary school) and she ended up marrying a friend of my husband. Small world, right? That's north Idaho for you, haha. They're a military family and they own a house close to here in a nearby town that they'd been renting out for years (when the army sent them all over the country). They'd actually hit us up a few times when they needed new tenants or when they knew we were looking for a place, but the timing and logistics never worked out. Well, here she was, telling me her tenants were breaking their lease and they were thinking of selling their house- were we interested? I told her thanks but no thanks because we'd just had our offer accepted on the dream house.  

Well, three weeks later that house completely fell through and I was devastated. And mad. Really mad because I felt like it wasn't fair. I didn't want to start all over scouring the internet for new listings and jumping in the car with four kids to race to see it before anyone else.

Then I remembered my friend messaging me about wanting to list her house. I had completely forgotten about it because I was so hyper-focused on the ill-fated dream house! It was May 23rd that I messaged her asking if they were still selling the house. She quickly replied that she still had tenants, but that they were moving out "soon," and then they wanted to list the house for sale in the coming weeks. Perfect! 

Within a few days we were driving out to the their rental to take a look at it. I knew it was a cute house. I remembered seeing a few pictures of it on Facebook back when they first had it built (2010) but I didn't know any of the specifics and my memory really sucks these days. The home information Zillow was totally inaccurate because it hadn't been sold since it was initially bought and the basement was initially unfinished. So the square footage was off, the room numbers were off, and the photos they showed were very...lacking to say the least (not pretty at all!) But my friend assured me to just go see it for myself and that they were just awful photos. I knew it had been a rental for a while and that it probably needed some TLC, but it had a lot of potential and the price was good. 


We drove out to the house, spent just a few minutes walking through it to get a feel for the size and layout, counted the bedrooms and bathrooms, checked out the backyard, and saw the neighborhood. I know it looks quite small from the outside (that was my first impression) but that's because you only see the shorter end of the house from the front. It goes back quite a ways though and has a full basement. It definitely has space for a family of 6. It has 4 bedrooms with 1 unfinished downstairs, so that gave us the 5 bedrooms we need without any kids having to double up. It also has a bonus little "nook" or walk-in closet sized room that my husband can totally use to set up his art studio. It's pretty small and it doesn't have a window, but it's big enough for his set up, has tons of electrical outlets for extra lighting and everything else, and it's got a door that can close and lock so we can keep kids out of it (something his current space doesn't have). So that's a bonus "6th" room  (that doesn't technically count as room), and it also has a huge basement family room. When we saw that room down there we knew that was it. We could totally see ourselves in that house. It wasn't totally perfect, but it had pretty much all of the must-haves and it was in a great neighborhood. We wanted it!


From there, I messaged my friend and said "We definitely want it! How do we do this?" She replied with "Let's get the ball rolling then. No need to even list if ya'll want it!" And that was pretty much that! It was May 28th when we saw the house and then we signed all of the paperwork and closed on June 28th. Done and done. I mean, obviously there was a lot that went on in the last month (hence me still being MIA and wanting to rip my hair out/cry every day!) but as far as buying a house goes? This was probably the best way to do it. We didn't haggle. We didn't have to negotiate anything, everyone was completely cool and cooperative the entire way, we communicated what needed to be done, and we just went through the list of things to do as quickly and painlessly as possible. I'm thrilled that it worked out. I mean seriously- after all these years...for us to end up buying that house (that we'd talked about renting before) and the timing of it and everything...it just couldn't have worked out more perfectly. Oh, and the icing on the cake? After we closed they told us they wanted to buy us a brand new dishwasher. Because the one currently in there is mismatched from having to be replaced multiple times from prior tenants. Talk about best sellers ever! 

Looking back, the dream house wasn't so dreamy. It was only 4 bedrooms and it didn't have the bonus space for my husband. It was also on the corner of a busy street, which I know would have bugged me so much. I don't like traffic driving by. I get mad when people drive too fast in my neighborhood. My gut had told me not to get that house and I talked myself back into it because it had a few other upgrades I wanted and I didn't want anyone else to scoop it up. But a concession like that...being on the corner of a busy street terrified me, and I'm so happy now that the deal fell through. I would have been so unhappy there now that I think about it. Plus, it was slightly over our budget and we would have had to spend a lot more to get less house. 

The home we bought from our friends might not have every single little detail we wanted but it's got everything we need and has great potential for even more. They had it built and only lived in it for a short while as they finished the basement themselves. Then they had to move for the military and it's been a rental ever since. It needs a family to pour some love back into it and make it the home it was truly meant to be! I'm so excited to settle and make it our own. Once upon a time I even considered myself crafty, so I'd love to put some of those old skills to good use- finally! Woohoo! And the neighborhood is lovely- it's quiet and safe. A welcome change for my teen and tween who are needing to test some boundaries and get more personal freedom. Exploring our "quaint" little town will be great for them. And yes I said quaint- we moved out of the city and to a little town on the outskirts. It's so quiet out there! Another perk we are looking forward to.

The new house has a peony bush out front. A clear sign because those are my favorite! 

Anyway, I promise to post more house updates later, after we get moved in and somewhat settled.  And then it's time to paint and prioritize a few projects that we already know need to be done around the house. We've got just a few more days until the big move! I cannot wait for this part to be over already and it hasn't even begun. With all of our moves over the years though (there have been SO many, right?!) I feel like I've been training for this. I'm basically a professional mover at this point, so one last move should be a piece of cake, right? Moving...4 kids...been there done that. I got this! 

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