Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our biggest project so far

Well apart from growing a baby, our biggest project is our new house. That is right Nick and I are now home owners. It has been a stressful year in the making.

We started July of 2008 by going to Quadrant Homes in Yelm and impulse buying a house. We met Jason a Real Estate agent who works with Quadrant. He showed us the only house that was comfortably in our price range. It was very cute inside, but there was no yard and no garage. We went home and cried. The next morning we called Jason back and asked to rescind the papers, because we didn’t want that house anymore. We told Jason that we liked him and when we were actually ready to buy a house we would call him to help us (as if he knew what he was going to be getting himself into).

September 2008, Nick and I decided we were ready to move, so we called Jason and we went house hunting. We looked at a number of houses. Found one that we like, put an offer on it, and the owners pretty much laughed at us. Then we found a house across the street from my work. It was a new construction and super cute. We loved it! We put an offer on that house and it got accepted, so we started the stresses of buying a house.

During the month of October we played the waiting game. The bank was taking forever to get paperwork done, and there was very little good news when we talked to anyone involved with the buying of this house. Finally less then a week before we were supposed to get keys, we got a call from the bank. Nick and I were expecting the call at this point we just didn’t want it. The loan would not go through because of Nick’s job (he isn’t paid traditionally). We cried and were on a scurry to find another place to rent for now.

We were able to find a place on Craigslist that we really liked. It had everything we were looking for in a house if we were going to buy. Wood floors throughout, 3 bedrooms and an office, 2 living rooms, and a  huge back deck to a huge backyard. We were able to move in right away, so we did.

In January 2009 the landlord told us that we would be able to purchase the house if we wanted, but he wanted us to put a price on it. We told him our budget and he said he could work with that. We knew that the loan wouldn’t go through, so we decided to wait until 2010 to buy the house.

March 2009 we called Jason again. We wanted to look at houses to see what other options we could have that may be a little cheaper then the rental. Since the last time we had looked at houses the President had established a stimulus package for first time home buyers. We could get $8000 back on our taxes if we bought a house by December 1, 2009. The money would be nice, so we wanted to see what we could find. Nick and I were now looking in a whole new area. The first time we were focusing on the Yelm area, now that we had moved to Lacey, we knew that is were we wanted to buy a house. The only problem was that Lacey homes are a lot more money. The only ones in our price range were old fixer uppers, or really small homes in new construction housing developments. We found one house that we both liked, but it needed a lot of work! The price was amazing so we put an offer on it. After a couple of days went by we found out that many other people thought the price was amazing as well and the house ended up selling to a cash investor. We took another house hunting break.

We called our landlord in June 2009 to see if the offer still stood for the house. He wanted a second opinion on what the house was worth. When we saw what that opinion said, we got really frustrated. He was now asking almost $20,000 more then our budget would allow.

We called Jason again!

This time we had looked at houses online and found one that was just put on the market. I asked Nick to drive by to take a look since it was a block away from our friends that he carpools with. He did, but there was only one house for sale on the street and it wasn’t the same house. I was confused. Nick and I both drove back over and looked at the houses on the street and found the one that was online. It didn’t have the sign up yet, so that is where the confusion was. We peeked in all the windows and fell in love with it. From experience we knew that if we loved the house from the outside (or inside for the matter) there was something wrong with it. We wanted to know what was wrong with such a cute house. Why was a house that was on an acre of property selling for so low?

Our schedule didn’t match up to Jason’s very well this time, it took almost a week to meet up to look at this house. Which to us felt like eternity! We walked around the outside of the house and finally made Jason open the front door for us. It didn’t smell… Why not? All the houses we liked smelled like smoke or pets. The inside of the house made us love the house even more. This house had everything and it was in our price range! We made an offer. The house was a foreclosed house so we were playing games with the bank that owned it. They wanted nothing less then what the asking price was and we didn’t want to pay full price to a bank. We finally settled on a price and scheduled for an inspection.

During the inspection, not a whole lot went well. The inspector walked around and found various things wrong with the house. First the front siding had rotted away (we knew this already), then he climbed on the roof to find that a new roof was needed before winter. Did I mention this is a bank owned house? Bank owned homes are typically sold AS IS, no repairs! I cried right there, we found out what was wrong with the house. We asked the bank to fix the front siding and the roof. We figured they would say no, but it wouldn’t hurt to ask. The bank wanted a second opinion. That opinion must have said the same thing about the roof, because they accepted to fix both the front siding and the roof for us. We were on our way to a new house.

During all this house hunting time we had talked to a friend of ours who happened to be a loan officer. He said that he could get us a home loan even though Nick was paid differently the most. So we decided to use him for this house. About a week into the paperwork, we were started to experience a little de ja vu. The underwriters for the loan didn’t like the way Nick was paid. We got frustrated and I cried a lot. Nick managed to get a letter from his boss explaining the situation and how it would change. Then we waited, and waited, and waited. Finally, when I had lost all hope in this house we got a call saying the loan would go through and the papers were being sent to Escrow.

Really? This is one step further then we had ever gotten! We were so excited, we cried!

However, Escrow took their precious time working on our file. The papers were supposed to be done by Friday afternoon and we could sign then. Were they? Of course not, this is our luck. We had to wait until Monday. Do you know how long weekends are when you are waiting for something this big? They are like an eternity!

On Monday we finally got the call. The papers would be ready by 3 pm for us to sign, and she would call us before then so we could bring the check. At 2:45 we called her because we still didn’t know how much to bring. We told her that we would be a little late because she failed to call us. We got there, signed a few papers and found out that she didn’t do the paperwork right and we had to bring in another chunk of money. We didn’t really have that money planned in our budget so we were pretty upset. While sitting there signing papers and waiting for her to take her precious time I watched the UPS and the FedEx man take all the mail. Our papers were supposed to be with that mail. Delayed again.

The day before we were supposed to get our keys (the day we were told we would get our keys) we found out that there might be an extension needed. The final underwriting was taking longer then usual. When that finally went through we were told that the bank still hadn’t sent their papers back. Delayed again.

On Thursday, August 13, 2009 we got the call. The call that Nick and I had been waiting for, for over a year. We were finally home owners! We cried! We established a time to meet with Jason to get our keys, he was going to be late, so we had to wait. Then he called us and said he was going to be later, so we had to wait. Finally we met up at our new home and just enjoyed sitting in the empty house with our Real Estate agent turned friend who had been through a lot with us.

Nick and I love our new house and remind each other every day that we are finally home owners and we can do what we want with the house. We can paint, hang shelves, change fixtures, we can even take down doors. And that is what we did. We are still working on it, because with me being pregnant, there is not a lot Nick will let me do. I can’t lift heavy things, I can’t paint. The only thing I can do is ask Nick nicely to do things for me. He has been the best with getting things done as quickly as his tired body will let him. He currently works 7 days a week, so there is very little time for him to much for me and our new house, but slowly it is coming along.

I will post pictures in another post, that will explain the details of our projects. I love owning my own home!

2 comments:

Mina said...

This is fantastic and I do understand how you feel because some days ago we got the house , too! It is exciting, scary, strange feelings come out... But the best part is: it´s ours!!!! Congratulations , I´m very happy for you!!!!

Marguerita said...

Congratulations! It is the best and scariest thing to own your own house. Every creak makes you panic but remember, everything is fixable! Relax and enjoy. I look forward to reading your blog :)