Sunday, December 8, 2013

I'm back!!!

Hello all! It has been far too long since I have posted on my blog, but I have been very busy these last few months. Sean and I bought our very first home! We moved in at the beginning of August and have been neck-deep in house projects ever since. I want to use this blog as a way to track the progress we make in transforming our home, mostly just for myself, but if others would like to follow, then the more the merrier! I love being able to look back and see the transformation of things from start to finish. Since we have been in our new home for over 4 months already, I will have ALOT of catching up to do on the things we have already done. So sit back and enjoy the journey with me!
First, the background story of how we came to find our home...
After months of house hunting, we were beginning to feel like a house that had the things we wanted did not exist in our budget in this area. I would check online every day for any new houses to come onto the market. And I mean EVERY day, several times a day, every hour may be more accurate. It seemed like everything that was available that we liked was juuussttt above our budget. We went and looked at several houses, even put offers on a couple and were outbid or our offers were rejected for being too low (yes, I want to get a steal on everything I buy, even a house!). The current house that we were renting was available to us until the summer of 2014, but we were ready to get a place of our own. We had several things on our checklist: at least 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, kitchen open to the living room, a fireplace, double sinks in master bath, and most importantly, a big lot. We didn't want to be right on top of our neighbors and wanted quiet and privacy. This was the one thing we were not willing to give up. Subsequently, this was also the reason we were unable to find a house in our budget. If we did find something that had everything on our list, it was just over budget, or even if we found something that didn't have everything, but did have the lot...still over our budget. Sean and I had a "come to Jesus" meeting and re-evaluated our wishlist. We decided we were willing to give up alot of things, almost everything, but not the size of the lot. I guess we just really like our privacy :) So, we decided that we would continue house hunting, but since we were able to keep renting our current house for almost a year longer, we would just be patient and continue saving up our money so that in a year, we could finally afford what we wanted. A few days later, something happened that wrecked our plan. The owner of the house we were renting came by to talk to us. He then let us know that he and his family's plans of coming back to the U.S. in summer of 2014 had changed and that they would be moving back into the house in the next month! In a matter of minutes, we went from having almost a year to find a house, to having one month! I ran for the computer and searched the housing market again. We made a list of any and all houses that we could consider, mostly houses that had been on the market for a while, but we weren't interested in, or ones we liked but were over our budget. We no longer had the luxury of being so picky. I called our realtor and told her our situation. She was wonderful and calmed me down and told me that "we can do this!" I wasn't sure how though, since houses could barely close in 30 days and we hadn't even found a house to put an offer on yet. We made plans to go look at several houses that we had stuck our noses up at earlier when time was still our friend. I knew every house that was on the market in San Marcos at that time and we really weren't excited about any of them except the ones that were over budget of course. I hated the idea of "settling" for a house that we didn't really love. A house is a big commitment and I didn't want to buy one with hopes of moving again in a couple of years. We also really didn't want to go back to apartment living. We were ready to settle into something that was finally ours. After discussing it some more, Sean and I decided that we would raise our budget, go for one of the houses that we did like, but was over budget and somehow make it work financially. That seemed like the best option that we had. I spent all afternoon and early evening crunching the numbers, convincing myself that raising our budget was going to be okay. Then, I went to check online to see if any new houses had popped up, as I did quite often. And there it was,...3 bedroom, 2 bath, large lot, and IN OUR BUDGET! oh, ya and a basketball court?!? That's when I knew this house was meant for us. I jumped and squealed and showed Sean, who tried not to get excited, probably for my sake, since we had seen a lot of letdowns in this process. Then he saw the basketball court, and I saw his eyes light up :) I called our realtor and emailed her the link to look at the house. She was going to set up a time to see the house the next day. I had just gotten out of the shower when our realtor called back. She said we needed to go see the house tonight. It was 8pm and I had just rolled out of the shower, but Sean and I jumped in the car and drove to the house. We pull up and another car was in the driveway, but not our realtor's car. It was another realtor showing the house to someone else. Just our luck. We wait around outside until the other people leave. After touring the house, it was love. Well, not ALL of it, I didn't get my double sinks in the bathroom and there is ALOT of updating to do, but the outside was perfect, it was the best thing we had seen in our months of searching, it was in our budget, and we were going to be homeless in a month. We'll take it! We made an offer right there in the kitchen of our future home. Over the next two days, we found out there was another offer and submitted our best and final offer, wrote the seller a personal letter (it was a nice touch) and said a prayer, lots of prayers. Then we got the news, the seller had accepted our offer! All that had separated us from the other offer was our personal letter and $15!!! Over the next 30 days, we managed to close on our house on time. All I can say is, clearly, God handpicked this house for us and all in His perfect timing. Thank you Lord! So here are some pictures of the house before we moved in:




So, as you can see, we definitely have our work cut out for us. But we love our home and it has tons of great potential. I'm excited to reveal the updates we have already done and continue to post our current and future projects in this blog! Until next time...