Tuesday, May 10, 2011


This week was so exhausting. The previous Sunday we had essentially abandoned the thought of having a home any time soon. Our credit score wasn't where it needed to be and it would be another 6+ weeks before we felt comfortable to pull the credit again...just to check. But as I previously posted a miracle happened and after pulling together all of our information and sending it to the underwriter, we were approved for a loan. Shaking, nervous and crying happy tears we felt like all the preparation we had done flew out the window...but once we looked through that list of homes we remembered why we loved this house and didn't love that one. After we developed that list of seven homes and set up appointments with each one we prepared for a whirlwind of home visits all on a Saturday morning.
The first home - the beautiful home on 18+ acres...um...not so beautiful. Each surface of the home would need to be touched...and by touched, I mean COMPLETELY gutted. Water damage everywhere, sheets of paint falling from the settling ceiling, kitchen cabinets painted in a yellow and blue pattern. OY. I actually said the words "Ok, I think I've seen enough". We aren't against work - but this was a bit much. Adding to the fact that we were already at the TOP of our budget with this home. DISAPPOINTING.
The next home was very nice. The downsize was that it a little tight through the living room and eat in kitchen (I was dreaming of a separate, but connected dining room). This house definitely made the short list though.
The third home - oh! LORD! What a mess! Mold growing on the ceiling from a water leak - the sides of the living floor were so "settled" that there was probably a three inch difference in floor height from the center of the floor. Again...not anti-work...but this was a bit much. I couldn't see it.
The fourth home - needed some updates. But nothing too major. It appeared to be mostly cosmetic - pulling carpet to expose hardwood floors, taking down wall paper etc. Unfortunately, although the home was on 10 acres, they had rent out 6 acres to a neighboring farmer. Since our loan is a USDA Rural Development loan we aren't able to have crops on the land, even if they aren't our crops. Perhaps we'd be able to make a deal to just purchase the four acres on the home site sits on, along with the beautiful bank barn.
The fifth house...was the blue house. This is one we just loved months ago. Since our realtor hadn't been to this property previously I asked if she wanted us to give her the tour of what we love about the house. She agreed. As she step out of her truck her first words were "Oh, this is beautiful."...while walking through the home there were lots of "ohhhhs" and "aahhhhhs" from our realtor. At one point I turned to her and said "we are looking at this home through starry eyes, as a realtor, is there anything throwing up a red flag for you?" her response "Not yet!!!!" It was obvious that she was falling for this home in the same way we did. As we walked into the last bedroom (eventually we are hoping this would be the boys' bedroom), she pulled out her cellphone and said, I'm going to cancel the next showing. She said she had been in that home and it in no way compares to this home :-). She said it was our decision if we wanted to go to the final house tour....we cancelled that as well. So we stood in the bedroom and she said..."well, I guess the next question is, are you ready to make an offer?" My knees buckled a little. Were we? What's my name again? Is it hot in here? I think we are.
So what next? We decided to grab some food and bring it to the realtor's office and put together a reasonable offer. I'll disclose everything to all of you. The house was listed for $139,900...well below what we were approved for. Knowing that we didn't want to necessarily want to bring money to the table - we offered $135,000 and for the sellers to pay $4,500 in closing. I had always thought that a portion of the closing costs was to pay for the realtor's fees - but I learned it was literally to cover the costs of closing the loan and we rolled the cost of all of the inspections (whole home, septic, well, termite, fireplace) into the closing costs as well. We submitted the offer Saturday evening around 4:30. We were told later that night that it would most likely be Monday before we heard anything...due to Mother's Day. On Sunday, I received a call from our realtor and she said she had a "counter" for us. They agreed to the price and to pay closing - the only things they were asking for were 5 days after closing, to allow time to move out (we asked for possession at closing, but it really didn't matter to us) and they said they had already disclosed that there were issues with the fireplace, so even if the sweep and inspection came back and the fireplace needs repair, they are saying that the fireplace is "as is". AGREED. So apparently we bought a house...on Mother's Day. Now, we wait for the inspections - I'm hoping to have these complete by the end of the week/beginning of next week. Then, we wait for closing (which is currently scheduled for June 17th). Hurry up...and wait.
So that is what happened on the house front....let me tell you what my amazing children and husband did. I woke up to a not-so-lazy Sunday...The kids showered me with presents - I got a clay stingray figure, homemade from Cora. Drake gave me a small pillow that he stitched himself, with "I love you" on it and a beating heart origami (LOVE!). Gage made a card and handpicked some of my favorite candies and taped them inside. BLISS! Kait gave me these awesome Rooster plates from Cracker Barrel and Tiff gave me a McIntosh apple tree. Mark and the kids together gave me a gift certificate for a shopping spree at Marvin's Organic Gardens - for a fig tree, some berry bushes and a daisy plant. We'll go after we close on the house and pick out the very best ones. After that, we had scheduled a breakfast with Mark's 96 year old. Then off to Mark's parents' house for a visit. We were planning on heading to my parents' camp - but they were working on projects and we're able to visit. So we came home and chilled for a bit and then off to dinner at Young's Dairy Golden Jersey Inn (YUM). After we got home we collapsed. I am a proud Mama, as always. I have the most amazing kids and husband I could ever imagine. We went from giving up to home owners in one week. It's crazy. Wish us luck on the inspections...


  1. Oh congratulations!!! We just bought our mini homestead in November and it was one of the most stressful things ever but so worth it in the end! I hope things go smoothly and easily for you!

  2. Thanks! We are so so excited! We are trying to make a list of what needs to be done first. :-)

  3. amazingly fast watching homebuyers in this market - it took me 6 months to find and 'win' my house back in '06 because the market was so fierce. so what's your move in date?

  4. Well - best case scenario, if the inspections all come back ok and everything goes according to plan we will close on June 17th - they want 5 days to move out - which means we should get keys on or about the 23rd of June! We will start painting and moving very soon after that. I think the first night we are planning on just going there, hanging out, eating pizza and exploring. We did do a LOT of leg work prior to technically "looking" for houses. We went to the first open house for THIS house back in early March (?).

  5. UPDATE: We should be doing all inspections on Friday from around 11 am to around 3 pm. Hoping all goes well. From there...it is just time...