...with a small house attached.
We finally got our own place. After 2 years of renting, our offer was accepted on this house. This was our 5th offer - we got outbid on 4 others. One of those we got outbid by 75k! The market here is pretty crazy. In the lower range, the houses go super fast. If you don't have a realtor sending you the newest on the market, you won't be able to buy one. You have to see the new ones daily, schedule a showing for the next day, and make an offer that same day. And even then, there's usually at least 7-8 other offers. We made offers on 5 houses, but there were several others that were already pending when we were about to put in an offer. We got so lucky with this house. We weren't "supposed to" get it. There were multiple offers, but we did have a chance to counter on this one (there was no chance to counter on any of the others). Our realtor called us the next afternoon and asked if we could increase our counter offer. At that point, we decided we were already stretched too thin, so we let it be. Since we knew we weren't the top offer, we just figured we didn't get it. But we got a phone call at about 10pm saying our offer was accepted. The widow selling the house heard about our family and wanted us to have it. She and her husband raised 4 children in this house.
We still had a hard decision to make, whether we actually wanted to go through with the purchase. Since you don't have much time to think about it before you offer, we hadn't really decided whether it was suitable for us. It's not very big, although does have 4 bedrooms and 2 bath. It needs updating. And we would also have to change schools and wards.
But the location was convenient to the bike path to Alex's work, about 2 blocks from the elementary school, and the yard is great for active boys (who also desperately want a dog). There are also several fruit trees already on the property. The apple tree in the front yard was our 1st "sign" that this would work for us! With everything falling into place fairly conveniently AND this being our only offer ever accepted, we decided we'd take it. We were afraid we'd miss our chance at getting our foot in the door on the market here. We also didn't want to miss getting the help from Alex's work on some of the down payment. This assistance was guaranteed for 2 years from his start date. (We may have been able to apply for an extension, but it's not guaranteed that you'll get it after 2 years.) Our 2 years was up at the end of June.
The other lucky part of this sale was that it was a regular 30 day sale. Most of the houses that we could afford were short sales, which are anything but "short". The short sales can take around 3 months to close on. With this, the timing was so convenient. We could close right before the end of the school year and move in during the summer. We didn't have to worry about moving in the middle of the school year.
Everything went so fast with the purchase. I guess the only problem was we only had about a week from the closing until the end of the month (start of new month's rent). We wanted to get some things done, especially the flooring, before we moved in. So this past week has been really busy. Alex took out the partition in the front room, as well as the wood paneling. It took about 3.5 days to get the wallpaper down (I HATE WALLPAPER!), which left Monday for painting. Thankfully, we had some people come help us get the walls ready and paint. And I used some friends to watch the boys a couple of the days I was trying to get wallpaper out. The installation of the flooring started on Tuesday and will be done tomorrow or Friday. We got a couple of extra days from our landlord, so we can move all of our stuff over on Friday evening and Saturday. This has been so exhausting. But I think it will be worth it.
The hardest part is "abandoning" our friends from school, sports, and the people in our ward at church. Even moving just 10 minutes down the road puts us in a different school, sports leagues, and ward. But we're trying to look at the big picture and do what we think is best for our family. I hope we made the right choice! At least now we can own our own shoddy little house here and fix it up the way we want to.
We LOVE the yard!