I had every intention of writing about ‘anticipation’ tonight, but things didn’t turn out as planned. With little hope, we submitted our offer (for the house I fell in love with) to the seller this afternoon. I also included a ‘love letter’ (a letter letting the seller know how much we love the house). Our realtor had indicated that the offer and letter wouldn’t be reviewed until late tomorrow morning. I envisioned a night of tossing and turning and fretting and hoping and praying and worrying and wondering. Despite what I was told, the seller decided to review the offers early. I really didn’t think we had a chance in hell because we were up against 6 other families, but to my surprise, we got it! WE GOT IT!!!!!!! Our realtor called as we were driving down the highway and teased us by asking if we were willing to increase our bid. My husband and I weren’t willing to go a cent over our initial offer and thought it was ‘game over’ at that point, and then our realtor started to giggle and said, “It’s yours!” Can you believe it? I can’t! Someone pinch me!!
Honestly, I don’t know whether to sing or to scream!! I am so excited I can hardly stand it!! We toured the house a second time this afternoon (after we signed the contract and before it was officially reviewed by the seller) just to make sure that we felt confident moving forward, and I felt the same ‘zing’ as I did the first time. We learned that the roof is bad and we’re going to need to immediately replace it because it’s ‘shot’, however, the news didn’t even phase me. It’s a ‘fixer upper’, after all! My husband was visibly concerned when our realtor reached out to a roofer and found out what it would cost, but I didn’t bat an eyelash. “It’s the one,” I told him. The roof is going to cost a pretty penny to replace but I know it’ll be worth it. We’re getting a great deal even though my husband isn’t yet convinced. We’ve looked at so many ‘just ok’ houses in ‘meh’ neighborhoods and this house and neighborhood nearly knocked my socks off. If we were just getting a ‘house’, it’d be one thing, but we’re getting so much more!
When we drove through the neighborhood a second time, I asked my husband if we could do some exploring. We still didn’t know whether we had been ‘chosen’ at that point, but I wanted to check out the area a bit more. I had read in the listing description that for a minor fee, as homeowners (in the subdivision), we’d have access to a private lake and park (managed by a recreation association). When I pulled up the recreation association’s website on my cellphone, I learned that we’d not only have access to a (25 acre) lake and park, but to a trail system as well. The more we drove around, the more excited I became. “I can feel the energy coming off of you,” my husband told me. “I cannot help it!” I told him. I couldn’t! The lake was absolutely beautiful. I spied several different types of waterfowl on the surface as we passed by. You can probably imagine my delight when I learned that for a $45 annual fee, we’d have unlimited access to it (as well as the park).
The lake is open to swimming and fishing and boating and homeowners who pay the fee are able to use it year-round. The trail system is also a huge plus. It winds through the subdivision and is meticulously maintained. Different types of beautiful, colorful birds are also plentiful along the trails. I have always wanted to put a bird refuge in my backyard but the whole place is a bird refuge! I don’t think I’ll ever have trouble finding subject matter again as I can foresee so many incredible photo opportunities! Oh my gosh, I am so stoked and I haven’t even begun to talk about the house! Does it need work? Yes. The roof is a ‘must have’; however, the rest of the items can wait (at least until the spring). Two other high dollar items are the decks and furnace. The wood on the front and back decks is warped and needs to be replaced and the furnace appears a bit tired so it will likely need to be changed out, too. Am I worried? Not really. Should I be? It depends on your perspective.
If I wasn’t married to ‘Mr. Fix-It’, I’d be incredibly worried, but I know what my husband’s capable of. I also know what I’m capable of. While he’s in charge of doing (most of) the work itself, I’m in charge of procuring the supplies. If anyone has an ‘eye for buys’, it’s me. For our entire marriage, I’ve been ‘squeezing nickels’ and I know how to get the most for my/our money. When we bought our last house, whenever we’d go to the nearest hardware store for odds and ends, I’d make a point to peruse the clearance items or racks. It’s amazing how much items are marked down when they’re no longer ‘the latest and greatest’. I don’t care if what I buy is ‘in’ or ‘trending’, I just care about whether it’s quality. By keeping an eye out for yellow or red tags, I’m usually able to find most of what we need for 50-75% off the regular price. That’s how we upgraded the last house and the one before that and the one before that. I’m grateful my mom taught me how to to make my money ‘stretch’. That skill has allowed me to make many beautiful things out of next to nothing.
If there was ever a time when I needed to put that skill to use, it’s now. Our ‘new’ home is going to swallow up everything we earned from our last home and then some. As much as we didn’t want to take out a loan, I couldn’t see any way around it. All of the homes we looked at that we could have paid cash for were garbage. Seriously. I couldn’t believe the state of the homes. I’m kind of bummed that the dream of living ‘mortgage free’ is gone. But you know what? It’s ok. I love the home we found and I cannot wait until we are handed the keys and get to move in! It will be sparsely furnished but I don’t mind that either. In time, I can acquire what we need through Craigslist and other means. At least, we’ll have a bed, two dressers, a cedar chest, and a set of nesting tables to start. And now that we have a cargo trailer, we’ll be able to easily transport the furniture items I purchase (or get for free). I saw a really nice corner office desk advertised on Craigslist just the other day in the ‘free’ section.
Another great thing about the house is its proximity to stores and local businesses. By car, it is five minutes from the nearest grocery store, eleven minutes from the hardware store, ten minutes from the college (a possibility for employment), and six minutes from the nearest hospital. It’s also a 30 minute drive to my father-in-law’s house and a 70 minute drive to my son’s (depending on traffic). It is so nice to have family so close again! Before, I was looking at a minimum of 2 1/2 to 3 hours of ‘windshield time’ and what I have to deal with now is so minimal. My friends, I cannot begin to tell you how lucky and/or blessed and/or fortunate I am! A year ago, when I was experiencing so much incredible despair, I never imagined that things would turn out this way. It’s as if the stars have finally aligned. I see so many wonderful things ahead and I cannot wait to see what the future holds!
Geez, I hope I didn’t jinx myself by making that statement. Life just keeps sending blessings my way and as long as it does, I’m going to continue to grab ahold of them and embrace them. I think back a year ago when I had so little hope, and then I think back to this past June (when my husband and I decided to ‘make the move’), and all that has occurred between then and now. It seems like once we made the decision to sell our home, everything fell into place. We got it ready, put it on the market, and had a buyer within 35 days. After that, we got busy preparing for the move by selling off most of our furniture, packing up the rest of our possessions, and ordering U-Boxes. Once the U-Boxes were loaded and removed, we set to work cleaning the house and had everything done by the time we left on the 9th of September. Even though the house didn’t close on the date it was scheduled, it did close the following day, and the sale was recorded and the monies transferred by the 16th. It is now only 4 days later, and we have bought another house!
I was so worried that we’d be spending the next 6 months in my father-in-law’s basement, but because we were awarded the contract, I can breathe a sigh of relief. It’s nice not having to pay rent, but I really like my privacy. As of October 15, if everything goes smoothly, we will have our own place again! Believe me, I appreciate my father-in-law’s generosity, but it’s tough sharing a space with so many people. I like to be able to talk to my husband without someone constantly within earshot. Even if we start a conversation in a previously unoccupied room, it’s only a matter of minutes before my husband’s father, sister or brother-in-law shows up and our ability to ‘speak freely’ abruptly ends. It’s not terrible, by any means, but I do look forward to having a place where I can say what I want to say without an ‘audience’. Good grief! I just looked at the clock and it’s nearly three in the morning, so I’d better wrap this up. Thanks so much for stopping by. I wish you all the best, and if they haven’t already, I hope the stars align for you someday soon, too!