Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Our first home

So, big news around these parts! First, as of April 8th, 2011, Jason and I are officially homeowners!
Big news number two, I started a new blog to talk about all the adventures of home owning and decorating:

I still plan on keeping this blog, but it will now be reserved as a journal, I may even go private on this blog so I know just who is reading all these inner most feelings.

So, even though this is house related, I wanted to post my feeling side about this big step in our lives. I absolutely love having this blog to look back on and see how I was feeling in different times. Especially since it holds everything from student teaching to graduating from Berry to getting married to my first teaching job. I was actually so encouraged a few weeks ago because my cousin (who is the age I was when I started the blog) said she went back and read every post and could identify with all that I was saying. I cant imagine what it will be like to look back on all of this ten years from now!

It isn't too hard to tell by looking back over past blog posts that I had the house itch in a bad way. My original plan was to find and move into a house sometime between June 2011-June 2012. But I just couldn't stay off of realtor websites for the life of me. We started going to look at some of my favorites "just to see". Back in December, we actually scheduled an appointment with a realtor to "just see" a house that seemed like a killer deal. We didn't end up liking that house at all, but the realtor began sending us links to houses that met our criteria, and one faithful afternoon. I saw this picture on my screen:

And it was perfect. It was a ranch style in the location we wanted with a nice yard and a garage and the deal closer for us....a full basement. I couldn't get the house out of my head. So, once again "just to look", we contacted a realtor to go see the house. I even told him in our first email that we didn't really want to buy until this summer.

On February 7th, we went and saw the house for the first time. Jason was sold from the first time he walked in. Though I wouldn't admit to it then, I was already pictuing us living there.  I was picturing toddlers in the bathtub and where I would put our Christmas tree even from that afternoon. We had a long talk in the basement with the realtor, I still had a goal of buying a house with cash (which wouldn't be possible with this house), so we decided to look at some fixer uppers. We went on a few more tours of several houses, but one horrible driveway and hearse in the next door neighbors drive way and hole in the ceiling after another, I saw that a fixer upper wasn't really what I wanted. The original house was never far from our minds. In fact, we usually referred to it as "our house" even in those days, and did things like drive by it after Sunday night church "just to see what it looks like at night". When we first started looking, I had the mentality that there were a million houses that I would love, but the more houses we saw, I saw how rare a house we both thought was perfect really was! So after a particularly bad house tour, I looked at Jason and said "I think I'm ready to put an offer in on "our" house".

Then on February 29th, we went and saw the house for a second time. This time with my parents and brother and Jason's parents and niece. That crew looked the house over from top to bottom and walked away saying it was great. Then, it really started to hit me, where we really about to do this? Was it right? Was it the best choice? Were we ready? We went and ate dinner all together after touring the house, and I could hardly keep it together. In the parking lot of Zaxby's, my mom hugged me and told me everything was going to be okay. I sobbed all the way home.

Thankfully, after prayer and encouragement from friends and Jason, I put my big girl panties on and decided we could do it. On March 5th, we submitted our offer. He countered once and we accepted on the terms that the projector would be included. Then we started the long and stressful process of finding a loan agent, signing the contract, inspecting, etc. We had some drama with an encroachment issue (neighbor's fence over the line) and getting all the loan stuff worked out was pretty intense, but we got it all together. Honestly, that month of limbo didn't feel like we were really moving even though we were doing all kinds of things for the loan and packing and selling a bunch of stuff on ebay, it still didn't really hit me.

Then, on April 8th at 4:00, we went to our closing. Everyone had told us how long it was and how many papers had to be signed, but it honestly wasn't that bad. We met our seller who was a preciously nerdy guy in his early thirties. He was super nice, and I felt bad for him since he had to pay money at closing because what he owed was more than what we paid), but I didn't feel too bad since that showed what a killer deal we got (we bought the house for $37,000 less than what he bought it for five years ago). : )

We headed back to the basement apartment where my family and Jason's parents met us, we packed what we could get in one load including what it would take for us to be able to spend the night. My mom, sister, and I unpacked the kitchen and the boys set up the bed. Soon, Jason and I were standing there alone in our new home. We sat on the back deck and ate Chef-Boyardee Ravioli for dinner, and it was perfect. It was just one of those look-over-at-the-one-you-love-and-can't-beleive-you-get-to-share-in-this-crazy-awesome-life-moments. I wish I could bottle that night up and hold onto it forever.

So, as of this week, we have lived in our house one month. I've been surprised that it has been more of a transition than I thought. Jason and I were totally self sufficient and independent while living in the apartment, but there is just something that makes me feel a little bit more independent (and scared) about owning a home and truly living on our own. We are still transforming the house into our home, and project by project it feels more like ours. We had dinner on the back deck again last night and walked around the neighborhood, and I swear I almost had to pinch myself to believe how wonderful my simple little life is.