Alright, so a handful of our blog readers will know about this, but Paul and I just bought a house! Yay us!
We have had this deal in the hopper for quite some time now, only Paul is über-superstitious about some things and he didn't want a blog post to jinx the transaction. We actually put our offer in on this house more than 2 months ago (it was a short-sale) and have been waiting and waiting to find out whether the purchase would go through. To be honest, we still don't have keys to our new place and Paul really wanted me to wait a few more days to post about this, but I think that is silly. We signed all of the closing docs on Friday morning and the seller has signed off and everything, so it all seems pretty complete to me. We're just waiting on funding and for the tenants who were renting the place to finish moving (they have to be out by Wednesday).
There will be more pictures to come, but for now here is one of the front of the house.
Nothing fancy, I know. But still, we think it has loads of potential. And by loads of potential, I am really saying that it is a total fixer-upper. It was built in 1958 and our new-old house is just what we were looking for - it is in a great neighborhood with tree-lined streets and well-kept houses, and it needs quite a lot of work but is completely livable in the meantime. The last thing I wanted in a house was something that had just been remodeled but not to my liking. Because let's face it, I'm super picky/opinionated/particular about things and I wanted to go in and rip out the kitchen and put in exactly what suits our tastes.
The full story of how we ended up with the house starts back in early March when Paul and I first started going to open houses on weekends just for fun. Sometime early in May we found a house that was way at the top of our price range but so cute that we decided to get pre-approved so we could make an offer on it. Since we hadn't really been serious about looking before finding that house, we didn't get our act together in time to actually make the offer before the house sold. But after getting pre-approved, we started being a little more serious in our efforts. In early June, we got lucky. Paul had signed up with a number of real estate email lists to get notices about new properties put on the market and woke up one morning to see that there was a new short-sale in an area that we hadn't previously focused on. He drove by and checked out the photos online, decided it looked good, and called the listing agent. The next day we walked through the house and made an offer on the spot. Since we weren't being represented by an agent at the point, we agreed to be represented by an agent from the listing agent's office so that they could keep both sides of the sales commission "in-house". We figured this would give them a vested interest in getting the sale to go through. They cancelled the open house that was planned for that Saturday and to make a long story short, after being told by the bank that was approving the short-sale to up our offer a couple of times and waiting about two months, our offer was approved.
After that, it was just a matter of meeting the conditions of the FHA loan and getting the inspection and appraisal done. Our rental contract with our current apartment isn't up until late September, so we will be able to take our time cleaning up our new place and moving our things over.
Paul has created a to-scale drawing of the floor plan, along with tiny to-scale furniture pieces that we play around with, arranging and rearranging to decide on the best layout. Paul is also excited to do yardwork and says that the first thing he will do on the house is chop down the overgrown and nasty shrubs in both the front and the back yards. We're also planning on knocking down some walls, taking it from 4 bedrooms down to 3 bedrooms (the current rooms are jail cell sized - it is not a big house and fewer, roomier bedrooms just seems like a better plan to us), remodeling bathrooms, and maybe eventually building an addition on to the front of the house to create more of a master suite. So you can expect a number of before/after photos in the future (and that might be the distant future as we save up the funds to undertake our remodeling projects).
Wish us luck!