We have the keys.
To a home that, at times, I thought would never be ours. I’m pretty sure I’ve had more gray hair appear in the last two months than I’ve ever had (and this could be in part due to the fact that I’m about to be 33, and 33-year-olds have problems like starting to find gray in their hair).
I wrote a post at the end of 2016 (one of like, 4 total) summed up my thoughts on the year. 2017 has already surpassed last year in so many ways–I got a new job, then another new job, and decided I was going to Italy to write and do yoga and drink wine, and then, out of nowhere, Oscar and I fall in love with this house, and I realized at that moment, more than ever, that the universe is in control of what is offered to us and when, and we need to take it and roll with it. Which is exactly what I’ve been trying to do, although, I still have work to do.
Our new home journey begins three years ago, when Oscar went to the home after the current homeowner called to get a quote for some painting work. He walked in and made small talk, then said to her, “You have a beautiful home. Please let me know if you ever decide to sell it. My wife and I would like to stay in this neighborhood, and this house would be a great fit.”
Fast-forward to the first week of April, when Oscar got a call from the homeowner asking about a quote for some painting work. She also said, “Oh, Donna (their real estate agent, who also knows Oscar through Three Brothers and has worked with him many times) told me to tell you that we’re putting the home on the market. We’re relocating and will put it on the market once the painting work is complete.”
Oscar came home and told me about the house, and I immediately looked it up. The photos I saw were three years old, and had old, dark paint colors throughout, but I still fell in love. How on earth could we afford to buy a house right now? It just didn’t seem in the cards for us.
Until it was.
I went to a wine club event later that week, and told my friend and real estate agent Cathy about the house. I gushed–I was in love with this house and had no way to pay for it, and my house was in no shape to be put on the market. She told me that properties in our neighborhood were going super-fast, and if I was the least bit serious, I’d need to act fast.
When I was talking to a friend about this enormous opportunity, and how I wasn’t sure how to feel, because I was concerned I was in some way taking advantage, she said, “It’s called making the most of your resources. We all have them–we just need to make sure we’re using them in the best way possible, and not being an idiot.” Our resource happens to be my father-in-law, who has bought and sold many properties over the last 10-15 years, and managed to help us find a way to sell our current house and also have enough of a down payment on the new house to avoid PMI. (Side note: Look at me, writing all the adult things! Mortgage! PMI! Down payments!)
So, we made an offer–the only offer–on the home, just 8 hours after it went on the market.
Those next 24-48 hours were THE WORST.
Our sellers countered on terms. Then we re-countered. And waited.
And then I got a call from Cathy, saying they accepted our counter, and they cancelled the remaining showings on the house that weekend.
All the HGTV shows I’d watched when the buyer(s) hopped up and down and celebrated didn’t prepare me for that moment. I was in the car on my way home from buying groceries, and I immediately pulled into the garage, burst through the door, and started bawling “THEY ACCEPTED OUR OFFER, OMG, WE’RE BUYING A HOUSE, WE’RE BUYING A HOUSE!”
After wiping the snot and tears, I realized the hard part was still ahead. Because we’d literally just heard about the house going up for sale, we hadn’t even started the approval process for the loan. We still had to shop around, find a lender, and go through the entire stress-inducing process of getting all the documents together and submitting for approval.
And that’s when I thought the stress was going to eat me alive.
I wanted to start sorting, and packing, and donating, and we were only mostly-pretty-sure that we were getting the loan. I couldn’t bear to tell everyone and have it not work out, so I told a small group, and thank God for them for keeping me sane during this whole process.
Slowly, slowly, each piece came together. I thought choosing a moving company would break us, and it didn’t. I thought the stress of realizing just HOW MUCH crap we have acquired in this house over the last 12 years, and how on Earth are we going to fit it all in boxes, and Lord Jesus let’s just light it on fire and start over (Okay, I only thought that once, for a split second).
But today, we signed the paperwork and it officially becomes ours.
I fell in love with this house the minute I saw photos of it, and all over again the minute I walked through the front door.
This is is the house I want the boys to remember when they recall their childhood. The house I want them to graduate high school remembering. The house I look forward to making so many memories in.
Ashley thats awesome! You are a great person . I never really got the chance to tell you how much I appreciated your kindness after my surgeries . You were sweet enough to bring food over for me and my family . It was so thoughtful and kind. I need to get your father in laws contact info . The rental company for our current home has changed ownership and is located in Arizona now and just informed is of a big increase of $200 dollars more starting in August. We’re interested in possibly renting your old home if we can work something out. Thank you for being such a sweet neighbor and congratulations on your new house .. Thanks for your father in laws information too.