Finding Home

Monday, February 29, 2016

During the hunt for our first house (8.5 years ago), we looked at four houses on Day 1 with the Realtor and put an offer on the first one that we had toured.  Thirty days later we went to closing and TaDa! we were home owners!  We took down some wallpaper, painted a few rooms and moved in about a week later.  We didn't know how lucky we were.

Overall we loved the house for a while, we did a ton of projects while we were there and we really made it work for us as best as we possibly could.  But it was meant to be a starter home that we were going to live in for 3 to 5 years.  After that point, I was pretty tired of it and we had started to grow out of it.  Unfortunately, that's also about the same time that the housing market crashed and the value of our home was considerably less than what we owed.  It took us several years to agree on a plan to rent the old house out and get ourselves in a position to be able to actually do it, but we finally got there!

After living in the house for eight and a half years, we had a pretty good idea of what was working and what was not.  We new our wish list was going to be longer this time, but I still had this naive notion that what we wanted was going to be pretty standard.  Maybe it would have been.  But we also had the idea that we were going to find a house that was undervalued that we would be able to put a little bit of money in to bring it back up to value.  And with a small budget and a big wishlist.... I was like one of those horrible ladies on HGTV that wanted my dream home for half the price.  Luckily, unlike those women, I have imagination and could see thru color, oak cabinets and outdated tile to the potential underneath.  All I needed was a house with good bones, the rest I knew we could work our own magic on.

Then I ambushed the poor Realtor with my wishlist.  Over a period of 4 months, after looking at a handfull of houses, changing the search area, putting an offer in (and losing), switching back to the original search area, looking at about 20 more properties, whining a bit, raising our budget, and looking at more houses... the poor, poor guy... we finally got the opportunity to put a second offer in on the same house and were able to close on our Dream Home.  Our diamond in the ruff that was undervalued as a Short Sale, needed a bit of cosmetic work and yet was overall absolutely everything we had ever hoped for.

As frustrating as it was, I am very thankful that we waited for what we wanted.  I was getting dangerously close to settling for less than perfect because I simply wanted to move so badly.  Thankfully the Realtor was patient with me and talked me thru my near breakdown.  In the end, our additional search time allowed us to completely rule out all of our options in our original search area, so that we ended up with no regrets, and let us save for an extra month (which gave us a better contingency budget).

In the Beginning

Monday, February 22, 2016

This is where I make my confession... just so that we are clear from the start so that no one gets fooled along the way: I'm not trained in design, finance, family affairs, nutrition, ecology or anything else that may or may not be contained in the future posts of this blog.  I do however, have a 2 year degree in education and a brief career as a preschool teacher.  I also have a lot of creativity and passion, and a type-A personality.  A husband who is very patient, somehow shares my vision, and thankfully has much more natural DIY ability than I do.  A house full of munchkins that make me feel like either an incompetent baboon or a super hero every single day, but help me to fill that beautiful motherhood description and encourage and inspire me to be better everyday.

Oh, I also don't have a hubby who makes an obscene amount of money or a trust fund or any other magical source of money, so all of the projects that we do around here are a product of hard work and sweat equity, careful planning, and good old fashioned financial decision making.

With that in mind, I am very excited to share our home and family journey with everyone and hope that you stick around for a while to watch the transformation from foreclosure to dream home!

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