Sunday, July 30, 2017
Journey to Home Ownership
Well I am sure you have noticed the lack of entries this year. There is a very simple reason for that. On December 26th 2016 we received a phone call from the people who were buying our house from our current landlord, the house we called home for 10 years. They informed us that they were nuying the house, would be renovating it and making it nice again, raising the rent considerably and that it would be better for everyone if we moved out when our lease was up.
So needless to say we were a bit worried, shocked, and confused. Our lease as it were was up May 1st 2017. As of that day we would have lived there for 10 full years. We had already for 2 years prior been working with the USDA to get a mortgage approval so we knew renting a new house was not an option, we were going to have to buy and soon. So we immediately the next day began searching for a house and contacted USDA to explain the situation. We had 5 months to buy a house.
After a lot of back and forth and a LOT of paperwork, finally on March 29th (exactly 4 months ago yesterday) we were approved for a home loan through USDA, which meant no down payment and low interest, but a lot more hoops to jump through. We immediately went to put in an offer on the one house we had loved, only to find out it had just closed and we had to start from scratch.
So we got ourselves a realtor, and started looking at houses. I mean really looking... at a lot of houses. We live in the country so there aren't even that many houses to look at, but I think we looked at all of them. After about 2 weeks of looking at houses, we finally decided to check out one last one. It was not the town I wanted to live in, or anywhere near where I thought we should live, but we went.
That was April 9th.
This was the house. It was twice as big as any house we had looked at and half the price, half the taxes too, simply because it was in a smaller town. It was gorgeous! It was perfect! It was ours! I knew right then, this was our house. On April 12th we signed our purchase offer on the house and waited. We gave them 5 days to answer us. It only took 2. However those 48 hrs were the longest I had ever felt up to that point. If only I knew then, that we had a long road ahead.
Our closing date was scheduled for June 12th, with an assurance that we most likely would close by the end of May. It was April 14th... we figured, a month an a half is such a huge long time... we will definitely be closed by then. We began to pack. We packed up just about everything non essential and lived like hermits. We celebrated Easter among boxes. We even did the least Green Mommyish thing you can do, packed our dishes and ate off disposables.
Very soon after the purchase agreement came back though we hit hurdle after hurdle, the end of April came, quickly too came our lease ending. Luckily our new landlords were very kind and let us stay at the same price, but reminded us we needed to be out soon. We only had until the beginning of July at best, but we were so sure there was no way we would not be closed by June 12th.
Then before we knew it we were headed to the end of May, no closing in sight, more hurdles, more repairs, more estimates, more everything. We had no idea buying a house was this hard. Owning one, sure, but buying one?
Then we found out that us even buying the house was based on the appraisal. We had bought the house for a set price yes but now their were 10 k in repairs we had to add into the purchase price and 5k in closing costs. We had to either pray it appraised for 15000 over purchase price, or walk. So here we were, had to be out of our house by July 1st, no closing in sight, and now we might have to walk on our dream house.
Then it was June... our closing date of June 12th now seemed like a silly day dream. We knew there was no way we would be closed by then. Like a girl who takes 5 years to graduate college and has to watch all her friends walk on time, I felt ashamed and depressed the closer it got to June 12th.
June 12th came..... still nothing. No appraisal numbers, no closing, nothing. Bug was finishing up 2nd Grade and we were still packing and still living like hobos.
June 13th, the day after our closing, we finally got good news. Our appraisal numbers came back. The house appraised for 17k over our purchase price. We were saved! We could buy our house! Now we just had to close right? We were given a new closing date our approximately June 30th. One June 25th we called to check in and were told the most devastating news. There was a lien on the house, and unless the people holding the lien could agree with what the owners could offer, the OWNERS WOULD HAVE TO WALK!!! We were in shock. We had to be out of our apartment in a few days and we were probably losing our house, and we had nowhere to go!
That night my cousin called me to tell me that her mother, my beloved Great Aunt, who had passed a few months ago, her house was sitting vacant and furnished. If we wanted to we could live there until we closed on the house and store our things in the huge garage. I sobbed like a baby and the enormous generosity and kindness of this offer. My kids would have a home until we could figure out the next step.
July 1st we moved. The whole process took 4 full days. We vastly underestimated how much stuff we had after 10 years in one house. My Aunt's house was adorable. Tiny but gorgeous. It was the perfect getaway from it all place. The kids each had their own rooms, and they loved them.
We had a perfect view from our gorgeous little table each morning, and the town we were living in is literally the nicest place I have ever lived. I am not joking when I say that people here are the sweetest most amazingly friendly people ever.
A few days after we moved in, we got a call from our lawyer. The lein had been settled, we were moving forward with the sale and our new closing date was to be scheduled no later than August 14th. So here we are. It's July 30th, 2 full months from our first closing date, and we are still waiting. We did have a final piece of good news though. On July 25th, one month exactly from the day we were told about the lien, Hubby drove by the house and saw that they had put up the SOLD sign.
So there is that at least. Tomorrow is Monday July 31st, and Saturday is August 5th, our 11th Wedding Anniversary. So we are really hoping that at some point between those two dates we finally find out we are officially closing and soon.
So what did we learn from this process? That it has taken almost 8 months to get here, that home ownership takes forever, that nothing in my life has or ever will be this stressful or crazy, but most of all that it is worth it. At the end of this long long road is our own house. Not just our own house but THAT house. Our dream house. The home we will live in and love for our whole lives, raise our children in and spend 50 years give or take together in. It has definitely been worth it!