So I have an interesting story... yes, we bought a house. How we got there is a bit crazy but one that has got to be shared. And...I figure it will help explain why I have been "missing" from blogging for a while. So here we go-
After being on the market for over a year, and 2 offers falling through for various reasons (cough! hate my former HOA covenants cough!) our townhome back in Colorado finally sold in early July--granted for much less than we had ever hoped, but it sold and we were finally free to think about housing here in Virginia. What do I mean "thinking about housing" you may ask-- well originally it was getting out of the apartment we were renting and renting a house so we could still save money. I mean since we no longer had a mortgage and rent to pay our savings could really add up right?!? And more money meant a larger down payment and hopefully a nicer house. Exciting--- YES!!!
So our next step was to start looking at rentals, which meant lots of time looking at different websites. Both the hubs and I asked colleagues for recommendations on realtors, areas, rental companies, all sorts of questions. Really--people began to get sick of us asking questions. One such recommendation led us to a wonderful realtor named Betsy Swett. I could go on forever and ever how great she has been, but let's just say she has earned my business and recommendation to anyone who is looking to buy or sell in C-ville. She truly is amazing. Anyhoo... back to the story.
August came and we really started looking. I was stalking all real estate sites and craigslist daily. I came across a house for sale that I was really interested in. We could look right? Hubs and I agreed that we were in the best position to look, we could jump if we really wanted to, but if we didn't find the perfect place we didn't have to settle because we were saving money and renting was ok with us. And if we found a house in August cool, if in January cool too. We wanted the forever home and would wait to have it. So in walks Betsy... after showing us the house I was first interested in (turns out not so much) she sat down with us and went through what our must haves and deal breakers, even for a rental, were. Here's what we came up with: 3 or more bedrooms, 2 or more baths, a large living room or play area, a back yard big enough for Duncan to run around in, a garage, and hopefully something that could meet us in the middle of our drives to work (I work on the west side of the county, hubs on the North side). Betsy asked for a few days and she went to work.
About a week later, we got a surprise email saying she was getting ready to preview a house with a realtor, it hadn't gone on the market yet, but she thought it would be perfect for us. 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, on 2.1 acres. If she liked it, would we want to see it right away? We said yes, and two days later we were off to see the house. And it was perfect. Well... it didn't have a garage, but with 2.1 acres we could build one! We had walked into our forever home. Now...just to say how much I love my realtor, she then promptly took us to 2 other rental houses and one for sale so we could compare, get some perspective, and see what was "out there". There was one that we really did like, but it wasn't a forever home. We asked Betsy for 24 hours to think it over and drove straight home and called our mortgage company to see if we could realistically afford this house. I was deathly afraid (and still am) of being house poor, so I didn't want us to get over our heads. Turns out--we could afford the house and still have money left over after all other bills and savings requirements at the end of the month--and we were pre-approved and started the actually application right away. We immediately put in an offer and it was accepted. All before the house ever officially was listed on the MLS. We were buying a house.
Wait! We were buying a house! Holy crap is that a scary thing to say-- we are buying a house. Does any one every really know (or remember) everything that goes into buying a house? The paperwork, nerves, worry, the approval process, the packing.... Can you say overwhelming--OH HECK YES!! Oh and did I mention our closing date was the same week as Homecoming at my school (that is a complete story in it's own bag of craziness for later). I think I might have gone insane if it hadn't been for my sister who came to help us out. But it is ours now, our house! There is so much more to share, a TON to still unpack, but I think I will save that for later as well as the official picture tour. But for now this is what I get to see when I come home.