Friday, February 15, 2013

On Becoming a Home Owner

Whew. This past month has been crazy. I felt like we've been in limbo, just waiting to move out of our apartment.

Alex and I had talked about moving, but had planned to find a bigger place to rent. With our new precious baby, we had a lot of baby stuff, and were starting to feel cramped.

I had looked at houses a long time ago on, and received email updates with new houses in my search requirements. I saved the ones I liked, and even sent some on to Alex to show him the kinds of houses I would like to look at one day. He would sometimes reply what he also liked and didn't like.

Well, he saw one, and called me saying that we should consider buying it. We decided we were ready to commit to buying a house. Alex called about the one he liked, and I continued sifting through the options online. Here were my basic requirements: minimum three bedrooms, two bathrooms, preferable open floor plan, less than $100,000, and in a good neighborhood. A front porch and garage would be nice, but not necessary.

The real estate agent Alex contacted for one house ended up being our real estate agent for the rest of the search. He was very helpful, and had contacts for a house inspector, a termite inspector, and a lender. We used all of his resources, and weren't disappointed. The agent's name is David W. Graffius, and his number is (615) 300-1557, if you're in the middle Tennessee area and are looking for a house.

The first house we saw was right on a highway. It was an older brick house that was completely remodeled inside. It was beautiful. If it was down the side street, we would have put an offer on it. However, I really didn't like that it was on a major highway, and the backyard was minimal. We didn't write it off, but did continue looking in earnest.

The next house was the one which we fell in love. It is in a subdivision, has an open floor plan, a fenced in back yard, and a giant walk-in closet No front porch or garage, but it has a nice paved driveway and gorgeous windows. We wanted to stop looking and buy it right then. However, we planned to see a couple other houses, and asked Alex's dad to come look at this one.

We started packing that evening and the next.

A couple of days later the house passed the "dad inspection" and we were not impressed with the other house we saw. We told our agent we wanted to put on offer on the house we loved, and he came the next day with the paperwork. We signed a TON of paperwork, and Alex started talking to the lender and did some more paperwork.

Buying a house involves a lot of paperwork.

We had a number of offers and counter offers before coming to an agreement. We needed the seller to pay closing costs and we wanted a home warranty.  We ultimately agreed to pay a little more for the house so that they would pay more of the up-front costs. We filled out more paperwork for the loan, and waited for an official closing day.

The days seemed to drag by. We had half of our stuff packed, and were trying to pack the rest while still living in the apartment.

We finally heard last week that if our lender got the paperwork in by Friday, we would be closing on Tuesday! We tried to finish packing up as much as we could. With Adara, I am very thankful for the family who watched her while I worked on cleaning, organizing, and packing.

We signed the paperwork Tuesday at noon and started moving that afternoon. Alex's family pitched in to help us-Lacey watched Adara for us, Alex's dad and brothers made numerous trips back and forth to help us move all our boxes. We hired movers to come Wednesday morning to move our big stuff. Definitely worth it to us since we were moving from a third story apartment. We used "All My Sons" movers, and they were excellent. One guy picked up my wooden cabinet full of cans and flours and other heavy things like it was nothing. Alex said they just picked up the washer and dryer and carried them down the stairs. I was very impressed. We heard about them from our local Christian radio station, WayFM.

Alex turned in our apartment keys Wendesday afternoon, and we were officially out of the apartment.

The last few days we've been shopping for the essentials. The house had no appliances, and the closets were missing most of the shelves. An investment company bought the house when it was a foreclosure, and then resold it to us. We had a lot of fun picking stuff out, but it was kind of stressful, especially for Adara. We took her with us, but all this change has been overstimulating for her. We usually left the store with a crying baby.

This house feels more like home than our apartment every did. Being in the apartment reminded me of staying in a hotel, only bigger. This feels like a place we'll stay for a while-which is good, since we have a large note on the house now! This was definitely worth all the trouble, but I hope we don't move again for a long time! It's expensive to move, and it is a lot of work! We still have quite a bit of unpacking to do, but I'm enjoying the process.

Welcome home: