The house that almost wasn’t
Hi friends! Sorry I have been away from the blog for a while, it’s been crazy on my end. We are moving into our new place this Saturday and it’s all so overwhelming. But we’ve had some amazing help from family and friends and I pretty much just apologize to my husband at the end of every day because I know I must be driving him crazy.
Anyway, we are very happy now with our new home and how it is coming along now, but it was a long, not so pleasant road to get here.
Just a few months ago, we weren’t even looking for a house. We thought we would stay in our apartment for a couple more years, save up some more money and then start looking. But one fateful night, my husband was checking a realty company website and a condo in my parents’ neighborhood popped up. It was exactly what we wanted: a 2 bedroom townhouse with a basement and in the same neighborhood as my parents? Yes, please! The price was also good so we immediately scheduled an appointment to see the place. We also looked at another place in the same neighborhood but it was smaller, more expensive and had no basement (my husband wants his “man cave” and we would like to have one since we have tornadoes here sometimes).
We went to see the place and it had a couple of small water leaks but other than that the place was in great shape and the owner had done a lot to fix it up and make it look really nice. From the surface, I fell in love with the place. It was cute, had great space and in a perfect location. This was our first time in the whole home buying process so we didn’t know what we were getting into. We made a low ball offer to the seller to get things started and he was so irate with us that he countered above his original asking price and had some words for us with his agent who passed along the message. I was pretty hurt (I’m too sensitive) and got mad at Josh because this wasn’t even on my radar before. And now I was crushed.
But after some tears and deep breathing, we did some more calculating and decided to go back and check the place out again just to see if we really wanted to walk away or try to work with the seller. Turns out he was a house flipper trying to make a big profit. When we got there, the 2 small leaks had become huge and we noticed a lot of other things that looked good on the surface but as my dad said: “He sure did shine this place up really nice.” We had removed our beer goggles so to speak. This place would be problematic for us, the romance was gone.
In a bizarre twist of fate, another condo on the same street was about to go up for sale but hadn’t yet been listed. Our agent asked us if we wanted to take a look at it and I reluctantly agreed. At that point, I felt defeated and just wanted to go back to reality in our apartment and revisit this discussion at a later date. It was almost the same condo, only much more lived in. It belonged to an older lady who had lived there for almost 25 years before moving to a home. It needed a lot of updates and work. At first, that felt like a major drawback but then I realized it was our opportunity to make it our own. So we went for it.
Working with this seller was so much more pleasant. Instead of a house flipper, this person was trying to help relieve a family member’s financial burden and so he was very motivated to make a deal. After some bargaining, we agreed on a great deal we were all happy with and we were one step closer to owning our first home. Our loan was approved, inspection appointments were made and everything was falling into place. I finally quit worrying and starting embracing that this was going to happen this time.
The home needed some repairs per the inspector but everything else passed and then the appraisal was completed. Have I told you how much paperwork we had to sign in all of this? Sheesh! We were scheduled to close the week before Memorial Day!
Then came yet another fateful day, Tuesday, May 17th, a week before we were supposed to be closing. Josh was off that day so I decided to take a day of vacation so we could spend some time together. It was a fun day! We decided to go to Home Depot and price some things for the house and get some ideas of things we wanted to replace and look at paint colors. After this, we went to the movie theater to see Thor. As we were waiting outside the theater for them to clean, Josh’s phone rang. It was our mortgage broker. It was bad news.
I still don’t know what went wrong and for a long time I wanted to blame someone, but somehow EVERYBODY missed the fact that this particular “phase” of this condo association does not accept FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loans. So basically, we never should have gotten as far as we had. Our stuff made it all the way to the underwriter before this little oversight was caught. What choices did we have now? None, unless we could suddenly come up with 20% to put down for a conventional loan without any of it being gifted to us.
Being on the other side of that phone conversation was awful. Watching Josh’s facial expressions alone made me realize what was happening. He didn’t even have to tell me. We left the theater, got a refund for our tickets and made the long drive back home (10 minutes felt like an hour). It was over, again. The first place didn’t work out and then we found something else and now it was pulled from beneath us too. I never really got mad or felt like God or the universe was against me, I just felt so severely disappointed and frustrated, especially with people. This never should have happened. And again, this wasn’t on my radar a month prior, why were we doing this to ourselves again?
A few days went by and I was pretty depressed. I really wanted this place and there was literally nothing we could do. We looked at a few other houses online but nothing we felt good about and so we decided to just keep looking but go ahead and have our landlady write up a new lease for our apartment. I prayed a lot, did a lot of yoga and had some amazing friends lifting me up and things got better. I was ready to move on and put this behind me.
…To be continued…