Wednesday, May 31, 2017

House Hunting

Apparently it's a theme for me to not have time for blogging this time of year. Last April I didn't write a single post, because we had just moved in March and it took a bit to get our internet and computer set up. I wrote only one post in May, and then in June, we moved AGAIN. So apparently moving is also a theme for this time of year....

Here's an update on our house buying saga:

The sale on the house we are currently living in is still going forward. Our lease is up June 30th, and they close on July 3rd.

We still haven't heard from the VA on if the insurance thing was going to get approval in Brookings. If it would have went through, we would have gone forward with that major relocation. However, it could still be another week or three months before we have an answer on that. We made the decision not to wait indefinitely for that to go through and decided to move forward in finding a house here.

It is definitely a sellers market right now, because there isn't much available and when things do come up for sale that are worth looking at, they pretty much sell immediately. It's insane. We looked at one house and knew within seconds that it wasn't the house for us. Tony and I both had hoped it would be because the price was right, but no.

We have a friend that is moving to Oklahoma and they have been trying to sell their house. They had an offer almost immediately, but it ended up falling through because the potential buyer got a raise, which made them ineligible for the type of loan they were getting. Their house isn't ideal for us, but it is a nice house. I wasn't interested in it because I don't like the layout at all. In fact, I was adamant that it wasn't the house for us. Not only is the floor plan not my favorite, but we have large furniture items that won't have a home there. The problem was that time was ticking for us. If we didn't put an offer on SOMETHING, we would have been forced into renting a storage unit and living with Tony's parents. That would have meant moving TWICE (into a storage unit, and then into whatever house we did end up buying), and a three hour a day commute for Tony until we found something.

There was only one other house on the market that we were interested in looking at, but when we tried to arrange a tour, the buyers pulled it off the market. So at that point, I arranged for us to go see our friend's house. We knew it wouldn't last long before they had another offer, and we didn't want to keep holding out for something better and end up losing the opportunity to buy it. By the time we looked at their house, I had pretty much made up my mind that we were buying it.

It's actually a perfect situation for both them and us. They needed to sell quickly, because they are moving very soon (this Friday, in fact), and we needed something before the end of June. With them moving this week, that leaves the house available for us to rent from them until it actually closes and is officially ours (well, as much as it can be ours while we spend the rest of our life paying the bank). As of right now, we are set to start renting from them on June 15th, which will give us two weeks to get out of this house and settled in over there. Our plan is to spend the 15th and 16th painting and getting it move in ready, then have movers help us with our big furniture on the 17th. We'll have that next week to move things over "leisurely" and get settled in. Then on the following weekend, I'm going to hold a garage sale here where we are currently living and hopefully downsize a lot of stuff that we don't want to move. Then we'll have that next week to get this place cleaned up.

Hopefully, we won't have to rent the house for very long. Things have been moving quickly, so it looks like we'll be able to close early. Both the inspection and the appraisal have been done already.

While it may not be the perfect house, it's still a very nice house. It is by far the best house available in its price range. We could have gone a little more expensive, but there just wasn't anything out there available, and it would have been a really big stretch for us financially with preschool coming up next year. I had hoped we'd find our forever home, but the bottom line is that we simply didn't have time to wait and we really didn't have the money anyway.

Here's what we don't like about this house:

  • The living room/kitchen/dining room is all open and basically one room. I actually like open floor plans like that, but this space is kind of tiny.
  • We have to either sell our large, beautiful entertainment center or put it in our bedroom, which we really don't want to do. There is not a wall in the living room that we can put it without covering a window.
  • The dining room barely has enough room for our china hutch and kitchen table. The china hutch will also be covering a small window, but we have to keep it because the kitchen is small and doesn't have a lot of cupboard space.
  • We have to pay an HOA that we don't really get anything for.
  • The street isn't ideal for the kids being able to ride their bikes and scooters out front. We've gotten spoiled with being the last house on a dead end street for almost two years now.
  • We'd like to have a much bigger yard.
  • Having an upstairs kind of scares us with kids. We don't want anyone falling out a window.

Here's what we DO like:

  • It has air conditioning!!!! Hallelujah. This will be the first house we've lived in, in our 20 years married, with AC. I can't even begin to tell you how happy I am about that.
  • It has a fully fenced backyard, so the kids will be able to play outside while I'm making dinner, etc.
  • It HAS a backyard. So many of the houses around here have barely any yard. The house we are in now has no grass in the backyard, as well as the other house we had looked at to potentially buy. This one may not have a large backyard, but it's big enough to at least put a swing set in and possibly a covered patio.
  • The downstairs may be small, but the upstairs bedrooms are big. There's two full bathrooms, one for the kids between their rooms and a master bathroom with a big walk in closet.
  • The laundry room is upstairs, so there will not be any running up and down stairs lugging laundry.
  • The kitchen may be small, but there IS a pantry, unlike the house we are living in now.
  • We love that we can move in early and that we won't be forced into getting a temporary storage unit.
  • It's in the same town we live in now. Having that proximity between houses while moving will be sooooo nice.
  • It should be easy to sell again, when it's the right time for us to upgrade to the house we REALLY want. Wherever and whenever that may be....

I had hoped to find something that would be more of a forever home, but really, we are becoming somewhat of professionals at moving. Seriously, this will be our fourth move in just two years! Our kids are just 3.5 years old and will soon be moving into their fifth house in their short lifetime so far. So what's one more move in 3-5 years when we decide to upgrade?


  1. Congrats! I know that it is not your ideal situation, but it sounds like it turned out well for your short timeframe.

    Having an upstairs isn't too fact I prefer it. Does the house have updated windows? Most windows these days have pieces that stop the window from going up too far (mostly to keep people from breaking into your house but they can also be used to keep kids from falling out). If the windows don't have them then you can install some yourself.

  2. I had to chuckle over the AC excitement and so glad that you have that!! I also believe you have more positives than negatives so that's a good thing!!! I just wrote a letter to you but it won't get mailed until next week (you'll eventually understand that) but do you have help coming? Is Tony taking that week of the 19th off? I sincerely hope that this all ends up being a good move for all of you. I've always been a believer that every time you move, there is furniture that just doesn't work or some new piece is needed. Hope you can figure out what will work best for you with those decisions! Keep me informed and let me know where I can be of the best help to you! Love and hugs, Auntie

  3. I still can't believe how long you went without AC. I couldn't do it. Nope, no way. I'm glad you at least have something, even if it's not ideal. And hopefully we won't see a blog post about falling out of windows (I'm looking at you, Aiden...).

  4. Wow you haven't had a/c? Granted I guess if you don't live in the super south where it's 200 degrees in the summer maybe it's ok. I know this isn't idea BUT at least something is working out for you :)

  5. You have been busy! Glad you found something! I hope you post pictures. Good luck with the move and getting settled.