Saturday, December 31, 2011

Ummm.. We bought a house??


So... we bought a house. Are you surprised? SO ARE WE! It feels incredibly surreal for many reasons..first, we didn't think we'd buy a house until the summer or fall. The timeline got altered when we realized we had more money than we thought we would and Grant's relocation benefits expire in April if we don't use them. Also surreal because we met with a realtor mid-november and bought a house by mid-december! Lastly surreal, because OMG this market and this particular house could send anyone into an emotional tail-spin. The market in the area of town and price-range we were looking in is HOT - as in you have to look at the houses and put an offer in often the same day it hits the market. So stressful! When making a decision this big one should take their time and ponder and visit the home many times. Nope. Totally not an option. 

Now let me tell you the story of this house... We looked at it on a Saturday morning, just hours after it hit the market. We were at another house and checked the new listings on our phones. The realtor thought we should check this house out so we drove to take a look. We liked it. It was different from the bungalows we had been checking out - seemed more spacious and was super cute. We also liked the other house we looked at that day. We spent ALL DAY driving back and forth all over the parts of town and mulling over which house we should offer on. Finally we decided we wanted to offer on this house. The next day we met with the realtor to submit an offer - the selling realtor had let us know there were already two offers on the table and one was very strong. We put our best foot forward, but we didn't have high hopes. Within an hour of submitting the offer we were told it had been rejected - there was a full-price cash offer on the table so the seller (an estate) logically went for that. We were sad, but moved on. The next day we went to look at a great house in the Hollywood district - i loved it! We were driving home trying to decide if we should offer on it or wait when our realtor called - the cash offer had fallen through and they wanted to know if we were still interested in this house. What? okay... yes we are still interested! And so the papers were signed and they accepted our offer. We were shocked - we'd totally moved on from this house the day before and then it was back in our lap just like that! I was happy, but it took me a week or so to get excited. The house was a different style than I pictured us in and it was not as 'close-in' as we'd hoped to be. And I just wasn't convinced it was THE ONE. I kept mulling it over though and eventually got really excited about this being OUR home. Edrie's FIRST home! Anyway, We moved forward scheduling lots of inspections since the house was built in 1924. Amazingly, most things turned out great...structurally the house is very sound and has been well maintained. There are a few things we will have to repair and the major thing that came up was that the house needed a new roof. We knew the estate wanted to sell the house as-is, so we hadn't planned on asking for any help from the seller for repairs. Turns out the roof is just too expensive for us. We had to ask the seller to repair it or we couldn't buy it. So we did. And then we heard nothing. For days. We only had until last Friday to complete all inspections and any negotiations resulting from those inspections. Friday afternoon we heard from the seller's realtor that the estate rep is on an island without internet service and can't sign any papers, but that they verbally agree to extend the inspection period so we can negotiate. Ok. The problem with that is we are taking someone's word and our earnest money hangs in the balance. We just couldn't risk losing any money and the seller's realtor was pretty confident that they wouldn't agree to the roof repair anyway. That made it all a moot point - if they didn't do the roof we couldnt' buy the house anyway. So last Friday we signed termination papers. We walked away. I'd finally gotten all excited and then we had to drop it. We spent all of the holiday weekend kind of bummed about starting to look at houses again - nervous that we wouldn't find one in time for the relocation benefits, etc. We worked hard to convince ourselves it was for the best and we didn't want it anyway. THEN...on Monday afternoon we got a call from our realtor. They seller had returned from the island (so funny, right?) and agreed to repair the roof - did we still want the house? OH WOW! What a roller coaster - yes we still wanted it. If for no reason, than to not have to go through this craziness again! 

So that's the story - We've been 'involved' with this house for several weeks, but we just made it official a few days ago. I'm still getting used to the idea. Would you like a little tour?


This is the view from the front entry. There are oak hardwoods throughout. The only major thing we hope to do before moving in (that is cosmetic) will be to take up the carpet and refinish the floors. Love the built-ins and french doors to the sunroom! One of the things we like about this house as compared the bungalows I'm obsessed with is that the spaces are SO MUCH bigger. We can fit our stuff in this house, which would have been difficult in a bungalow. Anyway...the door straight ahead in the middle is to the stairs going up. The door that is open on the right is to a little platform/mudroom thing which has to a door to the backyard, a door to the kitchen, and stairs to the basement. Hard to picture, I know. The door that is closed on the right is a closet.


This is the sun room off the living room. We are excited that even though there are only two bedrooms in this house - we have this extra space to use as a craft/office space.


Looking back toward the entry you see the opening into the dining room. I'm so excited and nervous to get those carpets up. I hope the floor isn't all damaged! I think it will look so pretty with wood flowing between these big rooms!


The dining room is giant and will totally accommodate our table - super important!


The dining room leads to the least favorite of the rooms. Its cute and quaint but needs some work. We hope in a few years to do a complete remodel. If you saw the stove you would pity me. I'm begging my husband to replace it. Straight ahead you can see a little eat-in nook. We will probably just use it for extra kitchen storage for now and then include it in the space when we remodel to make the work space of the kitchen larger.


A better view.

Remember the door to the stairs in the first tour picture? well the bathroom is at the top of the stairs. A little weird not to have a bathroom on the main floor, but we decided it wasn't a big deal. We figure we'll get used to it fast and its more exercise which is always good, right? Pretty cute with the honeycomb tile and built-in cabinets. Hoping to just spruce it up with a good cleaning.


Then we have the two bedrooms. Only two, but most of the houses in our price-range and location only have two bedrooms so we weren't new to the consideration. What is good about this house is that they are HUGE. Totally doable rooms and we also have that sunroom to utilize, oh and the unfinished basement! This is the master bedroom - do you love all the natural light? It has a mini walk-in closet that is also much more practical than some of the other homes we have considered.


And Edrie's room that she will, hopefully, share with a sibling or two...


And Olive's yard. CAN NOT WAIT TO SHOW IT TO HER! We are hoping to put a doggie door in the back door which will give her access to the backyard when we aren't home! In this house we can let her go in and out from the basement when we are away so we won't have to worry about her tracking mud in! So excited for that!

so that's it! What do you think? Are we crazy for putting a growing family in a two-bedroom house? Its 1375 square feet without the basement and 1975 with it. That'll be plenty, right?? This was a GIANT home for its time so people used to make it work!


J Manson Squared said...

Wow! SO excited for you guys!!! The house looks huge! It had such character & seems full of charm. Where is it located....guess maybe not something you want on a blog, but I hope G's commute is less. Our house was built in 1926 & we love it too...a little work & they are perfect! What a roller coaster ride you had buying it. Congrats!!! Julie :)

Alisha said...

Oh I LOVE IT! I think it is awesome! So much charm and character. And nope, you aren't crazy. Love grows best in small houses. I still miss ours.

jenni said...

I love seeing the pictures with you explaining each room, a sun room!!! so fun! that master!!! I can't wait to see how you decorate it!

rach said...

Yaye for new houses!
Looks like an awesome space which u will make into an exceptional home :)

Jonas and Janelle said...

I REALLY think it is cute and will look awesome with your guys' touches! Can't wait to see it and have MANY fun times here in the future! Yeah, I am inviting myself over :)