May 18, 2016

Home Sweet Home

One year ago today we received the keys to our first house. I looked back on my posts and realized I had never actually shared the story of how we found and purchased our home. 

We had been pre-approved for a mortgage while we were living in Palm Desert in 2014. We utilized a lender that was referred to us by a realtor we were working with out there. At the time, we were interested in purchasing in the desert. Then Stephen found out he'd most likely get a job transfer to San Diego so we held off on purchasing. In December of 2014 we moved in with his parents temporarily while Stephen wrapped up his work in the desert. Then we moved in with my parents temporarily when he was officially transferred to San Diego. 

We knew we wanted to purchase but we just weren't sure where. We had no idea where we were going to end up. We just kind of left it in God's hands. I started looking online for fun. I found a condo that I really liked so I contacted a realtor on Redfin. He was not very responsive and I was frustrated that I hadn't heard back from him after a few days so I contacted another realtor who ended up being the owner of the office and a broker. He was extremely helpful and even made it possible for me to see the condo that night. He had bible study with his wife but he made sure one of his realtors was able to meet me. I liked it but it was three stories, so the third story would require tons of air conditioning {something Stephen and I take into consideration because neither one of us enjoys the heat}. My parents also reminded me with a condo, we'd have a huge HOA payment each month on top of higher taxes because it was a newer property.

Stephen had a crazy work schedule back then but I had made an appointment for him to see the condo on that upcoming Sunday. That Friday night, Stephen and I looked at photos of listings online. There was one in particular that stood out to us. He loved the fireplace in the backyard and the fact that it was a one story. It was built in 1988 and it seemed as if the owner put all his money into the landscaping rather than updating the inside over the years but we liked that we could go in there and make it our own. I asked the realtor to add that house to the list of homes we'd see on Sunday. 

The next day, Saturday, April 11th, I wanted to purchase a car. My dad and I actually went to the dealership and I picked out a pearl white Prius. I told the guy I had to bring my fiance back to co-sign with me but we'd be back that night. On our way back into town, my dad and I told my mom to meet us at the house Stephen and I had seen online. I knew we could't get in but I just wanted to see the neighborhood because there was no HOA. I loved it right away. The landscaping was beautiful. We were peaking in the windows and my mom made her way to the backyard. She noticed tons of business cards on the counter. She told me, "You see all those cards? You need to put an offer on the place immediately." 

I called my realtor. She was doing a showing but she told me she'd be there in twenty minutes. We were able to get into the house and I told my realtor I wanted to make an offer. The house had only been on the market a few days and I knew it wasn't going to last long. I had to contact my lender to see if we could get pre-approved again because the homes in the desert were a little less expensive and Stephen had taken a promotion so a lot had changed since we were first pre-approved. She gave me a temporary pre-approval so we could make the official offer but I needed to send her documents to back up Stephen's change in income.

I had to call Stephen and tell him I put an offer on the house we liked...even before he saw it in person. He said, "Okay..." I said, "You'll get to see it tomorrow!" He wasn't upset at all but Stephen is a thinker. He needs to think about any decision before acting on it. I'm more of a - let's do it and I act on it immediately. As you can tell by this story.

We went to spend the night at Stephen's parents house. We already had this planned because we thought we were going to be buying a car in their area. My realtor told me I wasn't allowed to anymore. We couldn't do anything that would affect our credit. My mother-in-law had asked me what she should pick up for dinner before Stephen was off work. I told her, "I've already purchased a home without his input today. Let me find out what he'd like before I order his dinner for him too." 

We signed the paperwork to make the offer official that night at Stephen's parents house. The next day, Sunday, April 12th, we all went back to see the house. At that point my mom was already taking pictures of everything. Stephen was talking about flooring and my dad was talking about shutters. After that, Stephen and I went to Home Depot to pick out paint. 

Around 5 o'clock pm on Monday, April 13th my realtor called to tell me they accepted our offer. Our lives changed that night. We went through a thirty day escrow. It ended up being a thirty-five day escrow because of our lender. She ended up being a nightmare. BUT everything else was an extremely positive experience. Dan and Ricki with ReMax were amazing and if and/or when we decide to move, I would contact them again in a heart beat. They even sent us a Happy Anniversary card to mark our first year in our home. How sweet is that? 

Stephen says he'll never want to sell this house, especially since we held our wedding reception in our backyard. We've made so many memories here and I am looking forward to creating many more. There is no other place on earth I'd rather be than at home with Stephen and Vader. 

Very early on in our relationship, Stephen spoke of purchasing a home. He had been saving money long before he met me. I'm so happy his dreams came true and I am very grateful to God for allowing this opportunity to come to us. It's not easy purchasing a home but everything just fell into place for us and we will never forget who is owed appreciation. 


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