Oh the Memories
We closed one year ago today on our house. Thinking back over the past year several things come to mind. The first memory that pops into my mind is the day after we finally closed on our house (Christmas Eve). Because we ended up closing so late on the 23rd of December and many feet of snow prevented easy access to the house, we waited until the next day to enter the house as new home owners. I remember walking (or traipsing through snow) up to the front door, key in hand, turning the key in the lock and stepping into our home. After everything we had been through to get this house, I felt like we were sneaking into the house. It didn’t seem real that we should be allowed to just walk into this house without the supervision of our realtor. The next thing I remember is walking around the house in disbelief. Could this be real? Did we really (finally) just buy this house?!
As reality began to sink in, so did the dirtiness of the house. Then began what I like to refer to now as “The Great Cleaning”. Armed with 2 boxes of latex gloves and an array of cleaning and painting supplies, we attacked the house. Many people came to help us in the cleaning, painting, and fixing process, and we couldn’t have done it without them.
Here is a picture of our first meal in the house:
Meals have improved since then! We have been able to open up our home and share good food and conversation with friends and family – a domestic diva’s dream.
All in all it has been a great first year! We have gone from living in a house to a home. No major surprises occurred in the first year, and things are steadily improving. The coming year promises to be just as busy with home improvement projects as we strive to improve the basics of our home before really tackling the fun stuff – decorating!!! Right now our furniture and decor shift as we work on different projects, but soon we hope to start establishing more permanent arrangements and pictures on the walls as we complete rooms. Stay tuned for many exciting domestic adventures to come.
After 4 months and 9 closing dates, we finally closed. 2 days before Christmas and one week before we had to be out of our apartment. Now we have to shovel snow, finish packing, clean, and actually move. Whew!
This could be it…
My goals for closing on the house have always surrounded holidays. First I thought about how great Halloween would be in our new house. Next, I thought, “Okay, so Halloween didn’t work out, but we will definitely be in our house by Thanksgiving.” Now, I am thinking about Christmas. It’s gotta happen by Christmas, right?
The past week has been another roller coaster (and I don’t even like riding real roller coasters). On Friday we found out that the judge had finally signed the title over to the bank and we should be set for closing soon. Woohoo! Victory!
On Monday we found out the bank went under and was bought out by another bank. Commence more confusion and unanswered questions.
Fast forward to Wednesday night. A call comes in from our realtor. Good news! We can close – maybe as early as Friday. ”For real!? No seriously. For real?”
Today we were frantically working to try to get to close tomorrow. Unfortunately, our title company is still missing one piece of paperwork, but as soon as that arrives we are set. We might be closing Monday depending on that one piece of paper that will hopefully find its way to our title company tomorrow. Hopefully there will be more good news to report soon.
What is the meaning of a closing date?
I have learned that just because you have chosen a closing date, doesn’t mean it will happen. Friday the 13th was not our lucky day. The new lucky day is December 7th. We have extended our loan rate lock and our apartment lease. We have gone from closing on October 4th to October 16th to November 4th to November 13th and now December 7th! I have gone from planning to decorate the house for Halloween to Thanksgiving and now I am hopeful for Christmas. We will continue to keep our fingers crossed that we will experience the true meaning of a closing date on December 7th.
You might be wondering whether we closed on our house yesterday. Sadly, it did not happen. We are still waiting for the judge to sign ownership over to the bank. New date is set for lucky Friday the 13th. We are hoping that picking the most unlucky day will cause our luck to change. Meanwhile, our lives have descended into chaos. We are jumping over boxes in our apartment, quickly cleaning it to show it to possible tenants, and watching the clock tick towards November 30th – our last day in the apartment. We haven’t really figured out what we will do with our stuff if that day comes and we still haven’t closed.
Meanwhile, I am spending every free moment I have planning the space. Paint colors, furniture arrangements, makeovers, etc. Pretty soon I will whip out the graph paper and go into super planner mode.
The House is Officially Vacant!
We found out today that the people living in the house have officially moved out. We also found out that they found another place to live. Now we just have to wait for our closing date and keep packing.
The countdown to closing has begun! I think I can finally officially get excited. It feels real this time! In 3 weeks we will be homeowners. And tomorrow the house should be empty. Soon we will get to see it completely empty and really start picturing ourselves in it.
OK, so after several more ups and downs, we think that our final final final official closing date is November 4th 2009! The people living in the house have said that they will officially be moved out October 14th. We will do a walkthrough on the 15th or 16th to make sure everything still looks good. Now you may be asking if everything will be good by then, why did they change their closing from October 16th to November 4th? Good question. We found out last week that the title to the house is not in the bank’s name yet. All we are waiting for now is that final step. Fingers crossed!
So we set our closing date for October 2nd, but just found out that the people in the house won’t be moved out by then. They are now saying they will be out by October 14th, so we are trying to reschedule our closing date for October 16th. We have officially given notice to our landlord, so I really REALLY hope the timing of everything works out!
We had our inspection today, and now we have our weekends planned with home improvement projects for the next 50 years.
We pulled up to the house at 12:30 and our realtor came running towards us.
Problem Number 1:
“We found a major issue! I think this house might be more than you want to take on for your first home. We can just call off the inspection now and save you some money.”
My thoughts: First thought – ok, we just got here. Second thought – what the hell is she talking about? Third thought – the agony of buying this house was all for nothing!
After we stepped back for a moment and discussed the situation, we found out there was a crack in the foundation that the inspector didn’t like. Upon further inspection (2 hours later) he decided it wasn’t nearly as bad as he first thought.
Problem Number 2:
The picture below pretty much sums it up. I am examining where the front of the house is boarded up and there are crumbled bricks on the ground. Take note of my lovely facial expression. I am thinking, “How does something like this happen?”
We found out later just how something like that happens when one of the people living in the house came home. When we asked him what happened, he got this huge grin on his face and started to laugh. Apparently this was going to be a very funny story. He proceeded to tell us that a woman got into her car on the street and floored it and instead of driving down the street, drove straight into the front of the house! At this point I am thinking, “Yeah that’s a super funny story, if you aren’t the people buying the house!”
Now, if you saw the hill in the front yard, you would be wondering how she could possibly get up the hill and into the front of the house accidentally. Which makes me wonder…was this an accident??? Hmmm… maybe she was madly in love with the owner of the house and walked in to find him with another woman. The only obvious way to show her rage and hurt was to drive into the front of his house. Yes, that must be what happened.
Anyways, we will be searching for a good brick mason.
Problems 3 – 496:
In addition to the problems I have already mentioned, the house has your typical, I am 45 years old and haven’t been loved for a while problems. I won’t bore you with the details. All I can say is that even though this was super overwhelming and really scary, we are still in love with the house. We see the amazing living space and the great potential and our future filled with DIYing and TLCing and we still say “YES! This is our home.”
…hopefully we will still be saying that a year from now. :-)
Our closing date is set for October 2nd. Let the sweat equity party begin!