We had rented our little trailer for over half a year now. We were celebrating the end of Tim’s first year of teaching by pursuing a bucket-list adventure: driving cross country, with toddler in tow. While staying at a friend’s house in Ohio, we found an email from our realtor sitting in our inbox.
It read, “This just came on. Let me know what you think. This one won’t last.”
In fact, the listing was a house that we had seen months ago during our search, but it had been out of our price range. We had ignored it since we didn’t think the mortgage would be feasible. But here it was on the market again as a foreclosure- and it had been reduced by over $30,000.
Now, you have to understand our position at this point. We were so burnt out from seeing homes that didn’t work out, and so tired of being disappointed, we almost didn’t want to go see it at all. What if it was a tease like all the others?
We talked it over, and finally decided that it couldn’t hurt to set up an appointment for when we returned from our trip. But we wouldn’t rush for it- not this time. In fact, we decided in advance that we wouldn’t like this house and that it would fall through like all the others.
But when we pulled into the driveway, we kept catching each other suppressing smiles. The property was beautiful and had a lot of potential. It had plenty of room to play in and to plant a huge garden. The house was quaint with a screened-in porch. The kitchen had one of the old farmhouse sinks we really liked. It offered a separate garage and a shed out back. Though it didn’t offer a lot of square footage, the house was still sufficient for our family.
Was it a perfect house? No. Some of the paint choices of the previous owners were rather vivid, to say the least. For example:
The linoleum in the kitchen was just a wee bit outdated, and there were no appliances:
Since it was a 100 year old house, there were no closets upstairs. (People just used wardrobes in those days.) Plus, there was only one bathroom- and it was traditional 50’s pink:
In addition, there were several minor repairs that had to be made to the house. But it didn’t have any structural problems. The “guts” of the house were in great shape. It was only 20 minutes from my husband’s job. And-get this- it met every qualification on our house shopping list!
Well, we had thought we were done with house hunting for a while. But this one made us decide to give it one more (cautious) shot. We put in one offer that was slightly lower than the asking price- just to see. By now, I’m sure you can guess that the bank wouldn’t take less than listed. So we decided to match it.
And they accepted! We were under contract!
Long story short, it took us several extensions to accomplish everything. We had a couple of snafus with the appraisal and deed that made closing take much longer. In the meantime, we had already given our landlord our notice and a moving date. He had a new renter lined up, but because of our contract extensions we ended up being displaced for a month.
Oh, but what was one more mishap at this point? A little homelessness isn’t so bad when you have friends and family around. A very generous and kind-hearted friend took us into her apartment while we waited for the house to come through. Other family and friends volunteered to let us keep our things at their homes, so our stuff was dispersed between 4 different houses. It was trying period- one in which we questioned whether or not the house would actually come through, or if we would just end up having to find a new apartment.
In the end, each of the problems was finally resolved. It took us almost 4 months from when we saw the house to when we finally closed and got the keys. Even on closing day there was still a question about the deed, but while we were signing our papers an email came through to say that the problem was fixed.
It was quite the long wait, but it was worth it. We finally got the keys to our new house.
Come back for Part 5 to hear about how this house was even more perfect than we thought!
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