Thursday, November 4, 2010

We Got the House!!!

After a week of waiting (which we were told would be 1-2 days, go figure), dealing with agents that are not the easiest to work with, and battling 2 other offers along the way, our offer was finally accepted on the home we loved most!

Dan and I have been looking for houses for over a year. Trying to see what was out there, get a feel for different areas and neighborhoods, etc. to try to figure out where we were supposed to be. Where it was that we were supposed to raise our family.

Our original plan was to purchase a home right away as we moved from Tucson back to the valley. But when the stars didn't quite align for that to be able to happen, we found the rental we've been living in for the past 5 months. All in all, I think it was better that way because we didn't pay rent in Tucson at all, so this was a good chance for us to get used to paying all bills, including rent.

Even back in May when we first starting looking at becoming pre-qualified, we talked to a few different lenders who all said pretty much the same things. We knew what we needed to do if we wanted to buy a house, and so we started working towards it.

When Dan was offered the job he has now at the bank, he said that he didn't know why, but he really felt like there was a reason he needed to work there. As things have unfolded, his bank has been absolutely crucial in helping us get to the point we needed to be in order to get pre-qualified. Not to mention the fact that because they're so small, and they all know Dan from working in the same branch with him, it has been such a smooth and easy process almost the whole way through. I still think there is more to why he works where he does, but I also believe this was one reason.

Dan has also said the whole time, since probably a year ago, that he really felt like once we were prequalified and seriously looking at houses, we would find one and then BAM it would be ours and we'd be closing all very quickly. He said that all these months of looking and working toward it would end very quickly when we did finally find "The House".

And so it has, so far...

We were pre-qualified 2 weeks ago tomorrow. We went the very next day (Saturday) to drive by some houses we'd found online and do our usual peeping tom routine, looking through the windows and backyard, etc. It just so happened that one of the houses we were going to look at was having an open house. So we went in, looked around, didn't really love it but we were ok with that. While we were there, the realtor who was running the open house started talking to us about some other homes in the neighborhood (which we were also going to look at) and said that he could take us through them too. So we did. We walked through probably 6 or 7 houses that day, and came home knowing 100% that we were not going to play the short sale game. There was no way we could risk waiting for 4-6 months to hear anything when there are plenty of bank owned homes out there now.

The next day (Sunday), we met up with this realtor again to look at a few more houses. We ruled a handful of them out. But last on the list were 2 homes in Castlegate, a neighborhood that we had previously completely ruled out. We drove through this neighborhood almost a year ago for the first and only time, and agreed we didn't feel quite right about it. Something felt weird about that subdivision. So ever since then, we've just ignored any and all homes that have come up in there. But Saturday night, we drove through just for fun, and had a totally different feeling about it. This time, it felt the most right. It felt the most like us of all the neighborhoods we'd looked at.

So Sunday we decided to walk through a couple houses in Castlegate that looked like beautiful, nice homes. Sure enough, we loved them! I originally liked one more than the other, simply because it was huge! It needed some work (new carpet, paint, some patching of a few small holes, a new door jam, etc.) but it was 3000 sq. ft. for $110,000! How could I pass that up?! Well, I could once we found out there were a bunch of other offers on it that we just waiting to hear back from the bank. Dan and I agreed that we didn't love it enough to fight for it, plus it did need some decent work.

The other home we looked at in Castlegate was Dan's favorite from the first time he walked in. It is just over 2000 sq. ft. and the asking price was just under $100,000. This home literally looks brand new. It would not surprise me at all if no one has ever lived there. It was built in 2007. The carpet is brand new, the paint looks brand new. There are no scuffs on the tile or walls or anything. The kitchen appliances are new. The backyard is a good size, and it also has a pretty large front yard. I think that was part of what made Dan love it so much, a big yard has always been at the top of his priority list and plus, who wouldn't love a brand new house? One that won't require anything to move in except a couple of ceiling fans for the bedrooms. (Whoever owned it took them before they turned it over to the bank) It is a 4 bedroom 2 bathroom home that is 2014 sq. ft and just east of Ironwood and Ocotillo. This will make Dan's commute to work about 10 minutes shorter (only about 20 minutes instead of 30), and put us closer to everything and everyone than we are out across from Johnson Ranch.

We decided that we love the Castlegate subdivision and felt that is where we needed to be. We went through the home once more a couple days later, and submitted our offer last Wednesday 10/27. We were expecting an answer by Friday, as the banks generally move pretty quickly. Then we learned of the sluggishness of the selling agent. She moves at her own pace, and doesn't care how long anyone waits. We didn't hear anything more until Monday of this week, when we found out there were multiple offers on the house. Apparently since we put in our offer on Wednesday, there were other people who submitted offers also. We had until the end of the day to submit our best and final offer. We sent in our best offer that we were comfortable with and willing to pay and still have a chance at getting the house. We expected an answer either that night or the next day, but of course, it never came. So we just waited...

We found out yesterday that the woman from Fannie Mae who makes decisions on the homes was out sick...she was expected back either today or tomorrow...
We weren't expecting an answer until Monday with the rate everything had been going.

Then my phone rang at 8 am this morning. It was our realtor with "good news"!

The bank accepted our offer out of the 3 that were submitted! The house is ours! (Well, as much as it can be until we're holding the keys in our hand) We have a closing date of December 16th, or hopefully a little bit sooner, depending on how quickly our loan is processed at Dan's work.

My goal was to be moved before Christmas, so we can set up our Christmas decorations (even if it is a little late) at our new house! Sure enough, if everything goes according to plan (which I'm not holding my breath...this is the home buying process...) we'll be able to do just that! Also, our lease here is up on Dec. 31, so it'll be perfect timing for us to clean up this rental and move out without having to rush or pay another month's rent. The timing couldn't be more perfect, and we couldn't be happier!!

Here's a picture of the front of our new home!