Thursday, January 28, 2010

Adventures in First Time Homebuying: Part 6

Today was the day our counteroffer to the sellers' counteroffer expired. We have been trying patiently all day to await the results.

Will they counteroffer again?

Will they just flat-out say no?

Or will they accept our offer?

Josh called me about this afternoon, sounding pretty bummed.  He told me he had some bad news.  I have had the flu for the past 3 days, and really wasn't looking forward to hearing that they in fact, didn't accept our offer.  He then proceeded to tell me that they didn't counteroffer, and that they were stuck at their original price.  I was sad - but tried to not make a big deal of it.  THEN, Josh asked me for the home inspector's phone number that had helped with our First Time Homebuying class, becuase they had indeed accepted our offer!!  Josh always gets the biggest kick out of trying to fool me.  I know I should come to expect it now whenever we are waiting on big news!

So, there you have it!  We are moving forward with our plans of buying this house.  The sellers are having the property lines surveyed within the next 10 days, and we are having the home inspection done in that same time frame.  If all of that goes well, we will (hopefully!) be closing on our home around the end of March!  (The loan program we are using is severely backlogged currently; they are still processing applications from December.)

I will, of course, post more as details come available!

Adventures in First Time Homebuying: Part 5

Alot has happened since I last updated about our homebuying process!

Late Tuesday morning, we received the counteroffer from the sellers.  In out initial offer, we offered approximately $11,000 less than their listed price, plus we asked for them to pay for a lot of the costs associated with purchasing the house.  Our thinking was that it would give us bargaining room.

In the counteroffer, they offered to sell at around $3,000 less than their listed price, which was about $9,000 more than our offered price.  They did, however, agree to pay for everything else we asked for.  The price they wanted was just slightly out of our comfort zone.

So, Tuesday night, we met with Joe again to make a counteroffer to their counteroffer.  We agreed to keep everything the same as the previous offer, but we asked that the price be reduced an additional $2,000 below their counteroffer.  We also included a statement that this was our highest and best offer; if they came back with an offer any higher, we would not be purchasing the house.  We don't want to put ourselves in a situation where we are constantly struggling with our mortgage and bills, especially if I go back to school.

Our offer was valid until today (Thursday).  So, today we either received a decline of our counteroffer, or we have reached mutual acceptance.  Which one was it?  I guess you'll have to wait for Part 6.......!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Adventures in First Time Homebuying: Part 4

It seems crazy that I am already writing part 4 - and we don't even have a house yet!

Saturday evening after Josh got off work, we met with our realtor to make an offer on the house we want.  We were there for about an hour or so, with Josh signing/initialing/dating about 100 times.  Everything from Lead-Based Paint Disclosure Forms, to a Well Addendum, to a Septic Addendum, and everything in between.  Joe (our realtor) was great about going over every piece of paper with us, making sure we completely understood what is was we were signing.  He really has held our hands through the entire process, and guided us towards home-ownership.  Thanks Joe! 

Joe also made sure to put in specific requests we had discussed earlier, like Extended Coverage Title Insurance, and a specific foundation inspection.

Now, we play the waiting game!  The listing agent is here in Tumwater (as is Joe), and the sellers are in Reno, Nevada.  Our offer is valid until 9 PM tonight, so we are anxiously hoping to hear back either tonight or tomorrow morning!

I will post more as soon as I know!

P.S. - For those of you who don't know, I am not actually buying this house; Josh is.  We are (obviously) not married, and decided it was in the best interest of both of us to not yet make a purchase of this magnitude together.  We have however, both been included in every step of the process.  Joe makes it a point to address both Josh and myself equally; he realizes Josh and I are a team in this.  So, even though I am not signing/initialing/dating on all those forms, I am there for moral support.  After all, four ears is always better than two!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Adventures in First Time Homebuying: Part 3

FINALLY! Progress!!

We have a meeting set up for tomorrow evening, around 7:45 PM (after Josh gets off work), to finally put an offer in on the house we want.  This is a huge step!  This is the first house that Josh and I have both agreed on, and also the first house we have even considered putting an offer on.  I know this is only the first step towards purchasing, and is by no means a guarantee that we will indeed end up with this particular house.

But it feels so good to be one step closer to Josh and I having our own home.

Will update after we know more!  For those of you who missed the first and second parts, here are the links:

Adventures in First Time Homebuying: Part 1

Adventures in First Time Homebuying: Part 2

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Adventures in First Time Homebuying: Part 2

When I last posted about this adventure, we had just found the house we wanted to put an offer on, and were waiting to verify a property line that appeared to intersect the shop/garage on the property.  We have since cleared that issue up!

In the meantime, however, we received the Seller's Disclosure Form, which stated the house belonged to a homeowner's association.  This particular house was the original property on a large chunk of land, which was then subdivided.  Approximately 12 new houses are on the same private road as this house.  They are all beautiful, large homes with meticulously landscaped yards.  Our house is the one that doesn't match the others!  Since it is part of a homeowner's association, there are certain CC&R's (Covenants, Conditions, and Restrictions) that apply to the community.  Our realtor contacted the listing realtor and asked for a copy of the CC&R's, but we have yet to hear back.  We want to go through all of those rules before we make an offer and put earnest money down.

It has been frustrating, to say the least, to have to wait on this listing agent.  Our realtor first contacted the listing agent a week ago, and has not been able to get him/her to respond.  This is the only thing holding up the process!  We would hate to lose this house on something that could so easily be moved along.  We have the pre-approval letter from the bank, an inspector we want to use, our USDA loan paperwork begun, and we are now just playing the waiting game.

We did look at one more house this past weekend, since it was vacant and seemed like a steal of a deal, but what they say is true: if it looks too good to be true, it probably is.  This house was too scary for me to even begin to describe! 

So, here we stand, playing the waiting game.  I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Adventures in First Time Homebuying

Josh and I begun the hunt for our first house several months ago.  And what an experience it has been!

We took our First Time Homebuyer Education Class this summer, which involved us sitting in a hot classroom for 8 hours, watching PowerPoint slideshows.  And I think we both came out of there more confused than before we walked in!  I do admit, however, that we did get some really great information.

We recently (as in within the past week) found the house we want to buy.  This has made everything we've learned lately seem so much more relevant.  What's the assessed value of the house?  What are the property taxes?  Which school district is it in?  Is the septic up-to-date?  What about water quality testing?  How much should we offer?  What happens after we make an offer?  When will we close?  Who is going to pay the closing costs?  What does homeowner's insurance cost?  AHHHHHH!!  I always thought buying a home was so much simpler.

It is an exciting time for us, and I'm so glad we have family around us that is able to help us through all of it.  We would be lost without them.  We have one more thing to check on with the house, and if that goes as planned, we will be putting an offer in tomorrow or Thursday!  I will keep everyone posted on the progress!

Friday, January 8, 2010

Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day

Save the date!  September 24th-26th will be the Seattle Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk.  This is a huge event that draws thousands of people, and raises millions of dollars.  I am so excited to be participating in my first 3-Day!

I am attending an organizational meeting on January 30th, and will have more info at that time.  If you are even remotely interested in joining my team for this walk, please please please keep checking back here!!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

In 2010 I Want To....

In order to make 2010 even more exciting than 2009 was (which will be hard!), I have compiled a list of everything I want to do/try/experience before 2011 rolls around. Here it goes!

  1. Obtain my skydiving license
  2. Take a photography course
  3. Get another tattoo
  4. Visit Leavenworth, Zoo Lights, and Fantasy Lights all in the same holiday season
  5. Move into my first house
  6. Get a new job
  7. Figure out my plan for school
  8. Walk in the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer 3 Day
  9. Organize and hold the first Olympia Brain Tumor Walk
  10. Learn how to make Baked Alaska
  11. Learn to cook with ratios
  12. Buy at least 2 new lenses for my camera
  13. Get back down to my pre-Josh weight
  14. Go horseback riding
  15. Be a second-shooter at a wedding
  16. Send out a Christmas card, complete with photo of Josh & I
  17. Create a photo album from our Hawaii photos
  18. Read the entire Bible
  19. Make an album of my 2009 blog entries
  20. Visit Yellowstone National Park and Glacier National Park
  21. Buy a new car
  22. Take a spinning class
  23. Learn how to make Stacie's green bean casserole
  24. Shoot a deer
  25. Shoot an elk
  26. Learn how to shoot skeet
  27. Have a baby
  28. Appear on the Pioneer Woman's blog again, for any reason
  29. Participate in a weekly photo challenge
  30. Go scuba diving
So there it is!  My list for 2010!  I'm sure I'll think of other things along the way, bu for now, this is my original list.  I plan on re-posting this list whenever I accomplish something , just to see my progress.  Obviously, some of these things are far-fetched, but the miraculous thing about this list, is that it is MINE!  I can wish/hope for anything I want to!  So there. :)

Do any of you have lists for 2010?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

2009 Through My Lens...

Its going to be hard to top 2009! This past year has been huge for me. I have grown a lot as a person, and am finally feeling as though I am coming into adulthood.

I started 2009 off in a brand-new relationship, with Josh.

I turned 21 in February, and spent my first night on the town in Seattle with friends.

Shortly after, in the end of March, we found out we were expecting our first baby, and then in April, had our dreams crushed when we learned we had lost him/her.

April also brought me being baptized and confirmed Catholic, in the Saint Martin's Abbey.

In May I completed my Bachelor of Science degree, and had the opportunity to walk across that big stage in front of my family and friends to receive my diploma.

I also took up photography in May, and have started to gain confidence in myself and my abilities.

In June, Josh and I traveled to Hawaii as a graduation present from my boss and her husband.

July was full of camping, and on one of those trips we celebrated Josh's 23rd birthday.

I took my first big leap in August, skydiving out of a plane.  And loved every second of it!

September was full of hunting, both for deer and for a house!  I also participated in my first National Brain Tumor Society Walk in Portland, in honor of Chuck.

My mom, dad, brother, and I also took a mini-vacation to San Francisco in September, and had fun being tourists and seeing all the famous sights.

October was more of the same, with a kill-less season for both of us, and still no house.  I took my first big hunting trip with my dad to Wenatchee, but had no success.

I had the opportunity to visit the Roloff Farm in October with my parents, and we enjoyed meeting all of the Roloff family members!

In November, we celebrated our first Thanksgiving together, and Josh went on a hunting trip with his uncle and cousin in Wyoming.

December was busy, busy!  We enjoyed our Christmas with lots of family and friends, and attended Candlelight Mass at the Abbey.  New Year's was spent at Uncle Rick's with the family, and was a ton of fun.

Looking back, I can't believe how busy and exciting 2009 was!  It doesn't seem possible for 2010 to be any better, but I have faith that big things are in store for us!  My next post will have an exciting list for 2010.... watch for it!)