When Husband and I found out that we were pregnant with Twinkie, we knew our 400 square foot apartment wasn’t going to cut it. Not to mention, our elderly landlords who lived upstairs probably weren’t going to be too keen on the idea of an infant living below them. As such, we decided it was time to get our ducks in a row and find a house.
As many of you know, Husband owns his own business fixing up/ building new houses in the Seattle area. Ever since we got married, we dreamed of the day we could own a house of our own to fix up and were just biding our time for the right moment. With my grad school complete and a babe on the way, the moment had come and we were full steam ahead on the house hunt.
Anyone that has been paying attention to the housing market in Seattle will know that it is REALLY tough to find a house right now. With inventory low and an influx of buyers in the area, we watched housing prices increase nearly 20% in the last year. Thankfully, with Husband’s amazing construction skills, our house hunt was opened to many fixers normal buyers wouldn’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole.
While we were anxiously awaiting a pre-approval letter from our lender (that’s a long story for another time, perhaps), we had our eye on a tiny gem in one of our favorite neighborhoods. We slowly watched the days and weeks tick by, and the house had not gone pending. Then, after waiting several weeks, we finally received our pre-approval letter!
That day Husband called the listing agent for Ozzie, only to discover that another party had put in an offer for the house. Drat! After about 6 weeks on the market, someone was bound to want to buy this place.
Then the agent told Husband something we weren’t expecting: the other offer was significantly below the list price and if we put in a strong offer the house would be ours! Husband and I quickly discussed our plan of action, disbursed our signatures here and there, and submitted our offer. A solid offer just below the asking price with no inspection contingency was enough to seal the deal! We were pending on a house and couldn’t have been more excited!
Then, we waited…
We waited for the bank to give us all the paperwork to fill out.
Then we waited for them to decide what other paperwork they needed from us.
Then we waited for them to approve our finances.
Then we waited for them to order an appraisal.
Then we waited for them to tell us what the house appraised for.
Then we waited for them to lock in our interest rate.
Then we waited for them to put together the loan paperwork
Then we waited for them to fund the loan.
Until finally, after 5 painstakingly long weeks… We were the proud new owners of Ozzie!
In the weeks leading up to our close date, Husband and I were hesitant to tell our landlords about our plans to move. Due to our outside-of-the-box income situation, we were unsure if our lender would pull the plug on our dreams at any moment. With about a week to our close date, we decided we needed to tell our landlords that we had bought a house and were planning on moving out.
Our initial close date was set for the Monday just after the 1st of the month. Originally thinking we could close early, on the last Friday of the month, we told our landlords we would likely be out by the first. However, when we discovered that our lender was really drawing out the closing process, we had to revisit our conversation with the landlords. Hoping that they would let us pay a prorated rent and stay a few days extra, we asked if we could move out around the 3rd of the month.
No dice. Our landlords were already hell-bent on getting the place ready to rent for someone else. Since we had lived there for over 3 years, they wanted time to paint and update appliances. Not wanting to push our luck, since we still had a deposit at stake, we agreed to move out by the 1st of the month, effectively leaving us homeless for five days.
And so began Project Move Twice. Since we were afraid of our loan falling through, Husband and I had not packed a single thing. Thankfully, Husband was in the process of getting permits for his new project house and we had access to a perfectly livable, vacant house. So, that night we loaded as much stuff as we could fit into the back of Husband’s truck and began the moving process.
Since we had been living in such a tiny apartment already, plus the apartment came furnished, we did not have too much to move. We managed to move almost all of our stuff on Thursday and came back on Friday to clean. Oh, and did I mention that we were also trying to close a loan for our house?
That meant Friday around 1pm we got word that the loan papers were ready for us to sign. Mix cleaning, morning sickness, and work into that, and we got quite the hectic day. BUT… we pulled it off!
And on Monday afternoon, our lender followed through with what they had promised us, and we got the keys to Ozzie!
Although it was quite stressful at the time, looking back I can’t help but smile. Just another adventure to add to our crazy story. Afterall, life wouldn’t be as much fun if there weren’t a few hoops to jump through, right?