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Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fabulous News, Frustration, and Prayer

*Warning - extremely long, roller coaster, rant-filled post ahead. 

Remember this? Well, here's the rest of the story... 

February 28th 

What a whirlwind of a week! For the past few months Ryan and I have seriously considered moving. We've thought about renting elsewhere, and Ryan's even brought up buying a few times before, but in the end we've always stayed.

Until now!
It's amazing how facebook has changed my life. (And the fact that I live in ward boundaries that are very small.)

A few weeks ago I learned that my friend is moving. I was sad, but they're buying their first home and I am absolutely thrilled for them. Fast forward to last Wednesday when we learned that another couple in our ward is moving our of their 2 bed/1 bath condo and they're looking for renters. Well, it turns out they own their condo...

And snap, something happened! My risk-averse self thought... could we buy?!? Maybe?

I talked to Ryan about it quickly and he agreed. So, that night I chatted with Bailee about the ins and outs of buying... who knew if it was even a possibility. We felt confident, so we talked to my dad who referred us to one of his business partners. We had an idea of where we wanted to buy, so we asked to pull some comparables and sure enough, definitely worth looking into. So then it was time to talk to another one of my dad's "Peeps" about lending. Friday night we filled out the application... 

And yesterday we found out we're pre-approved to buy a house! 

In less than week we went from just renting to seriously thinking about where/which house we want to buy. 

Ryan was in the room and listening to the conversation happening with the lender on speaker phone yesterday, and when we heard the words we couldn't help but have huge grins on our faces, throw our hands up in the air, and high five. (And there may have been a smooch or two...) And I will say that we've only had moments like these a few times in our lives (getting engaged, getting married, internship offers, graduate school acceptances, and job offers to name a few). They're such neat memories! 

Needless to say, we are so excited.  

February 29th 

I had another one of those pump-the-air-with-a-huge-smile-on-your-face-experiences today! Not only are we approved, we found out today that we're approved for even more than we had expected--not that we are looking to spend that much, but it makes me so grateful for our decision to go to graduate school and for me to have such a wonderful job at this point in our lives. 

Pre-approval letter in hand, check! 

Soooo excited. 

March 3rd

Today our realtor, Rusty, took us house hunting. We looked at 11 homes, and really learned a lot about the process. It's actually quite complex how price per square foot, location, age, etc of the property all factor in. We saw a few homes that we really like. It is such a surreal feeling because... we're making an offer!! I'll get the official documentation tonight and as of Monday, we'll have submitted it. Oh my goodness... 

The downside? Ladies and gentlemen, we officially have our hopes up. My dad kept encouraging us to remember that you make money when you buy, not when you sell and to not get emotionally invested, but it. is. beautiful. We know that you don't usually get the first house you make an offer on... but, it's a first... And we can dream, right? 

March 4th

Real life is complex and we love it and hate it simultaneously.

I couldn't sleep last night, I really really want this house. In fact, after talking about it together last night, we called my dad and asked him for advice. He was reluctant--imagine that! A parent, reluctant to give advice when his child was asking! (: In the end he told us not to loose it for a thousand bucks, so we increased our offer.

Man oh man do we love this house. Tons of space, 9-ft ceilings, and a lot of potential... The tricky thing is it's a short sale, that's only been on the market for two months, in a buyer's market, that has 3 previous offers. I wish I were telepathic--it would really help right now. The bank now has four choices--choose us, choose us! We have NO idea if our offer was low or high, but we're hopeful and prayerful because we know that whatever happens, Heavenly Father is interested in our futures.

But, the game of it all is so tricky. I remember a friend in our first married ward who was purchasing a short sale in the ward boundaries--it took months and months. And a lot of headache.

The good thing here is that we at least  know the bank wants to move quickly on it. The bad thing? We know that the bank is owed over 150% of the asking price. Ouch. 

Patience. We're working on our patience.

But we sooo love this house.

Signing our first home offer tomorrow. Wish us luck.

March 5th

Signed, Sealed, and Delivered. Now comes the waiting. 

I am officially a nervous wreck. This is what it must feel like to have high anxiety al the time. How awful. I'm pretty sure my pulse and blood pressure (which are fairly normal most of the time) are about ready to burst. 

Less than two weeks in, I have officially identified one of my weaknesses: patience. Must. learn. patience.

March 6th - Morning

I could sleep last night, but just barley because my dad made me even more excited about the house. This may be nuts, but I have this uncanny ability to walk into a space and see its potential. So... living in rentals has always been hard because I want so badly to change things for the better. Hence painting walls. :)

I know this is glutton for punishment... but things that we've talked about doing are... new paint, tile, granite counter tops, can and pendant lights in the kitchen, cabinets in the laundry room, a chandelier in the master bedroom, plantation shutters, garden boxes and more landscaping. Did I mention that it's close to UVU, BYU, I-15, and between two new FrontRunner stations... Oh how I wish were a good artist so that I could produce a good rendering of my thoughts--it's the only area my entire life where I've ever had the ability use my imagination--it just comes... and I long for the opportunity to make those dreams into a reality. 

On a won-der-ful note, we told Ryan's parents today and they're very excited for us too! And, we found out that our brother- and sister-in-law are townhome-looking too and they've made a couple offers on darling places in Farmington! 

On a I'm-trying-to-make-myself-feel-better note, I read yesterday that on shorts sales with multiple offers, the first is usually under price because they weren't aware there was any interest, the second is usually at the price because there is a previous offer, the third is usually above the price because they want it and the fourth know they're a long-shot, so they offer anywhere in between. I guess that's good and bad. Bad thing, we're #4. Good thing, we offered 103% of the asking price. (Darn I wish I'd thrown in another thousand.)

March 6th - Evening

Remember how I warned that this was a long, rant-filled post. Well, it's only 12 hours after I wrote the above comments... After looking through a lot of MLS listings today I realized that although we offered more than the list price, we should have offered more. I didn't know what to do--so when I got to my parents' house, I talked to my dad about it. I didn't want to overwhelm Rusty. Ryan put it best when he said this is the worst possible situation for me. I am a go-getter. If I want something... I usually get it. Not because it's given to me, or because I play dirty, but because I'm assertive, persistant, and work smartly. In other words, "I order the pizza."

Well, I couldn't order the pizza because well, it's the bank.

So, on the encouragement of my dad, I called Rusty. I'd read a few new things about short sales today and came to an understanding that although I've grown up in a house that has been for sale for at least half of my life, I still had a lot to learn. In fact, the learning curve is steep. 

But, after a little intuitive research today and a quick chat with Rusty, I feel good. If the bank doesn't accept offer #1... please, oh please, oh please, oh please... then we have an opportunity to give our best offer. And believe me, we'll definitely pull out all the stops. I'm hopeful, but know that I should expect the worst. So, we'll keep looking. There will be more short sales here in the next few months I'm sure... we'll just have to wait and see. (:

March 7th

My sister-in-law's facebook status said it all this morning, "Is it bad I am planning renovations on a house I don't even have yet??" Like I said, glutton for punishment. Oh well. 

I've felt a lot less anxious today because I realize it was always out of my control. 

So, I'm thinking because I'm glutton for punishment and all, I might as well mention (because who knows when this post will actually be published) what our (my) la la land would be like in the next few months... 

First, it would be fabulous if Ryan got the job he's applying for. He really wants it, would be good at it, and it would be extra income. 

Secondly, with that job, we would be able to save more money and offer a 5% down payment instead of a 3.5% down payment and go with a conventional loan instead of an FHA. Reasoning? I want to pay off that 20% ASAP to get rid of the PMI, and with an FHA you pay for at least five years regardless. (or at least that is my understanding two weeks into this process). 

Thirdly, we get this house and put a little time and money into it's already fabulous-ness. 

Fourthly (is that even a word), we start paying off my graduate debt a-ggress-ive-ly. (It would be fabulous to go med school without me having any graduate debt and being able to avoid the PMI in the mortgage.)

Fifthly, we move forward with other education and family goals... 

Wow. I'll let you know how all that goes. Hey, who knows I did accidentally overpay on my fast offerings this past week... maybe I'm supposed to be seeking additional blessings?

March 8th

As I fret about this b-e-a-utiful house (which by the way, we're going to see again on Saturday with Ryan's mom--pictures to come), I have spent far too much time on pinterest looking at decorating ideas. Let's just say painting the kitchen cabinets and re-doing the powder room would be two of my first priorities (it's amazing what a little paint, moulding, and fresh light fixtures will do). This makes me so dang excited yet terrified at the same time. Our budget isn't big, so finding the perfect house right off the bat, in our price range was too good to be true... but we are hopeful that we have a glimmer of hope. 

But... I'm pretty sure God has a sense of humor because as I opened my " - Inspiration Messages" this morning, there were two scripture references: 2 Nephi 4:35 "I know that god will give liberally to him that asketh." (Believe me, we're askin'.) and then the caveat, a quote, "Answers will come in the Lord's own way and in His time." I know. I really do know, but dreaming, planning, controlling... It's what I do.

March 9th

Today I left work about 30 minutes after I got there--ew, sick day. I felt on and off all day, but we did manage to grab a couple birthday gifts and take Adi to feed the ducks. 

I didn't really think about the house all that much really, but naturally during some down time I checked the MLS listings and our second choice home's remarks have changed! It had said "Four offers, no more showings at this time." Those words are gone! It's still a short sale, but I figure it's worth a shot. We haven't been through it, but it's in the same neighborhood as our dream home and it's an end unit so it would have addition light. I'm hoping we can swing by tomorrow and see both of them--pictures to come. 

Also, I saw this today...

Add a little prayer and let's make this happen. (:

ferings this past week... maybe I'm supposed to be seeking additional blessings?

March 15th... Part 1 (March 10th) 

Here's the funny thing about prayer and Heavenly Father... sometimes it just doesn't turn out how you imagine. 

It's been a few days. My anxiety is gone. I am oh so grateful. I was about to BURST

So, as of the 9th... a lot has changed. Our realtor inquired about the other property and though the remarks had changed, they still weren't showing it, it was still a short sale, and we were still at square one. 

So, we had my mother-in-law come with us on Saturday to take a look. Again. We love it. I even snapped some pictures... 

The exterior. Love at first sight.

The great room that you walk into and the kitchen at the back of the house with a separate pantry!

The small backyard off the kitchen... 

The master bedroom... 

Master bathroom and walk-in closet... 

Second bedroom, bath, and third bedroom...  

I know you can't envision what it's like, but it is beautiful and there is so. much . potential

March 15th... Part 2 (March 11th) 

So, after seeing the house again on Saturday night, Ryan and I decided that we would attend the ward where the house is located. We left our Sunday school a little early to head to their Sacrament Meeting... I guess when you've experienced one thing for so long, you become accustomed. I'm pretty sure I'd forgotten the normal demographics of wards... old people, middle-aged people, youth, elementary-aged children. 

I will admit it was a little bit of a shock, although I can. not. place. my finger as to why. The ward was nice. It was neat to have Priests bless the Sacrament and Deacons bless the Sacrament, and we stayed just long enough to get a feel for it then ran back for Priesthood/Relief Society. 

It was an interesting experience however because although we want our first house primarily as our first home, we recognize that we would likely have to rent it out for Medical School--the difference between our young, transient ward and this old-er, established ward made us realize that although we were emotionally invested we needed to think clearly as we made this important and very expensive life/business decision. 

So... although we love the house, we aren't as in love with it as we were. Taking emotion out of it... check. 

March 15th... Part 3 (March 12th)

Remember the reason that sparked this whole idea? Our friends were moving... we could buy a house, and likely rent it. Well, after realizing that the ward might not be as renter-friendly, we decided to take another look at our neighborhood. 

Monday I inquired about three properties... all beautiful, great, and perfect for our needs. However, one by one, and very quickly (within 24 hours) I found out that one had sold and the other two had been taken off the "market". 

It was soooooooooooo frustrating. In fact, after falling in love with the previous house that was unattainable, I feel even harder for the idea of something in our neighborhood. I'm sure I'm giving Rusty whiplash. And I feel bad about it. He said not to worry because many people are upside down on their properties, and things will all workout. 

Then Ryan didn't get an interview for a job he was bound to get, because of his limited 18-month timeframe before medical school. At that point we started to question should we even buy a house? What are our motives? Is this right? Where does the Lord want us in the next year and a half? Should we have baby? Should we just rent? Should we try to get into medical school for this fall? January? Next Fall? The list could go on and on and my frustration and disappointment began to rise... truth be told, Ryan and I have never had to seek and ask for direction because we've always just known. The spirit has always confirmed or warned (even when we were engaged) about possible choices, decisions, paths, etc. 

However, we didn't really feel anything. Hope, desperation, frustration, nothing that would give us that confirmation or warning. So... we figured that houses come and go, but at least we were able to go through the learning curve of getting emotionally invested, being disappointed, and then being able to learn to take the emotion out of it.  

March 15th... Part 4 (March 13th-14th) 

That doesn't mean however that I didn't stop looking... In fact, I was likely as obsessed as ever. Rusty helped me get a login and password to a local real estate site and I started looking into various properties. There aren't very many in our tiny price range, but I figure things come and go. 

So, I kept looking. Out of the blue on Tuesday afternoon another house in the neighborhood of the first came on the real market. Not a short sale. I could. not. believe. my. eyes. It was attainable. It could be ours! Only problem... too expensive, but this is the market! You can negotiate. 

I tried getting ahold of Rusty, but he was skiing for the day! I texted Ryan a picture of the website with "!!!!" and he texted back "!!!!!!!!!!" It was meant to be. We sent information to Rusty to set it up, and being my impatient self couldn't wait until we saw it the next day!

I had a presentation to give that night, so I went and definitely had a hop in my step. It could be ours! It would be ours! 

Then it happened. The warning. Out of nowhere. I didn't want to feel it. I wanted to ignore it. But there it was loud and very clear. Uncertainty, doubt, a sure stupor of thought. On Sunday someone in Relief Society mentioned that when their daughter was placing her baby with LDS Family Services she didn't feel like a family was right, but didn't know why. The agency said it doesn't matter if you know why, you just know. Those words came distinctly to mind. But, I still wanted to see it. That wouldn't hurt, right

So, last night, although Ryan couldn't come, my dad, brother, and Adi and I went to see the house. It was on the market. People lived there. It was absolutely spotless. And I loved it. 


See... same place with upgrades...

And granite... 

And a dog? 

But, the warning was still the underlying feeling.

And, when Ryan and I talked about it later, we want something that's in good condition but that we can improve. The second place has granite and tile... we would want to choose those kinds of things and make it better. (:

Although I want to live the dream of owning that home, it was nice that the learning process taught me that you shouldn't get emotionally invested. I mentioned it to Rusty, he laughed with a "yep, it sucks when you're parents are right" laugh and he agreed. 

So we'll see what happens. We'll watch the market, we'll apply to med school, we'll continue on the path, but who knows where we'll be in a few months. I think we'll know better in the next six weeks, but we know that buying a house is a huge decision and one that we should definitely consider heavily. With prayer. 


Erin said...

Yep... frustrating.. but I suppose it is part of life. We withdrew our offer today... bad timing right now, and we were just trying to make it work. Hopefully things will still be good next year :) Good luck with everything! I hope things turn out well for you guys, we love you!

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