As I mentally wrote the rest of this posting I was listening to the rain fall while making enchiladas. Thinking about finally being in OUR house, but I am getting ahead of myself. Let’s go back 3 months.
A house in Salado had JUST come on the market. It was in our high price range, as in I really didn’t want to spend that much without some land with it. Usually houses like this had a major problem with it. The agent made an appointment and surprisingly we were some of the first lookers. Usually houses like this are off the market in 48-72 hours. It had been on the market for 3 days already and didn’t have a taker, what was the problem? We cautiously pulled into the drive and the house looks livable. While this was not usually a shocker there were other houses we looked at in the area in a similar price range and one had fire damage (complete with signs that said “Enter at your own risk from the office of the Fire Marshall”) and the other bounced on an off the market for several months. We were skeptical to say the least. We looked around the house. No caution signs, no broken windows. We knew there had to be something wrong. We walk inside. And it was actually nice. The floor was nice, the bathrooms were complete without damage and the kitchen was nice complete with *amazing* polka dot curtains. Nothing had to be painted, spackled, plumbed, rewired or roofed. We ask our agent, it is still on the market, right? I mean, this doesn’t happen to us.
Let the games begin.
I am not good at business type stuff. Negotiations frustrate me. My spouse takes care of anything that involved dealing with customer service as it is not exactly where I shine. This being said I can give a brief overview of the next several weeks as I was cut out of the process for the sanity of all involved. First, we made an offer on the house, it was a good fair offer, we thought there was little need to negotiate. We were wrong. They come back with a counter offer, we counter, they counter….for a week this goes on until they give us their final counter (I think we are in counter offer 5 or 6 at this point). It was make a decision because they needed to continue to show the house. We accepted their offer, with much grumbling from me as I didn’t feel like we were getting a good deal.
In the mean time we had been talking to others about buying homes. Several had the “we made a lowball offer they accepted and we were in the house in 2 months” story. It seemed like everyone else had easily slipped into home ownership as if stepping into thief favorite slippers. Why was it so hard for us?
We had initially planned for a closing date of September 30th. The hope was that the governmental agency would be able to rush the paperwork by a few days to get it complete by the end of the fiscal year. Now I work regularly with governmental agencies so I should have known better than to have expected something to work easily the first time, but there’s a first time for everything right?
I start packing. Everything that was not needed for the next several months was packed first. The books were the next casualty. I have an obsession with boxes. It borders on a diagnosable disorder. I get a twitch when I see boxes abandoned on the side of the road on trash day, my heart beats fast when I see book appropriate boxes during stocking times at the supermarket, when a box comes in the mail I admire it’s size and durability and determine what can be repacked in it at a later day. Yes, I have a problem. I also hoard boxes. I can’t seem to let them go (In a previous time and after months of therapy, really it was MONTHS of therapy, I was finally convinced to give up all my boxes and packing materials just to be told we needed to be out of the house in a month, therefore my conditioned worsened). I digress, where was I? Oh yes, boxes. I go to our storage building to gather the boxes that has been stashed out there for almost 18 months just to find that there had been a massacre. Yes, a lovely rodent that had wondered into our garage (and a rat trap) months earlier had left his mark in the storage unit. Dozens of my friends had to be taken to their final resting place as they were no longer able to be used as book boxes. Needless to say this slowed my packing down as not only did I not have the boxes I needed, but I also had to grieve my lovely boxes of just the right size.
The closing date was pushed again, and again. It was finally set to the last possible weekend to move before December. I move appointments to take the time to put my John Hancock on the papers…. and… wait for it…. the closing date moved again. Yep. In a 2 week period. I had 7 new clients, finished packing a house, had multiple trainings that took up every weekend and studied for a national exam.
Let’s move to a timeline with the implications:
Close on house October 24th. Perfect we can move and have time to clean the rental before the end of the month. This date did not happen.
Official closing date, due to the insistence of the sellers, October 30th. This day I happened to have 9 clients scheduled, and 9 client’s showed up. This means that I have 1 day, really half a day with work to move a house and clean a house to be out by November.
November 1st. Birthday party for my spouses Birthday, I was planning on having an intimate get together since it as a “big” birthday.
November 3rd. I had to be in Austin for the Exam. This exam would determine whether or not I could continue to see a certain insurance population after the end of the year, so it’s a big deal. Now let’s look at the blessings in the time line.
Blessing #1. A wonderful person who was very aware of our plight and the stress that I had been in regarding buying the house, moving and taking the exam gifted us with a moving crew. As of October 30th at nine at night all large furniture and 90% of boxes had been moved into the new house. This was my first experience with a moving crew and I must say I highly approve of it.
Blessing #2. The home inspector expressed that this house had been “well loved”. He talked about everything being built over code for its time so no work had to be done. When it was ready, it was “move in ready”.
Blessing #3. The sellers left the fridge. Again, does not seem like a big thing, but it was a nice fridge and we had attempted to use it as a bargaining point earlier they were leaving NOTHING in the house, so this was an awesome surprise.
Blessing #4. They left the polka dot curtains.
Looking back I can see how God was moving through the process. It was hard and there were many “not yets”. I would love to say I learned patience, but I think that God will continue to work on me with this. The house is not perfect. It sits on 1 acre of land so the horses are still squatters at a friend’s place up the road. To get the dog to his yard I have to put on shoes and walk outside, the second rooms are small and all the desks and bookshelves do not fit so we are having to be creative, there is minimal landscaping and LOTS of deer so I get to learn how to plant anti-deer plants. But, it is ours. Ours to share, ours to care for. So if you are in Salado, look us up, we can sit down to tea on our little front porch, watch the deer graze on the neighbor’s bushes and I can retell the story of Agents, Kudus and polka dot curtains. If you are lucky, the curtains may still be up.