Friday, June 29, 2012

Back to square one...

Well, the home inspection didn't go as we had hoped.  I said at the beginning of the negotiation process that I would much rather lose this house because of a bad inspection report than because we couldn't reach a monetary agreement with the sellers, because the reality is I don't want to buy a crap house.  I think I jinxed myself.  The inspector found foundation issues- mainly a cracked and sagging girder (which is what was making the dining room floor slanted), and there were moisture/water problems that affected some of the siding, roof and attic.  We started out thinking the inspection had gone OK, and that if the foundation/girder issue was fixed that we would still buy the house, but as we read the full report together last night my heart began to sink.  There were just too many problems.  We sent the report to my Dad, Rob's Dad and step-Dad, and everyone said basically the same thing, we should walk away.  So that's what we are doing. 

I know what people will say, because I would tell others the same thing if they were in my shoes...It wasn't meant to be, the right house is still out there, there are always new homes coming on the market and you will find one even better than this one, at least you found out about these problems now and you won't be paying for them down the road.  While I know all of those things are probably true, it doesn't take away the fact that we spent almost a whole month of time and energy on finding a house that we won't get, the $400 we spent on the inspection, the countless hours Rob spent on paperwork and phone calls with our realtor, lenders, etc. and the fact that we fell in love with the house and now have to say goodbye to it.  We are disappointed and discouraged and the last thing we feel like doing is starting all over again, but that is really all we can do.  So, back to house hunting and looking up homes online...can't wait!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

We found the house!

The positive news I was hoping for is here for me to share! The house that we first saw almost two weeks ago, that was at the top of our list before we even saw it in person based on online pictures alone which are sometime pretty deceiving, was our favorite out of all of the houses we looked at. It even beat out the home we liked in another town that we almost put an offer on. We went and looked at the house a second time two days later and put an offer on it the following day (this was two weeks ago). The let's make a deal part of buying this home was stressing me out big time. Putting in an offer and not hearing back from the seller for 36 hours is not fun, especially when the counter offer you finally receive is much higher than you were hoping for. We began to think we weren't going to be able to reach an agreement, but 5 days after our initial offer the sellers agreed to our final counter offer and we are on our way to buying our first home!
I have to tell you that I am in love with this house. My feelings may change after the home inspection on Wednesday, but let's hope not. The things we like best about the house...

-Great location/easy access to the highway/not too far outside of the city/close to LOTS of shopping/2 miles from Roxanne's favorite dog park

-It has 4 bedrooms. Originally we said we would be ok with 3, but once you see a house with 4 you really don't want a house with 3.

-Though we would like wood floors throughout the whole first floor, this house has wood in the entryway, kitchen and eating area which is nice, and really decent carpet throughout the formal dining, family and sun rooms. A lot of the carpet in other homes looked like it needed to be replaced sooner than later, but this carpet is actually fine looking.

-Nice sized kitchen with stainless steel appliances (besides the dishwasher)...down the road replace the laminate counters with granite and it would really look nice.

-No formal living room! Most homes we saw had one and it felt like a waste of space. This house has a family room and off of that is a sun room we would use more like a second family room with a couch and smaller tv.

-No major projects before we move in! Sooner than later the pink princess room will need a new coat of paint, but that will be easy enough.

-Huge, fenced in backyard with a nice deck, and there is even an apple and a pear tree back there!

-At the end of the street the house is on is access to a nice walking/biking path that will be perfect for Rob to run on.

The only two things Rob and I both weren't fans of was the curb appeal/exterior of the house and the development the house is in. The house is a two story, two car garage, very yellow home. Yellow is not and will never be one of my favorite colors, and while I know it is just paint it still took me a minute to get past that. Eventually far down the road we would probably paint it a different color. The white painted trim around the windows and the white painted garage doors need to be touched up as well. The part of the development that the house is in is ok, and the house is on a cul-de-sac which is nice, but other parts of the development are not as nice and frankly it looks like a bunch of people just need to man up and do some yard work or even just cut their lawns. But I realize no matter where you live you are going to have neighbors that just don't take care of their home like you wish they would. Even in one of the newer, cookie-cutter, homes close together developments we looked at, where the front yards all looked pretty nice and well groomed you have to deal with it. We looked at 2 homes in that development that were actually only 2 doors down from each other, meaning they shared the same neighbor in between. We walked out onto the back deck of the first home, looked to the right and said 'whoa-what is up with that neighbor's back deck/yard?' They had so much junk and who knows what back there that it really was unpleasant to look at. A few days later we looked at the house down the street, went out back and turned left and were like 'oh my gosh, it's that neighbor again, ugh.' So we decided given all the things we love about the house that we could compromise on a yellow house and a development that wasn't as pretty as we had hoped for. If the inspection goes ok then we are scheduled to close on the house on July 25th...fingers crossed!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

House Hunting

I owe our fabulous European vacation a blog post of its own, because it was one of the best trips I have ever been on and we did and saw so much. I don't have the time right now to do that blog post justice though, so I'll leave you with a few pictures from the trip instead.

We decided right before the trip that we wanted to buy a house this summer instead of renewing our apartment lease or moving to another apartment complex. We had many conversations about it and came to the decision that now is a great time to buy with prices and mortgage rates so low, and we know we want to stay in the Atlanta area for the foreseeable future, so why not move out of this sub par apartment complex with its falling down walls, messy hallway painting jobs and questionable residents?

Within a week of getting back from our trip we started the house hunting process. It started out pretty exciting and fun- looking through pages and pages of homes online, deciding which area we wanted to live in, and imagining all of the extra space we would have compared to our current apartment. But I have to say, the process has become increasingly less exciting and fun. I think Rob and I would both call it stressful and time consuming at this point...and it has only been 2 weeks.

We have seen about 15 homes so far. Out of those 15 we have been grossed out by one to the point of not wanting to go upstairs, pulled up to and turned around without exiting the car of another because of the neighboring homes and area, seriously considered 4 of them, fell in love with 2-3 of them, were about to put an offer on one of them until we found out the elementary school was no good, and put an offer on one of them. Everyone tells you not to fall in love with a house before it is officially your home, because there are many obstacles along the way that will prevent you from getting the home, but that is easier said than done. I am a pretty emotional person I would say, at least when it comes to certain things, and so it is no surprise to Rob that I am not handling this house hunting business as well as he is. I have probably shed tears over homes 2 times over the past 2 weeks. Once was over a house that we did not even go inside of, only saw online, a house that we talked up in our minds so much for a week only to find out the day before we were going to go see it that the bank was asking for best and final offers already.

One of our biggest frustrations is that our realtor was not kidding when she said inventory is low. Sure you can find plenty of homes online in the surrounding Atlanta area to buy, but not within our budget, our preferred location and with good schools. I know you must compromise on some things, but those 3 are very hard to compromise on. We would much rather compromise on the inside of the home, maybe a house that needs new floors or updated kitchen counters, than buy a home with bad schools or is further outside the city. When we do a search it literally feels like 75% of the homes we would be interested in or want to go see are sale pending.

So for now we will just keep on keeping on, remember what everyone keeps telling us- what is meant to be will be, the right house for you will come along, and hope for the best! Hopefully my next post is sooner than later and has some positive news to share.