There’s No Place Like Home

(Too many Wizard of Oz references? I promise to try really hard to only use four or five more.)

So….exciting news! We bought a house. OK I realize this is not news for my two (wonderful and loyal) readers-my mom and Ted’s mom, but it is news to this blog, who, last time we discussed it, we were living in some town houses we found in a mad scramble. Since then, we got more and more frustrated with our living situation. For instance, our upstairs bathroom that ALWAYS smells like dead fish if we run the water at all and the dog poop everywhere on the property and the freeway right outside our back door and crazy fees for unnecessary things like garbage valet, and the tiny galley kitchen. We never intended on staying for the whole three years, but decided to see if there was any way we could wiggle out of our (really long, felt like I was selling my soul to the devil while signing) contract. And we got really lucky and someone nice in the office worked it out for us to pay more per month but change the length  of our contract.

I won’t go into our whole decision process, but long story short, we thought a lot before deciding to meet with a realtor and then took two full months to find the house. I have no idea how people buy a house after one day of looking. Although our first day, we actually saw two pretty great houses. One was old and charming and in the closest neighborhood to Ted’s hospital without being in the ghetto, the other was a colonial closer to where we live now, and way nicer than we ever expected to see. That second one sold right away for way over the asking price, and we passed on the first one, feeling like it was too early and it had a couple weird things about it, but I was fully heartbroken for two weeks about that guy. I also realized that old and charming were what stood out to me, while new and maintenance free were Ted’s cup of tea.

We kept obsessively stalking the MLS website and looked at a few more, but nothing as good as we had seen the first day. Then the way too nice colonial came back on the market, and we immediately pounced and made an offer. It was kind of a long shot, since we offered closer to the asking price and sure enough, got outbid.

The next notable house was the Rainbow Road house. It was in our ideal neighborhood, so tiny that the current owners were using one of the rooms as their closet, but beautifully updated and so cozy. We knew pretty much right away that we would be putting in an offer, but let our realtor talk us into offering a bit below asking price, thinking that they would counter with their other offers. We definitely regretted that decision as we never heard back from them and lost our favorite house so far.

Then we had weeks of no luck, put an offer on a tiny house we weren’t crazy about but was way below our budget and pretty nice, but got outbid that one too. Finally on my birthday, Ted found a house on Zillow that was for sale by owner and not on any of the MLS sites.  We last minute got a showing on the way to my birthday dinner and…it was perfect.

OK not perfect, because the owners had bought it and flipped it doing a lot of their own work (not necessarily bad. just risky), the roof was in pretty bad shape, and the HVAC was really old. But perfect in so many other ways. We put in an offer, contingent on them replacing the roof, and crossed our fingers. A few days later, while Ted was picking my mom up from the airport, I got the email that they accepted our offer. I called Ted and he put me on speakerphone and we all cheered together.

And now here we are, less than a month away from finally getting the keys to our first house. The closing date got way delayed, which is annoying, but if all goes to plan, we will be all settled and cozy in our house by Christmas.


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