Thursday, March 24, 2016

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Back when I had worked at Yellow Umbrella, I had worked with someone who found their house via the Internet. They lived in New York and were looking to buy a house down in Florida. I can't remember the circumstances, but I know that they were not able to see the house prior to closing on it. I remember thinking they were crazy! Buying clothes online? I do that all the time. Buying a furniture online? I have done that too. Buying a car online? I'm sure you would want to test drive it first, but imagine its been done before. But a house? No. Freaking. Way.

Fast forward...five years? And I am proud to say we did the same exact thing!

Okay, let me back track a little more. We started looking at houses in November of last year...surprise! We didn't tell anyone mainly because we felt it was no ones business. I know I wrote about it in the previous blog, but no one knows the extent of what we were going through. We found out that Palm Bay was perfect for our budget and perfect for us. Moving home was never a question, it was something that we both felt we would ultimately do. So, we looked at house after house after house. I downloaded the Zillow app and received constant updates on houses for sale in that area. November, we both agreed, was to early to even think about purchasing a home. Instead, we decided to get our finances in order and to start the process for a VA loan. Josh and I have always been a team when it come to money, we both handle bills and we both handle anything that comes up within that. We decided to pay off our debt (yay adulthood!) so we walked into the loan process completely free of debt. We were approved for our VA loan at the end of December. January came around and we figured it was time to get serious about a house. We were fortunate enough to have both of our parents available through this whole process. I would find a house and have my mom drive by and see if she liked it. This went on for countless houses. I'm not exaggerating when I say, we probably looked at 50 or more houses! At this point, they all started to blend together. We would find one and we would also find 10 million different things wrong about it. We became set on finding a move in ready house. We didn't want to do major renovations, that cost time and money that we really didn't want to put in.

January 18th, Josh and I had decided to take a break from everything and try to find a place to play putt putt golf. We both were stressed beyond belief. That weekend prior we had my mom look at few places, two of which we were on the fence about putting an offer in on. We really didn't have our heart set on either of them. We were convinced that the perfect house would still come along. We drove to Gaithersburg in search of a place called Monster Golf. We walked in and immediately walked out, it wasn't what we were looking to do. Disgruntled we walked back to the car, where I checked my phone for a notification I had received. It was Zillow notifying me that there was a new house on the market in my area. Yay. Another one. I remember opening the link and casually flipping through the pictures and I remember turning to Josh and say "oh this one looks hopeful." To which he said "can we just look at it when we get home..lets go". Off we drove to the apartment. During the drive, my Realtor had sent me the same listing...fate? We got home and really looked at the pictures. We completely fell in love. The kitchen, the bathrooms, the bedrooms, everything..was perfect. My parents were scheduled to look at a different house later that day so I asked my Realtor to add this one to the list. The next few hours Josh and I waited by the phone. I really wanted my parents to agree with us on this one. It hit every mark. Budget, location, move in ready. My parents went to the showing and while they were there, my mom called me and said "you better put an offer in." My heart raced. I looked at Josh in complete panic and we both agreed this was the one. We put an offer in and waited to hear back. We were also suggested to write a letter to the seller to, well, sell ourselves. We were competing with another couple. My anxiety was through the roof and I remember pacing back and forth in our apartment waiting for the phone call back. We received the contract via email and had 10 minutes to sign it. YES! 10 MINUTES! Lucky for us, I am a fast reader but in that moment I couldn't for the life of me focus! We read it, signed, and sent it back. The wait was killing us. More pacing happened and I was on the brink of tears (which was the start of a panic attack) when my phone rang. My Realtor had put me and my mom on a three way phone call and told us that our offer was accepted! I cried. I know it's cliche, but all the stress finally released! Now comes the boring part, all the paper work involved. The process itself was as stressful as you would image. I would sit and drink a few glasses of wine at night to just calm myself down. Not once however did I ever question our decision. Not once did I ever give up on this house.

On the 11th of February, Josh's grandma had a stroke. It happened early in the morning. It was severe, she was paralyzed on one half of her body. Being so close to her, Josh and I both agreed to drop everything and fly down to Florida. She made it through her surgery, and once we were in the clear we decided to look at the house. Valentines day, we did our first walk through of our future home. The moment we walked through the door, all the paperwork, all the stress, all the anxiety left my mind. The house was perfect. I never knew I could fall in love with something so quickly. It was almost as if we had built the house and we knew everything about it already. We walked around, just soaking in everything we saw. We walked away from that walk through knowing this was meant to be. We stayed in Florida for two weeks and then flew back up to Maryland. We had a ton of paperwork, mainly dealing with the military. Josh's contract ends on April 10th and since he just started the MEB process, they have to extend his contract. This caused more headaches than needed. We had our closing date set on March 18th. This happened to fall on the same week as our anniversary AND my birthday so we decided to fly down to Florida and celebrate them there. The day prior to closing, we did a walk through with the seller. She is absolutely amazing and has made this process so easy.

On March 18th we signed ourselves into 30 years of debt! My dad keeps telling me to look at it as an investment, and not this looming dark cloud hanging over us, but will be 2046 when we finally pay off this house! That's crazy! But we did it. Two kids from Palm Bay left at a young age, moved around the world, had amazing experiences, and are settling back in their home town. So..what does this all mean? Well, the sellers are renting from us until their house closes. Once they move out, my dad will be going in and replacing the carpet with wood floors. He is painting the front room so Josh has a man cave. He will be doing landscaping, installing front lights, and a new mailbox. Whenever Josh's VA benefits come back and he is clear to retire, we will be moving home. Projected date is August-September.

A huge thank you to all who helped us in this process. From our amazing Realtor, to my parents, to Josh' parents, and even to those select few friends that knew..thank you. Thank you to my amazing husband who was always there to listen to my frustrations or offer me a glass of wine. You are the best and I can't wait to start this new chapter with you in our home!

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