August 12th was the day that we officially became homeowners. We posted this picture to Facebook after we signed our lives away & got the keys. We actually hadn’t told anyone besides our parents that we had bought a house so our Facebook post was the first time that people learned about it. Honestly, it was such a stressful time that I didn’t want to tell anyone as I feared it would jinx our chances of getting it! The housing market was insane. We looked at so many houses (or at least it felt like we did) and they would all be sold within a day. There were times where we would schedule to see a house in the evening and it would be sold before we were even off work.
Our realtor would send us an MLS listing almost every morning of houses that were in our price range & neighborhood. However, I ended up finding this house on Zillow before our realtor had a chance to send it to us. It was below our max price range & actually bigger than some of the houses we saw that were asking more! We sent it to our realtor and he was able to schedule a tour for later that afternoon. In the meantime, we decided to drive by the house to see it in person before our actual tour. When we drove up, we were actually kind of cringing & wondering if we should even go see it later that day. It wasn’t the house that we were cringing about but rather the neighbors house– let’s just say they like to collect things. In the front yard. And the driveway. And the porch.
We ended up keeping our scheduled tour that day and spent almost an hour going through the house. I loved it. Sure, it’s an older house so it wasn’t perfect but it had been taken care of and was in pretty good shape for being 50+ years old. The only thing that made us hesitant about putting in an offer were the neighbors. As in, what kind of people lived there? Do they always have junk in their yard? Would we be able to re-sell the house if they still lived next door? I’m not much of a crier but I was crying over this house when we got home from touring it. I loved it but hated the fact that it was right next to an eyesore. I think I was also frustrated with the number of houses we had seen & none of them stuck out like this one.
That night, Curtis met up with some friends to watch UFC while I ended up going back to the neighborhood! I wanted the house but I also wanted to know what the people were like that lived in the eyesore house. It was probably a little creepy for this random woman to be walking around at 8:00 on a Saturday night and knocking on doors. I ended up talking to a guy that lived on the other side of the eyesore house and asked what they were like. He said that they were mostly quiet, except during Husker games, and that they don’t really talk to anyone. He said that they didn’t cause any problems either. So, that kind of put my mind (and Curtis’) mind at ease.
We put in our offer the next morning and waited. All day. Later that afternoon, we got the call saying that the sellers had a counter offer — they accepted the offer of full list price but would pay 1/2 of the closing costs. They would also keep the house on the market for back up offers only in case our contract fell through just like the last buyer + having the closing date as August 12th. We ended up accepting their counter, signed some documents that our realtor emailed us, & got the process started with our mortgage specialist the next morning. This is when my anxiety went through the roof – we both have awesome credit scores but I was afraid that some our recent financial changes would hinder our ability to get the loan. The same day that we found the house, we had just paid off two credit cards, emptied/closed three bank accounts & applied for an increase in our credit limit on a card through the credit union where we were trying to get the mortgage through. I was convinced these changes would be seen as a red flag although I have NO idea what all they do during this process. In the end, I had nothing to worry about because we learned that next week that our loan had been approved!
We had our home inspection which came back with (mostly) flying colors. The main thing that stuck out during the inspection was a piece of roof/siding on the side of the house as well as some rotting wood on the garage. He advised to have a roofer come look at it to see if there was water getting into the siding because there was an opening in the roof/siding. We had an estimate done the next week which came back as over $2,000! We sent in an addendum to our offer to have the sellers fix the items per estimate or take $1,000 off the asking price so we could fix it. The sellers ended up getting their own estimate which only came back as $500. We don’t think they had the garage estimated which is why it was so much cheaper. In the end, they agreed to pay an additional $500 towards closing costs to fix the siding on the house as the garage was something that could be done at a later date.
And then… we signed our life away on the morning of August 12th! It was exciting but also extremely nerve wracking at the same time. It only took about a half an hour before everything was done & we had the keys. We made a quick stop at Menards for a few things & went straight to the house. Curtis and his dad got to work on switching out the locks while I painted the front door. The rest of the weekend was spent painting & getting everything packed up in our apartment. We moved in that next weekend but still had our apartment through the end of August.
- This post talks about all of the updates we made within the first 6 months.
Since my six month post, we haven’t made too many updates. In April, we changed up the landscaping in our front yard which I think turned out decent for two complete amateurs! Those rocks were HIDEOUS. We also planted a peony bush and another burning bush along with some perennial flowering bushes.
I would like to paint our guest bedroom & the upstairs dormer as we chose to not paint them before we moved in. The guest room is where I get ready in the mornings & also store my clothes and the paint is awful. There are so many scuffs & holes from nails that it needs a complete overhaul. The upstairs is the ugliest shade of brown and the previous owners did a terrible job of painting it. There are a lot of missed spots & old color bleeding through. We also need to re-paint our bathroom as we used an eggshell paint & should have used a satin one. There are water marks all over the walls from shower steam that dries. These may be projects for later this fall or next spring!
Some new furniture is also needed, such as a console table or something for the TV in our living room. Right now, we are using a TV stand I bought from Walmart about six years ago. It has lots of scuffs and is bowed in the middle from when I had a tube TV sitting on it. (This is a picture from last fall hence the decorations but nothing has changed!) We need a coffee table and some lamps for our end tables as well. And decorations — our walls are still VERY BARE!
As for the eyesore house next to us, they haven’t been too bad to live next to. The morning we made an offer, we did a lot of investigating after checking out property records & finding the owner on Facebook. From his page, we learned that he was in a Christian motorcycle gang so they couldn’t be that bad to live next to, right? They don’t cause any problems but it seems like they always have family members over so their cars take up the street. And they do get pretty loud during Husker games but that’s to be expected in Nebraska! Earlier this year, a new family moved in to a house on the street & turned it into a dump… worse than the eyesore house next to us. 🙁 Just goes to show that you don’t know who you’ll end up living next to. All of our other neighbors also keep to themselves– we still haven’t met the lady that lives across the street! We’ve gotten to know our other neighbor pretty well however, she’s currently selling her house and moving back to New Zealand in October. Although I saw the couple that offered on her house & I’m pretty sure they won’t turn it into a hoarder house!
Alright, this has turned in to a novel so I think I’m going to wrap it up here! It doesn’t feel like we have been living here a YEAR already! Time needs to SLOW down.