Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday Rant: The House Edition

Because I was busy doing other things yesterday, I didn't blog.  Yes, my friends and readers (all three of you), the summer is over, I had a week of vacation/house-sitting (hey, anywhere was better than here!), and now I'm looking to get back into a normal daily/weekly routine.  Because I love routine.  It's sacred.  And I'm anal-retentive.

So if you are friends with me on Facebook (which the three people who actually read this blog [of whom I know] are) then you've probably seen some drama about a house.  It's amazing how fast rumors start and spread and grow (LIKE THE RUMOR WEED!).  So here is my blog post to sum up our process so far, let you know where we are, and clear up the fog induced by so many rumors.

It begins with us deciding that it might be time to move.  A lot of doors had been closing for Caleb at camp and opening at church, and as much as he hated to choose between the two, he knew we had to.  It seemed pretty clear that church would be the more logical option.  Which means moving, because most of Caleb's camp salary (except in the summer) is in housing.

Caleb called our credit union and we got pre-approved for a conventional loan and then we called up our friendly local Midwest Properties agent (my dad) and started looking at some houses.  We looked at a couple pretty hilarious ones.  One was 600 sq ft.  If you don't know what that means, just know it's smaller than our current apartment.  Caleb could have stretched out on the floor and touched the front wall and the back wall.  Another one was huge, but needed SO much work; it was disgusting.  We found an awesome one in Sparta we'd have loved to have, but the day we looked at it, it sold.

Finally we found one in a perfect location.  2.1 miles from church, so Caleb could even bike if he wanted to. Still only a 20 minute drive to camp, so not bad for me.  The lot is 1.27 acres, so tons of space.  The house has so much charm and is a great size for us.  It's in our price range, but there was enough work to do to it that we thought a "Home Improvement Loan" might be a good idea.

[Home Improvement Loan is my term for the 203(k) loan.  It means that as long as we hire a contractor to do the work, we can roll any repair costs into our mortgage.  This is nice for when a house has a lot of work to do up front, but the buyer can't afford those costs out of pocket.  It means a bigger mortgage, but it can be more manageable.]

Our credit union doesn't do Home Improvement Loans, so we called this guy my dad recommended and he said he'd look it over.  (At this point we should note that I have a credit score (thanks to student loans) but a small income, and Caleb has no credit (how dare he never go into debt?! /sarcasm) and a bigger income.  For some reason, the banks don't see us as one person, despite us being that way in God's eyes.)

The next day, my dad called and told us two other people had put in offers on the house, and we'd better get ours in right away.  Caleb called the bank about the loan, and the guy said, "Yeah, I was able to work it out."  So we put in an offer and then waited impatiently for two days.

This is when the rumors first started at camp.  And it was horrible, because Caleb was talking to a group of staff on the day we thought we'd find out and they saw me coming and one of them said, "You got a house?" And I freaked out and about dropped my lunch because I was so excited, and then it turns out that they just don't understand the process of home-buying at all and how many steps there are to it, and so we still hadn't heard.

We finally heard that they accepted our offer!  At this point, I was so thrilled, because even though I do know the home-buying process is lengthy, I figured this would be our biggest hurdle.

Hah.  Hah.

This is also when I posted "Eeeep!" as a Facebook status, so the people who knew what was going on would know the offer had been accepted, and those who didn't could just know I was excited about something and then die of curiosity.  And then my sister-in-law posted "I heard the good news!  Congrats on the house!" and LET THE FREAKING FLOOD OF RUMORS BEGIN.  By the time we got to church on Sunday, people apparently thought we were moving the next day!  (By the way, I'm not upset at all with my sister-in-law.  Her comment was completely valid, but was merely taken out of context by millions of crazed relatives and church-goers.)

And then the home-buying process reared its ugly head.  The bank said they couldn't find any records on Caleb; he's a 'ghost'; he doesn't exist.  (Not true, by the way.)  They couldn't do anything for us.  We tried another bank; they said they'd get the ball rolling.  They called back and said that since Caleb doesn't have credit, we'd have to put together a portfolio of sorts including receipt of rent payments, tax returns, W-2s, pay stubs, and bank statements for the last two years.  Which wouldn't be so bad except we don't have receipt of rent payment.  Because it comes out of Caleb's paycheck.  Which the bank says is impossible.

Then there was the home inspection.  We knew the electrical was shot and needed to be completely redone, and we knew we needed some new windows, but we didn't know the garage needed to be torn down and replaced.  We didn't know the freaking well had E Coli.  Etc.  Etc.  Etc.

Where are we now?

We're looking at still going with a conventional loan (no Home Improvements rolled into the mortgage) but opening up a 203(b) account so we can legally make the house livable before closing.  We still really like the location and the house.  (And it may someday become a commercial lot, so we could, as Caleb's dad said, "Make a pretty penny off of it.")  Before we move in, we'll need to get the well and the electric fixed (and get a stove, fridge, washer, and dryer), and before winter, we need to either get new windows up or plastic sheeting to keep the heat in.  We also have a door to replace (because we don't have doggies) to keep some heat in.

We're still really interested, especially since we've already put some money into it, but we're being, as Caleb said, "Cautiously optimistic."

And now for some FAQs:

What's next?
Getting the 203(b) account set up and approved; fixing the well, electrical, and garage; then hopefully closing; a lot of cleaning; painting; and moving.

When are you moving?
I don't know.

When are you closing?
I don't know.

What color is the house?
Mix gray, blue, and white and there you have it.

Will you shop at Ric's?
Heck no.  That place is expensive.

What color will you paint the walls?
Holy crap, can we just take care of the crumbling garage and crappy electrical first?  Give us a break!

When are you having kids?
Here's $10; go buy some manners.

Would you like a free couch?
Most likely.

Have you found any Pinterest projects to spruce up the place?

Do you have any pictures of the house to show us?
No.  They're on Caleb's phone.

Are there sprinkles under certain keys in your keyboard?
Why yes, yes there are.

Love and Breezeways,
Leah Joy

1 comment:

  1. LOL! Welcome to adulthood! Keep your hands and feet inside the ride! All kidding aside, so excited for you! In spite of the problems (and most of them encounter them in one way or another any time we purchase a home), you will love it, hate it, grow from it, and someday laugh at all of the terrific memories you are beginning to make here! Love you sweet pea!