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Monday, August 6, 2012

The Waiting Game

Hours and days of waiting
takes a real toll and
makes one glum.

In a continuation of the journey myself and my husband are on right now in the efforts to get a home, I write this post filled with news. I had mentioned last week we put another offer in. It took days to find out if we had our offer picked. Tid bits would leak out to us by the agents, and we knew were one of two bids and that something would be decided by August first, which turned out to be a couple of days past ... waiting, thinking every phone call was the one to let us know either way was maddening when it was just phone calls asking if we had heard anything. Hours then the days ticked by at a snails pace. To top it off I was down with a bad sinus infection that I have battled for a few weeks now. It simply was not a fun time. When word finally came, we were told our offer was good, we had won the bid!! I was happy but wary... I did not even wish to tell anyone. 

Wondering can drive you loony!
Attached to the acceptance of the bid was a mention of contingency. This opened the flood gates as to what they would want. We could not offer up more money, we had pushed it to the tippy top of the limit and even further than we are really comfy with. We knew there are repairs to be made and being that we are FHA they indeed have to be made before we can close. Those repairs as well as the bank appraisal are on our dime and is a cash outlay over and above the loan, and we even offered closing costs, we hope and pray that those can be rolled into our mortgage payments through a special loan that gets attached... but that is a whole other blog post to say the least on how that all works.  We spent a couple days with so many thoughts rolling through our heads, all the what ifs and it was enough to drive you loony! Finally we got word, it was simply that the house was to be sold as is, the owner who had inherited the home had already gone over budget and was just "done" with it. The other contingency was that the appraisal and inspection was to take place in under ten days. We agreed to both, our agent telling the other agent that if the repairs were too big or the appraisal did not come back where we needed it to (as we are required to pay the difference via our down payment between what the appraisal is and what we offered and what the bank will pay), we would be walking.... we would be out the 300 plus dollars for the appraisal, but that we knew would happen. Now it was time to sign the next set of papers. We were eager, we wanted to do it right then. The house is being sold via probate, and so we were told the new offer now had to be signed by the probate lawyer and then the current owners and then we would get to sign them.... again it was time to wait. 

I was on and off the phone
a lot , and sending emails
back and forth trying to
figure out when we could sign the papers.

FINALLY! Today was the day. We met with our agent at our daughters place of employment so she too could sign the papers as she is my co-signer, and then it was time to go see the house and really take a very close nit picking look ... I know, I know, this should have been the first visit, not the fifth ( yes we have been there five times) , but until now we could not get into the garage... ok there now you know the dirty secret, we put a bid on a house, won the bid and even signed an as is amendment and all without seeing the inside of the garage... it had been locked until today when the opener was dropped off by the owner. Finally the mystery box could be opened. Lucky for us, it held no unexpected surprises. Everything is what we expected.. not a great thing, trust me on that! 

The house is in pretty good condition,
but needs updating and tweaking and well,
a few things fixed before an FHA loan will be approved.

So now let me tell you a bit about the house. First thing first, it is an older home, but sadly not the 1930's or older home I dreamed of. There is no front porch, but there is a picket fence... it needs repair, but it is there. The yard is not the prettiest, and in the back there is nothing but weeds and big trees that have been trimmed within an inch of their life. There really is no charm to the house from the outside past a cute peaked roof over the front door and a diamond pane window that sadly will have to be replaced as it is, like all the windows in the home original to the house, old crank style that do not open and framed in rusty metal with glass that no longer will clean... the other front window is 12 feet long and even has a pole that runs up the center of it... standard to the year the house was built. It is not even in the town I wanted to live in. I will live a short commute from my girls and my favorite places to shop, eat and my hair dresser (oh my!), but I am sure I will find new favorite places over time.

The yard is very over grown ,yet
still mostly dried weeds...
but I can see where roses,
a vegi garden and a beautiful
fountain will one day go. 
Now before you think to say "run away" to me, let me tell you what I like about it and why I think it can be a home. The home is a 1958 cottage with a peeked roof as I mentioned over the front door, sloping nearly to the brick planter boxes under that 12 foot wide window. Right now it is white with chocolate brown trim, but I know one day it will be white with black trim, perhaps black shutters, and even flagstone over the brick or the brick painted in gray. The front yard is indeed contained in a white picket fence and has grass and two trees in the front, one is a flowering plum ( messy but pretty) and one is a mystery tree. The planters are empty currently as is the plant shelf under the diamond pane window. It sits on a corner lot, and the corner is blank with just what remains of the old mulch, but one day it could be perfect with ground cover roses or perhaps star jasmine all over it with a tree in the center.... I can see it now with the fence all lined with pink and white hedge roses, and cottage plants in the planter boxes, seasonal pots of flowers on the shelf and geraniums lining the walk.... it will be a show stopper one day.

I hope to make friends that might
one day help me with fixing things up.

When you walk inside, it is right into the living room.. not my favorite thing, but add a tile entry and my little "butler" cabinet and I think it will be just fine. The walls have all been re-painted and it has new carpet.. given both are beige and both will have to be changed in time, I have lived with such for three years now and can work with it for the time being. There is a large brick fireplace which cries out for a mantle, but one day it will have a crackling fire within and a mantle overhead to hang stockings on. There is a small dining space, with a huge glass sliding door, that currently does not slide and will need fixing and eventually replaced and it may be cramped when outfitted with a hutch and a larger table, but I can see it working just fine with just the right arrangement. The kitchen is not huge, and has a rather odd lay out, but we think we can work with it and make it work.. it has space for a window seat and a small table in front of a large window that looks over the back patio... and one day I can see myself sipping coffee or tea there and gazing out over the garden that will be and bird watching. There is of course a laundry room and lucky us 1.75 baths.. and even luckier three bedrooms. They are not huge, our apartment rooms and bathrooms are larger, but they are not as small as what we had in our former home and we think we can make it work just fine. All in all it is a cute home, in a cute neighborhood and we feel we will fit in just fine after a period of adjustment to our lifestyle of course. 

The needing to buy all new appliances
will tighten our purse strings there after
for a good year!

Now comes the next step... the scariest!! The appraisal and the FHA check list. We already know quite a few things that will be flagged and we are prepared for them, but if the numbers do not come in where we need them to, and even if they do, if the FHA check list of things exceeds the budget we have set aside, we may have to walk away, as I mentioned at the beginning. After already walking away from one home, being outbid on another, and knowing that we may not be able to find a home in our price pocket in the very near future, the idea of getting this close and the possibility of having to walk away because of just a couple of thousand dollars, 2100.00 to be exact if it does not appraise, and whatever the cost of repairs over and above that comes to, has my stomach in twists and turns and huge knots!! As it is, we have to use our charge card for appliances and to get out of our lease( we thought it would take longer to find a home, our lease is not up until Dec. 1st), that alone will take a year to pay off... we had just gotten it paid off.. so I am very upset with this fact. I am doing my best to not get too worked up over it, but I shall admit I have had some panic attacks and loads of anxiety over the amount of money to be spent, using the credit card, and clearing out our savings.. it brings flashes of the two years we lived hand to mouth and on the kindness of others when we lost our home, and had no money to our name to speak of... it is all still so very fresh and the thought of being broke, does take some of the joy out the prospects of this whole thing....just the same as worry and panic that we are not adding the numbers correctly and will not have enough cash to get the house in the first place. We do not have anyone that can help us make this life lines. The ones we had, for various reasons no longer can offer one to us. 

As I sit here and write this
blog it is all I can do to not
crawl into my bed and cover my head
out of the anxiety of it all!

So that is the update. The papers are to be submitted tonight. The appraisal to be set up and completed no later than next Wednesday, and then it is more waiting till the appraisal is official, I am told 2-3 days. Only then, with the official appraisal, and a FHA fix it list will we know if we are soon to be homeowners or not or if we are to start over with our search and hope for the best in a market that is quickly getting out of our reach. I will update you again on next Monday, and as a little in between bonus will share with you a wonderful winery/wine/tasting room we discovered just this last week... so stay tuned for that. 


  1. Sounds like a house that just needs the right people to make it a home. Hope it all works out for you.

  2. Oh Ruby you are almost there! I am sure with some tender loving care this house will become your beautiful cozy home with the taste of Ruby written all over it. Good Luck, will keep you in my prayer tonight. Please keep me posted.
    Dee xoxo

  3. I am so proud of you, Ruby girl!!!! What I like is your vision of what it will become for you. This is good, and I'll keep praying all goes well. Sending love and huge hugs to you!!!!

  4. Have courage-we've been exactly where you are and you what?? It all turned out great.
    Sure, we had debt, termites,1940's almost un- strippable wallpaper~~ dont get any ideas, it was horrid, even the baby cried when he saw it in his room !
    Hang on, it will be wonderful once your in there making it "Your home"--I have no doubts at all.
    Keep us all posted~~ Sierra Sue

  5. With your flair, it will great in a couple of years. My fingers are crossed that all goes well and to your advantage. I've been in your shoes and the stress is unreal...Hugs.


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