Saturday, September 3, 2011

Our New Home

Surprise! Everyone knew we have been searching for a new home for quite a while. Since we bought the last one, actually. When we moved into that condo, we realized it was just too small for our family if we want to continue to grow over the next few years. So sold the house (and made a profit!) and went back to the drawing board. Square one. The beginning. House hunting is not fun, at least not in a place like Northern Virginia where real estate prices are outrageous and the competition is fierce. Luckily, we were connected through my dad to the most amazing Realtor ever. He held our hand through the whole thing, was patient with us, told us when he thought we were making mistakes, gave us priceless advice, and has become a very close friend of our family. We really hit the jackpot there!
We didn't tell any of you about the house because we had had so many other opportunities fall through at various times. We were getting outbid on houses, or people were bringing cash, or whatever. We put so many offers on other properties. We got really tired of getting our hopes up and telling our friends and family about it just to have them fall through. We saw this house back in May and went ahead and put an offer on it and they accepted! It was a short sale, which meant that the process could take months to complete, but we were hoping for the best and that we could have it done somewhat quickly. That did not happen (it took over three months), but the happy truth is that it did eventually happen and now we have a new home. :)
We got an amazing deal. It is a four bedroom, 2 bathroom single family home in Manassas Park. It is a quarter acre lot with a fence all the way around and a little work shed in the back for Josh to put his tools. The sales price was perfect and the sellers even paid all of our closing costs. The only money I had to pay was our down payment. These are the good things. But there are bad things. Very bad things. The home inspection did not go well. In fact, the inspector's foot fell through the roof in one spot. So we have to repair the roof. The home has an addition on the side, and some of the electrical work on the addition was not done correctly, so we have to have that done as well. There are some minor plumbing issues that we are going to take care of. The bathrooms are ugly. Missing tiles, loose faucets, stuff like that. The carpets all need to be ripped out, and the paint in this house is horrific. Josh and I went back and forth on this house over the last 3 months trying to decide if we really did want to do all of this work.

What it really came down to were these things:
1. The house was priced the same as similar homes in similar condition that did NOT have the addition. They were just the original cape cods. So we were getting a lot of extra square footage for the same price.
2. We were keeping the cash we would have spent on closing so that meant we were able to use that cash to get started on repairs.
3. The house has A LOT of great potential. Josh and David (our Realtor) actually went and saw a house down the street with the exact same floor plan and addition that had been completely renovated, and it was gorgeous. That really showed Josh how much we can do to make it look really nice.
4. With our budget (we were extremely conservative - wanted the absolute lowest mortgage payment possible) there were not a whole lot of other options out there that were any better than this one. Near the end of this all, there were actually not ANY other options.

Josh and my dad went over to the house today and spent hours ripping up the carpet and padding and digging out nails. We are having a dumpster delivered on Tuesday so we can start demo'ing what we need to, and also because the old owner's left a bunch of their stuff there. We are having a roofer come out early next week to give us a quote and hopefully get started on that repair ASAP. Then we are going to do the electrical and the plumbing. Those are the big items. Once those are done we will have a better idea of where we stand financially and we will be able to decide what our next step will be.

I took pictures but I'm not going to share them because they are sooo bad! The house is a mess really. But we have so many friends and family already offering their help that I know we'll have it looking good in no time. Thank you all for your support and for offering to help. We WILL take you up on those offers!

Wow. That's a really wordy post. Did you make it this far? If so, you deserve something. Here's some Audrey for you, enjoying a lemon.
I'm sure you want some pictures, too. Enjoy!

Crazy morning bedhead


  1. How awesome to have your own home though! And once it is all done, you will appreciate it so much more because of all the hard work that will have been put into it. Congrats! Can't wait to see the finished product.

  2. Congrats on the house! And I love the video of Audrey - the face she keeps making but she continues to eat that lemon. hahaha