Monday, June 15, 2015

So...we did it...we bought a house! read that correctly...AJ and I bought a house! Last time we talked I was belly-achin about the "house that got away" and feeling like we would never find a house that we liked as much as that one...well spoiler alert...we did :) 

But first, let's go back a few weeks...(forgive me for the wordiness that is about to come...I just really want to make sure to document this so we can look back on it in the years to come and laugh!)

AJ and I knew we wanted to buy a house this fall. Our lease at the apartment we both loathe is up in October and we thought we would start looking shortly after the wedding (July 25th) and hopefully find something in those couple of months before the lease was up.

Well, being the type-A,  get it done now person that I am I wanted to be as prepared as possible for house hunting in August and September so we decided that before the wedding we would go and talk to a mortgage broker, get approved for a loan, and have everything ready to go for when we were ready to buy a house.

On a recommendation from some friends we set up an appointment on May 28th with Jon Jaeger at Alpha Mortgage. He sat down with us and went over our finances and helped us to apply for a home loan. He was EXTREMELY helpful! The whole home buying process seemed really daunting to me because neither of us had any experience and we both had very limited knowledge about it all. He spent over an hour talking through the logistics, showed us what payments would look like, etc etc. 

He then asked us if we minded him passing our name along to a realtor who he worked very closely with. We have some friends who worked with these realtors and had been very pleased so we told him "sure, but we won't be seriously looking to buy a house until August or September"

Later that night we got an e-mail from Jon saying we had been approved and told us that he had passed our name along to a realtor and she would be contacting us very soon.

Well...the very next day we received an e-mail from Melissa Stuewe wanting to set up a time to meet and discuss specifics of what we were looking for. We set up an appointment to meet with her at Panera for June 2nd. 

After our first meeting I knew I was really going to enjoy working with Melissa. She was friendly, knowledgeable, informative, and extremely professional. We spent about 45 minutes going over the area, styles of houses, must-haves, and definitely nots and she told us that she would go home and start a search for some homes in our price range that fit what we wanted and have a list of houses the very next day! At this point I was getting really excited, but also part of me felt bad because again...we were NOT going to buy a house just yet, and I didn't want to waste her time. 

The next day she sent us a few listings to look at, and there were a few houses that we really liked. We emailed her back and told her the homes that we would be interested in looking at but reminded her we weren't seriously looking just yet. Melissa had told us that she didn't mind "just looking" and that even if we weren't set on buying just yet we could just get out there and see what was available and help her to get a better idea of what we were looking for.

On Thursday June 4th (2 days later) we met Melissa to look at 2 different homes. The first one was absolutely gorgeous! Great neighborhood, beautiful kitchen, and big bedrooms! The only negatives were that it didn't have a finished basement, no deck (just a small patio), and it was at the top of our price range. I wasn't too disappointed often do people buy the first house they look at? Onto the second house we went...I knew immediately when we pulled into the neighborhood that I wasn't going to be as impressed. While the neighborhood wasn't "bad" it just wasn't as sunny and friendly feeling as the house before. 

When we walked in the front door I was blown away. The living room had gorgeous wood floors and opened into a newly renovated kitchen with gorgeous coutertops, cabinets, flooring, etc. The best part was the door that led out to a huge deck and a great patio! So far so good and then...we went upstairs...
You could tell that the homeowners had spent most of their time and energy making the main level look great because upstairs was not great...the carpet was old and gross, the floors creaked, the master bathroom and closet made me cringe! While I liked the main level...the upstairs was a deal-breaker for me...I just couldn't see us living there.

After we finished looking at that house we regrouped and Melissa said she had a better idea of what we were looking for and would send us some more houses and we could continue to look.

The next day she sent us another couple of homes to look at and we found a few that we liked and wanted to see so Melissa set up some showings for Saturday June 6th. At this point I started to feel kind of she was spending her Saturday showing us houses...when again, we were not really serious about buying anything right this second (you notice I keep saying that)

We met at the first house around 11:00 and it was a flipped home in an area were weren't really crazy about...but we wanted to be open minded and figured it was good experience to just look.

This house was BEAUTIFUL! It had dark wood floors, a gorgeous fireplace, updated kitchen, a great back yard, an INCREDIBLE finished basement and the upper level layout was ideal! 4 bedrooms, big master, great bathroom etc, etc. It felt like this house could be a contender...however, it was at the top of our price range and it was priced on the high end for that neighborhood, meaning re-sale wouldn't be we decided it wasn't a good investment...but it was really pretty :)

The next  house was horrific...AJ won't agree...he said he could see the potential, but I just couldn't. The only thing about the house that I liked was the neighborhood. It was the exact area we were looking for and it had a neighborhood pool...other than that...NOPE! 

When we walked in we noticed that the sellers had moved out, but still had a few things they had left behind (and hopefully would come back for?) a fish tank which appeared to have a floating wig in it? A little girl's sandal sitting in the closet, another fish-tank, and lots and lots of dirt. On top of the house looking and feeling filthy it had the ugly yellow woodwork EVERYWHERE! The kitchen was the worst and it was the first thing you saw when you walked in the front door...I just couldn't do it...I wanted out of there ASAP! 

The next house on our list was MUCH was in the neighborhood across the street (no pool...but a jogging trail!) It was at the end of a cul-de-sac and had great curb appeal. However, I need to add this little we were driving to this house we passed another house on the same street with a for-sale sign in the yard and we thought we were stopping there...and when Melissa kept driving we were a little disappointed because we thought the house looked nice- keep this in mind for later ;)

When we walked in this house I felt much better...the wood-work was darker, it was clean, and it definitely felt more like somewhere I could live. While, we liked things about this house we still weren't didn't feel like home, so we decided to head on to the final house for the day. This was the house I was most excited for (based on pictures) 

When we got to the last house they were in the middle of repainting the exterior (score!) and I noticed that down the street was an entrance to a jogging path (double score!)

The minute we walked in I knew I was going to like the house. It had a great open floor plan, the kitchen, dining room, and living room had a perfect flow! While it still had wood trim everywhere it wasn't that terrible gold I could live with it for awhile ;) 

We went upstairs and saw the bedrooms...the master was great! It had wood floor, a giant walk-in closet, and a spacious bathroom. I.Was.Sold! 

Then we went down the hall to the most beautiful little nursery I have ever seen...I can't say that I have ever had a case of baby-fever until that very moment...I looked at AJ and said "we need a baby to put in this room!" 

After getting over the shock of what I had just said, AJ and I headed downstairs to check out the backyard...and if the rest of the house hadn't convinced us that we needed it...the backyard was the nail in the coffin!! WOW...the deck was like nothing I had ever seen! It was HUGE and I could picture us hosting many BBQ's back there!! After prying ourselves away from the deck we headed inside to chat...and after a few minutes we both looked at each other and said "we have to have it!"

We told Melissa and she called the selling agent (not sure what the exact term is) and got her voice mail. She then texted her, because in this market homes were going on the market and being sold within a few hours...and she felt like this home would be no exception! We felt pretty okay about our odds since it had just been listed the night before. The selling agent texted back saying she was at a baby shower and would call soon with details...good sign right? If it was already sold, wouldn't she just say so?

So we headed back to our Panera and filled out an offer/contract. During this process Melissa got a text saying that there had been an offer put on the house the night before and the sellers were getting ready to sign and accept the offer. Talk about bursting our bubble...we were devastated...we had spent the last 2 hours picturing ourselves living in that home and now we were being told we couldn't...womp womp :(

Melissa suggested that we continue filling out the contract and submitting our offer. She thought it would be good for us to experience the process so we would be prepared for next time...and we would be submitting a back-up offer just in case something fell through with the original buyer. 

That night and the next day AJ and I were a little mopey...we had been on such a high and wanted that home so badly. We kept reminding ourselves that everything happens for a reason and that there would be another house we loved as much (if not more) that would come along....and on top of all that we weren't looking to buy right this second ;)

Monday night I was searching (pretty much the norm) and came across a house in the same neighborhood as our beloved "home that got away" and immediately sent the link to Melissa. I didn't get my hopes up because again, like I said, with this market homes go fast and they aren't always updated online. 
Melissa (as usual) emailed me right back and told me the house was available still and she would call and get something set up. 

In the meantime I kept searching and found 2 more homes and sent those to Melissa as well...and being the amazing realtor that she is she got viewings set up for all 3 houses the very next night (June 9th)

While I was excited to go look at houses again, I just couldn't shake the feeling that I wouldn't like any of them. I thought "there is no way we are going to find a house we like as much as the other house" I almost felt as if these 3 houses were our "rebound" and would help us to get over the loss of the previous house lol!

Tuesday night we met Melissa at the first house (the house we had driven by the Saturday before...which I didn't realize when I found it online) We were both really excited because we had wanted to see the house after driving by it before...but, I was still a little nervous. From the pictures of this house I liked it...but there were parts of the house that hadn't been photographed (why?) and the wall colors were a little wild...however, when we walked in the house I kid you not I felt a wave of "this is it"

Despite the walls being gold and red (GO CHIEFS!) standing in the entry way I immediately felt at home. It opened directly into the living room and to an amazing fireplace with built-ins (sigh) and as you continued to walk in there was the kitchen (it was HUGE) and dining area. The trim and cabinets were both brown wood (I like white wood work) but it didn't bother me at all. After oohing and ahhing over the gigantic kitchen we walked out into the sunroom (which was bright blue) and we were very impressed...lots of windows...good size space for entertaining...and not sweltering hot even though it was a billion degrees outside. 

Then...we walked outside...and I immediately fell in love with the backyard. There was a nice sized patio and a HUGE backyard. AJ and I had a seat at the patio table and it just felt right. I could definitely see us sitting out there with a few beers in the evenings. 

We went inside and I crossed my fingers that the upstairs would be just as great...and it was! The bedrooms were great and had really great closets with customized shelving and the master closet was a huge walk-in!! 

All was golden at this point (just like the walls!)...the final stop was the basement. The listing said it had a finished basement but didn't include any pictures which made me a little nervous. When we walked downstairs I saw why they didn't include pics...the lady who owns the house runs an at home day-care and that is where she has her little classroom set was adorable...very crowded and cramped...but adorable.

AJ wasn't feeling the basement...and I think it was because of all the little people stuff :) We kept going and found a half bath downstairs (huge plus!) and an unfinished part with LOTS of storage and space for the washer and dryer.

After spending 2 hours walking through the house, sitting in various parts of the house (hope they don't mind me making myself at home) and picturing ourselves living there we decided we didn't want to leave...EVER....we wanted to live there. This place felt felt like home. I had been so convinced that we would never find a house that we liked as much as the other one...but here we were in a house that we liked even more :)

We told Melissa we wanted to make an offer so she called the selling agent and we got good news...there were no other offers on the house; however there was another couple that had come to look at it the previous day and had set up an appointment to come look at it again the next day. Well...they would be too late! 

We met Melissa at our Panera again, filled out all the necessary paperwork and she submitted our offer. She told us that we probably wouldn't hear anything that night (since it was like 8:30) but she had requested an answer from the seller by 2:00 the next day, which made the next 17 hours seem very daunting! I was nervous...what if she said no...what if someone else put in an offer in the time being...a million scenarios went through my head. Melissa reassured us and told us that she had a very good feeling about it and that she would call us as soon as she heard anything! 

So we went home turned on Friday Night Lights (our latest Netflix binge) and tried to focus on the show...not an easy task. About 9:15 my cell phone rang and it was Melissa!!! The seller had verbally accepted our offer and would be signing necessary paperwork the following day...the house was OURS! 

There is definitely more to this story...but I'm tired so I think I will save the rest for another post. If you have made it this far...thanks for being a trooper! We couldn't  be more excited about this next phase in our lives :) 


  1. I'm so excited for you. Remember what I said when you said the first house fell through? I knew it was going to happen! CONGRATULATIONS!
    Now it's time to start decorating it in your mind. Send me a link when you start your Home Decor boards on Pinterest. Haha.