Monday, November 23, 2009

One Year Frenzy-versary Part 3: You Put A Contract On It?!

I shared a few weeks back about how we had first come across this house, and how we were not at all thinking of moving at the time. We first saw the house on a Sunday in early November (the ninth, actually, my birthday). After determining that we could, technically, swing two mortgages for a while we decided to schedule a showing with a realtor. The way that I remember it, we saw the house with the realtor two days later on Tuesday.

It wasn't so much that the house was gorgeous. The house we were living in at the time was only 4 years old and much nicer, really. We were the only ones who had ever lived in that house. We bought it when it was 4 months old. It had 2800 sq. ft., lots of light, everything was brand new, and the subdivision pool was only a short walk away. There were walking trails, a fishing pond, and shops built at the entrance. It was a quiet neighborhood, nice families, a gazebo on the main boulevard, for pity's sake. In a lot of ways that whole housing development had the Charmed Life thing going on...

So, what were we thinking leaving it all behind? Well, it's a little complicated to explain if you haven't been in our shoes, but our house was 30 minutes away from the rest of our life. Literally. My sister and her young family were 30 minutes away. Sam's job was thirty minutes away. Our church was 30 minutes away. My closest friends were 30 minutes away. Everything else in life (except for our house and parents) were in the same town, 30 minutes north of where we were living.

We had moved to Ohio from a suburb of Washington, D.C. At the time, living 30 minutes away seemed like a dream. What a luxury to only have to drive 30 minutes! Sam had all too often commuted an hour and half one way in Virginia. My closest friend there lived 45 minutes away! After a few years of living in Ohio, it was becoming clear that not everyone in our new home was used to that kind of driving. Friends confessed that our house felt like a looooong drive away, and the two hours on the road each Sunday (a morning and an evening service) were starting to feel long to us, too. My sister had gotten married and moved away the year before. She had also had her first baby in early October. I missed her. With four kiddos of my own in tow, 30 minutes there and 30 minutes back was a little hard to work around with regularity. This "new" house was a 2 minute drive from her home :)

We weren't considering buying this house because it was bigger, prettier, fancier, or better in any way other than its location. We wanted to buy this house so we could be closer to so much that is important to us. Family, friends, church, and closer to work could mean less time driving and more time home. We knew that by moving to that town and by owning an older, less attractive home, there would be some losses materialistically speaking. But, those losses didn't even begin to outweigh the gains for our family as a whole. 9 foot ceilings gave way to a 25 year old tri-level... in just the right place.

In just a few words, we knew life isn't all about big houses and stuff. They can be nice, don't get me wrong. A part of me does wince a little to look up from these photos of our previous home only to be face to face with our real life home - damaged wood floors and sparkly gray toilet seats from 1983. There's so much still to be done, I can wonder why we made the choice we did. Ultimately, though, I know it was the right one. These few years of WORK making this house more our own will be nothing compared to all of the benefits for many years to come. Ours was a case of giving up the good to get the better.

So, after getting a quick preapproval for a loan and after having some "financial people" double check our numbers for us, we put a contract on the house. I can't remember exactly when, but it was within 10 days of that initial visit. It was quickly enough that, when we told our friends and family, they all unanimously responded with the proper level of shock. "You put a contract on it?" We did. And, after a little going back and forth to get the price down to where we could swing the cost, our offer was accepted.

It was about 10-14 days after we first saw the house on November 9th. That means it was around November 19-23rd. We were scheduled to close at the beginning of December, so packing started immediately. Crazy, crazy.

Happy Frenzy-versary :)

P.S. We like to keep our actual city of residence on the down-low. If you live in our area and have a pretty good idea of where we've lived or are currently living, please do not name the cities in your comments. Thank you!!!


Elizabeth (blue clear sky) said...

Truly great reasons for moving! How great that everything fell in place for you.

Anonymous said...

Wow it is surprising even for me to hear that you have actually signed contract for the house in less than ten days after the initial visit. And glad to hear that you are still happy with that decision even after one year of living. I guess home buying is not all about materialistic stuff. And what did you do with your previous house? Are you still paying double mortgages? or were you lucky enough to take care of it, meaning sell it?

Jacci said...

We were **very** blessed to sell our previous house fairly quickly... that will come up later on in the Frenzy-versary posts :)

Krys said...

Thank you for sharing your reasons for moving, it's so nice to know we're not alone in our feelings. You've given us hope too!
We have the same issue you once had - we're 30 min. away from everything (and several regular places are 30 min. plus!) We're hoping we can get out of our home w/o loosing $$.
Congrads on your "frenzy-versary" :)

Eric said...

Everybody always told us: Location, Location, Location. I'm looking forward to following your progress (you're part of my Google Reader).