One for the win column

I finally have a triumph to share!

It started as a major disappointment. Matt and I went to go look at a house at the last minute on Saturday. I believe the conversation went something along the lines of “I want to see it ASAP.” “Can you meet me in 30?”

This was a property that my parents and I went to go walk around and look through the windows on way back in October and somewhere along the way I’d completely forgotten about it. Mostly because we looked in a lot of windows back then. Anyway, Matt and I walked into the place and it was surprisingly pristine. The carpet was light and clean, the walls were all white and clean, the kitchen cabinets were white and clean. I think the only color in the whole place was the winterizing solution you could see in the toilets. It was missing smoke detectors, a washer and dryer, and a garage door opener but otherwise the place was perfect.

We went and looked at another place that same day but it didn’t feel right, not like the first property at all. So I told Matt I wanted to bid on it and he processed it that same night and I crossed my fingers to wait for Monday.

The house was on a day-to-day bidding schedule by that point (which I will explain more about another time in a post dedicated to all the things I’ve learned about HUDs so far) but what you need to know about that is that it meant that my bid would be processed by end of the next business day.

So Monday I chewed my nails to the quick and chatted with Matt on interoffice instant message about how nervous and scared I was and he commiserated with me like the friend he is. But by the end of business he had to break it to me that they’d closed the property and he’d received no word which typically meant either my bid was too low or someone else bid higher.

I was so disappointed. I thought for sure it would be mine; the property had been vacant since at least October, why wouldn’t the banks want at least what I was willing to pay when clearly no one else was interested in making that investment?

It was a busy morning today and by the time I got to work at eleven I’d already had half a day and to top it off it had started to blizzard (a claims adjuster’s worst nightmare!). Matt interoffice im’s me and the conversation goes;

guess what?
what?
its snowing
no! really?
guess what else
what else?
WE WON SUMMERVILLE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
YOU LIE

Apparently they waited until this morning to notify us so we would have more time put our paperwork together because the timeframe on that is very limited.

My immediate next steps are to take a $1000 cashier’s check to my meeting with Matt tomorrow morning where I will also fill out all my paperwork which I will then also need to contact my bank and start locking in a mortgage and so many things right away that my brain wants to explode.

But, I finally have my first triumph! I do not expect this road to be any less bumpy, but at least I’ve taken that giant first step towards actually getting in a home.

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How this blog came to be

It all started in September of last year.

I was moving out of the first apartment I’d paid the rent for solely with the money I’d earned all by myself for the entire fourteen months I’d lived there. It had been an expensive place and I’d lived with a roommate and it was close to work and that was great. But once those fourteen months were up I moved across town to a new apartment, a one bedroom I was living in all by myself; just me and the dog.

Somehow, in all my careful planning, I managed to overlook the fact that this apartment was a piece of crap in an even crappier neighborhood. How could I have let his happen?! Within the first week SWAT descended upon my neighborhood because some nut held his kids hostage. Lovely, right? This spurred my parents into a discussion about how they would be more than happy to gift me a twenty-percent downpayment on a home of my choice.

“Great,” I’d said, “thanks for letting me know after I signed the thirteen month lease.”

You need to get pre-approved for a mortgage, Jessica. You need to figure out an exact budget, Jessica. Have you even checked your credit score, Jessica? No, not that house, Jessica. What is it going to cost you to break your lease, Jessica? I know it’s nothing like what you want at all but let’s look at this house, Jessica. Do you even know what the closing time-line on a HUD home is, Jessica? You should think about getting a Realtor, Jessica. Did you call the bank like I told you to, Jessica? No! Don’t get a Realtor, Jessica, you don’t need one yet!

It was the beginning of hell. I spent months pouring over websites like Realtor.com, zillow.com, trulia.com, even hudhomestore.com… all the ones that anyone going through my current brand of self-inflicted torture knows about. I scoured these sites with my parents to find that house that would be the happy balance between something I didn’t hate and something they were willing to invest in. Unfortunately we’d reached a sort of stalemate because nothing was quite right. Nothing had that BUY ME!! vibe to it.

Which is only natural for me because nothing in my life has gone the way I thought it was supposed to yet, why should this be any different? I’ll be twenty-four next month and I am nothing like what twelve-year-old me expected I would be. At all. I work in insurance for starters, something twelve-year-old me or even twenty-year-old me would have beaten the crap out of me for.

But I digress.

I decided to go against my parents’ wishes (or with… it depended on which parent I was talking to which week) and involve a Realtor; my friend Matt. Matt is a part-time Real Estate agent and an absolute doll. I met him when we both worked in the call center for Nationwide and it makes chatting about properties and such simple thanks to inter-office instant messaging (something I’m sure the company never intended it be used for). And he knows me and stuff so there’s no awkward trying to be polite nonsense.

But even taking up a Realtor has not been like I thought it would be. I guess I thought I’d ask for Matt’s help, he’d dig up this amazing property that is somehow invisible to anyone else in my price range and I’d take one look at it and just know and then we’d make an offer, it’d be accepted, then BAM! I’d be a homeowner. WRONG.

Everyone tells me to be patient and that the right home is out there for me and trust me, I know that surely as I know the right man is out there somewhere. I’m just also not prepared to invest the same six years into finding the right house as I’ve already sunk into finding Mr. Right.

I’m not asking for a proposal or anything…

…just a thirty-year fixed rate mortgage with a five percent interest rate and no PMI.

Jessica

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Welcome to the struggles and triumphs of a first time homebuyer

It’s a long title, I know, but the only fitting one I can come up with other than “why I really, really hate trying to buy a house”.

Here’s the background on the situation: I am twenty-three years old, I live in the Columbus, Ohio area, I am a claims adjuster, I am single, and I am trying to buy a house.

The whole process is frustrating to say the least and I’ve decided to start a blog to sort of release these frustrations. Currently none of my friends are at this stage in their lives which in most ways is annoying because I don’t have many peers to turn to and trade the tiny obnoxious things with. Though I do recieve a tiny thrill of satisfaction to say (to myself and never to their faces, of course!) “You may have beaten me to the alter and you may be popping out babies and I may still be perpetually single but I will beat you to escrow, my friend!”

Mostly it’s just lonely on this track as I’m sure it was a lonely road for the first of my friends who got married. Mary Beth did not have many people to whom she could rant those little frustrations that would really and truly understand what she meant. Yes, I understood the words that came out of her mouth but I could not sympathize with her the same way that a married woman could.

So my blog is my ranting grounds. It’s where I will explain the things I learn, indulge in the hopeful, mourn the struggles, and revel in the triumphs….

…if I ever have any.

Jessica

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