I have a LOT of catching up to do on here, but for now I'm going to focus on one thing, our new house!
The past several months have been very stressful/busy for us. We had been thinking about and wanting to move out of Maricopa for a while, but didn't know if it would be possible for us. In November of 2011 we finally decided to try to put our house up for sale after the Christmas holiday had passed.
The next few months were a little crazy. We had some interest in our house in the begining, but no offers ever came in. I got to take the dogs and baby out on lots of walks while people came to see our house. I think Josh liked having the house for sale because I had to keep it extra clean just in case someone wanted to come by.
There were a couple of times where we could go a month or so with NOBODY coming to see the house. We were on edge because we kind of needed to find someone to buy the house before we could even start looking for a new house because we didn't want to have to deal with 2 mortgage payments. At one point, after lots of thinking and praying, we decided we should start looking at houses "just in case".
We had a specific price range and neighborhood that we wanted to be in, and I HAD to have a pool again, so our options of houses were really limited. But we did find a house that we liked, even though it wasn't our "perfect" house on the inside, and decided to make an offer. Well it turned out 13 other people decided to make an offer on that house also and there was a bidding war. Our offer was not chosen, which we were very sad about at the time since it was the exact neighborhood we wanted. (we did find out later that we had the highest offer by a couple thousand dollars, but someone else offered cash so they took that offer).
We were pretty bummed because we knew it could be a long time before something else popped up in our price range in that area. A week or so later Josh and I were sitting in bed around 10pm with my laptop looking online to see if any new houses had come up on the market. While we were looking, our realtor sent us an email saying a house had JUST popped up and he thinks we will like it. We pulled up the link he sent and we were super excited because it was in that same neighborhood we wanted and it had a huge lot! We called our realtor and set up a time to go out and see that house the next morning, we also made plans to send in an offer before we left to see the house because we knew it would go fast. So the next morning that's what we did, we made a full price offer on the house before ever even seeing it and then made the hour drive out there. We walked into a house that had been vacant for a long time (we found out later it had almost been a year). It had been going through the short sale process and the buyer they had lined up walked away and that's why it popped back on the market. It needed a lot of work done, but Josh is really good at seeing through to a houses potential. The previous owner had some horrible taste in paint/flooring. There was painted concrete floors on the lower level and the whole upstairs had nasty dirty carpet that needed replacing. But we fell in love with the house and the yard (even though it was bare and dead).
We went through several weeks of waiting to hear from the selling bank and finally found out that our offer was accepted, but that they wanted to close in only two and a half weeks (usually closings take 30 days). Then we went through a very stressful scramble with our lender to try to get it done. Even up until the night before we actually closed on the house there was still a huge chance that we wouldn't get the house. The day the papers were signed was a huge relief to us!!
A few days after we put the offer in on the house we got, we got several offers on our house we were selling in maricopa. We were SHOCKED! After 4 months of no offers and not much interest we got 2 offers in 24 hours, and 2 more that we knew we wouldn't accept so we declined before they were sent. We ended up accepting one of the offers and that house is closing tomorrow!!
We have been so amazed at how everything worked out perfectly with the timing of buying this house and someone buying our other house at the exact right time. We feel extremely blessed! We went through a whole bunch of stressful times and worried about what we would do, but we tried to have faith that it would all work out, and it did. I know things happened just right so we could get into this house, and that this is where our family is supposed to be. We love our new house, we love the neighborhood, our new ward feels like home already, and we are just so grateful!
Here are some before and after pictures of the house.
Notice the lovely DARK green ceilings and wallpaper border..... those were the first to go. We also had to widen the spot for the tv since our tv was to big for it.
We had the whole house painted and installed new carpet as well. We LOOOOOOVE the carpet!
We had to do a lot of work including emptying and filling the pool twice in order to get it cleaned and back up and running. My parents came down last week and helped us plant a bunch of trees and pull out the ugly round cement borders in the middle of the yard. There was also a whole lot of weeding, sprinkler repairing, digging, seeding etc done by Josh. (he worked Super hard on this house!) We have a 1/3 acre lot now and are so happy about it!
It's hard to tell in these pictures, but the kitchen looks SO much better now! It is nice and big and I love being able to overlook the family room and keep an eye on the baby while cooking or working.
I have a "before" video of the house we took on the first time we saw it. I'll try posting it on here later in case anyone wants to see more of how the house looked before.