We spent about 4 LONG years looking for the right house for us. I kind of wish we would have taken a picture of every house we looked at so I could see just what we went through for what we got! lol
We put offers in on a couple of houses only to have the sellers back out or have issues :( VERY discouraging!!
We first saw this house LAST year on our Anniversary (March-2010). We tried to buy it then!! (we had NO idea of the situation that we were getting into until we got a lawyer involved due to lack of communication from the seller) The Owners were divorcing and had been court ordered to sell... or put it up for auction. It didn't sell so it went up for auction. Somebody bought it at auction, and needed to have the owner sign off saying he'd make up the "difference" to the bank... Meanwhile... the guy who bought it at auction decided to put it up for sale while he was waiting for the sign off...
We saw it come up in our listing, and knew we needed to look at it. We saw it, walked through it, and loved it! It felt like home already... We put our offer in and bantered back and forth a bit, but got it worked out so we were in contract! YEAH US!!! We got very poor if any communication from the sellers agent. It was HORRIBLE! Our closing date of June 1st came and went without any explanations from anybody, just that we were still waiting on "the court"... Well, we figured since my mother-in-law was in town on business, we'd take her on a walk through of the house so we got it all arranged... and ready to walk through... Now comes the heart break...
Our Realtor called us to say that the house was unavailable, (June-2010)and that it had been pulled off the market!?! Honestly we weren't surprised, because of all that we had dealt with... but it was still a blow. Apparently the owner never signed the paper saying he'd pay the difference, and he let the house go into Foreclosure. The guy who bought it at auction should NEVER have even put it up for sale because he NEVER owned it! So because it went to foreclosure, our offer was VOID, and the guy who "bought" it at auction didn't get it either...
So what were we to do??? I kind of lost heart at that point, and gave up on looking at most of the listings that came through our email. I knew that with the start of the new school year approaching timing just wasn't right at all... so I gave up. I told the Lord, I was tired of looking and being heart broken. I knew that the house was where we were supposed to be, and we had felt prompted to buy it, but frustrated that it fell through. I told Him that I was going to quit looking, and that if He wanted me somewhere, He'd better hand it to me, because I wasn't playing the game anymore. I was emotionally spent trying to figure things out.
I'm glad Mike hadn't given up on the house like I had. Around Christmas time (2010) Mike felt like he needed set up the emails to have them go to him as well as just me. (I had quit looking at them in July but hadn't told him). One EARLY morning in late February (2011) Mike picked up his phone off the dresser and started looking through his email listings... He would skim past the listings that didn't have a picture...if its not important enough to include a picture its not important enough for us to look at... only, today, he actually looked over the info for the listing, and realized it was OUR house!!! THE HOUSE WE TRIED TO BUY!!! It was up for sale!!! He woke me up (it was about 4:30/5:00am)to tell me all about it. It was labeled as a HUD house. (minor fixer-upper) It was CHEAPER than what we had it on contract for the year before! We saw it on a Thursday or Friday, and arranged to go see it that Saturday. Mike and I went by ourselves... didn't tell the kids anything... We walked through it and still felt THIS WAS OUR HOME.
Because it was a HUD home, it has a different process for purchase... you have 1 week to get a bid in for the property, and then they decide which offer is best and accept it. We offered exactly what they were asking, and said we'd pay all of the closing costs... instead of having them pay up to 3%. We were pretty sure that our offer would stand, but there is always that bit of doubt... especially with OUR experience :D
Our offer was accepted but it took them FOREVER to tell us, so now instead of 10 days we had 8 days to get the appraisal and inspection done... our life became STRESS city!! We got it all taken care of. In the process of putting our loan stuff together, we found out that HUD has a $100 down program! We took advantage of that! As is our luck, we had little issues come up one after another... nothing major just annoying mole hills.
Finally our closing date was here... April 1st! we signed the papers, and payed the closing costs (which really felt like paying off a credit card more than buying a house). But in the end, it was so nice to finally be able to walk into our OWN house!!! We estimate that we will have it paid off in about 15 yrs!! That's exciting for us too :)
Its been challenging... one repair fixed, only to find something else needing work. For the whole month of April we found ourselves at Home Depot or Lowes EVERY day! We are so happy with our Home though. It feels like the right place for us.
Mike is close enough to bike back and forth to work. The girls are 1.5-2 miles from school. We're 3 minutes from church. 5 min. from the freeway. 20 minutes from the temple. We have so many ward members in our neighborhood that are within walking distance! I LOVE it. All my girls have made great friends... both in church and around the neighborhood. The schools are great, and I am Happy!