Monday, April 30, 2012


April was scheduled to be a very busy month in our lives, and it lived up to expectations! The second weekend I had two research projects due for grad school. The following Friday was my *BIG* art show, with my smaller art show the next Thursday. Two days later was my final weekend of grad school, where I had to turn in my Action Research paper and present it to my cohort. Talk about a lot of big events within 16 days of each other! I am so thankful it's over, and we got through it. 

In addition to all that, I found a house to look at. I was very nervous to ask my husband to look at it with me because every time I had mentioned houses he dismissed the idea without a second thought. He must have seen how much it meant to me, as he agreed to go without any grief at all. The house was well under our maximum budget, has 3+ bedrooms (one room didn't have a closet so it wasn't considered a bedroom), and was in good shape~unlike 99% of the houses in our budget. The biggest problem we were running into was investors. They'd snatch up every house we could afford before we could even look at it and flip it into a price range we could no longer consider. This was a HUD (Housing & Urban Development) house, which has lots of special rules. It was to be on the market for ten days. During those ten days, anyone could look at the house and put in a bid. On the eleventh day the bank would look at the offers and pick the highest one. We rushed to see the house, expecting nothing but hoping for everything. Upon looking at it, I was hopeful, but have learned not to get those hopes up too high. We exited the house and I looked at Daddy and asked "what do you think?" To my delight he replied "I think I should bring my dad to see it." My father-in-law has learned so much about houses in his lifetime and has been gracious enough to teach us many things to look out for in house hunting. Normally when he is outside of a house we're considering he can already find problem areas! He walked through this home and couldn't find anything wrong. I was in shock. Again, I asked Daddy what he thought and he said he thought we should bid on it! It was listed for $85K, so we took the advice of the realtor and bid $89K. That was a Thursday. The tenth day was Friday. No word on Saturday. . .No word on Monday morning. . . early Monday evening I finally got the call. 

We were outbid. 


The other bidders had the wrong kind of loan. It was possible they didn't even know about the kind of loan we are approved for as it's a Wisconsin loan and many people in our area use Minnesotan realtors and mortgage people. We waited a few more days and were finally told the other bidders signed their offer. 

Our house was gone.

A few days later another house went on the market for $89K. Across the street from one of my schools. We talked about how fun that would be~we'd live closer than I usually get to park! The kids could learn to ride their bikes on the blacktop! A playground across the street! We got a showing the same day. It was a dump. All curb appeal and the interior was awful. Frustrated, we decided to open our search to the surrounding areas. Our realtor said she'd call in a day or two with some appointments.

The next evening I was cooking dinner when I noticed I had a voicemail. It was our realtor, so I figured I'd get the calendar out for the appointments she had made. However, her voicemail stated that she just got an email that our offer had been accepted. The other bidders backed out! Because it's a HUD house, and they have all those special rules I used my lunch break the following day to go to the bank and get a certified check for the earnest money. I rushed home from work as soon as I could to sign the offer, as all the paperwork and check needed to be overnighted that night to be to HUD in time!

And then we waited. 

And waited. . . 

Two weeks ago we finally had our inspection. I talked with the inspector a lot, as Daddy was at work. The inspector was extremely impressed with the house. He said that with most foreclosures he finds lots of problems. He also said that most winterized homes have leaky pipes because the seals dry out. Our house has very minor issues. For example, two drawers in the kitchen are missing the guiderails. The lazy susan is broken. A lock on one window needs maneuvering to get it locked. One of the big things was that he couldn't get into the garage. There's an appliance in there and the house is missing both the range and dryer. If it's a range we can put it in the kitchen for the appraisal, otherwise we'll have to buy one as it must be move-in ready when the appraiser comes in. The other big thing is the back door. The doorknob is broken. Not a huge thing, but has to be fixed before the appraisal too. We signed all the paperwork last week and sent it to our mortgage guy (that sounds so weird-OUR mortgage!). He confirmed that he got it, and he will be setting up the appraisal. Once that is complete we'll set our closing date. Our realtor would like to close in mid-late May! 

Our one glitch is that our landlord informed us today that our lease goes until the end of July. That doesn't seem right to me, as we moved in May last year. I thought it ended in June, which would have been perfect timing. I just got the note when I came home from work, so I haven't been able to talk to her.

As you can see, our last month has been CrAzY! With two art shows, grad school, working 50+ hours a week, three kids. . . I am thankful to have survived. I've been dreading April for months. I still have a month and a half of school before summer break. In that month, I will run my first two 5Ks, walk for graduation, take my students on my first ever planned-by-me field trip, and see Gracie's first dance recital. I'd love to say it will slow down in summer, but with settling into our first house, Gracie's school camp and church camp, and me teaching summer school, it's not likely to settle down until at least July. We're hoping to squeeze in a week long trip to Milwaukee the first week of July too. I'm so excited for what the future holds for our family as we settle into our home!