|Columbia River Gorge|
It is so nice to be on the other side of the move, finally! Instead of filling up boxes, I am slowly unpacking boxes. Each room seeming larger & larger as I accomplish this task. It's lovely.
I wanted to record our house buying experience so that I would have all the details in one place. It all started, of course, with Josh getting a job in a small town in Eastern Washington. We looked into rental properties in that small town and discovered that renting was darn near impossible. So we decided to go out on a limb and apply for a home loan. We were approved (!!!) and so began our house hunt. We decided almost immediately that we didn't want to live in the small town where Josh would work, but in a nearby city. It's a little bigger, and there were a lot more houses to choose from in our price range.
We had already been there once to check out the town and look at rentals, but we planned another trip to town with my mom and all the kids so we could house hunt. We made a list of our priorities (3 bedroom, 2 bath, garage & yard) and chose which houses we wanted to see. The first house was off-the-charts awful. We couldn't believe the state it was in. The second house was this one, the one we ended up buying. I loved it because of the U-shaped kitchen and the white cabinets. I also liked that it was near an empty parking lot and huge baseball field and had a giant backyard-- more room for our boys to run around. But Josh's favorite was one with more square footage, but a strange layout. In the end, we opted to not buy the one he liked because with such a disjointed layout resale would be difficult later.
The last house we looked at was our favorite that weekend. It was brand new inside, had a perfect front & back yard, and a huge laundry room. But we later found out, thanks to Josh's cousin who lives here in town, that it wasn't in a good area, so we had to sadly cross it off our list.
The morning we were set to leave town, we came back to this house one more time to look over it again and see if we could imagine living here. Following are the pictures we took while looking.
|The Twin's Room|
|Wyatt & Carly's Room|
|Backyard (to the left)|
|Backyard (to the right)|
|Extra big side of the back yard|
|Me & Kathy discussing details of the deal in the Dining Room|
We decided that we could absolutely see living here, and wrote up the offer. Before we even got home that night we had a call from the sellers' realtor. They had countered our offer and if we accepted their counter, the house would be ours!
We accepted their counter and thus began a whole new set of paperwork & hoops to jump through. Inspections and negotiations and every penny of our finances being monitored. There were many, many times we thought the deal would fall through. But in the end, everything worked out as it should have, and we became homeowners.
The last hiccup was closing. Our financing had come through, the house repairs had been done, and all that was left was signing on the dotted line. Josh and I arranged for the grandparents to care for the kids while we drove the four hours back there to sign and get keys... We knew it would take 24 hours for the paperwork to record with the city (and for us to get keys), but we were anxious to get in the house, so we planned to stay until it recorded. That's when things got sticky.
|Our new paint choice for inside the house:|
Unbeknownst to us, the paperwork had been written for it to record Thursday, not Tuesday as we had assumed, and all our plans were thrown out the window. No chance to clean. No chance to paint. No chance to prep the house for our move-in day Saturday.
We were so disappointed.
So we headed home. To pack & prepare on that end since we couldn't get into the house.
While home those last few days I would pack, care for a child, pack, nurse the baby, pack, break up a fight, pack... It was tough balancing parenting with all the extra work of preparing for the move.
And just when we were feeling pretty down & defeated, family came to the rescue. Josh's sister drove up along with Josh's cousin Januari (and Julie's sons) and they got the keys, they cleaned the house and they painted all three bedrooms in a little less than two days. The carpet is unrecognizable after they gifted us a professional floor cleaning service. The bedrooms look at least twice their size with the new, neutral paint on the walls. And on top of all that, Julie gifted the boys a trampoline for our backyard. Best.gift.ever! They are so happy!
|Generous family makes us SO happy & grateful!!!|
That last week we also said some sad goodbyes. To cousins, to aunts, to uncles & to grandparents.
We keep reminding ourselves that while we are no longer in Vancouver, we also aren't in the village. And all those loved ones are just a four hour drive away, not four planes!
I spent last Thursday & Friday packing all the last minute things while Josh spent them loading up the Uhaul. He and his brother hit the road Friday afternoon while I stayed behind with the kids to wrap everything up at Josh's parents house. We left first thing Saturday, my mom riding with me & the kids and my dad leading the way in his pick up. Mom drove most of the way so I could nurse Carly in the back seat. I was amazed at what good time we made and so, so relieved when we finally pulled into our driveway.