Monday, May 18, 2015

We are buying a house, non-sleeping kids, we are not buying a house, birthday and anniversaries, we might be buying a house.....

So, the house search is progressing. Possibly.  A couple weeks ago there was was a large price reduction in a house we had our eye on.   Peter jumped on it right away and put an offer on it.  Our realtor was a little worried that he had put an offer on a rehab house without me even seeing it and insisted on taking me to see it ASAP, I'm sure our realtor is beginning to doubt our mental competence.  Since the house needs a tremendous amount of work we submitted a low offer, the seller countered, we countered, they countered and at the end of the day they accepted our offer which happened to be $27,000 higher than our original offer.  Yay!!   We won......or did we?  We were thrilled that a contract had been accepted, we were slightly shell shocked that we went up on our offer by $27k, we are nervous about the amount of work ahead and we are reluctant to get our hopes up because there is still so much red tape to get through before we close. 

Someone asked me recently if Wythe was sleeping better at night.  At first I said "yes, he is."  Then the more I thought about it I realized that I am sleeping better at night, not him.  Wythe still wakes up a lot at night but instead of screaming for hours he now entertains himself.  Many mornings I go into his room to find tiny little green army men set up for war, fifty Matchbox cars lined up in a parking lot, pictures he has drawn, or a hotel and parking garage constructed out of cassette tapes and cds. 
hotel with parking garage

Since moving to this house I have had a bit of a hard time getting the kids to spend adequate time outdoors.  At our other house they were outside everyday, often most of the day.  Here they complain that "the yard is too small......there isn't a pasture....not enough space to run...."etc., etc.  Fortunately, they have decided that they are responsible for building homes for the fairies.   It has kept them occupied for a number of days!
Of course you need a tractor to build a fairy house!

and they need food.....

"I build a mean fairy that HGTV!"

Ainsley asked me to take a picture of her and bunny on her bed.  When I was looking at the picture I realized that she has come a long way in making her bed!   It is strange how many times you don't even see or acknowledge the progress that has been made.  When did she start getting her blankets so smooth?  That seems to be the way many things go; a behavior or phase that you think you just might not survive and then one day you realize you aren't dealing with that anymore. In fact, you don't even remember the last time it was an issue.  This picture helped remind me to stop and appreciate the progress my children are making, how quickly they are growing up and how fast these days are slipping through my fingers.

My mom turned the big 6-0 this year!  We had briefly discussed a big family vacation but there has been a lot going on in everyone's life; babies, new houses, moving, new just didn't seem possible that it would work out.  Right now our idea of vacation is ordering pizza and renting a Redbox movie, not the most exciting for my mom.  So, I invited the family to my house for her birthday weekend.  I believe my actual words were "come-stay-with-me-while-I-actually-have-a-house-that-is-big-enough-and-has-enough-bathrooms-for-everyone-because-based-on-the-houses-we-are-looking-at-in-Charlottesville-we-will-soon-be-living-in-a-place-too-small-for-us-physically-fit-in-to."  It was a very gracious, elegant invitation.  Only having the words engraved could have improved it.  

They all arrived at my house around lunch time,everyone had just come into the kitchen when we heard the doorbell ring.  It was my sister Kara, pulling off a surprise visit for most of us!  It was great to have everyone together, I enjoyed having a house large enough for us to fit in comfortably!  Most of the family  spent the night and the next day here as well.

grandma's birthday

siblings.....of course we waited until the end of the night to take pictures!

The following weekend we had a reception to celebrate my parent's 40th wedding anniversary.  It was an open house for friends and family to stop by, visit with my parents and enjoy some dessert and coffee.

40th Anniverary reception

40th Anniversary Reception

40th Anniversary Reception
40 years rogether!

If you know my children you know that eating vegetables has been an ongoing struggle.  The boy that vomits when eating almost any vegetable decided that he would forage for his own greens.  He picked some pine needles, put them on a plate, added some ketchup and proceeded to eat them.  It was obvious that he wasn't enjoying it but pride or stubbornness kept him going.  Finally, with tears in his eyes, he said "I really don't think I can eat this but I was trying so hard to eat some healthy greens!" 
"vegetables make me vomit but pine needles are delish!"

The house we are renting has some beautiful carpet on the basement stairs, people compliment it all the time!  Err...."comment" on it, not "compliment" it.
Be know you want this carpet!

Wythe drew me a picture of the two of us in "one of your favorite places".
future trip to Paris

So, back to the house.   We had the house inspection which confirmed all the bad things we already knew about, no surprises so that was good.  The termite inspection was clear, that was good.  House was appraised, the amount it appraised for was good, the notes in the appraisal.....not good.  The appraiser noted some nasty stuff in the cellar, things we were aware of and planning to address immediately. also noted that the house is set up as a duplex rather than a single family house.  We also knew that and planned to convert it back to single family.  Unfortunately the mortgage company was less optimistic about the house, they don't have the vision we have, basically no imagination and obviously no faith in our ability to restore this house.  They pulled the financing unless the seller converted the house back to single family and had some remediation and abatement.  The seller didn't have the money to do this work, the lowest bid on the abatement alone was 12k.  Further compounding the problem was that the paper work for the abatement would take 6 weeks, that alone would take too long for our financing.   This was the news we got one week before our closing date.  Despite our plan to "not get our hopes" up we were completely emotionally invested in this house.  We had our plans for adding onto the house, pages of to-do lists started.  We had some very serious, grown up conversations about how much we wanted this house, what our other options are, how much risk we were willing to take to make this happen.  With elevated blood pressure, ulcers forming, and nervous tics developing, we borrowed money from our other house, broke open our piggy banks and located all the change from under couch cushions and under floor mats and managed to scrape together enough money to buy this house!   The closing date was back on, we wanted to celebrate but can't afford champagne anymore so we raised a celebratory glass of water!  But a small glass, we pay for water now.

'til next time....

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