Or at least it will be in 360 months.
It was a long process to find our house and then a long wait until we were actually able to close on our house. Each of our house buying “adventures” have been different and each has had its own challenges. I have spent a lot of time writing about the challenges of the last house, and there were plenty, but in the end it almost paid off. Well, it would have paid off if we hadn’t had to buy a roof for the buyer.
But with our house in Indiana under contract, we had complete freedom to look for a new house in Texas. It was a freedom we hadn’t had in three moves. The first time we moved to a new city we lost the first house we wanted because our offer was contingent on the sale of our house at the time. The sellers went with a non-contingent offer, even though they made it pretty clear that they probably would have accepted our offer otherwise. I know that my husband never liked the house we ended up with (and that we still own) but I liked it enough in the five years that we lived there. I’m pretty sure that his biggest disappointment was that we didn’t get the house we really wanted, a house with a pool (his dream) and a fireplace (something we had both agreed was a “must have”). The next move was complicated by the fact that we hadn’t sold our house and we have never sold that house. We bitterly joke about our summer home up north but we are thankful that at least it has been occupied by a renter for the most part of the last five years. When we made the decision to move to Texas we prayed for a quick sale. We worked hard to get the house ready to sell and we sold the house in less than two weeks. By the time we headed to Texas for a quick weekend trip at the end of the June, we were in the middle of our contract and just waiting for the series of technicalities to get us to the table. However, our quick house hunting trip ended up being fruitless. We found a house we liked, put an offer on the house, and in the end didn’t get it.
When we finally arrived down in Texas we settled into our camper for a restless six weeks. It was rough. For six weeks we lived here:
But we knew there would be an end. We had found OUR house. We knew it was our house. We looked at several over the course of the first weekend we were in town. We had our “wish” list: four bedrooms, two bathrooms, space for adults and kids, an office, a fully functional kitchen, nice bathrooms. The one complication was the yard. My husband wanted a pool. I wanted grass. Finding both in a house in our area was pretty much impossible. We liked the inside of the house we would fall in love with. It had nearly everything we wanted. The first floor of the house needs work. The kitchen, which our daughter says looks like Steak and Shake, will need to be completely gutted someday. There are three different types of tile floor, striped wallpaper in the entrance way, and a bathroom with original cabinets and a tile countertop. But the upstairs is completely updated and has plenty of room for our family of four, our dog, and any guests who decide they want to visit us during the cold months up north.
But what really sold us the house was the yard. This just doesn’t exist in the city in southeast Texas:
We had an accepted offer. We had a completed home inspection. We were in the best financial shape of our lives. But we kept hitting one roadblock after another as we waited for the loan to go through. It was frustrating. It was exhausting. And we were just ready to get into our house. We kept trying to explain to our children why we didn’t have our house. They knew we had an accepted offer. They had been to our house on several occasions. They were ready to have room to run and play. But we were stuck in an endless waiting game.
And then three weeks ago tomorrow we closed. I took the day off of school, we took the kids to school together, we walked through our house, and then we drove to the title company to sign paper after paper after paper. Even that didn’t go smoothly. One set of documents hadn’t been properly sent to the title office so we had to wait for those to be sent before we could continue signing papers. We had beds back at the camper but we just couldn’t do it. We had to stay in our new home, so we all slept on the floors in our rooms. The next day, with the help of friends and a couple co-workers, we moved everything out of the storage unit that had held our stuff for six weeks and moved into our house. That didn’t go smoothly either. The company we were supposed to get a trailer from didn’t have the trailer we had reserved and so we had to go somewhere else. That put us behind schedule and one of our loads got completely drenched when the skies opened up in a surprise mid-day storm. Most of our stuff survived the rain, but we did lose three bookshelves that fell apart when their cardboard backing got soaked.
By the end of the day our family was tired but we were home. And we have enjoyed being home ever since. The boxes are slowly being unpacked, walls are getting painted, pictures are being nailed up, our kitchen is getting a workout, and we’re enjoying that huge backyard. We are working on making our house a home and we want to keep it that way for a long time.