If you want the backstory on our house buying adventure, check out Part 1 here.
Here’s a breakdown of the week we bought our house…
Sunday– Our condo was listed for sale and we began to pray that it would sell quickly.
Monday– Paul called and said that he received a call from the neighbor of our friends, Scott and Laura. She was interested in possibly selling her house and wanted to talk to Paul about being her listing agent. Paul wanted us to know that her house could be a great fit for us, and he said he’d keep us posted. I immediately contacted Laura to get the low down on the situation and house. She said it needed a lot of work, but it also had a lot of potential. A fixer wasn’t scary to us, so we just decided to wait and see, knowing that it would either fall through or it would be a while before we found out anything.
Tuesday– Paul met with the owner and her sister. He talked to them about listing the house, and he also mentioned that he knew a couple that would likely be willing to place an offer on it very soon. He called us that afternoon and said the owner is a woman in her nineties who currently lives in Arcadia (like 5 minutes from my parents’ house- crazy). A family member of hers had been renting the house for quite some time, but had lived a very hard life. This led to the home being in bad shape. Recently, that family member had moved out (to a better situation) and the owner’s sister was visiting from Indiana to help get the house ready to be sold. They loved the idea of selling the house quickly without needing to list it, so they invited us to see the home the next day. And this is the point when we realized that things may be picking up speed.
Wednesday– We got to walk through the house and meet the owner’s sister. She is 88, fit as a fiddle, and she loves to chat. We hit it off immediately. The house is very dirty, covered in nicotine residue with the smell to prove it, has a really wonky addition at the back, and basically every room needs to be gutted and re-done. And yet, we still wanted to move forward.
We went home that evening and looked at our list of house hunting priorities. I turned to Trav and said, “Whelp, it doesn’t check any of the boxes. Does that matter?” We laughed and then tried to figure out why it seemed okay to set aside our previous desires in a home. Our original “must have” list included at least 1,700 square feet, two living spaces with a nice kitchen open to one of those spaces, and a master bedroom with its own bathroom. The house we’d seen that day has 1,300 square feet (not too much more than our current condo), one living space, a small, closed off kitchen, and no master bedroom. Yikes. But, as we started to brainstorm and dream about the renovations we could do, we realized we could open up the kitchen and create a master bedroom with that weird added on space. Plus, the neighborhood we would be moving to was this ginormous bonus that we hadn’t even dared to dream of before- it’s the kind of place where people live outside a lot and there are so many places to walk to and visit. So, we prayed, decided to put an offer in, and hoped that our condo would sell. Oh, and we also hoped that the house would actually be put up for sale. Minor detail.
Thursday– We signed an offer for the Fullerton house and gave it to Paul. We felt it was a fair price considering the comps for the area and the condition the home was in. The owner would be meeting with Paul the next day.
That night, Paul told us that he received a full asking price offer for our condo from a highly motivated buyer. We accepted it. The condo had been on the market for 5 days and we had shown it to 7 or 8 potential buyers. We were so thankful and so shocked at how quickly it had sold.
Friday– Paul met with the owner and her sister and presented our offer. He got back from that meeting in the early afternoon and said it had gone well. The owner’s sister was a big fan of us and did her part to put in a good word for moving forward. Both ladies loved the idea of the home being restored to life again. Paul expected that he would have a verbal acceptance of our offer later that evening, and he was right. By 8 pm on Friday, our offer was accepted- two days after we’d initially seen it and without it ever being listed.
Since then, all the official papers have been signed, and we’re in escrow. The owner’s sister took such a liking to us that she told us to come over whenever we wanted to and even gave us the keys already. No one has been living there for the last few weeks. We took her up on the offer and have been at the house every day, figuring out renovation plans and getting quotes for all the work that needs to happen before we move in. Trav and I are so excited about this project!
One more thing I hadn’t mentioned yet- the owner offered to finance our loan, which means we will pay her the down payment and then each monthly payment. It’s a financial win for both parties and the biggest bonus is that we can close escrow quickly. Most likely everything will be finalized by this coming Friday! So, we’ll be able to start fixing the house up sooner, move in sooner (hopefully by the end of March), and get settled sooner. And that is excellent news, since we’re kinda having a baby in the midst of all this craziness. =)
Jesus has been incredibly gracious and good to us in all of this. We praise him for being a God who gives wisdom, direction, courage for big decisions, and the promise that he will always provide for us. It’s our hope to take this great blessing he’s given us and bless others with it.
I’ll post lots of before pictures soon and let you know what our renovation plans are!