Wednesday, March 22, 2006

We're Moving

For the last two years or so, I have been very sure that I did not want to buy a house with John until we got married. I was adamant about this even though it caused arguments and generally frustrated him. We're renting an apartment right now, and to a frugal guy like John, that just represents throwing money down the drain.

About 10 days ago, he decided he was going to go ahead and buy a house on his own. I was fine with that, and even contacted my good friend Caitlin who's a realtor and asked her to start sending him some listings because I was pretty sure he wouldn't get started on it on his own and frankly I was sick of hearing about it.

Caitlin took us out last weekend and to show John some properties in the neighborhood where my friends Matt and Jessica are moving next month. These were some awesome houses, and in an area far enough south of here that they were a lot of house for the money.

I started thinking about living in that neighborhood, and about the prospect of living in a nice big space, and even down the road to the possibility of raising kids in a beautiful house in a beautiful neighborhood with my best friends right up the street. Initially I just hoped that John would buy one of the houses, but then I realized that there was no way he would get approved for financing on houses that expensive. I would have to participate if it was really going to happen.

So I sort of agonized over it. I didn't want to go back on what I had been saying for years now. I didn't want to give in and make this big commitment if John hadn't made the move for us to get married. But I sort of fell in love with the idea of living in that neighborhood.

Despite the fact that I had horrible laryngitis at the time and could barely talk, I called my mom and had a talk with her. She made me feel so much better about it! She didn't tell me what to do, but she made me feel like it would be OK if I went ahead with John and bought a house. I don't want to say that it was the only reason I moved forward, but I think if she had said anything different I might not have decided to do it.

So we called in a bid on one of the houses which an owner was selling on his own. He was going to think it over that night and call us the next day. That night we looked at our finances and realized that we would have been in way over our heads. John wanted to go ahead, but I kept pointing out factors that might have made it a disaster for us - lost jobs, kids, etc. So we backed out of it.

The next day we went out with Caitlin again and looked at a few houses. We were searching for one that was vacant on a street that was pretty dark and we were having a hard time, but finally we saw the realty sign and pulled over. We looked at the front and side doors for the lock box that would have contained the key, but didn't find one. It looked like there was a light on inside, so Caitlin knocked.

A man answered the door, and the house obviously wasn't vacant, but he was anxious to show it to us anyway. His wife was a little annoyed at first, but she warmed up too. Every room we walked into was nicer than the next. This guy has been retired for 10 years, and apparently he just spent the whole time remodeling his house. John, Caitlin and I were basically just holding our breath the entire time we were walking through because the house seemed like a ridiculous deal for the asking price.

Right before we left, the wife approached Caitlin with her listing sheet, because she was trying to figure out where Caitlin saw that the house would be vacant. They compared their two sheets, and only then did we realize we were in the wrong house entirely. The house we had been looking for was on the same street, but two houses down. The one we had been touring was listed a little higher, but still in a range that was OK for us.

We looked at a few more houses, but it was tough to deny that we were in love with the first place. John was basically drooling.

We went back to Caitlin's office, and looked at some numbers - mortgage payments, property taxes, etc... and eventually decided (somewhat reluctantly on my part) that we should make a bid.

The next day at 4 the bid was accepted, and we were on our way. This was literally about 50 hours after I had decided I was OK with buying a house. Whoa.

So in the midst of the worst winter illness I've had in years (it's been f-ing terrible), John and I have signed a contract to buy a new house. Three bedrooms, all newly remodeled, new appliances, nice yard, nice neighborhood. It's perfect! Although it's a first house, it's the kind of place we might never have to leave. There's plenty of room for growth, but not so much room that it will be overwhelming or difficult to maintain.

It looks like we will be closing the deal in June, so that gives us a little time to prepare to move, and to hit up all our favorite southern Monmouth County spots a couple more times before we go. I grew up just a couple blocks from where we're living currently, so it's going to be a little tough for me to leave. But this place is just so great that it's worth it.

I'm nervous about the changes, but I'm also really excited. I don't think I ever believed I would live in a place this nice. I'm still not sure I really believe it. It's going to be a crazy time.


Post a Comment

<< Home