Meanwhile, Nick was working at a bank. He was a loan officer and got fairly familiar with different types of loans, grants, and mortgages. He also really started to appreciate the importance of saving wisely for the things that he wanted. Not that he was ever out of control with spending but between the two of us, he started as the impulse buyer (we may have switched at some point).
Nick and I sat down and decided that we wanted to be able to pay down twenty percent of our future mortgage right off the bat. Our "plan" was to buy a house that cost exactly $100, 000 dollars, pay off $20,000 of it at closing (to avoid the insurance), and proceed to live happily ever after. We decided how long we would need to live with Grandma to accomplish that goal and had all of our timelines ready. We continued to save and scrimp and go to the park for our dates. Everything was going well until Grandma started to decline. During some of the scary times I thought to myself that an apartment would not be so bad.
Having not saved quite 20,000 dollars yet, we were even more determined to find a cheap home. Rory told us that $100,000 was bit unrealistic considering the fact that we wanted an actual house but we asked him to keep it as low as possible. We looked at a lot of houses in West Valley, specifically within a few minutes of the school I teach at. I really didn't want to live by my students and I really wanted to live a bit closer to my parents. Nick monitored the HUD home website very carefully because that is where we found the best deals.
When we got home we talked about it briefly before deciding to ask Rory to make an offer for $120,000. Rory thought that was a safe bet, but called us back a few minutes later to tell us that HUD had already accepted an offer. We were slightly heartbroken but decided that that must not be the house for us. I didn't know how I would know when we found our house. I just knew that that house seemed okay. We continued to search for the next week and a half when we got a call from Rory.
|Less Sketchy Stairs|
We got the house inspected and learned that we couldn't test the plumbing. This meant that there were probably issues. It was winter, which meant that we couldn't see the yard. Most of the house was in need of intense repair and cleaning. We decided after fasting and praying to buy it anyway.
We changed the locks and made a list of the many, many things we needed to fix. We prioritized, we budgeted, we bought supplies, and we recruited a lot of help. We had many family members and friends who helped on multiple occasions and who did less than pretty jobs. We managed to clean and paint almost our entire top floor in one weekend thanks to all the wonderful people in our lives.
We moved in on a late rainy night with the help of my family. I took one day off of work and got the majority of our stuff unpacked. We continued to work for the rest of the semester making most of our house livable. Then summer came and we did almost nothing. That baffles me. I don't know if we were both exhausted and overworked or what but we made very little progress that summer. Now we are close. We still have projects (I suspect we will always have projects), but looking at the original list of goals we made, we are almost there.
I am so grateful for my house, my wonderful husband, my great family, all of my awesome friends, and for a Heavenly Father who helped us along every step of the way.