Saturday, June 27, 2015

This Old House......Adventures in Homebuying

Our newest adventure is buying and renovating this old home!  The process so far has been exhausting, fun, exciting, fulfilling, stressful, nerve-racking and we've been BLESSED!!  I've been waiting for years to be able to become a homeowner.  Unfortunately, there aren't a lot of affordable homes in the area we live, so this dream has been somewhat challenging. I recently had a different house under contract, and as the closing date grew near, it just felt like the wrong decision.  I backed out and was devastated, feeling like there weren't any other options for us to be able to continue to live here in the Kamas Valley.  I mentioned to a close friend, who is a realtor that we were looking, and that I'd be willing to buy a fixer-upper.  He said he possibly knew of a wasn't officially on the market, but the owner had mentioned to him that he may be ready to sell it.  He contacted him, and he said we could come and look. 

The house, before any renovations

I tried to keep an open mind, knowing that the home was very old, small and not in great condition.  I was pleasantly surprised by the house when we went in.  Sure, its terribly old (built in 1938), and could use a LOT of work and love, but it just felt right!  I made an offer, he accepted and we were on our way! 

Then, as expected, the appraiser found several issues that would not pass an FHA inspection, which we needed to have happen.  Since it was being sold "as is," it became a decision if I wanted to fix the issues at my own cost, or back out of the house.  I decided to go ahead and fix the issues, and pray that we would be able to pass the inspection and obtain financing.  A huge risk, but an even bigger payoff! 

So many people pitched in, and with Allen as the lead, helped do what we needed to do to get the house ready. 
We had to:  tile the shower, paint the house, fix a couple electrical issues, install the sump pump in the basement, fix the glass in the back door, and fix every window so that they will open and close(they were painted shut).  We worked tirelessly but were able to get everything finished within the deadline.  I left for YW Camp for one week, and hoped when I returned I'd have good news waiting for me.....AND I DID!!  It passed with flying colors and we submitted our loan for closing. 

I felt like I was holding my breath all week to see if the loan was going to be approved.  Home buying is a huge process, and my credit has been in terrible shape since I got  divorced.  It's been a long road trying to repair it, and save enough money to be able to make this big of a purchase.  I've been trying so hard to work hard, make money and save as much as possible to make this dream come true. 
I got the amazing news that the loan was approved and we could close! 
I feel so blessed.  From the first step, this house has just felt right.  It's hard to even wrap my head around the fact that I will be a homeowner. ON MY OWN! 

Trials are hard and at the time they seem like they'll never end.  Throughout the last ten years, as hard as things have been, I have never doubted the knowledge that Heavenly Father knows me, loves me, and has a plan for me.  I admit that I have a hard time practicing patience and understanding the Lord's timing, instead of mine.  This house has given me a great opportunity to further my testimony that He truly does have a plan for me, and that things will work out.  

As soon as I close(2 days), the real work will start.  I plan on updating the electrical, as the house has the original knob and tube electrical, removing the old drywall and updating it, redoing the floors, hopefully adding cabinets in the kitchen, finish updating the bathroom,  redoing the front porch, and new windows(now if its in the budget, in the future if not!)
There's still so much work to do, but its fun and enjoyable.  I kept saying that it wasn't my dream house, but it was my dream to own a house, but once we make all the changes, I think it will be my dream house after all! 

Power washing the house, getting ready for paint

Painting the house

They had never installed showerboard or tile, so we ripped out the water-damaged wall, repaired and straightened the wall, then installed showerboard and tile

New tile!  Before the grout

New Paint

Jack has been so excited for us to buy a house.  He prays nightly about the house and asks daily about it.  He helped paint the front door!

The exterior is coming together.  I started to pain the trim, and we finished the front door today

I need to finish painting the rest of the trim on the house.  I plan on removing the tin awning and building a new porch with craftsman style columns
Stay tuned for more before and afters!