We started looking at the possibility of purchasing a home the weekend after Thanksgiving. The couple we spent Thanksgiving with told us how much they paid for their brand new house (by a different builder). We realized that this might actually be a better way to go. We had some stipulations though. The mortgage, taxes, and insurance had to be the same or less than what we were paying currently for rent. The house couldn't be more than what we NEEDED. And we both had to love it! Of course, along with all of those things, we prayed about it and waited for God to open and close doors.
Tim had to work most of the day the Saturday after Thanksgiving, but once he got off, we decided to drive around and look at what was available. We knew we would be looking at new builds because of the incentive money offered to military, as well as builders being more likely to pay closing costs. Plus, the home warranty that comes along with a new home would almost be like we were renting since we wouldn't have to worry about anything if it went wrong for at least a year. We knew we couldn't afford anything in our current city, so we started looking in San Antonio. We looked at several model homes. We liked a few of them, but most of them just didn't work for us. We were about to call it a day when we went a little further down the road from where we were. We happened upon a neighborhood by a builder that our realtor had told us in February was one of his favorites and has a great reputation. We drove around and saw two one stories that had "Available" signs in front of them. We stopped by the model home and saw that they were having a closeout sale for the inventory homes. The house were looking at was marked down quite a bit. When talking to the representative, he told us three things that made us a little excited: we could be in the house by Christmas, they get people out of their leases all the time, and our monthly payment could be right where we needed it to be. He showed us the two homes that were available. The only difference between the two were the exteriors, one was limestone and one was sided with a little bit of a porch on the front. Inside, the homes were the same except for a few features (nicer appliances and blinds in one but darker cabinetry and tiled dining room in the other). From the moment we walked into the one we chose, I loved it. I was carrying Robby around looking at everything having to cover my mouth so I didn't blurt out "We'll take it!" Tim kept looking over at me and he knew! Some features that we loved about the house were the 10' ceilings, details on all the interior doors, arched doorways, the split floorplan without either of the boys' rooms having to be completely at the front of the house, ALL appliances included (and the upgraded gas range we have) and the great master bathroom with the soaker tub. Not to mention the obvious thing we loved - the garage and ease of getting in and out of the house!
Anyway, we left and went home. We talked about it most of the evening and decided we wanted to go back and look at it again on Sunday. I tend to make things so much better in my mind than they really are, so I wanted to look at it again before I got my hopes up about it. Well, going back to look at it only made us fall in love with it more! After that, things really started going quickly. We didn't want to tell many people about it just in case it didn't end up working out, so only a few friends and our immediate families knew. Things worked out better than we ever could have imagined. The builder agreed to use the military incentive money to buy out our lease. Our total monthly payment was going to be less than what we were paying for rent. And we closed on December 21, so we were able to spend Christmas day in our very own home!
Currently, we are 95% moved in, with our closets and some kitchen things still needing to be moved over. We have spent every night since we closed at the house and I've only been in the apartment one time since we closed. Tim has been absolutely incredible with the move. He's done it all on his own. I hadn't packed anything because we weren't completely sure we would actually be getting the house until the Monday before we closed on Wednesday. He has made so many trips back and forth getting loads of things. He coordinated help for getting the furniture over. He's just been wonderful! I think he didn't want me to have to go back to the apartment as much as I didn't want to have to go back!
Here are some pictures of the house before we moved anything in:
Here are some pictures of how it is now. The living room is the only room completely done (I'm either going to refinish or cover the coffee table) and Robby's room just lacks his curtain for the window and his name above his crib. Our bedroom won't be done until we get bedroom furniture, which we are hoping we can do after we get our tax refund. We have no idea what we want to do in the dining room. And Charlie's room is simply a storage/staging area right now for everything. We have his crib and are planning to get it set up after Robby's birthday next weekend. Charlie's room is also going to be our guest room, so we just need to get that furniture from the storage unit.
I'm going to get some more bins to go on that shelf for organizing toys and things.
We are going to put ceiling fans in both boys' rooms, so until then, we have an oscillating fan in Robby's room.
This is my favorite picture of Robby. It looks better on this wall in person than it does in this picture.
Which door to choose? :-) First door on the left is the bathroom, second door is Robby's room, center door is the linen closet, second door on the right is Charlie's room, then the first door on the right is our laundry room.
We are going to get something to go between the washer and dryer that holds my detergents and dryer sheets. We also need to hang our ironing board/iron holder. Once we set up some shelves in the garage, Tim's tools will be out there.
Robby approves of the kitchen!
We added pulls to all the drawers and cabinets (that's actually what we were doing when we rang in the new year!)
This is our first time with a glass shower like this. What do you use to keep the hard water spots from popping up? Is there a great cleaner that works without a lot of effort?
Please excuse our messy counter top. We haven't organized everything to be able to go under the sink yet.