A Home of Our Own

Over the years we’re attempted, at various levels, buying a house. For one reason or another it hasn’t ever worked out and in retrospect that has always been for the best. We didn’t know where ODD would be working and knew we’d likely need to re-sell the house after only a couple of years. So for the ten years we’ve been married we have rented. And moved a lot. And rented some more.

A couple of years ago we heard about physician mortgages and looked into it a bit. They require a small down payment and already know we have large student loans but because of the earning potential they are still willing to work with us. So for the last year and a half, since we found out about the job opportunity ODD has taken here in Salt Lake we have been sort of casually looking. We went back and forth a lot in discussion about whether we wanted a small, in-between house then later building the house we really want or renting a bit longer then going for the house we really want. ODD had entered some search criteria in a real estate listing site and would get notifications if anything interesting popped up. Before long we found a place in Emigration Canyon that was 5 acres, for really, really cheap. It didn’t have any water or anything and was mostly on a hillside. ODD fell in love with it but I was sort of meh about it. I wasn’t keen on living up the canyon and dealing with all the bikers and terrible roads in winter. We called on it anyway and found out it was already taken. Darn. We also found out the physician mortgage loans only take small down payments for existing houses. Vacant land doesn’t qualify and requires much more. So we resigned ourselves to needing to stay put for many more years to save up enough or start looking at land with a home already on it. The problem with that was most of the houses we found were in decent shape so they cost quite a bit but they weren’t what we were looking for to live in forever so we’d want to tear it down to build what we really want and that would be kind of a waste. It was sort of a conundrum.

Then one day at the end of August ODD called me from work and said he wanted to go look at a house that night. I hemmed and hawed but agreed and when he got home we drove over to look.

New House!

The yard is amazing. I has 1 acre of land in a great neighborhood for a reasonable price. Unheard of for the area. There is a really old house on the property in a different area than where we want to build so we could live in it until our house is built  many years down the road. After peeking in the windows we called the selling agent and asked if we could see the inside. It was in mostly livable condition and would only require a little work so we were sold on it. About 30 minutes before we called the seller had accepted an offer but it was conditional upon the buyers getting the okay to subdivide the lot. We about cried when we heard they wanted to subdivde it since you can’t find a lot like this anywhere. So the next morning I started working out financing and called our real estate agent to see what we should do. We put in a back up offer which was accepted and then we sat around waiting to hear back on the other offer. A week or two later the answer came. The other offer fell through and ours was up! We worked as much as we could on the financing and getting everything ready to go.

Because we can’t do anything the easy way and seem to be the freakish exception to every rule along the way (oh, how I wish I were kidding) we had to go to a certain lender who works solely with physicians. It took a lot of waiting and patience and I was on the phone almost every day with our agent and the lender and it was crazy. I’ve been hesitant to write anything about it until it was a done deal because there were so many things out of our control. We had to file four different time extensions while waiting for bank stuff to meet all the requirements but it finally all came together and we got everything ready to close.

Just in time to go on a family vacation to Disneyland that we’ve been talking about for 2+ years and have been actually planning since January (more on this later).

Because, you know, what better time to take an out-of-state family vacation than the week you need to close on a house, right?

Apparently we like to torture ourselves or something.

Everyone assured us it would be fine, though, so we went.

We signed some of our papers for the bank on Monday morning before we left. We wired the money on Tuesday on our way back from the beach. When we got to our hotel a mobile notary came (who knew there was such a thing?) and we signed the rest of our papers. While signing I found out the amount on our HUD from Monday was $50 less than the HUD on our final closing papers so the next day I left ODD, Peanut, and Wingnut at Disneyland and took Baby Cashew to the bank to wire the other $50. My lovely agent called while I was at the bank and when I told her what I was doing she offered cover the $50 until we got home since it costs $30 just to do the wire. I took her up on it and double checked on the wire I’d sent the night before. It was a wild day and I was really worked up and had nightmares that the wire wouldn’t go through in time so the next day I called about it again because, with our luck, if it could go wrong it likely would. The woman at the title company called me when it came through and I cannot even express the relief I felt. Seriously, I almost cried. It was like everything that had been weighing on me was finally lifted and all the hard work was finally worth it. Our agent called later to tell me the deal was done and recorded and we were finally home owners!

That’s Disneyland for you. The happiest place on Earth where all your dreams come true.

We got in late last night so we picked up our keys this afternoon and went over to our new place to make some solid plans. Over the next few weeks we’ll be getting the house ready then moving in so I’ll be rather scarce. As I get things done I’ll try to pop in for updates and before and after posts.

New House!

The house is very old. Like the main part was probably build in the 1890’s. It’s stone with really thick walls. There’s a small addition in the back from the 50’s with the kitchen bathroom and laundry room. It’s a quirky, funny, old place but it will work for a while and we like it. The yard it huge and has a lot of mature trees on it. It’s at the end of a little lane so we don’t have people walking and driving by all the time. It’s very private which we love. It was probably one of the first houses in the area. There’s a photo of the original part of the house probably not too terribly long after it was built.

New House!

We’re so excited about it! Wish us luck! We’ll need it!

18 comments to A Home of Our Own

  • Wildbound

    Honestly, I had some tears reading this. Mostly because I’m thrilled for you guys, and partly because this story reminds me of my own longing for a home I can call my own–and the freedom (of privacy and expression) that brings. As you know, for my whole marriage (almost 14 years) we have either rented or lived in someone else’s house. I think you are one of the few people who can really relate when I say I WANT MY OWN HOME! So. Don’t get too freaked out if I want to hear all the details of how you change/alter your new home, or even all the woe’s of home-ownership. I’ll have to experience it vicariously through you until someday I have my own! So, WOOHOO! So exciting!!!

  • Tracy M

    Congratulations! That is such an exciting milestone, and it sounds perfect for you and yours. I’m very happy for you guys!

  • Yay!! This is so exciting. Hopefully one day, we can come see it. The yard looks amazing and old houses have so much character.

  • Andrea Haag

    Super excited for you! I’m totally jealous of your lot – I’d love to live in a place that feels secluded like that! I’m excited to hear more about it. Congratulations!

  • mom

    We can’t wait to come and see it! We are so, so happy for you!

  • Camilla

    SO thrilled for you! Can’t wait to see your b/a pics!

  • Anneka

    So excited for you! What a fun house and wonderful land!

  • Melissa

    Oh my gosh! What a BEAUTIFUL lot! So dreamy. Now I’m super bummed that we won’t be there for Christmas. I’ll have to live in suspense until next summer. :) CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  • Darcy

    I am so super excited for you and probably a bit envious of the acreage and mature trees!! That sounds so great! Way to go you guys!!

  • We’re so jealous. (In the best sense) and we can’t wait to come and see it. And maybe be helpful. Is there an evening next week that we could come take your kids to do something fun so you can be productive?

  • Julie P

    So exciting!! Big congratulations. A house with a history is extra fun. And that lot? To die for. Yeah!!

  • marzipan

    Awesome! Can’t wait to see it! And definitely feeling jealous too…we’ve got a few more years of renting ahead of us as well…. who doesn’t like renting for a decade?? Oh wait, me.

  • Tia

    So exciting! The character from the picture looks so charming, I’m a sucker for character. Glad you made it through, home buying is so emotionally and physically exhausting. Can’t wait to see what you do with the place! The lot looks seriously amazing!

  • That’s so exciting! Can’t wait for more pictures and updates.

  • Shalie

    SO so so so so so excited for you guys!! Can’t wait to see the pictures and updates you do to your new home!! Congrats!

  • I am SO excited for you guys! The house is awesome! And the property looks even better! So cool!

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