07 July 2015

Eventful July Days On The Househunt

Hope you are enjoying this patriotic month of July. When I lived in Utah I always liked that the whole month of July was patriotic with both July 4th and Pioneer Day coming in the month. We could sing patriotic songs all month and leave up all the decorations!


Now that it is July, it's a great time to give you an update on what we're up to. I've been keeping things somewhat under wraps the past few months but now I think I can fill in a few details. Last December I had the great surprise to have the opportunity to take a fantastic job in a new state. Since then things have been moving fast at times and a little slow at other times.

I only had about three weeks from job accepting to starting and it was over the holidays. Of course this was the year that both our families decided to visit us in California over the Christmas-New Year break. This meant it was a slow, long move. I spent the first month going back and forth from New Mexico to California packing over the weekends. Boy am I so glad that time is over. It was exhausting and I was sick much of the time as well as adjusting to a completely different altitude and climate.

The Man and the kiddo stayed behind and are still in the processing of completing things there so they can get here. I've been flying back and forth at least 2-3 weekends each month along with a decent amount of business travel and other adventures. I love my new job. It is busier than I had hoped but the reality is that I work in marketing and marketers always work long hours. It's been so at every job I've ever worked.

But I have a phenomenal boss who continually reminds us the work will be there tomorrow and encourages us to go home at the regular time. Because I've been here in NM alone, I've had the luxury of working longer hours, plus there was no one to go home to anyway. It gave me some time to quickly get up to speed on a lot of things and get settled in.

We've been house hunting since December. I can't tell you how many hours I've spent on Zillow and Realtor.com. I could start a career in Real Estate except that I want nothing to do with all the legalities, contracts and negotiating. I have known every house in our price range in three zip codes for several months now. We're on our third house offer attempt and in the process of negotiating. Both of the previous failures have been heartbreaking and thus I am enjoying feeling a little numb about this current negotiation, unwilling to get too emotionally involved in it.

The first house we liked was quite small, but had a sweet and private backyard. It also had a lot of wear and tear and needed to be totally rewired. But the price was ridiculously cheap. The day we decided to put an offer in it sold. Sadness. About the same time the house we lost that I wrote about a couple of weeks ago came on the market and even though it was about 100,000 over what we wanted to pay, I started watching it and when it came down 60,000 we made and offer. You can read the rest here.

Once again the disappointment kept us from looking at anything new for a month. I kept watching things online and kept a short list of possibilities until we were ready to look again. The houses in the area of town we would like to live are very dated and tend to be very similar. So finding something unique, with decent size rooms and higher ceilings has been tricky. This past weekend we entered the hunt once again, looked at several  properties I'd been keeping on my list and then made an offer on the one we were most interested in.

We were very pleasantly surprised by one house we looked at which doesn't happen too often but the price and location weren't quite what we wanted. So now we're looking at a house that is quite a fixer upper but we realized it fits most of our major criteria and no house has come close to that yet. So we'll see how it goes, what we can negotiate and how things will all shake out in the end. Not holding my breath.

On the lighter side, we've had some interesting husband-wife conversations about design styles and I happen to be married to a real creative. So we will have to come to some agreement about every detail of the home. Some days I think we're totally in sync and other days I get a little comically worried. Should be a big adventure. Right now the words modern, clean and simple keep coming into play and I sure hope we end up going that way.

At some point we'll have to have a sale and sell off some stuff as we really combine household belongings for the first time. It will be fun to shop our stuff once we get it all together and it will feel good to let some things go. I have bought a few things that I'd like to take to the new house including two big, rectangle white planters, pillows, a small lamp and recently I bought a pretty wood tray.

In the meantime, I am poking around the internet looking for great deals on kitchen appliances, particularly used professional stuff. It's amazing what's out there. I keep thinking back to an episode of Property Brothers where this young couple found an entire kitchen's worth of professional grade, stainless steel appliances for $1500 online from a seller who was unable to use them after purchasing them. Amazing.

I'm hoping if we need to we can source out some good deals on stuff like that in SoCal before we bring out the final load of stuff. Then we could just throw anything we find into the moving truck with our other stuff. From my short hunt so far, it seems LA is ripe with great used and clearance appliances for the picking.

Right now I couldn't be more grateful that I have a sister who is a structural engineer and a dad who is a roofing contractor. There is a big conversation going on right now about this house roof, so I've already been on the phone with my dad three times yesterday. He's been a fantastic resource!

His expertise has really educated me further on what we're talking about for the roof for this house. I've learned a ton today! I already knew more than the average bear about roofing after growing up working with my dad and just hearing lots of roofing conversations, but today I took my knowledge to a new level. The sellers won't know what hit them when I start asking more questions (in a polite, gracious way of course, haha).

It will be interesting to see what else comes of the house buying education we are experiencing. Never a dull moment. You never know what the next phone call will bring. We'll try to enjoy this little roller coaster and hope we're happily settled soon. School starts in about 5 weeks.

I plan to be here a little more often in coming days. Thanks for visiting. Miss spending time every day here with you friends.

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