Another house update

Revision: the appraisal chapter is in fact NOT closed. Did I mention this was a roller coaster?

This is why the home-buying process has been such a roller coaster:

Last Thursday: “The inspection is taking place either today or tomorrow so you will get the report maybe Tuesday or Wednesday.”

Last Friday: “The inspection happened today but we probably won’t hear anything for another week.”

And then today: Mark Gmail chatted me and said that he just got the report and the house appraised under what we offered. I didn’t know what to think—at the moment I was standing in a furniture store browsing for a new dining table set. If the house appraised for under what we offered, our options were to either hope the sellers would lower their price to match the appraised value or back out of the deal, since who wants to pay more for what the house is worth? I asked him what we should do now. Then he replied with “Never mind, see Jeff’s e-mail, we made value. I must not know how to read appraisal reports…”

That’s exactly what happened last time: just when I thought we’d lost the house, the opposite happened.

With that news in, I believe the only thing that stands between us and the house is time: closing is scheduled for mid-April. The ball is rolling! In the meantime, Crate and Barrel has sucked me in to their beautiful offerings. Why must pretty things be so expensive?

Operation early riser

Should this house situation work out, I’ll have to leave for work about 10 minutes earlier than I currently do. I’ve taken the last week to start changing my wake-up habits so it won’t be such a shock to get up earlier because yes, even 10 minutes is a big difference for me! Plus, I’m not really giving myself enough time in the morning right now anyway – my eyeliner and mascara usually get applied at work since I don’t have time at home (hey, at least I’m not doing it in the car) and lately I’ve been leaving a little too late to comfortably make it through morning traffic and still arrive on time.

Let’s face it: I’m just NOT a morning person. During my dorm years in college, I had to set an alarm for 12:30 p.m. just to get to the cafeteria before it closed a half hour later. I’m always the last one up at family gatherings and if there’s an event on my calendar any time before 11 on a Saturday, I don’t consider the morning as a “sleeping in” morning because I have to set an alarm. And if you have to set an alarm, it doesn’t count.

I started out small: I set my alarm 10 minutes earlier than my normal rise time and gave myself one five-minute “snooze” so I’m really only getting up five minutes earlier. I did this for four days and then on the fifth, moved the alarm back another five minutes. I plan on doing this four more times until I’m getting up at 5:45. This will also break me of my snooze habit, which can reach up to four hits of the snooze button before I finally get out of bed.

Discipline = adulthood.

The next step is perhaps going to bed a little earlier to make up for the lost sleep but I don’t see that happening any time soon!

Too many meds?

Mark came home with sinus meds on Tuesday so I’m happy to say I’m much better now!

Or am I?

Yesterday I acted the part of a responsible car owner and took the car into the Mazda dealership for its free replacement of recalled parts. Where these parts were in the car I have no clue (well, I know one is in the power steering but I don’t know where the other part was), but after months of postcards telling me to take in the car for the free repairs, I finally made an appointment to take it in. The reason I hesitated to take in the car in the first place was because I didn’t want to be without a car for a day (it’s not like I can drive the motorcycle) but then they told me that they’d give me a loaner car! And he said it so matter-of-factly that it must be standard procedure?

I walked into the dealership and the receptionist asked if I was picking up a car. I said no, I was dropping it off, I had an appointment at noon. She asked for my name but couldn’t find record of me in the system, so she asked what type of car I drove.

Me: “A Mazda 3.”

Her: “Oh… this is the AUDI dealership.”

Me: “Oh wow, oops, I guess I wasn’t even paying attention! Obviously. So sorry!”

I’m sure this dork was the story of the day in there. In my defense, the dealerships are right next to each other. I think my subconscious is telling me I want an Audi.

Sinuses and decor

Nothing like sinus problems to ruin your day! I took a sick day Friday to hopefully head off a cold and thought I was making progress until today knocked me flat on  my back. Turns out last week was just round one and today introduced the real kicker.

So naturally I've been catching up on Pinterest and all my favorite blogs, which now includes Young House Love. It's totally odd: I've NEVER been into decor or home remodeling before (I've made no secret of the fact that my least favorite place on earth is Home Depot) but I think our potential new house is starting to change things in me. Now I'm having daydreams of color schemes and paint and it's starting to freak me out. It's like I don't even know who I am anymore!




 We skipped the baby and went straight to the 16-year-old! We were sort of guardians this weekend to a friend’s 16-year-old daughter while they were out of town. She’s pretty self-sufficient and really the only reason she needed us around was because she still has her driver’s permit and couldn’t drive by herself. So she chauffeured us around and also made us breakfast and coffee. It was like being at a B&B!

She does competitive horse jumping (don’t you wish you were that cool) so we went to her barn to watch her practice and exercise the horses. We didn’t get to ride but we did meet a few horses and got friendly with the barn cats, who acted like they were positively starved for attention. I’ve never met needier cats in my life! The field trip reaffirmed that I have no animal allergies—anyone who did would have been a wreck!

The cats knew a cat person when they saw one.

A house update

Now we’ve gone and done it. We’re in contract for a house and I can’t lie—it’s freaking me out. I hear this is normal but OH MAN a commitment like this is making me nervous. However, a bizarre set of “coincidences” have accompanied this house that makes me think that it’s something God must really want us to have (or at least teach us a valuable lesson).

Coincidence #1: I left my purse in it last week, sparking a rescue mission by our gentleman of an agent who saved our night by returning the purse, containing tickets to a show we were to see that night, within the hour. Assumption: the house must want me and I must want the house!

Coincidence #2: We were going to buy our vacation tickets (mid-April through May) the night we saw the house but kept waffling on where we wanted to go. There were multiple chances to buy tickets before that night but we kept hesitating and waiting. If we’d bought those tickets, we probably wouldn’t be in this situation.

Coincidence #2: Mark’s parents were in town the same weekend the owners of the house decided to put on an open house. That they even decided to stop by was a coincidence itself.

Coincidence #3: Mark’s mom happened to be wearing an SPU sweatshirt at the open house, leading to a conversation that ended up helping us.

Coincidence #4: Mark’s dad didn’t see until later a text message from Mark asking them not to mention anything at the open house about us or our offer on the house (we didn’t know whether it was kosher to let out too much information). So they mentioned us and our offer to the agent.

Our offer on the house went head to head with a “more attractive” and all-cash offer that left me thinking that this was where it was to end, since the other offer made more financial sense to the owners. Our agent told us the only way we’d get the house was if we played the emotional card, appealing to the family who was moving out by painting us as a young couple who wanted to start a family in the house and would care for it just as they’d cared for it. I forgot to mention that the other offer was made by a super rich couple who wanted to buy the house for their nanny. Their NANNY. So we revised our offer to make it a little more attractive (read: higher) but at that point I’d lost faith.

So you can imagine my surprise when our agent called back with an “odd question.” The owners had found out we’d gone to SPU (per Mark’s parents) and wanted to know what we did now and if we went to a church in the area; we answered their questions and hoped for the best. Then our agent called back to let us know that even though the other offer made more sense financially, they had decided to sell to us!  Crazy, no?

Even though it’s been a bizarre story up to now, it’s still far from over. Closing isn’t scheduled until April 15 and a lot of things can happen between then and now. So we’ll see! But who knows, we could be moving in a month.