Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Faith Junky... the story of our house!

I may be adding more details that I have forgotten!! but here it is....

It all started a little over two months ago. I called a “mortgage guy” to see if Aaron and I would qualify to buy a home. I would have gone to my dad, but he is not able to do loans in Washington State. We did qualify for the amount we wanted to mortgage. We were thrilled… and the ball began to roll. But then it stopped, because we had no money to put down. Then we heard about an USDA loan that allowed qualifying families to purchase a home without any money down. This was their incentive to encourage people to move into rural areas. We found that because we had four children we did qualify for this loan. Thank God once again for our twin girls. We still were not sure about staying out west, but it seemed there were many doors opening showing us God wanted us to remain here.

A few weeks before this Aaron and I were driving around different areas talking about where we would live if we were going to stay on the west side of the world. We found a few locations that fancied both of us. Once we heard about the USDA loan we realized all the locations we like were in the rural areas to allow for the USDA loan. Hello God! When I began the house search Aaron was visiting his brother Joshua in San Diego, CA. I drove all about finding neighborhoods in the areas we liked. I looked through a few open houses to get a better idea. Our taste buds for a home were different than we first started this journey. So I did some more looking.

By the time Aaron was back from his visit I found our house and had an appointment set up right after Aaron got off the plane. WE LOVED IT AND PUT IN AN OFFER! After three long days, they did not take our offer. It was rough. I found some more houses. We narrowed the hunt down to 3 houses. We made an appointment with our realtor/mortgage guy, Chris, to view all three houses. Aaron didn’t like any of them. I didn’t love them, but I liked one quite a bit. Aaron did not. It was a model home that didn’t seem very well put together. At this point, Chris mentioned a home in La Center, WA that was the same set up as this model home, but a tad nicer. We said we would not want to go to La Center and I knew when Aaron saw the house he would want it. We agreed to go check it out. On our way there I said he was going to love this house, so I made sure he was ok with La Center.

We walked in the door and that was it. He was ok with La Center. We could not find a thing we did not like. We were so excited. This house was listed at $356,000 two days before and dropped to $275,000. God anyone? If we didn’t put an offer in on the first house we would not have been delayed to see this house for the cheaper price. Timing is everything. So, needless to say we put in an offer and just said if it is to be it will happen. I didn’t want to feel disappointment like I did with the first house, so I just rested and waited to see if this was the house for us. Our offer was accepted! Howdy God! A few days later, the first house came back and said the offer they accepted fell through and wanted to know if we still wanted it. It seemed God was asking us, do you really want the home in La Center? We realized we do and said thanks but no thanks to the first house.

Now was the wait for USDA. In Oregon processing the loan was only backed up 3 days. In Washington the delay was 3 weeks. We traveled to the East coast and got news that the delay was extended another 3 weeks. We were disappointed and didn’t know what to do. Currently there is a tax credit for first time homebuyers. The deadline was November 31st. This second delay could have cost us the tax credit. The seller wasn’t cooperating with the repairs, so we could back out if we wanted to, no penalty to us. At this point Aaron and I took a second step back. We were making sure we want to live in La Center and make this move, even if it meant we would not get the tax credit. The reason I keep mentioning La Center as I do is because it is 22 miles from the river. This would mean a long compute for Aaron and all our friends and family. But we did love the area. After going back and forth four times we really knew this was the house we wanted. We were walking in on $60,000 of equity. The only concern was the delay unlocking our 5% interest rate.

Added note… Aaron and I owned two homes in New York but the tax credit law says you could not own a home less than 3 years ago. August of 2006 we sold our last home. We began looking at the end of August 2009. This was not intentional. God anyone???

From here we went back and forth with the seller trying to get repairs taken care of and measurements done so we could shop for appliances. We found the appliances we needed but had to wait till closing, as to not mess up any credit score issues. We shopped at Sear Scratch and Dent and found a killer deal. They were already discounted and then because we used a card another 10% more off, they had a sale, another 10% off and because we bought it all at once, another 5%!

I was in contact with USDA and we were supposed to close on the 17th. Persistence and diligence paid off. We get a call and papers were signed with in three days. We prayed for favor from the USDA, so we could close by the tax credit deadline and we actually closed two weeks earlier than we thought! My first call to them was to a darling woman who connected me with the right people. She was great! While waiting from the final word from USDA, Senate extended the tax credit to April 2010. We were in the clear no matter what. And now we are closing early and the 5% was locked once again!!!

So many pieces have fallen into place. It is hard not to see God through it all. I am now a faith junky! We have a home valued with insurance company for $400,000, appraised at $365,000, asking price of $356,000 2 days before we saw it at a selling price of $275,000. We will be getting the $8,000 tax credit and a brand new model home, never lived in!!! 5 bedrooms, 2700 square foot home with a fenced in back yard, three-door garage that is fully finished (the model’s office)! It is a perfect fit for the Cole family. At night… YOU CAN SEE THE MILKY WAY! Thank you Chris for your hard work!!! Thank you Jesus and my hard working husband (Let’s here it for my man!) for making it all happen!!!


Grandma said...

It is so awesome! I am very happy for you all and can't wait to see it!

Karen said...

Holly, So excited to hear about your new home! I did not get to see you when you visited the East Coast but I was glad you posted pictures of your visit here.... I'm not sure how it works on the West Coast, but here you can grievance the taxes and get them lowered based on the actual cost you paid for the house. They may be currently set on the appraised value which will be higher. Best wishes on settling into your home and hoping to see pictures soon.