Monday, October 26, 2009

Pinehurst Drive or Crenshaw Way???

Last May Scottie and I set off on a journey looking to buy a home of our own, a place to lay roots. We were still deciding if it was the right time for us to buy. When we heard about the $8,000 tax credit to first time home buyers we knew we couldn't pass it up. We started out looking at DR Horton homes. We LOVED these homes. The real estate agent that was helping us that day even walked us through her own home. Instantly we fell in love with her home and wanted to build one just like it. There was even an empty lot in back of her where we could build. After walking out of her house we looked to the house left of hers. I really liked the outside and asked the agent what model it was. She said it was the Hartford but it was bigger and of course....pricey. Since we knew we had till the end of the year to seal the deal on something and get the $8,000, we then thought that going the short sale route would be in our favor. We didn't have any contract or house to sell, plus the fact that we had all the time in the world to wait out a lengthy short sale so we started looking.
When we started looking at short sale homes, we found a home that was close to the school that I teach at and in a neighborhood in which I already knew a lot of people. The home was on Pinehurst Drive and I thought it was absolutely the best house I had ever seen! We called the listing agent and asked to see the house. It was beautiful on the outside but when I walked in all I could see was atrocious pink walls with black light switches, vents, and outlets. ....Ugh. As we continued touring the house, I started to see things about this house that made me not like it. AT ALL. I hated the fact that the master bedroom was tiny and it had a long hallway leading to the closet. There were windows on the wall where the bed should go. Which is nice, but problem was they were too close together so a headboard would be covering the windows. The other wall was covered in windows. All the rooms had funky bookshelves built in the wall that didn't look finished and it would need a total overhaul of a paint job. The yard would need a lot of work since it hadn't been taken care of since the house was vacant.
The second we left the house I couldn't wait to get in the car so I could share my thoughts on the terrible house with Scottie. The second I shut the car door I began to go off about how much I did not like the all. On the other hand, Scottie absolutely loved it. Scottie continued to tell me why he wanted this house and at the price it was going for, who wouldn't want it. I demanded that we see other houses. If this was the first, then there must be PLENTY of other houses in the sea for me.
After we got home we talked it over with my parents and wanted to show them this house plus look at some other options. We called the real estate agent on the house and he agreed to show us several others we were interested in plus take us to see the house on Pinehurst for a second time.
As we looked at other houses I became quite worn out. Every other house we wanted to see had at least 5-10 offers, already under contract, or it wasn't what we wanted. Then we went back and looked at the first house we had seen. I have to admit the first time I saw it I hated it but the second time looking at the house was like looking through rose colored glasses! I couldn't believe I had completely ripped the place apart before! It was beautiful (besides the ugly pink walls that you would see in a cheap Saint George motel.) I had looked over the great things about it and focused on the things that could be changed to fit my taste. I even thought of ideas to make the master bedroom workable. I instantly was picking out paint colors and moving my furniture in in my mind. Did I mention that I pictured what rooms would be my little girl's or boy's room one day? Ya I'm pathetic! I had completely gone too far. The house wasn't even ours yet! We were sold and decided to make an offer and wait it out, knowing that it would be at least three months or more before we'd here back or not.
When we made the offer, we were just about to leave to go to Europe. The bank had a set asking price that they would accept right away. Knowing that we were going to be in Europe we put in a lower offer and hoped that it would take longer so we could put down a bigger down payment. The agent even took it off the MLS so that we'd have no competition. We were set for success in the home department.
While we were in Europe we got an email from our agent saying that someone else had put in a higher offer! Not only did they put in a higher offer, but they put an offer in for $10,000 more than the asking price! I was sad that this was not going to be our house. But we were still hopeful.
As time passed we grew anxious! Knowing that it was a short sale we knew there was a possibility that we might not get it and that the bank might not accept our offer. We waited anyway but also continued our search for a home in case it didn't work out. Eventually the other people who had made an offer on the house withdrew their offer and bought a different home. My hopes were high and we continued to wait. I was just sure that the house was going to be ours. But because there was always that chance that we might not get it we continued looking at other houses. Every house we saw I didn't like and Scottie of course did. After looking at the MLS a million times and walking through billions of houses I didn't like. It looked as though we were getting closer to finding out about the home on Pinehurst. I was getting excited.
September came along and since we knew that the home on Pinehurst would be going into foreclosure September 5th, the agent started calling the bank to find out what was going to happen. When he called the bank, they told us that they were not going to let it go into foreclosure since we had an offer in on it and that we would hear back anytime the next week. When the following week rolled around, our agent called and the big news was....


We had waited so patiently since May and we were devastated. We were now going to have to find another house since the chances of getting this house were VERY slim. I started to think that we would not be buying before the end of the year. I was not very happy about looking at more houses. My heart was set on the Pinehurst home. I was sure that that was the place I was going to live, raise kids, and grow old...ok maybe not grow old but anyway...
The tedious process of house hunting continued. I was positive that we were not going to find anything. I knew that I had seen pretty much every house that was for sale in our area of interest and time was running out. It looked as if we would be staying where we live for another year, Scottie would have to continue his calling as Elders Quorum President and I'd have to finally get around to organizing my kitchen and bathroom and all the things that I planned on organizing when we moved.
The next day Scottie began looking at homes online and reverted back to the DR Horton homes we looked at in the beginning. In fact they were in the process of building a house on the very same lot that we originally looked at in the beginning and good news was it was the Hartford, which was the house that I liked in the beginning but was WAY out of price range. The price had also been reduced. We agreed to go see it.
When we pulled up to the house, it was nothing close to my what I had pictured living in. it still had all the scaffolding on it and it wasn't going to be my place of residency....I knew it. It just didn't look like "my house". It was rather plain for my liking (probably because it wasn't done) and I wasn't in love with it like I was in love with the one on Pinehurst. After walking through it I became more depressed and grew teary eyed at the fact that someone else was going to live in my house on Pinehurst. I did not like the house. In fact I was desperate to point out everything that this house did not have compared to the one on Pinehurst. Scottie of course liked it but I wasn't sold. We went back and talked to the DR Horton agent and discussed with her our problem. We still wanted the Pinehurst home but we weren't sure if we would even get it. We also didn't want to pass up this home that we could have right away, no waiting required, no more bidding wars! If we decided we wanted it, then it was ours. But I still wasn't sold so we told her we'd think about and she agreed to hold the house for us over the weekend.
That night we went over to my parents and discussed the housing dilemma we were in. Should we wait to see if we could still get the Pinehurst home and take a chance of not even getting it? Or should we go with the brand new DR Horton home and get an additional $4,000. It was stupid of us to even question it but I still did not like that house. I ripped that house apart from top to bottom rattling off all the things that I didn't like about it. I was positive that this was not my home.
After much thought we went a second time to see the house and low and behold, I actually liked it! A lot!! How could I have hated it so much and then grew to like it over night? We decided to make an offer and I was content about our choice. I was also excited that I wouldn't have to paint and it had a spacious master bedroom and a better layout. Not only that, but it was the end of DR Horton's fiscal year and they had significantly dropped the price of the home in order to sell it fast. I thought we had wasted all this time on waiting for this home on Pinehurst when actually it led us to an even better home that we'll will be much happier in down the road! We were the luckiest first time home buyers in the state of Utah because after we had signed the papers on the house, we found out that they had raised the price of the other homes. We really did find the perfect home at the right time and we couldn't be happier to move into our very first house, a place to call home, lay down roots and settle down, on Crenshaw Way


Now we just have to get ready for the big move!!!


Rowley's said...

Congrats! I can't wait to be able to own a home, however, everyone tells me how stressful it is! It sounds like you had some stress to deal with as well. I can't wait to see it all decorated "Christie" style!

By the way, Jessica and I are thinking about getting people together the week after Christmas when I'm in town, are you in?

swalberg family said...

You guys seriously went through a lot to get this house- and it's amazing! Not to mention a great neighborhood.... :) Me and the boys have been counting down days! Yippee! We want to help you move- Thursday? Friday? Tell us when!

Moments said...

Awesome! You will love having your own house. Can't wait for the invitation to come over to your 'house warming' party. (hint, hint) I can't believe I haven't seen you in 5 years. that is craziness!!!!

Loftus' said...

Yay!! Congrats! Your story-telling cracks me up! I hope it all goes well for you two!

Tiffany said...

Congrats on your new home. I guess that this means that you two have decided to stay in Utah. Hope that it is everything that you want. As as a side note. Every home once you move in will have more things that bother you and you never even noticed them while looking, and somethings that you didn't notice before but reallly love.

Ashley and Brett said...

Congrats babe! I'm happy for you. I looked you up and I know where you are... only a few minutes from my sisters... and about 10 from me! Maybe I'll see you more!! yeah!!!! Happy moving in!!! Whens the big day?

Keeping sane said...

congrats-- where is this house at?/ i would have liked youto make it to pinehurst so we could have been neighbors-- but good for you that you found the perfect house for you!

The Andersens said...


The Bartons said...

Hey, its Randi. Your house is beautiful. I feel for you, trying to find a house to buy is the worst, just be thankful you're buying one that is new, unlike us who bought a fixer upper!!

Justi said...

Hooray!!! That is so great, Swalz, I am so excited for you guys. The house is absolutely beautiful. Congrats!

Jason & Karen said...

Swals I am so happy for you guys! IT is a way cute house!!! My husband however is not happy you didn't call him about a mortgage. He TOTALLY would have hooked you up! Hope you guys are doing well!! miss ya

Mom Swalz said...

Wow! You really summed that up well! Congrats on the beautiful new home...I love it!