Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Goal #1: Buy a home = Done!!

Sorry I kept it from you blogworld, but I just didn't want to jinx it like last time! We closed on our first home today!! (If you want to know what goal I'm talking about, check out the "My 100 Goals" tab at the top of the page)

I've been keeping this little journal for the past two months, so if you're interested in how our home buying process went down, read on!

Monday, April 25
We viewed four houses after work and this one was the clear winner over the others. I loved it. Hubby was hesitant because he grew up only three miles away - he didn't know if he was willing to move back to that area. I tried not to pressure him because I totally get that!

Wednesday, April 27
We went back with our agent for a second look, and submitted an offer! J decided he loves it just as much as I do. We didn't know when we'd hear back because it's a foreclosure.

Thursday, April 28
We heard back from the bank via their selling agent. Before they accepted our offer, they wanted to know exactly what repairs we'd be asking them to make and how much they'd cost.

We had requested that they allow 1.5% of the sale price to be used for any repairs the home needed. This is required for a VA loan - the seller has to pay for any problems with the house.

The bank wanted us to get an inspection before they'd accept our offer, outlining what they'd have to pay for. Luckily, my dad is a contractor and electrician, so we didn't have to pay a couple hundred dollars to an inspector when the house might not even be ours! So, so lucky!!

Saturday, April 30
My parents joined me at the house to check it out (James had to work unfortunately). Dad was able to point out several items that the bank had to fix (electrical wires missing, leaky toilet, fan installed wrong, etc.), then a few more that we'll have to take care of once it's ours. I was happy that he thought it was a good purchase though!

Our realtor reported these findings and cost estimates to the selling agent, who already told us that there had been no other offers on the house. We hoped to hear back within a few days.

Tuesday, May 3, 8:00 a.m.
We had no response, but the price of the house was dropped by $5,000 - $100 under our offer! This had me worried. Did this mean they planned to reject our offer because of VA requirements??

Tuesday, May 3, 4:00 p.m.
Received notification that multiple offers had been made. Our agent surmised that they had reduced the price to try to get more interest, and it worked :( This is frustrating because we already made an offer almost a week earlier! We were asked to make our best and final offer, and decided to keep the amount we originally submitted. This is what our agent advised was an appropriate price, and it was now over the asking price.

Friday, May 6
Counter offer received. It's super confusing but my best explanation is: The bank didn't want to pay for the repairs that we gave them estimates for, but agreed to everything else. This wouldn't work because they have to pay for them or we wouldn't get a VA loan. So we upped our price by a couple thousand to cover most of the cost and submitted our counter offer back.

Monday, May 9
Offer accepted!!!

Thursday, May 12
We met our agent at her office to sign the contract. Once all necessary repairs were made to the house, we would have to get an inspection done.

Wednesday, May 18
We approved the contractor bid for them to get started on repairs. During this time a lot of other stuff was going on behind the scenes that we weren't involved in. Our mortgage broker was working on securing financing, and our realtor was working out contract details.

Monday, May 23
We received the appraisal report - it came back exactly at the price we agreed on. One thing that they noted was that the exterior paint was peeling on the trim. Since the house was built before lead paint was banned, it could fall and contaminate the soil, so the bank/seller was required to scrape it off and re-paint.

Saturday, June 4
Home inspection with my dad. We found some small things that we'll have to address like outlets not working, the chimney needs some little part, etc. And we discovered rat poop - ewww!

Also found things that the seller has to fix. They didn't replace the broken toilet like they said they did (annoying!), and the stove didn't work for some reason - the gas nor the clock.

Saturday, June 11
Exterior painting was done, and they fixed a small hole in our kitchen ceiling that they had previously refused to repair. Stove was fixed but they refused to replace the toilet.

Thursday, June 23
J and I signed final documents for the loan! It took place at our old house with our mortgage broker, realtor and a notary. After that, we went to our new home for our final walkthrough. We found a hole in the ceiling that was never there before (WTF) and demanded that they fixed it... which they did the next day :)

After the walkthrough we went to the Sears Outlet and bought a refrigerator!

Wednesday, June 29
We got our key!! It's officially ours! I took lots of pictures to share soon. Tomorrow I'm working until noon and then will get to work moving some boxes and taking care of stuff around the house. Both James and I took Friday off for a long, hard, exciting, rewarding weekend!

Can't wait to blog more about our home!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Meal Plan Monday 6/20

Monday: Homemade pizza (we never ended up having this last week. Well, I made the dough and had a little for lunch, but never for dinner)

Tuesday: Fish tacos (baked tilapia) with mango avocado salsa

Wednesday: I have a whole chicken in the freezer that I'll cook in the crockpot. And macaroni salad sounds really good right now so I'll make this one with it :)

Thursday: Chicken enchiladas verde with the leftover chicken from Wednesday, with black bean and corn salad

Friday: Not sure... leftovers or out

Saturday: Out - we're going to a wedding

Sunday: Pasta puttanesca or veggie lasagna. I can't decide this far ahead right now!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

My quarter century birthday

Thursday was my big 2-5! I have a feeling I'm always still going to feel young for a long time, because I'm the youngest in my group of friends - not to mention that hubs is 7 years older than me. This week was tons of fun celebrating my quarter century of life.

My thoughtful hubby surprised me with these roses after work, because he knew I'd be busy the next two days.

We went to dinner at J's coworker's house. Thank you Kim for the delicious meal!

My coworker and friend gave me with this wine glass gift - how perfect right?! Thanks Sabrina!!

"Hooray for Chardonnay!"
For lunch I went to Zen Sushi with my coworkers. Yum!

Kohaku Roll
Then after work several friends joined me for happy hour at Cafeteria. I think we had a good dozen people there and it was a lot of fun. We even somehow convinced J to go to Faces with us for a bit. That's one for the record books!

My older sister brought balloons and my younger sister gave me a beautiful framed collage of all my favorite wedding photos :)

I did some shopping in the morning. Among several other things, I got this dress. It was originally $70, on sale for half off, plus I had a $10 off coupon. $25! I'll probably wear it to a wedding next weekend.

We had dinner at Chicago Fire (my fave) with my parents and sister, then headed to Raley Field for a River Cats game. My mom brought this beautiful bouquet of flowers from her yard when we met at our house beforehand.

Sadly, I forgot my camera that night. We witnessed one of the most beautiful sunsets ever, and of course I always love going to the game on Saturday nights because they have fireworks afterwards! All the little kids around us cheering, screaming and jumping for joy at the fireworks display was hilarious!

This wasn't for my birthday, but we went refrigerator shopping and then spontaneously decided to drop by a granite and tile warehouse to get ideas for our future kitchen and bathrooms :) It was sooo much fun and we came away from it with an agreement on colors and styles we like. I told J it was one of my favorite dates we've ever been on - I LOVE home decor/renovation stuff and I can't wait to get started!!

Overall, I really felt the love and was so honored that family and friends were sweet enough to give me a gift, a card, a text message or come spend time with me!

24 was a great year for me.
  • The best thing that happened was that I married my husband. He's perfect for me!
  • My parents also moved to this area, which I have loved loved loved.
  • We hosted our first tacky holiday sweater party, a dream of mine for far too long!
  • We started house hunting and while we're not quite there, we're in a good place when it comes to our future home.
  • I had many great times with fabulous friends - most of which I didn't blog about, unfortunately.
As my 25th year begins, I have some great plans for it!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Meal Plan Monday 6/13

Monday: Sausage potato burritos that we didn't have last night

Tuesday: Homemade pizza (pepperoni, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, green onions and whatever other veggies I find on Pioneer Woman's dough recipe)

Wednesday: Pasta bolognese Dinner at a friend's house

Thursday: Out with friends (it's my birthday!)

Friday: Homemade pizza again Pasta bolognese

Saturday: Out for my birthday again

Sunday: Maybe out with family for Fathers Day? If not we'll have homemade pizza again.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Meal Plan Monday 6/6

This is probably a super lame post to a lot of people... but I don't have much to say, okay!

For the past few months I've been meal planning each week and it helps a lot to cut down on wasted food. I basically just buy the ingredients we need (which saves money and random grocery store wandering) and then I don't end up staring at the fridge after work saying "There's nothing to eat even though I went shopping yesterday!" That used to happen far too often.

I've also noticed that since I've done this we eat a lot more fresh food - meat, veggies, etc. - and not much processed crap.

I'm going to start sharing Meal Plan Monday and I'll include links to recipes whenever possible.

Monday: Fish tacos (baked tilapia) with mango avocado salsa

Wednesday: Veggie lasagna (with spinach and mushrooms)

Thursday: Leftover turkey burgers

Saturday: Out with friends

Sunday: What I call sausage potato burritos - a tortilla wrapped up with potato, Jennie O turkey sausage and BBQ sauce

Saturday, June 4, 2011

My brother's wedding

It's been a big couple of weeks for my family... last Friday my brother got married! I wanted to wait until I could share some pictures before posting... can you believe that my camera ran out of memory in the beginning of the ceremony?! So I didn't get to take any photos, but it was a really pretty event. Congrats to my brother and new sister!!

The bride with her father
The newlyweds
May your love always be as strong as it is today
(and I know it will be!) ♥