Friday, February 26, 2010

1 Step Closer....

Well, it's time for the weekly "housing" update.........and it's a good one!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

When I last updated, we had potentially found the perfect house, had been to look at it with Amazing Amy, and we were trying to prayerfully make a decision (although, if you'll remember, we wanted to JUMP on it because we loved the house so much).

All of this had taken place on a Thursday, so over the weekend, we were constantly discussing it, the pros and cons, and getting things in order to make an offer. On Monday we had planned to make our first offer, but then decided to check with another lender to compare prices before doing so. So most of Monday was spent gathering information and making calls. Our other lender did not get back with us until Tuesday, so all day was spent going back and forth between the 2 lenders, comparing prices.
Eventually we got the best deal possible, and made plans to officially sign and make the offer that afternoon. By the time I got home from work on Tuesday, around 5PM, Amazing Amy and Jonathan were waiting on me to go through the paperwork. We signed everything, and made it official. The seller had from 8PM that night until 8PM Wednesday, 24 hours, to get back to us with a yes, a no, or a counteroffer.

So Wednesday at work I was so anxious it was awful. I could barely concentrate on anything. I also kept my phone on vibrate, at my desk, sitting right beside my computer. This is something I NEVER do; typically I turn my phone off as I'm walking into the school each day, and it doesn't get turned on again until I walk out of the building in the afternoon.
I couldn't help but walk by my desk and check for a call from my hubby almost every 20 or so minutes. It was terrible. Finally at about 1PM after not hearing a THING, Jonathan emailed to say he had heard nothing (ha!!). Not what I was waiting for!!
So the end of the school day comes, and coming back in from dismissal, at about 2:45PM, my phone vibrates. The seller received our offer, and basically asked for another, more reasonable offer. So we discussed our options, and had already decided our final offer before even putting the original offer in, and called Amazing Amy around 3PM to deal for us.

Oh the torture of time. Jonathan had a playoff game for intramural basketball at 5PM, so off to we went to try and take our mind off of waiting, waiting, waiting. I was sitting in Fike, the rec. center at Clemson, with Jonathan's phone right by my side. I literally picked it up to check the time every 2 to 3 minutes.
Finally, at almost 6PM, the phone rang.
It was Amazing Amy.

And the seller had accepted our offer!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Whooooooooooooooo Hooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)

Amy told me the news/details, and since Jonathan was still in the game, I told her I didn't understand any of the details, so he'd be calling her back, ha!! Either way, I was bursting!! The game ended, and upon telling Jonathan, he called Amazing Amy right back.
The rest of the evening, we were a little bit in shock. I don't think it had sunk in (and really still hasn't) what was happening. We were beside ourselves with excitement, and of course made the necessary calls --moms, dads, sisters, grandparents, aunts, and uncles!!
A closing date of March 31st was set, and of course may change. We were put officially under contract with the seller as of Thursday evening, and now we are sifting through paperwork, making the loan official, dealing with an attorney, and getting the home inspected. Just taking care of all the odds and ins so that we are able to close and make the home officially ours.

Home, sweet, Home :)

Up close of the front. This is the first shot I saw when I screamed, "I WANT THIS HOUSE!!!" :)

The Great room, another major selling point for me.

Not a very good shot, but, yes. These are the ORIGINAL doors from when the house was built in 1926. And the original crystal door knobs as well.

So basically, within less than 1 week of seeing the "perfect" house, everything had fallen into place. There might be some skeptics out there, but this has always been how things seem to unfold Jonathan and me. We know what we want and we know what we don't want. We are BEYOND thrilled and we cannot WAIT for everything to go through so that we can close, and have the keys in hand.
It really is the most precious, perfect house, and I literally daydream about it all the time now. I imagine what everything I do will be like when living in our new home. :)

We cannot say how grateful we are for all of the support, love, prayers, and encouragement we have and continue to feel from all of our family and friends during this significant time in our lives. We hope for this still, as we are just getting started with such a big step in our family.

I say it all the time, but it doesn't change it one bit --we are so unbelievably blessed. Praise Him for His goodness and mercy even when we are so undeserving!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

So Ya Wanna Make An Offer???

The million dollar question.

Let me bring you up-to-date on the house search for the Edens :)

Last time I posted, we were just getting started with the whole buying a house process. That was on Friday. Since then, Amy the Amazing Realtor (that's what I'm calling her anyways, hehe) sent us two listings based on a) our desired location, and b) a very specific spreadsheet of house needs/wants/desires/dislikes/etc.

The Edens with our Realtor and long time friend, Amazing Amy!!

So, she went with this and was able to find a few that we really liked, specifically 2 houses; one in Powdersville and the other in Piedmont. We decided on Saturday to go and see them (on our own, just the outside) in the snow. They were even more appealing :) We then made an appointment with Amazing Amy to go see them both, officially, on Wednesday of this week.

The consensus:
The first was not in bad shape considering its age, but a lot of the inside was outdated, hence a lot of necessary work (we're talking shag like carpet that is fire red and deep black.....yeah.). The price of the house was very attractive, but the difference would definitely be put into immediate use for updates. All in all, a not so much "live-in ready" deal going on.

1st house in the snow.

The second ended up being somewhat of a HUGE disappointment because Jonathan had fallen instantly in love with the outside......great area, huge/well kept yard, fence in the back, culdesac.

Now, I'm just going to have to be honest with you about all of this, soon as we stepped in the door it smelled like wet dog. Eeeeewwww, yuck!!! The owners had also made some "improvements," but had done a pretty messy job of it. It was not a good situation.
Sadly enough, I could not get past the smell. Even when we got into the car and had left, I told Jonathan I could still smell it on the tip of my nose, and felt like it was saturated into my clothes.

2nd house in the snow.....GREAT outside, not so much on the inside.

With 2 no's, we had to do some re-thinking.
We got Amazing Amy to do another area search, this time more specified and more along the lines of where we were thinking originally. So Amy said she would email some later that night, and home we headed for some dinner.

Sitting on the couch together, we get her email. She sent two listings; the first with about 20 houses, and the second with only 2.
So we start looking, and, we come to #1183217.
And I start screaming. More specifically, "THAT'S OUR HOUSE!!! I WANT THAT HOUSE!!!"

We read through all of the information, checked out all the pictures, and it was just too good to be true. So naturally, I pick up the phone and call Amazing Amy at almost 9 o'clock at night (but she's the amazing realtor, so she doesn't mind at all). As soon as I call her and share the news, she says, "I knew it!! I said to Ryan (her husband) that's the one, that's the one they will want!!" I love it!!! So very excitedly, we planned to meet the next day (today) to have a look. We also made an appointment for another older (very beautiful) home on the same street, with a lot of the same features.

I barely made it through the my day on Thursday because I was so excited for our visit!!! I met up with Jonathan and Amazing Amy at the house, and as soon as we walked in, we felt the same thing we had while looking at the pictures. It was adorable!! We spent some time walking through, and Jonathan took some pictures. After about 30 or so minutes, we walked across the street to the other home, and although very beautiful, we only spent about 5 or 10 minutes in it. So back we headed to the "perfect house," and we discussed what would be our next step with Amazing Amy if we choose to move forward.

Everything in me is screaming......LET'S MAKE AN OFFER NOW!!! But, we're trying to do the right thing, and we're taking some time to investigate the house some more, sleep on it, and most importantly, pray about it. I'm not going to get into details of the house, I'll do that if we make the next move, but, I will say, it just feels right. There are so many factors that make this house feel like the right one.
But again, I'll save those details for later.
And, if this one does become "ours," I will then post pics :)
But for now, I'll keep you in suspense!!

In the meantime, please pump up the prayers because we're hoping to make a decision in the very near future. We really, really feel good about this, but certainly do not want to rush into anything.

Thank you so much for the prayers, support, advice, and encouragement that so many of you have already been giving us!!
We are tremendously blessed by our friends and family!!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Just Call us "Property Virgins!!"

So........we're doing it.
We're really doing it.

We're going to buy our 1st home :)

We have been going back and forth about this decision for about a year now, weighing the positive and the negative, and we truly feel like it's time to take the big leap!! We just cannot justify paying rent anymore because we're not getting anything back from it.

Jonathan and I seriously considered making this move last spring when we were going to be coming back from our semester in Italy and into Clemson for his final year of graduate school. We thought about the idea of spending the next 3 years in the Clemson area, as well as getting the 1st time home buyer's tax incentive, but the timing was just not right. And looking back, we are SO thankful for making that decision.

So here we go.
We met with our mortgage loan officer at our bank this week, and she really amazed us at not only how wonderful she was, but that we were actually pre-approved for our loan!!! And the amount was more than we had thought, so that was a bonus too. We had decided not to get our hopes up before meeting with her, but as it should turn out, we were good to go!!
We also have the most unbelievable, amazing realtor in the world, Miss Amy Blume Grubbs!!! She's half the reason we want to go through this whole process and in just 3 days, she has already done so much for us. She has given us a listing of homes that are not only in our price range, but also fit our "house criteria" and our desired area. We have been very good friends with Amy for a very long time, and cannot wait to embark on our home journey with her by our side!!

In addition, we are trying to make the April 30th deadline for the extended tax incentive. So, we know this will be a very tiring and somewhat stressful process, but we are BEYOND excited about finding the perfect 1st home. We already took the time today, to drive to our top 2 choices on our own and just scope them out to see how they looked in the snow!! :) :)

And we also know that this process will take a lot of careful consideration and prayer. If you're reading this, we want you to please keep us in your prayers that we will not only make the right choice and that things go smoothly, but that everything will fall into place financially as well. We've moved around a LOT in the short year and a half that we've been married, and we're just ready to be settled in a place that we can call ours and possibly raise children in.

Just a timeline of where we've called "home" for whatever length of time since July 19, 2008:

The Moore house, our home for 10 days, July 2008 - August 2008. The time frame between getting back from our honeymoon and making the move to Charleston.

Our home for 5 months, August 2008 - December 2008. A Charleston single in downtown Charleston, SC.

The Edens House, our home for 3 weeks, December 2008 - January 2009. The time frame between moving from our home in Charleston, until it was time to leave for Italy.

Our home for 5 months, January 2009 - May 2009. The villa in Genoa, Italy.

We then spent 1 month, May 2009 - June 2009, back and forth between both parents' houses before moving into our apartment.

Our final stay, our apartment in Central, SC. 1 year, June 2009 - June 2010.

I plan to continue to update the blog as we go through the home buying process, so keep checking back to see where we end up!!!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Dear John......You Are Such a Hottie!!

If you were able to go see Dear John last night, on it's opening night in the theater, you realize that there is no better fitting title than that :)
Channing Tatum is too adorable. 

Some super fabulous friends of mine had a Girl's Night Out last night and we were able to see the movie that has had ladies waiting in anticipation for months now. The movie turned out to be pretty good and more than anything, I loved that it did not follow your typical Hollywood "boy meets girl, they fall in love, everything goes perfectly" plot. Life is just not always like that so the movies shouldn't be either. The movie also, from my understanding, does not follow the book or end like the book, and there are some truly tender moments in the movie with John and his dad (I have a VERY soft spot for people such as the character of his father). 

AND, the movie is filmed in our great state of South Carolina!! We represent ourselves well with a shot of the beautiful crescent moon and palm tree on a blue background flying high in the sky on a beautiful Charleston beach!! In fact, Jonathan and I were living in Charleston in the fall of 2008 when they were actually filming scenes at the CofC. We saw the movie crew madness and even the actress, Amanda Seyfried, walking around campus. It was awesome, and I had been dying to see the movie since then (especially knowing it was based on a Nicholas Sparks' book....he's awesome too). 

With all of that being said, ladies, you might as well go and see this movie. 
Even if you don't like what some call, "chick flicks," you can at least appreciate this movie. It reminds you of the life thousands of couples in our country have to live everyday; one is off fighting for our freedom while the other is at home being brave in their own way. It made me appreciate those individuals even more than I already do. 
(And who doesn't want to stare at Channing Tatum's adorable self for 2 hours!?!?)

And I was just so thankful to finally be able to get a girls night with some of the most sweetest, dearest friends ever. I love each and every one of them to pieces and we had a blast together!!  
I mean after all, my dinner was a big ole' bag of popcorn, a huge Mr. Pibb, and a molten chocolate cake from Chili's.....that SCREAMS successful girl's night out!!! :) 

One of the fabulous ladies I got to hang out with on our GNO, Mrs. Katie Moody!!! Man was I happy to see this girl!!! :) :) :) 

(This is the only picture captured from our GNO......believe it or not, I left my memory card at home so I wasn't able to get any pictures. I know......that's CRAZY if you know me at all. I was too busy getting pumped to see all my favorite girls to worry about my camera. And sorry for the resolution. Don't you just love how camera phones make everyone look so distorted and "alien like??" Right Katie?? Haha!!)