Tuesday, May 22, 2012

We moved!

Hey all!

Mr. A and I have moved into our new house! It is awesome to be homeowners and have a space that is all our own. Becuse we are having so much fun learning (and breaking things) in our house we have decided to write a blog together about the house and our lives. So I am going to say bye bye to this blog for now.

If you are interested in sticking with me check us out at our new blog: http://mrandmrsandersonshouse.blogspot.com/

It is just getting started so keep checking back with us. We are going to renovating our house and eventually growing our little family there! We can't wait to keep sharing our journey with anyone who is interested!

Plus let's face it, I am not really an ex-Yankee anymore! Thanks so much for all the fun, I hope to see you all on the new blog!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Closing and Opening

Last night at 4pm we became homeowners!

Our key!!!!
It was a whirlwind of the last few weeks and we have been working so hard to get all the last minute arrangements and paperwork taken care of. I have never felt so overwhelmed by paperwork in my life. In the end though it was totally worth it because we got a house!!!!!

I am going to just give you a rundown of all the stuff we needed for closing and some of the highlights (or lowlights if you want to be a negative Nancy) of our process.

First we had the appraisal issue. The house did not appraise originally for our agreed purchase price so we had to send in a rebuttal to the AMC who then came up only 2K after two weeks of waiting to hear from them. So the seller’s agreed to pay for a second appraisal as I had mentioned the second went through. This whole process delayed our closing by almost two weeks. This really threw a wrench into our whole plan.

When you close at the end of the month you do not have to pay as much in taxes. It is hard to explain but we ended up asking for the lender to give us a refund on this month’s taxes so we could close on May 3rd instead of the end of the month. They did and it was not a big deal but we did totally get the shaft on getting a “free” month of mortgage payments like many realtors tell you you will get your first month. FAIL. But at this point we do not care because we just wanted to close.

After we got all the paperwork lined up we headed to the title company and signed a million papers. Seriously, my hand cramped up at one point. I suggest you also try to schedule your closings early in the morning. What happens is now with all the changes to the industry the banks require all money is transferred before you get keys. It is totally not like house hunters when you get the keys at the closing table anymore. LAME. And if you close at the end of the day you will not even get the keys until the next day because they don't have the time to process everything! We had prepared ourselves for yet another home buying dream bubble burst while signing away our lives.

Lucky for us our RELATOR is awesome and she was able to procure a key for us last night anyway. She rocks my face off.  So after lots of waiting we finally headed over to our new home!!!! We closed the door on renting and buying a home we are opening another into the world (the very scary and overwhelming world) of home ownership.
On our way to the house we went home and picked up our puppy and then headed over with a car full of cleaning supplies and paint stuff. NO time to waste in this project. We move in in two weeks and we need to paint the whole house!!!!!

So here are the fun pictures from our first night in our new home. We drank champagne and ate pizza in sweats as we threw the ball for our dog in the backyard. It was a perfect night really.

Bubbles from our REALTOR waiting for us when we got home!

Harry is one happy dog in his new home!

Our first meal in our new home. It was glorious!

Harry playing ball in his new backyard. I know it is a blur, but I totally love this picture!

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Perfect Weekend in Austin Recap

This weekend was one of the best weekends I have had in Austin ever. It was a perfect combination of relaxation, fun and friends. Like I have mentioned in recent posts we are so fortunate to live in such a great city and have such amazing friends. This weekend was the perfect example of just how lucky we are.

Friday – After work Mr. A and I decided to change up movie night and head down to the new Alamo Drafhouse on Slaughter Lane. We first had dinner at Kerby Lane on William Cannon and of course we shared a bowl of Kerby Queso, some of the best stuff on earth. Then we met our friends Jason and Amelia at Alamo to see the “Five Year Engagement”. This movie was adorable and super funny! We split the bomb cookies from there, Banana Chocolate Chip. Go there. Get them. Enjoy. You’re welcome.

Saturday – Mr. A had to work. I got up and met Kelly, her cute little girl Harper and Janet at the Farmer’s market at Barton Creek Mall. I have become fonder of the Farmers market every time I go and if any of you have a chance you should check it out. I am more and more convinced that if and when I can I will be going to buy local produce that is fresh and in season. I am sure I sound like a crazy hippy but let me tell you that the groceries I buy from the farmer’s market are more expensive for sure, but they taste more expensive. There is more flavors in everything I make from these farmers than anything I buy at even Whole Foods or Central Market. It is worth the extra money to cook with such amazing food. Sorry rant ended…

So after we met up and had breakfast Tacos we walked around and met Jason and Amelia and their sweet doggy Izzy. It was a perfect start to the day. After the farmer’s market I headed over to my Junior League of Austin volunteer shift at the YMCA field day in East Austin. We stood outside all day playing with cute kiddos in a bouncy house. Really, it should not have counted as volunteering. I totally lucked out too because all the girls with me were super nice, sometimes this is not the case which makes your time go by like molasses. After playing outside for 4 hours though I was wiped out. I came home and took an inventory of our house for our movers and then passed out on the sofa with the puppy.

Saturday night we went to late night happy hour at the Daily Grill at the Domain with Ben, Janet, Pete and Corey. It was great to have a night out. I believe that this will be a staple for Mr. A and I when we move as it is about 2 minutes from our new house and is super cheap. Where else can you get $3 cocktails on a Saturday night? Then we headed over to The Park, another new bar in the Domain and had another drink. It was so much fun to fist pump to club music with Janet.

Sunday – We got up at about 9:30 and headed down to the Barton Creek greenbelt. Mr. A hates getting out of bed, but once we get moving we both love being outside with our pup. We met up with Jason and Amelia (how lucky am I that I got to see them so much this weekend?) and then we walked to rainbow falls. The boys and pups jumped in the beautiful water and even did a rope swing! The water is still flowing and if you live in Austin and can make it out there you should. Water will not be there for much longer and it is just beautiful! After hiking back we ran to Central Market and picked up snacks and then headed to Zilker Park to picnic with a big group of friends. Kelly brought Miss Harper and it worked out to well. Harper looked totally adorable in her cute bonnet and we all sat around and chatted as our hordes of dogs played together. The boys played whiffle ball as the girls caught up under the shade of a giant tree. The breeze was blowing, the prosecco flowing, it was a perfect Sunday afternoon. All of us kept saying how rare it is to have us all available in a weekend to hang out like this anymore. I felt so lucky to get to spend time with everyone, as I know how busy we all are.

After we finished up at the park, we headed home and passed out! We were both showered and asleep by 830. It was glorious really.

As you can tell my love affair with Austin, food and our friends continues. Looking forward to closing on our house this week and painting all next weekend!

Friday, April 27, 2012

An update on our house drama...

Up until late last night I was going to post a blog about how we have moved on from what we thought was going to be our first home. We had heard back on the rebuttal that the seller’s agent submitted to the appraisal management company, and the value of the home only came up $4,000 not the $13,000 that we needed to close the deal. We had really just given up and moved on from the house. 

On Monday we went and looked at a bunch of new houses on the market that had potential. There were some better than others but none of them worked for us as well as the house we were about to lose. To give you all a perspective of how desperate we have become, we were seriously considering a house at the top of our price range that had no windows in the master bedroom, and was outside of the neighborhoods we wanted to be in! Seriously, NO WINDOWS! There was another house in the neighborhood we love, at the VERY TIP TOP of the price range, and still needed to be gutted. Oh and the owners were smokers so the house smelled like total ass. So needless to say things were just progressing horribly. 

Then we went to the house we were trying to buy with our REALTOR. Mr. A had said he needed to see it again to remember why we had liked it so much. We walked in and his face just lit up again. It was like we knew this one (even more so than the first time) was going to be our first home. Just at that time a person walked into the house. It was an appraiser! The sellers had not even told us, but they had ordered a second appraisal! So we kept our fingers crossed that this second appraisal would come through. 

Up until last night we still had not hear anything. We just waited. So we went to look at yet another house. A super overpriced, but super cute house in our neighborhood. I was ready to make a low ball offer on the house and just move on totally from our first home. I sent our RELATOR home to call the sellers and see if they would work with us. 

We got a call from our REALTOR around 6. I was thinking it was about the overpriced house. No, it was about our house… 

The house appraised!!!!!! HOLY CRAP!!!! The lender is going to accept the second appraisal!!! HOLLY CRAP!!!! We are going to get our house!!!!!!! 

After all of the waiting and complaining and waiting some more… WE ARE GETTING OUR HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!

We have a bit more paperwork to do, but we should be closing by the end of the month. We can’t believe it but we are going to get our home!!!! 

I can’t wait for closing day!!!! More to come when we know it!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

A quick trip to Philly

With all the stress of home buying going on I decided on a whim about a month ago (I love that  this counts and on a whim for me) that I wanted to go “home” to Philadelphia to see my two best friends Kate and Sarah. As you might recall, Kate’s wedding was this July. We went up to Philly for the first time together and Mr. A got to experience the full force that is Philadelphia. Note as a reminder is as effing 121 with heat index in the church where Kate got married. NOT COOL, literally…

So this trip was much lower key. I wanted to meet Sarah’s new little baby Brycen and I wanted to spend some good quality time with both of them before I was going to bogged down with house projects this summer. I knew that spending money on a ticket up there with all the expenses of home buying was going to seem nuts. So I just bought a ticket before I owned a home officially!

Friday I spent the day hanging out with Sarah and baby Bryce in their home. We walked to Main Street in Manyunk and had lunch and then made dinner with her husband and drank wine on their porch overlooking the city. We talked about their move to the Boston area they will be making later this summer (I can’t believe they will not be in Philly anymore) and all the home choices they have to make. The weather dinner and company were just what I needed to relax and enjoy. It was perfect start to the trip.
Yummy salad Sarah made for dinner. I must make this.
 Saturday we got up and had breakfast at their house and chatted more about all of the house stuff going on with them and Mr. A and I. Sarah also gave me a whole run down on the whole birth process, which BTW, I want to give birth just like she did now. We then walked down to Main Street again to get a mani/pedi. This was the first one Sarah had had since getting pregnant! It was so great to see her relaxing and getting to have some fun girl time with her. He husband, Gian, took the baby and headed to a sports bar with the baby bijorn in tow. It was so cute. Here is a picture of the two of them!

Sorry I know this is sideways... So cute though.
I will figure out how to rote tate this. But this is Sarah and Gian walking back to their house in the city. So pretty.
Shortly after coming back from mani/pedi time Kate arrived at Sarah’s house and the three of us headed to dinner. We went to this super cute Italian place that serves you olives and cheese when you sit down. Yes. I know. Amazing. Sarah is a rock star mommy and brought baby Bryce with her. It was so cool to see how much she has grown into a wonderful mom! She just chatted and hung out with us while Bryce hung out. The three of us caught up over a glass of wine. I can’t believe that we have known each other for a decade now! It was just a perfect night.

Proof about the olives and cheese. So yummy.
I got my WAWA run in while in Philly. This is a necessary stop on every trip back home.
After dinner, Kate and I headed to her house. Note: when Kate and I are left alone things tend to get very out of control quickly. Kate and I started the night with a glass of red wine and a chat and me saying, “I am pretty tired”. Before I knew it we had gone through 3 bottles of wine!!! I know… we are awesome, you are jealous. Her husband, the state trooper, left for work at 5 am. We were still sitting on her back porch chatting. He told us to go to bed and that we looked like a hot mess. We did not turn in until 6am. Hey, when you only get a little time together you have to make the most of it.  And we really did!

Sunday we woke up and headed over to a local bar to watch the Flyers game. I know nothing about hockey so I chose to instead nurse my hangover with more beer. Because you know, that is how you get rid of a hangover right? After the game was over we headed home and watched game of thrones and chatted. I loved just getting to “hang out” at their house. Usually when I am in town we are always doing something special so we never get to just relax and spend time together. It was really a perfect end to a super fun mini vacation to Philly.
Sunday funday at the bar in Philly. Watching the Flyers!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Trying to stay positive

I had written a whole post giving you all the nitty gritty of what is going on with the house. It was my (what seems to me usual) bitch fest about home buying and how much it sucks. And it was super Debbie downer.  Then I had to drive up to the doctor’s office and came back to read it one more time before I posted, and I realized how stupid it sounded. I need to cut that out and realize we are pretty lucky. We have lots of great friends and family, a great dog, and an awesome REALTOR who will help us find a good home. The whole thing will fall into place, just is not happening the way I had imagined it. But that is the same case with our wedding, and life in general!

Mr. A and I have been at each others throats throughout this process. Whether it is something legitimate like how much we should spend on a home. Or something stupid like what hose we should buy. We are growing up and learning a lot about each other in this process. Right now it is easy to focus on the negative, so for today at least I am going to focus on the positive. The happy thoughts of when we get into a house and can start decorating it how we want. Another positive is having a partner to go through this with. When we found out we might be losing the house I had a shoulder to cry on. It is amazing. So although we don’t agree on the hose we should buy in the end we are on the same team.

So to give you the latest in a none bitchy way, here we go. We are still waiting. We have been waiting for about 4 days now on the rebuttal. I don’t really know what is going to happen with it. The sellers have offered to pay for a second appraisal. I am hopping if we come close enough to a number we can agree on we can negotiate some sort of a deal. In the meantime, we extended our lease and started looking at houses again. It was rough to go back to looking again, I am not going to lie. But to good thing is we still have time, and we have a great support structure to help us through this whole thing.

Home buying is not for the faint of heart ladies and gentlemen!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Womp Womp...

A huge bump in the road was hit last night and now we might not be getting the house.

Turns out there are more hoops to jump through than ever to buy a house. Many of these have nothing to do with your skills in negotiation or your willingness to throw money at the issue. No. This bump in the road my friends is the appraisal.

Do you want to know what an appraisal is? Because I sure know a lot more about them than I used to. An appraisal is the process that you must go through in order for your loan to be approved by the bank. It is how the bank verifies that the loan you about to take out is not going to be for more than the actual value of the home. In the old days (circa 2008) when you got an appraisal the appraiser would be hired by the financial institution to go figure out if the home is worth what the buyer said they were willing to pay for it. What was happening was the appraisers were kind of “in bed” with the lenders. They were possibly bumping up the value of the home in order to ensure that the loan would go through, even if the house was not worth that. So what happened was when those people who paid for more than what the house was worth back in 2008 went to sell in 2010 they were upside down on the value of their house and could not sell. Now they are in foreclosure. Now life sucks.

Fast forward to 2012. Now when you go to have an appraisal done on a house the appraiser is hired by what they call an AMC. These AMC’s (appraisal management companies) are separate from the financial institution and therefor keep the appraiser from being “in bed” with the banks and there for not bumping up the value of the home in order to just close the deal. Well this new protection worked. It worked so well in fact that now our loan might not go through because the appraisal came back $13K less than our offer on the house.

So what do we do next? We wait? Our REALTOR has sent the seller’s agent a copy of the appraisal and told them they have to come down $13K in order for us to close. This issue is we know that the sellers will be upside down on their loan if they do this. We don’t think they will. And we think that they might end the contract, and we will have to walk away from the house. After all of this we still might lose this house. This SUCKS!

I will have an update hopefully tomorrow. The sellers are mulling it over as we speak.