Monday, March 31, 2008

And The Saga Continues...

Good news first: We Have A Contract for the house!!!!!

Bad news: It has a close date on it that doesn't work. We can't get financing by the time we're supposed to close.

Good news: My dad, being the fabulous real estate attorney and developer that he is, says it isn't a problem.

Bad news: If, for some reason, it is a problem or becomes one - we're stuck because we're homeless by April 30th.

Good news: If I had to pick someone to be homeless with, it would definitely be my hubby! "For better or worse, for richer or poorer" right?!? Plus, I found a cardboard box (see picture) that looks quite spacious - I could live in that.

Current score: 4 offers submitted, 2 offers accepted, 2 inspections completed, 1 home in-process, 0 bought homes (we're moving in the right direction).

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wedding Video

We went and picked up our wedding video on Wednesday!! I'm still trying to figure out how I can upload it with a better quality, but until then - here's a highlights video (in kinda poor quality).


Friday, March 28, 2008


On Wednesday we received word that we needed to sign one more addendum (regarding a home inspection) before they would consider our offer. Off we marched to Roseville to sign what we hoped would be the last addendum. Thursday we scheduled an inspection because we assumed we would have a contract by then. Of course, come the time of the inspection - we still did NOT have a contract. We had two choices: (a) Do the inspection without a contract and risk wasting money or (b) Wait to do the inspection until we had a contract and risk not being able to get the inspection done in time. Without an inspection, we could not buy the house. We did receive word from our realtor that our offer had been accepted and were just waiting to receive the document (essentially a legal formality) - so we opted for choice A.

We spent three hours at the house (see picture above) doing an inspection and discussing our options. We hoped that by the time we got home, we'd have a signed contract. But, NOPE. We still have yet to receive a contract. It is possible that we just wasted another $350 on a home inspection for a home we're not even going to get.

Have I mentioned how much I hate this? Obviously, in hindsight we probably shouldn't have done the inspection until we had a signed contract, but we assumed we had our bases covered with the realtor officially telling us our offer had been accepted. Plus, the inspector wouldn't have been able to come out again until late next week (which would have been right near our deadline to pull out and receive our deposit back). We didn't want to lose our $5,000 deposit on the house, so this seemed like the best option. It just seems like in the world of homebuying - we're damned if we do and damned if we don't. To make matters worse, we have already given our landlord our 30 day notice. OF COURSE!

Current score: 4 offers submitted, two offers accepted verbally, one contract received, 0 bought homes for the Howards.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

And The Roller Coaster Continues

Last Saturday we put an offer on a new house (one that didn't have mello roos or homeowner association dues). It was about $10,000 more expensive than the last house - but because it didn't have any additional payments, it equaled out and ended up being about the same mortgage. Plus, it was a lot more house. It had granite countertops, custom paint, hardwood floors, a beautiful wood deck, about 300 more square feet, etc.

Yesterday we received news from our realtor that they countered our offer. They asked us to either pay half the closing costs or add an additional $1000 to our offer. We opted to add to our offer and signed an addendum to our original offer (essentially agreeing to their terms). And now we wait.

We should hear something today. But, if they accept - we'll begin the spiral again because they want a 14 day close. We started packing this past weekend because we know we're eventually going to be moving, whether it's this house or some other. And I have officially remembered why I HATE packing and moving. Being the happy neat-freak that I am, I am suddenly thrust back into the memories of having to steer clear of boxes and ignore dust (see, above, what used to be our office). I seriously hope we only have to live like this for 14 days!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter

In honor of our first Easter as married folk, I thought I'd post a picture from our first year together in high school. Hope you all enjoy the holiday with your friends and family!!

Saturday, March 22, 2008

When I said "bumpy" I didn't mean mountainous, unpaved road!!!

Well, no one said it would be easy! We have officially passed on the house! When we went to sign our escrow papers, we found out that there were undisclosed mello roos. This adds an additional $230-$250 a month. While we can afford this, it definitely devalues the home and cuts into our tiny buffer we had planned. So, we had to withdraw from the deal and start over again! Unfortunately we lost the $350 we spent on an inspection...but that could have been way worse. We both think it's better to walk away now than to try to sell the house in 5 years with those mello roos (even if we're willing to pay the monthly taxes, how could we get a buyer in the future to pay them).

And now we're back to the beginning! We did, however, go with our realtor to a house today and are putting an offer in on it this afternoon. We're going to be experts after all this.

Current score: 4 home offers placed, 1 offer accepted, 0 bought homes

Thursday, March 20, 2008

We have a close date!

We found out today that we FINALLY have a close date of April 10th. This gives us 21 days to get the house packed and ready to move!

Now that we've had a week to freak out and cry about the enormous responsibility (well, I was the one crying - not Mr. Howard), we both feel a lot better. Something Amee said really helped. I can't think of it as having to pay an additional $700 a month...I have to think about it in terms of not throwing $1300 a month down the drain (on a rental). Even though I knew that, hearing it said that way made me calm down! So, thank you to Amee, Kirsten, Kira, and Lauren for reminding me to breath and telling me that I wasn't crazy! Somehow things always seem worse when you feel like you're the only one feeling that way!

Now, we can get excited about making our home something special and of course, relish in the idea of getting ready for a little one to fill it!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Are you taking the little things for granted?!?

Sorry for the unpleasant picture. But, as my wonderful husband was out meeting with the inspector today and heading over to the grocery store and finally cooking dinner, I started reminiscing about what it was like for us last May and how ungrateful (of all the little things) I had been in March of last year! I truly believe God gives us lessons and reminds us to be thankful every day!

Of course, I'm thankful I have a wonderful, committed partner who shares the household responsibilities with me...but more importantly, I'm thankful that he's healthy and whole. He is as healed as he'll ever be and I just didn't want to take for granted how blessed we both are to able-bodied and healthy. I remember thinking last Spring, "Gosh, Why did I ever take for granted that Mr. Howard could walk and help out around the house and not have to go to the doctor 2-3 times a week?" And now that we have that in perspective, I wanted to celebrate!

Did YOU ever think about how lucky you are to be able to walk, go to the grocery store by yourself, take a bath/shower in privacy, and drive? I now know how lucky we are!

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Do you remember when you were a kid and you had that sinking feeling in your stomach on Sunday (before you had to go back to school on Monday)? You know, that feeling where you felt like NOTHING could be worse than that moment? I had many of those feelings in college - namely, before I took the GRE, CSET, CBEST, RICA, and many of my college finals. I thought those moments would pass when school was long behind me!

As we enter into the world of buying our first house, I am faced with those feelings. I feel like nothing could be worse than how I feel in this moment, right now, today. I know in a few months it will pass, and I'll be looking back thinking how could I have been THAT stressed?! But, I genuinely have not felt this amount of fear and stress all wrapped up in one. People have said that it's stressful - arguably one of the most stressful things you could experience - but it wasn't until I experienced it that I recognized how overwhelming it is. If I didn't care about our realtor and how much time she's invested, I'd call it all off! I'd walk away with Mr. Howard and say that we don't need this in our life right now - that it'd be better to wait a few years. But now, we're committed and stuck. The thought of having to pay $700 more each month (regardless of how much we've planned and prepared) is starting to sink in and I just worry - what if WE become one of those signs you see littering every street: "Foreclosed - Bank Owned Home."

Please tell me there is someone out there in this world who knows what I'm going thru?!? Is it supposed to be THIS stressful?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

And Now The Bumpy Ride Begins

Well, after an exhausting house-hunting process, we have officially heard that one of our offers has been accepted! Of course, nothing is 100% official quite yet, but we are very excited none-the-less. We are hoping to close by the end of the month and should have the keys to our very first home in late March/Early April! We'll be sure to post more pictures when escrow gets under way, but until then you can see the front of our new home (with the dead bush in front, and all)!!

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Everyday we drive past this field by the deep water channel in West Sacramento. And everyday the field is seemingly empty. Last Saturday morning, however, while I was on my way to my parents I saw a herd of sheep. While desperately trying to get one eyeball to stay on the road, I looked at the sheep with complete disbelief. They must be a figment of my imagination! How could 200-300 sheep suddenly appear in a field I drive past every day? Nowhere had I heard on the news that they were exporting sheep to our seemingly quiet field. After a whole week of checking the news religiously, I am as astounded as ever! No one will explain where the darn sheep came from or why they're there, but it doesn't look like they're going anywhere!

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