Last post I gave you a glimpse into our past. Today I want to fill you in on our move to South Carolina and what we have been up to presently! Remember when I told you Chris’ company wanted him to start the first week of January, well that was not going to happen, as his boss in Arizona needed him for at least a couple more weeks, so his last day would be January 10, 2015. Meanwhile it was Christmas and my parents were coming to visit from Hawaii. So Christmas Eve we sat down for dinner, and we gave them their Christmas Card, which said were moving!! The looks on their faces were hilarious!! It was so hard to keep it a secret, especially when we were planning so much and needed to make some tough decisions, but I knew it would be better to do in person. My parents were very supportive and happy for us, and when we told Chris’ parents (who are also back in Hawaii), they were very excited for us too!
So as I told you our houses both had offers on January 3rd, so we needed to move out soon so we could pack and have the movers load, have the house cleaned, inspections and appraisals, etc. Luckily my loving grandparents have a vacation house in Maricopa, and they were kind enough to let us move in, until we moved! On January 7, 2015 we made an offer on our future house, while we were closing both our other homes at the same time. Chris’ company got us a mortgage lender who specialized in relocations, who was very helpful and made this happen for us. We have an awesome realtor in Arizona, who is also a close friend, so when we did have offers on our homes, she made sure they were serious and would close quickly. One was a cash offer and we literally closed the home in 6 days, it was a new record for her, and we were shocked and thrilled! Our other home we closed on January 30th. Everything went pretty smoothly with the closings, and we made some $ on the homes, which helped us out tremendously.
We left for South Carolina January 12th. So this is where our planning and research helped us out a lot. We have 4 dogs, and we had 8 states to get through. So we rented a mini van, and drove across the country over a period of 4 days. It was exhausting, but our planning really helped the trip run smoothly, we stuck to our drive time and hotels, stopped at mapped out dog parks to give the kiddos some exercise, and we had fun taking pictures of the “Welcome to…” signs! Meanwhile we were juggling calls from our mortgage officer, realtors, and rentals at the same time.
Our new home was not going to close until February 13th, so we needed to find a place to live, that was a short term rental, and that also allowed our 4 dogs. It was a VERY hard place to find. But somehow, we found the perfect rental after getting denied by so many. The owners of this home only live here a couple months out of the year, and to make a little extra money in between, wanted to rent it out, completely furnished, and included utilities. This was to good to be true, but it was true, and it really has been a great temporary home for us while we close on our house. This house has a big yard which the dogs love, and it is close to Chris’ new job which has been great! The first night we got to South Carolina we went out to dinner in downtown Charleston, and we knew it was home. Charleston and the town we chose to live in, Summerville, take my breath away every time we are there.
So we had moved into our rental, but I still haven’t seen this house we are buying, only Chris has!!! So we went there next! Our realtor met us there, and we walk up, and OMG I was speechless…we walk inside, all I could think was, this house is stunning and how on earth did we pull this off?! We then heard a noise upstairs, (no not ghosts, I know thats what you were thinking!). This guy comes out, and come to find out its the current owners son, weird, but we exchange introductions and continue looking around. Of course I see a ton of work to do, but I know to look past it, it does not scare me one bit, we got this! I was in love with this house, as I hoped I would be, and I was above the clouds happy! Then someone walks in the front door, and it is the owners wife. She explained they came in to town from Florida, where they moved, and they were packing up the rest of their belongings. We spent the next 2 hours talking with them, and learning all about our home, its history, how much they loved it and what they were planning for it. They were in the middle of renovating the entire house, when her husband got a job transfer to their dream city in Florida, so they moved, but left the house half done in the process. BUT, they were leaving us everything they were going to use, the brand new fixtures, appliances, tile, tools, you name it. They went on to tell us that we were 1 of over 40 people that had viewed the house in the month it was on the market, and they were told they would be getting offers by many of them, but “after the holidays”. So we had got ours in just in time, before anyone else had finished their holiday break, and avoiding a likely bidding war. We were happy we got to learn more about our new home, and meet the owners, it made it feel official! Next we had an inspection which we were very nervous about, because it is a very old home, and had a never ending list of things to get done. But, there were only a couple of small things, all that the owners agreed on fixing, and would have contractors coming in immediately to fix, and we moved on to the appraisal.
So this is where we finally met a hiccup…as you probably have figured out already, I am a planner, I like organization, and I am punctual to a fault. My BIGGEST pet peeve, is having to rely on those who aren’t. Hey, at least I admit it! But this appraisal, nearly killed me. Our appraiser went to the house, mind you we are days away from our closing date, and the selling realtor had the lockbox changed, but never told anyone. The appraiser tried to call him to get the code, he didn’t answer, so the appraiser left, and it was a Friday. By time someone got back to him, he said he would have to reschedule for the end of the following week, so there went our closing date. On top of this, the sellers and I had become friends on FB, and I thought I would let them know why things were being delayed, which then they said “You’re kidding, our realtor told us we were delayed because of something with your bank, so he lied to us?” oh boy, they were pissed. When the appraiser finally made it out to the home over a week later, come to find out the construction worker, who was recommended to the sellers, by their realtor, hadn’t even finished the job! We can’t close until its finished, and appraiser can’t appraise an unfinished house, grrrrrrrr. So more delays. Finally everyone did what they were supposed to, and we were ready to close, I called our insurance company we had been talking to for months to go ahead and send the BINDER to our bank, and they said our broker messed up and they won’t insure a house that old and I had “chow chows”, and it would need approval higher up, and could take days, WHAT?!!! I didn’t have days, so we went with a different company, and got approved the same day, phew! Can this be the last hurdle please? NOPE! It was now February 26, 2015, (yes thats 2 weeks delayed), and we have our closing set for the next day, and our HUD has still not been submitted to our bank after more than several requests from the title company, mind you this is usually done at the beginning process and then finalized at closing, ours hadn’t even been started, at all! My bank and my realtor harassed the heck out of that lady until she made it, and now it was 1pm on the 27th, our closing appointment. At 1:15pm, our HUD was turned in, thank goodness!!!! But no surprise here, we didn’t start signing paperwork until an hour after our appointment time…
It was a heck of a plan, we somehow pulled it off, but not without hard work and a lot of painful patience along the way. Our realtor was a trooper, and we are so thankful she was able to help us buy our dream home. We had our keys, and we walked into our house for the first time as its owners. We had the best feeling of accomplishment, this was our dream home, which I never expected we would own at not only a young age, but ever. I look at it every day with a smile, and am incredibly grateful. Chris will tell you, I say hello to her every time we walk in, like she’s an old friend, (yes our house is a female, and her name is Miss Scarlet, I name everything ♥)
But we have yet to move in! For the last 2 weeks Chris and I have been working our tooshies off trying to make that happen. When I say this house needed work, I don’t mean some paint and a new welcome doormat. This house did not even have a kitchen floor when we bought it, I literally mean no floor, like you walk into the kitchen you fall 5 feet into our crawl space, no floor. So first we had that fixed, kind of important I thought. Our kitchen cabinets then had to be set in place and secured, our water lines for sinks and faucets connected, our gas cooktop needed a gas line and to be set in place, dryer vent installed, an attic door/ladder replaced, pest control, locks/doorknobs and doorbells changed, and some electrical issues fixed. We also had to go through all of the stuff that was left in the home, we went through a box of 25 contractor grade garbage bags, and have a room full of furniture to sell, and we haven’t even gone through the 38′ long attic yet, eeekk! We have had about 15 different people in and out of our house, kind of fun, but that was just the first week!
We also had some (ok many) holes in the walls that had to be drywalled, Chris has been sanding that drywall like a mad man, I have had a white husband the past 2 weeks. Haha, that was bad, I’m sorry hunny. 😛 Our house has also sat vacant for a few months, so the landscaping is in desperate need of trimming, and we have a half acre full of fallen leaves to attend too. We had a 6 foot privacy fence installed in the back for the dogs though, which was finished this week. The remnants from our old half fence, Chris made into a large pen area to rake all the leaves into for compost, genius! We took off all of our kitchen cabinet hardware, doors, and drawer fronts to get ready to paint tomorrow. And did I mention the cleaning?! Oh goodness gracious was this place was diiirrttyyyy!
For the past week we have been banned from the rest of the house because we are having the +135 year old pine floors refinished, and they are being finished today. They. Are. BEAUTIFUL! You will have to wait to see what color we went with! We went and picked out our paint today for our cabinets too, I am going to be using Annie Sloan chalk paint and the soft wax finish, and also a glaze antiquing, its probably going to take me a month to finish because we have like 50 cabinets! I will definitely be doing detailed before and afters for that!
We have our movers coming on Tuesday, March 17, 2015, we are so excited to be finally moving in! But we sure have a long way to go until things start settling down at the homefront. What we plan to work on through Spring is to; get some new light fixtures, painting, painting, and more painting, replace toilets and a sink, new shower fixtures, trees trimmed, front fence installed, paint the decks, make a raised garden, powerwash the house, tiling our sunroom, gutting the guest bathroom, painting the cabinets until my hands fall off, HVAC needs repair (home warranty stuff), and go through that attic. We won’t be that busy I don’t think, please feel free to come visit and we will entertain you with a painting party 😉
I will post more of the finished floors and the start of our cabinet painting next! And maybe a post about what fun things we have discovered living here so far…