So if you missed the news, we didn’t get the Woodcrest house. We waited and waited and hoped and hoped, but it just wasn’t meant to be. But I’m hoping the reason Woodcrest didn’t happen was so we could find this beauty.
This lovely home in Dunedin caught our eye when we were in the process of talking ourselves out of the house hunting process. But try as we might neither one of us could give up our Zillow addiction and a price reduction dropped it into Glenn’s search range. When he showed it to me I felt the same familiar quickening of my heart that comes with finding a truly special house. We immediately drove over to check it out and contacted our realtor to schedule a showing, all while hoping someone else hadn’t beat us to the punch again.
Our showing was with all three kids again on a rainy morning. They ran amuck around the empty house, their footsteps echoing on the beautiful parquet floors as they giggled and ran and hid in all of the closets. Oh, the closets! So many of them. Our storage would increase exponentially.
It was one of the few houses we had seen that had mid-century modern design, just like Woodcrest did. And like Woodcrest, it had great bones but needed a lot of work. The kitchen was in sad shape, barely even operable with a broken cooktop. But it had a cool, original 1960s oven and kitschy starburst-adorned laminate countertops.
And the two bathrooms were visions of pink and blue. Oh, they would need some serious renovations. And with this one above our budget, how would we ever have money to give them the updates they needed?
But there was so much space. And a striking stone fireplace in the living room. And beautiful original windows. Oh, and when you look OUT of those beautiful windows, do you know what you see? A lake! Right there, footsteps away. And in that lake? Ducks! We could walk over to feed the ducks and turtles whenever our hearts desire.
We left the house feeling conflicted. It was a lovely house, but expensive and needing work. We talked and talked and talked and talked. And crunched numbers. And debated whether or not we could handle it. And that night I finally decided that no, it wasn’t in our cards. We both went to bed feeling disappointed and just plain sad.
When we woke up the next morning we talked some more. We crunched some more numbers and debated whether or not we could handle it. On our way from picking Collin up from school we drove past the house again. This time it had just finished raining and the sun was shining. And even with all of the reasons we shouldn’t, I texted our realtor to let her know that we wanted to make at least a lowball offer.
The next 24 hours were very nerve wracking. Our realtor Anne was with a client and didn’t have time to call the other realtor for a few hours, during which we were sure someone else was going to come along and snap it up. When they finally spoke she pretty much laughed off our original offer, which didn’t really surprise me. We talked some more, and some more. Crunched some more numbers. And finally we came up with a viable solution for how we could make it work, even at the asking price. We upped our offer and the other realtor was actually interested. She implied if we made the formal offer it was ours, so we did. And then the owners decided they needed to sleep on it. What?! But the next day they countered only a bit higher and we accepted.
So we are currently under contract. Glenn, Rory and I went over again on Thursday while the boys were in school and looked at it with fresh eyes. After wandering around for a while we met the current owner, Matt, who was picking a few things up and he showed us a few interesting things about the house, like the sliders going out to the screened porch are actually pocket doors that open all the way up, and the plants in the planter are actually real, and the silver leaf maple in the front yard is, per an arborist, the largest one in Dunedin. Rory once again ran all over the house, loving it just as much as we did. Our biggest reason for wanting to move is to give our kids a bigger space and a real neighborhood to grow up in. This one certainly fits the bill and while I’m trying so hard to remain detached and not get my hopes up as much as I did with the last one, I can’t help but think of it as ours.
In the meantime, we are trying to figure out financing and insurance and inspections, and did I mention that the viable solution is that we are refinancing our current house at the same time as a get-out-of-debt plan to make the new house more affordable? So in addition to the stresses of figuring out one mortgage we are figuring out TWO! The next few days are going to be big in terms of several things that have to go well in order to make this work for us, the first being our home inspection tomorrow morning at the new house and the second being flood insurance rates on our current house, which will become our second rental. The third is the appraisal on this house, as it has to be high enough to get the right amount of cash out of it. My stomach has been a wreck the past few days, and the weekend has been even harder since none of the above could progress outside of business hours so we’ve just been twiddling our thumbs. I almost didn’t write this post, but I’m trying to believe that I can will everything into working out if I focus on it enough. Like I said, there are a lot of things that have to go right to make this happen, and tomorrow will hopefully bring us a lot of positive news. If you read this, please keep your fingers crossed for us that if it’s meant to be, it will happen.
Update: The home inspection came back not perfect, but as close to perfect as we could hope for a 55-year-old house. The main roof is still in good shape, the HVAC is only a few years old, and the inspector said it was obvious that whoever built the home did things right because it was built solidly with attention to detail.
Our flood insurance premiums came back on our current house and they are not great, but also not awful, so I’d call that a win, too.
Next up is figuring out which mortgage company is going to give us the best rates/payments and then passing appraisals on both and another hurdle we hadn’t planned on, a 4-point inspection on our current house.