High time for a house update!

and a blog update for that matter! It's been 13 days since my last post. Wow!

So our original closing date was set for today. And here we are... not closing on the house. I mentioned before that we were pretty sure it was going to fall through since they raised (yes RAISED) the price almost $40k. Our realtor and lender had never seen anything like that.

It's really a shame what the economy has done to real estate. It's almost like their bank used us to get the process going, knowing they were going to raise the price. Of course we don't know that for sure, but how can you list a home that you KNOW will appraise for waaaaaaay more than you listed it? Anyways, there is a ton involved in short sales and we got burned on it in a way. Not to mention the homeowners who will probably end up defaulting on their loan since their mortgage hasn't been paid in months. They didn't have a say in the bank raising the price. I think I'm more sad for them that they're not selling their house.

BUT there's always good news right? Since the bank didn't stick to "our terms" of closing we are free to walk away (and receive our earnest $$ back in full). So that's just what we're doing.

I kind of feel like I cheated on the house because we started looking at others while we felt like things were unraveling. We saw a batch of houses a few weeks ago and none were quite what we wanted. Either it was a nice house in not a nice neighborhood or vise versa or they needed ALOT of work. Work that we weren't willing to put the cash into.

I just happened to jump on the computer on Wednesday and came upon a town house that had just been listed that day. I remember it from weeks gone by, but it was under contract. Well apparently things fell through the day of closing (Tuesday) with the buyers loan (I can't even imagine!). So it was relisted. We walked through it twice the next day and decided to put an offer on it Wednesday night. They counter-offered (reasonably) and we went ahead and agreed and signed the contract yesterday! Since this isn't a short sale we can close in as little as 20 days assuming all the paperwork is in order (we're already in the final stages of the other loan so that's a good thing for us).

It's crazy how fast it happened and this home is beautiful. It needs absolutely no work and I even love the paint color inside.

Just posting 1 picture since that's all I have... You can be sure that if things are finalized there will be much more coming!! It has plenty of space for our family (3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths) with a double garage and basement. We also have an extra room for a guest room so all our friends can come visit! It's a Craftsman Style house that was built in 2007. We are absolutely in love!

New York Recap

It isn't very often I decide to load up the kids in the car and drive... oh you know, 1900 miles. But that's exactly what we did.

Mom had mentioned this past summer that the church where she grew up was having a reunion of sorts. It was the 75 year anniversary at their current location (called 75 at 55). 55 is the address of the church. Since I wasn't working I figured it would be fun to load up and head north with her (as long as she was ok with it). Toting a baby and a toddler meant alot of work for her too! 

We've made this trip countless times growing up... at least once a year my first 16 years. Sometimes twice. So it really was a blast from the past. And it was some great quality time with my mom. 

We started our trip on a Thursday a few weeks ago and we made that the toughest traveling day. We drove for 12 hours mostly in the rain. It wasn't very fun and the kiddos (especially Emberly) got restless. We slept in Pennsylvania and this was the first time Luke remembers being in a hotel (we actually did this trip when he was 6 months old but obviously he doesn't remember). He LOVED it. I remember loving hotels when I was a kid too. 
Of course Emberly decided to sleep regress (well regress from the terrible sleeper she already is). We were getting up 2 times a night before this trip and the first night in Pennsylvania I was up every 45 minutes. Come Friday I was exhausted (well more exhausted than normal). 

Friday we made the rest of the trip. It was about 4.5 hours to New York. My favorite part about coming into New York is the bridges. Normally I hate bridges, but there is just something so regal about the George Washington Bridge and the Tappan Zee Bridge. I loved them as a child and it still makes me happy to cross them. 

We crossed the Tappan Zee and headed to meet my aunt and cousin in mom's hometown (at a park that happens to have a gorgeous view of the NY skyline and railroad tracks with trains running every 5 minutes). Luke was in heaven. We split our time between throwing rocks in the Hudson River and waving at trains. Every train that passed blew their horn after we waved at them. Luke was so excited. My cousins and I used to do the same thing when we were younger. It was quite nostalgic. 

We always hit up our favorite restaurants- usually local diners or pizza places. There is nothing like a New York diner or NY pizza. 

Saturday was the day of the reunion. It really meant alot to be able to bring my children. There were people there who knew mom back when she was little and met me back in the day and it was fun to introduce my children. Kind of like the circle of life coming around full circle. My other cousin met up with us that evening and it was just so great to catch up with family. 

We started our trip home Sunday afternoon and made it to PA again (we stayed at the same hotel coming back as we did going). Like I said Luke loves everything about hotels!

(seriously don't judge... lol. I was greatly sleep deprived and I don't think I realized just how close he was)
Monday morning we left PA and just took our time eating breakfast and lunch with friends. We found a hotel in VA and stayed the night there.
I posted this picture on Facebook- this was my luck... Mom ended up getting Emberly and I our own room because her sleep was terrible. She ended up in bed with me most nights. After throwing a fit most of the night, this is what she decided to do while we were packing the van. Go figure.

Tuesday morning we headed to Winston-Salem NC to meet up with a very special person. I mentioned in Emberly's birth story about where her middle name came from. Pretty much this lady (Grace) was the first person to invite my mom to church when she was 7. They were neighbors and moved into neighboring houses the same day (it was rare that anyone moved in and out of their small town so for neighbors to move in the same day was unheard of). Grace took on a whole new meaning after my mom was saved- our eternity was literally at stake. Mom gave me the middle name Grace and I knew it would be passed down to our daughter. I'd met Grace before but she had never met Emberly.

What a beautiful lady with a beautiful life to reflect on!

It was a great trip!!

High Five for THIS WEEK!

Wow it's been a while, eh?

Our life is just a little crazy right now. What the heck am I saying? Our life is always crazy just in different ways.

Here are some of the highlights AND lowlights from the last time I checked in:

1. My jeep left me stranded. It's a funny story- Josh needed gas in it. He's driving the jeep right now and my parents are graciously letting me drive the van as our second vehicle. Since he has to be at work at 6am he didn't want to wait until 5am to get gas. He asked me the night before if I wanted to "go for a peaceful drive, clear my head, sit in silence, without kids" and get gas while he watched them. SURE! When I tried to crank it after I got gas it gave me nothing. Not a thing but the sound of a car that wouldn't crank. I called him and he met me and jumped it off and fortunately that's all it was. It was strange because we just bought the battery 2 years ago. It was under warranty and they replaced it for free (because when they took it out to test it, it was beyond dead). So much for my quiet, tranquil ride!

2. It looks like our house contract is going to fall through (at least that's what we're preparing for). Short sales are an absolute pain. Pretty much the sellers listed the house, but the bank had to agree. We offered what the sellers asked, but when the bank did their appraisal it was 17k more than asking price (even though our appraisal from our bank only came in 5k more). Our agent thought sure that by meeting in the middle, that we would get it. Turns out when we tried counteroffering, the bank raised the price ANOTHER 17k- which made the house 35k more than asking price. UMMMM no. The agent said she had NEVER seen a bank wanting more than fair market value, so we are taking that as our sign to walk away. For the price the bank wants we can buy one in the same neighborhood that is literally move in ready. Not really sure what the bank is thinking. We are still waiting to hear why they are counteroffering so high- but we're preparing ourselves that we're back to square 1 as far as house hunting. We are using this time to save a good bit of money and we're thankful to have tenants in our Toccoa house.

3. Josh's brother got married this past weekend! It was a blast and Luke was the ring bearer. There will be a post coming soon with details and pictures.

4. A week before the wedding my mom and I took a trip with the kids to New York. We had a great time and I have another post coming about it later too.

5. As if life wasn't crazy enough we are back to house hunting and all the chaos that ensues. Luke is still loving preschool and Emberly has started solid foods.