Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Long Paseo Home

What a long ride home it has been. We hit a halt in the rode before our last closing and did not buy the yellow house with the big front porch. We backed out of the contract during our option period due to me just not being 100% comfortable with the neighborhood it sat in. It was pretty rough, a transitional neighborhood. I thought I could do it, but after spending many of days sitting on the front steps of that house I realized that I was about to take away a freedom from the kids that they have in our current area where they can actually walk to a friends house or ride their bikes down the street. Funny how things work, and how ultimately when we fell off our path we were supposed to be on...things just do not work until you get back on the right path. This is life. And so...we found a house, a tiny house with a small closet in each bedroom and no extra closets in the house other then where the washer and dryer live. It is a Ju-Nel Mid Century modern home. This just happens to be my husband and my favorite architect in the world...So, when one came on the market in our price range we jumped fast! We are in option now, inspection are tomorrow. I am totally in L.O.V.E. with the lines of this house, the double sided fireplace, the old vintage kitchen, the cool floors. Everything does happen for a reason, really. The owner added a detached 2 car garage in the back thankfully, so we can store the vacuum cleaner and essential items one would normally put in a closet. I am going to have to pair down my clothes, and shoes and just keep what I love. This is going to be fun. I am super pumped up about this house and am so excited to go on this journey. We should move into our Casa Not So Grande next month! Until then....I will be picking out the mid century modern vintage wallpaper for the kids room. It is going to be so fun to decorate this house. Luckily we just moved out of a mid century modern so we already have the furniture.


Friday, August 26, 2011

Good-Bye Casa, Hello Casa

I am getting really tired of thinking we are getting a house and loosing it. This one WE actually walked away from @ THE CLOSING TABLE! Yes, it was maybe one of the top worst days of my life. We loved this property. We couldn't wait for the land, the chickens, the garden. We were so close. Closing was August 24th. We found out days before that the seller, who remember is broke, has a 35K lien on the house from IRS! We were beginning to worry, panic may have been a better word. We thought the title company had worked teh kinks out, but it turns out the friendly seller advised us to walk or we would be stuck with the lien as he just had it removed from his personal credit NOT the house! They were willing to work it out and wait for the IRS to do their paperwork...and we can only imagine how much longer this may take, so we said enough....and terminated the contract with the seller.  I felt immediate relief. Sometimes you just know you made the choice and that everything happens for a reason. Later THAT day we decided to go see a few houses in East Dallas. It was that afternoon that we found our dream home and two days later have an executed contract.

This is not a Casa Not So Grande, it is actually a 2500sf, 4 bedroom, 2 bathroom home. It is a completely renovated 1910 Colonial/Craftsman yellow house with a beautiful front porch.  All it needs is a family, and a few trees, flowers and a little garden. I am so excited I could scream! We should be in it by mid to late September. The problem is we sold so much of our furniture thinking we were downsizing , so we will have some spacious empty rooms for awhile until we can save up for some furniture.

We fell off our projected plan a tad. We did however pay off all of our debt, both cars and started an emergency savings.  We also put away our annual money we will owe for our work taxes since we are self employed, and started our IRA mutual fund and maxed that out. So we are much better then where we were before June. We are maxed out on our mortgage at 55% down in cash and 45% owed.  We hope to pay the house off by 15 years allowing us to also save for retirement and college. The payment is low, much lower then anything we could rent! So we are in a good place, and have created a budget we will try hard to stick to! The hardest for me is always food. I am such a foodie and Whole Foods is minutes from our new house. We must learn to eat for less with out compromising organic, local, non processed food. We have been spending about $1000+ a month on food for our family of 5. My kids are all eating so much, and growing so fast. I tried to keep us at $700 a month this summer and have gone over every month. This is a big challenge for me. I just read a post on 100 days of Real Food blog and do not know HOW they ate on 125/week with a family of 4...although her kids look itty-bitty and their portions look so small. I would love to hear from you and how you do it? What do you spend on food each month on your family?

My birthday is in 3 days, and I will be 40! I do believe we are getting this house. Best gift EVER.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Long Espera

It has been a long wait. We have been busy with summer fun, but the wait had just about stayed its welcome when we got notice that our offer had been accepted by the bank! YES. We got the house! My husband doesn't want me getting overly excited about it because our lender still has to do his magic in less then 3 weeks. If he can get it all together then it looks like we will be closing on August 24th and the seller will then have 7 days to vacate the home. OMG! We hope to be in the house mid to late September. We have to re-sand and stain the hardwood floors, prime and paint the inside walls, clean the duct work and reconfigure where the washer and dryer lives. And those things cost $$$ so we are trying to be extra frugal right now hoping that is all that HAS to be done before we move in. The crazy thing is we only have seen the house one time for about 20 minutes and now it is ours. We have been doing a lot of research on owning chickens. I am meeting with a friend who has over 15 chickens after the kids go back to school and getting a chicken 101. We are tempted to buy an igloo from omlet (I love the CUBE). Yes they are so ugly, and plastic but did you see the trays that pull out so easily to clean it and you can just hose it off! No cracks in the wood for mites to live. I love it, but they are again $$$ so we must save! We are researching used sitting mowers for the yard(another $$$). SO we are working hard here, putting as much money as we can away right now, enjoying being DEBT FREE and looking forward to having a place soon to call home. I am weirdly not excited to see our "stuff" in storage and looking forward to going through each item before it enters our new space asking myself 3 questions:
Does it have a purpose?
Is it something we could live without?
Could someone else use it more then us?

I lay in bed at night in visioning my new pantry full of beautiful glass containers full of simple raw foods and basic staples. This is my one chance to organize it right from the start ( I LOVE doing this kind of thing! Totally in my element).

We opened our first Roth IRA last week. This is a big deal considering we should have done this 11 years ago and I am turning 40 at the end of this month. It feels great just knowing that we got that ball rolling. Oh how we will teach our children differently.

I just finished reading a fabulous book called Parenting by the Book by John Rosemond. What a great read....maybe the best parenting book I have read!

I will keep you posted. please pray for us that the house sale goes through. This has been a long wait. But the best things we must wait for. It teaches us patients and so much more. I am so grateful for my family and our health and am anxiously awaiting a home to start new memories in.

Be back soon!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Texas Veranos

Texas summers are hot. really. really. HOT. Moving day was July 29th and it was 100 degrees. I packed up the entire house in a zillion boxes to prepare for moving day when the 2 professional movers were to simply load it into their truck in what they thought would take easily 2-4 hours. (Clearing my throat now), Umm... not quite. It took a total of 14 hours and yes they were charging by the hour and yes I was helping load boxes with them. The worst part of it was that they FORGOT to load our entire attic onto their truck, so on closing day my husband and I not only had to lug it down to storage but rent an entirely new unit because it wouldn't fit in the other. Boy am I glad that part is behind us. 

There is something freeing about all of our belongings piled away somewhere we can not touch or see them.  It really makes you think about what is really important to you. I do believe there will be a lot more tossing the next go around before we move in to our next house.

Our next house....Still waiting to hear from the bank about the short sale that we have a contract on. They have until August 24th to tell us whether the house is ours. We are trying not to think about it and just enjoy not owning a house and being 100% debt free. We just got back from a wonderful trip away at a friends Lake House about 4 hours away with NO internet or phone service. I felt like I went through withdraws not being able to check FaceBook for the first day or so, but after that realized just how much a hate it. Totally addicted to social media via my iPhone. And H.A.T.E that I am. It is like a bad, bad drug. I must work on separating myself more from my phone.

I am pushing 40 in late August. Hopefully the bank will give us wonderful news early, and we will be all moved in before my present ever! I am always trying to grow as a person, as a wife, as a Mom, spiritually... and I do believe this is a big year of growth for me. I am really excited about where I am in my life right now and am weirdly looking forward to my 40's. It wasn't until recently that I have really opened my heart to The Lord and asked him to help guide me and show me what it is I am supposed to be doing here. I have had constant tugging thoughts about adopting a child from Ethiopia. But my husband is not at all on the same page. I respect that, and know that if I listen carefully I will find exactly what I should be doing to better the world. Whether it is mission work with the family, or fundraising for needy children in 3rd world countries...I do know that I want to help save children, I am just not sure exactly how yet. I have such a heart for children.

My big kids go to sleep-away-camp tomorrow for the first time. We will be driving them there in the morning and plan to spend the rest of the week with our youngest daughter who just turned 5 last week at The Lake.

I will fill you in when we hear about the house! In the meantime, we are paying off  FULL credit card balances and cars, and medical bills as they come in the mail and are enjoying our stay with my husbands Mom who has graciously opened her home to our big family.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Tired Mama

I am such a tired Mama. I almost didn't write tonight because I feel like I am just going to be complaining. So, real quick I will just tell you that this whole moving thing really sucks and I am getting way too old for it. So, I will say in a very loving tone to my dear sweet realtor husband that this is it. This is the last move for a long time. I just don't have the energy that I had the first three houses we flipped together. We are a great team, there is no doubt about that. We can make something really undesirable and ugly-beautiful, and we have had fun....but, My Love, This is the last. I will give it another 100% but I am telling you: I am tired. The next time if there is one, we will hire movers who will pack up our house and unpack for us and I will just sit and watch. Ahhhhh... okay, so I vented. Now on to the good stuff! We had our last garage sale today and sold most of our furniture we know we won't need. We added all proceeds to the "sectional fund" we will be purchasing when we find a house. We are closer. We put an offer on a house a few days ago. A "short sale" in a fabulous neighborhood on a little over a half acre! Yes, it is a huge, huge lot and ideal for raising kids. Our dogs would be in heaven, and I could have my chicken coop I have always dreamed of! Fresh eggs....totally dreamy! Anyway, please pray for us. This house is a mess on so many levels. 11 agents walked it the day we did. Walking it was a production in itself. The man who owns the home is an odd one. He has 11 dogs, and they live in the house with him. Just him, and he was a bit strange to put it nicely. In order to walk it we had to have his agent call him to warn him "We were approaching the property" so he could move the 11 dogs around so it was safe for us to go from room to room. The house had an overwhelming smell of vinegar. It was really hard to be in the house. It is just a smell, and I know re finishing the wood floors, and primer and paint would take care of it... but that wasn't all. He was the hoarding type. Things were randomly propped in front of closets and doors and windows and really not a lot of room to see around things and get a great feel for the rooms...but we could tell it had good bones, it just needed our love! Yes, we might be slightly crazy that we put a bid in, not expecting to get picked out of all the offers that we competed with. We met this man, and he chose us. He wanted our family to live in the house. We found out late today that the contract will go to the bank with our escrow money and we have to wait now "90 days" for bank approval since this house we are buying is a short sale. If the bank turns down our offer then we are back to square one again. If they accept our offer we will be sitting on a pretty lot in a great area with a 1800 sf home that needs a lot of love and care throughout the years. This is a great investment. The neighbor homes are selling for 200-500K more then this house we are buying(and in Texas that is a lot)! It is a great investment!

Moving day is in 4 days!

Monday, June 20, 2011

GoodBye Casa

Another house gone. We are terminating our contract today on the house with the pool we were moving forward with. My husband was concerned that the temperature of the pool seemed to be worse or as bad as our Texas heat outside, warm bath water is what he said it felt like(yuk). Not going to cool us off at was not worth a house with a pool in full sun. So, back to square one. We will focus on packing up again and moving into storage on June 29th. Staying with my mother in law until we find JUST the right house for us is exactly what we plan to do. Just right needs to fit our criteria of:

A one Story House
Small, easy to take care of
3-4 bedrooms, most likely 3
Pool a plus, or a large yard where we could build one in the future (with CASH)
Must not exceed our 60K mortgage max as we are paying most of house with CASH and will pay off house ASAP!
Big usable yard for kids and dogs
CLOSET space, praying for 2 closets in a master bedroom

On to packing!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Necesito Yoga

I need yoga today more then any other day ever. Oh, I wish I had time to go! Pack, pack, and pack. I dropped two of our three kids off at Grandmas today so that my middle daughter could help me pack. I am cooking lunch and she is in her room watching TV. Hmmm? Hopefully gears will change after I re-charge.  Well, somehow our closing keeps moving up. Now we close ON moving day the 29th of June! Anxiety is high, I am still having trouble packing up. SLOWLY our house is going into boxes, very VERY slowly. My husband is working harder then ever this week. Did I mention he is a Realtor? He has 6 closings this month including our two. Yes, you read that right! We put an offer on the reduced house with the pool. Inspections will start tomorrow. If all goes well we will close on that house mid June which puts us at Grandmas house for ONLY 17 days (wow-so cool).  The house is a great deal smaller then what we are moving out of, but not as small as planned so we are feeling pretty giddy about having a one story 1959 sf home with 3 living areas! We still need to massively de-clutter and plan to have one more garage sale this next Friday! The house is not our style completely but it is move in ready with a few late nights of fresh paint on the walls. We will then make a priority list with all the hopes and dreams for the house and SAVE UP for them a little every month with our main focus being on creating a 6 MONTH'S of living emergency fund. When we meet that number we will begin knocking out a few weekend projects here and there. We are using all the garage sale money for a new sectional that we plan to spend a lot of time on in the main living area. This will help motivate me to get more stuff out in the yard next week! Well...we fell off of our plan of waiting to close before we submitted an offer....but we feel like we are making the right decision. The main thing is: WE will have both cars paid off in a few weeks, all medical and credit card debt paid off, we will have 2 months of our 6 months living emergency savings started, and we will be saving a ton of money each month on bills! So we are feeling pretty good right now. We are saying prayers that all inspections go well next week, and that this house will work our for our family.