Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Our New House

42 Donna Drive...42 Donna Drive has consumed our hopes and dreams for the past seven months. Tom and I have been working hard and saving since we've been married towards our first house.  I enjoyed our first two years of being newlyweds in our apartment, but I know we both wanted something more.  Tom was never really an apartment kind of guy.  He hated the common parking lot and was dying for a backyard.  I had visions of holiday family dinners around a dining room table, and bedrooms filled with future children.

So we started checking out areas our first summer in the apartment.  We knew we wanted to live further out East because we love the country and we wanted a big piece of property.  We put an offer in last April on a little starter ranch in Manorville.  We really thought that house was "the one" and we were devastated when we were out bid.  It only had 1 bathroom, lacked my dining room, and it didn't have all the items on our "wish list" but we thought that was the best we could do.  Tom had his eye on 42 Donna Drive soon after that house didn't work out, but we thought it was outside of what we were capable of making happen.  We asked our Realtor in July if we could just "go see it."  We figured what could it hurt and maybe she would know of similar properties that were more doable.  She took us to see it that very same day, and our hearts
and minds were made up.

42 Donna Drive exceed the wish list.  It had 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a dining room, a living room, a full basement, a two car garage, and a bonus loft space.  The property is about 3/4 of an acre and there are no houses behind it, so it looks out into the wilderness.  This house was a short sale and while we knew they can take longer, we thought it was worth the wait.  I won't put my blog readers through the six months of torturous waiting that we endured, but it was a roller coaster ride.  We almost got outbid by a cash offer, then they miraculously dropped out.  Then, it took forever for us to get "in contract" with the homeowner, because she was an older woman and fairly immobile.  We were officially in contract in August, and hoped for smooth sailing. Our lease was ending October 28th, but we felt we had plenty of time.  While waiting for final bank approval, we collected and submitted pages and pages of documents to our mortgage company.  I had a battle at work over the wording in my employment verification because my school had underpaid me.  Tom sold one of his trucks and had to have the paperwork involving that worded just right.  We tried to play by all of the mortgage brokers rules and we got approved for our mortgage.  Then, the bank finally answered us late November (we took a three month lease extension), and the answer was yes, but they wanted a lot more money.   Our lawyer and the seller's lawyer went to bat for us, and by going up a little in price, we finally had bank approval.  Our new lease end date was January 28th and quickly approaching.  On top of that, Tom started a new job the week of the closing, which long term we think will be great for us, but it complicated our mortgage to have this change so close to the finish line.  Then, the snowy winter almost delayed things further, but finally on January 23rd, we closed and got the keys to our new home!  We can not express enough our gratitude to everyone who supported us, helped us, prayed for us, and loved us along the way.  This truly is the house that we intend to be in forever!

So as I sit near Tom on our couches in our new living room, surrounded by boxes, I couldn't be happier.  I can't believe our dream came true!  We can't wait to finish unpacking and start some projects to make it our own.  I am trying to clean and unpack as much as possible, and Tom's first project is working on our loft.  He is re-doing the taping and spackle, then we are going to paint.  After that we want to re-carpet it and put some fun furniture up there.  We love the loft because it is cozy and overlooks our yard.  Our nephews love having it as their secret hideaway and we know we are all going to have some fun up there.  Here are some before pictures of our dream come true... can't wait to blog along the way as we make our house seem more like Tom and Jamie.

 Covered in snow
 Garage/Back Yard
 Our new neighborhood
 The Loft
 Our little piece of the country (our backyard)
 Master bathroom
 Bedroom 1
 Bedroom 2
 Bedroom 3
 Bathroom 2
 Bay window in the kitchen
 I guess Tom is showing how rough the floor is in this "before" shot
 Other side of the kitchen
 Dining Room
 Carpets (can't wait to replace these!)  I guess another "before" shot
 Tom working on the loft


  1. This is so exciting, Jamie!! Congratulations to you and Tom. Enjoy making your house your home sweet home.

  2. Looks beautiful Jamie! Congrats! Can't wait to follow your progress!!