Monday, October 14, 2013

It's been a while.

Wow. A lot has happened since the last time I hopped on this blog. Things have finally settled down a little, we have real internet now and I have today off (perks of working at a bank) so I thought I'd give his hobby another go. Here's a recap of the last (almost) year - can you believe it's been that long??

 Life Event Recap

One: We moved to Durango. This, you all knew. We were renting Tony's uncle's place outside of town up a mountain. Beautiful, yes. But high-speed internet capabilities up there? Not so much. Attempting to surf the web and even blog always resulted in several face-palms and handfuls of hair (luckily, I have plenty to spare). Also, driving 20 minutes to and from town doesn't sound like that big of a deal when you're used to living in Kansas City and Tulsa. But when you live in Durango and literally everything (including your friends) is centrally located in town and you have two dog-monsters waiting for you at home, that drive makes any sort of social life a bit difficult.


Dog-Monsters



We were (and still are) so grateful to Tony's uncle for letting us get our bearings in that place, but we needed to be in town. So what did we do?


Two: We bought a townhome! Okay, this section of the post could take take up the rest of my day to write and the rest of yours to read because it was a process. But I'll try and keep it short. The jist of it was that we started looking for a house in town back in March. We decided to go with a USDA loan. The rates at the time were 3.25%. We looked at a few places for about a month, found a tiny 600 sq foot house with a yard (have I mentioned how outrageous the Durango housing market is?). It was small, but so cozy and cute and way below our budget. We took a weekend to think it over and called to make an offer the following Monday. However, the seller had just accepted another offer literally 30 minutes before I called.

We kept looking.

We found the PERFECT little house with a PERFECT little lawn and this one was 1,000 sq ft. Much better. However, it was for sale by owner. This is where it gets annoying. And long. And really annoying. We made an offer immediately (this was in April). However, the sellers kept dragging their feet and by the beginning of July, we were still without a signed contract. In the meantime, all that fun stuff was going on with the Fed and Ben Bernanke and rates were now at 5%. We were about to call the sellers and tell them we were out - we couldn't afford that house anymore, or any detached single-family dwelling in town for that matter - when the seller e-mailed us to tell us they "decided not to move at this time." Comical, really. So, we contemplated renting again and looked at a few units. But ultimately, we decided to re-visit the townhome option.

The townhomes we were looking at were much bigger, cheaper and nicer than any home we could have dreamed of purchasing in town. However, the obvious drawback: no yard for the monsters. But we found a unit with potential (and really nice appliances) that is a stone's throw away from an elementary school with a large fenced property that locals pretty much use as a dog park. We made an offer, which was accepted the same day. Woo hoo!! We thought the frustration was over. But shame on us for even entertaining the idea things could move that smoothly.  

SURPRISE!!! Turns out we don't really qualify for a USDA loan, even though we had been pre-approved for the past five months. J/K! So our only options were to:

 A) Go with a conventional loan, deplete our savings and put way more money down then we had budgeted for

or

B) Rent, save up some more money, but most likely be in the same situation the way Durango's housing market is moving. (Example: We looked at this house back in April, which was listed for $310,000 at the time - don't let the pictures fool you! That house is a complete gut. And if the ceilings look low, that's because they are about 6 feet high.)

We chose option A. Now we are the proud owners of a 1,272 sq foot, 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom home with a large two-car garage!

Okay, so that wasn't really that short...sorry! It just gets me riled up every time I talk about it. But I am thankful for the way things turned out because we don't have to worry about this place being a money pit, these townhomes have 0% vacancy rates so we could turn it into an income property one day, and the dogs are actually getting more exercise now that we don't have a yard to stick them in. Photos and a synopsis of our big plans for this place to come soon.


Three: WE GOT MARRIED. Since that last life event recap was too long, I'll make this one short and sweet. It was so beautiful, so fun and so stressful. I'm so happy we decided to go the traditional route (I had a few meltdowns in the process and we contemplated eloping). It was so amazing to spend three days with our closest friends and celebrate with a bangin' dance party with all our friends and family on the big day. I'm so glad we did it. I'm also so glad it's over.

We kept it classy.


Now, we can get relax and enjoy living in town and making our new place our own. Hopefully we're done with life events for a while.