So we've bought a house...

Two years ago when we walked down the aisle, neither the hubby nor I expected that our first two years of marriage would unfold as they did. We did not expect that his job would move us to three different cities in two years... or that Miami could begin to feel so much like home... or that we'd move in with either of our parents at any point, ever. (Surprise!)

And this summer, as the economy began to sink, we also didn't expect that he'd be offered a great promotion back at his company's corporate office in Baltimore--where we'd be close to family for a change. And I didn't expect that my Florida-based company would offer me the chance to stay on board as a full-time telecommuter. And we did not expect that within two weeks of moving to Maryland this fall, we'd be the owners of this rickety old shack:

Surprise again! Two weeks before we packed up and left Miami, S was in Baltimore at a business meeting and stopped by his parents' house. His father had been eyeing places for us to buy and mentioned that a house two miles away was being sold at a foreclosure auction that very weekend.

The house was a slight disaster, but, considering that the original log structure had been built in 1886, it had a certain amount of potential and was sitting on a six-acre double lot. So we talked, prayed and pored over photos all week before deciding to go for it. We have lots of skilled people in our family and friend network, so we could do most of the work ourselves.

I nearly fell off the bed (from excitement mixed with mild terror!) when S called me on the morning of the auction to tell me that we'd won the bid, and for $20k less than we'd hoped! He was practically breathless with excitement, and I could hear his dad giddily interjecting in the background. You really can't buy even a fraction of an acre in the county for what we would be paying for six acres and a house. And hey, if the house turned out to be unworthy of saving, we'd tear it down and build a new one. The land itself was worth it.

So, in the midst of preparing for a 1200 mile move, we had 30 days to close. The thing about buying a foreclosed home through an auction is that there are stipulations:

  1. You have to put 5-10% of your winning bid price down, sometimes more, on the day of the auction and prove that you have the funds available.
  2. If you win and don't close within 30 days, the deal is off and you more than likely lose your cash deposit. (This, to me, was a little terrifying.)
  3. We were told we could purchase a foreclosed home with a conventional loan only, which generally means you need larger sums of cash up front.
  4. You have to get approved for home owners insurance before obtaining a loan, and the house was in such bad shape that the insurance company didn't want to insure us at first. This turned out to be a bigger issue than we anticipated, but fortunately my father-in-law was able to intervene for us with his longtime insurance man and squeak us in.

Fortunately our ducks did line up and we were able to close after exactly 30 days. And forget 3820 being our new home's address--that's how many phone calls and overnight mailings we made that month between the broker, the auction house, the insurance guy and our supportive parents. That month is already a blur in my mind. But we left Miami behind on September 4th, and on the 16th we sealed the deal on ol' 3820 in the Maryland countryside. At this point, only time will tell what the future holds there and how we'll make it ours... So with this blog I'm hoping to chronicle our progress in making our house a home!

In the meantime we're living with my hubby's parents, as our "home" does not have heating, plumbing or functioning electricity! Surprise!

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