At loooooooooooooooooong last, we are supposed to close on our new house today. It's been a really long, hard road. I promised you a better picture of the front of the house - here it be:
So. We tried doing this program called a 203(K), where you say, "I think this house needs such-and-such amount in fix-ups." And then you get a loan for what you're buying the house for, plus the amount you need in fixups, and it all goes in the mortgage payments every month.
So the government was all, "You need two contractors to submit bids." We met with several, and they were all, "We're too cool to help you with your dinky house. We're doing big projects that will make us more money. Buh-bye."
We finally found two contractors who said they'd do the work. They were required to submit bids to the government. It took one contractor like maybe a week, and the other contractor like three weeks. And then the underwriter would be all, "You did this wrong, contractors. Fix it." So the nice contractor would fix it in a few days. And the not-nice contractor would take like three weeks to fix it. And then the underwriter would be all, "Kay, this is wrong, too, contractors. Fix it." And then the same scenario would happen. Over and over.
Before we knew it, we had almost reached our 60-day limit and were close to losing the house. So we had to hurry and switch to a conventional loan, where we won't be doing the home improvements. And we've been running around like crazy for the past week to reach the deadline. It's been reeeeeally frustrating.
Even as recently as last night, we were finding copies of this and scanning copies of that and submitting letters about this, etc. Buying a house is a huge pain in the butt.
To add to that kind of craziness yesterday, my mom and I did a little...gardening.
My mom's friend was getting rid of six shrubs, and she got on facebook and asked if anyone wanted them, and my mom called them for me. Because, let's face it - the landscaping on this house leaves a lot to be desired:
I wanted to ask the neighbors if we could borrow their spigots to which I could attach my hose. I wasn't about to try to dig into that hard, frozen ground without softening it up with some water first. And obviously, after you plant something, you need to water it. One neighbor wasn't home, so I went to the other one. A little girl and her big brother answered the door. I had them write down my name and number (their mom wasn't home) and what I was asking to do with the spigot. I told them we were moving in next door and asked them how old they are. The boy is 11, just a year older than Dylan. And the little girl is 8, just like Sadie! I asked what her name was, and she said, "Sadie!" Isn't that funny?
As I was walking back to the front of our almost-house, the lady from the other house next door came home and kind of came over to see what was going on. So I also asked her the spigot question, and she said it was no prob. She was really nice. All of her kids are teenagers or young adults, but she said her other next-door-neighbor has 7-year-old twin girls. So my little Sadie is all set with new friends to meet. :)
It was really nice to meet the neighbors and to see that they're decent, good people. I'm really so excited to move over there. It will be great.
All of those bushes I inherited need full-to-part sun, so I'll be planting them on the west and south sides of the house (the second and third pictures on this post). On the south side, there is an open space kind of centrally located, but then there are these weird hang-off areas:
Oh, another thing - the lady from next door, Sue, said that this house has been uninhabited for 2 1/2 years. Yikes. That makes the chances of that front lawn growing back next year really...unlikely. I think a lawn can survive one summer without water, but two or more??? I don't know. We'll have to see next spring.
This may be really overambitious of me, but I'm thinking, since I'll be over at the house in the next couple of days planting shrubs as it is, perhaps I should go ahead and plant my bulbs, too. I mean, they're just sitting in my basement in pots, waiting to be planted... I'll think about it.
Wish us luck on getting this house closed today, guys. Hopefully we won't have any more setbacks.