Monday, September 19, 2011

House, Car, Job.

I've been terrible at blogging the past couple of weeks.  We've had much going on.  So I'll give you the quick run-down, and you must also know that I worked super hard on finally finishing Will's 100 mile race video - so scroll down to the next post as well.

So yes - the three things in life that are essential.  House. Car. Job.  Those all were dancing in the midst of change for us these past few weeks and we weren't sure how things would end up.

I'm happy to say that we now know, though all three possibilities sort of didn't work out for us.  But please, no pity.


Will and I have been married since 2005 and have yet to ever buy our own home.  If you total up the amount of rent we've paid over the past 6 and 1/2 years, it is a lot.  Let me emphasize a LOT.  Mucho.  Mega.  Hugenss.  Especially since, hello, we live in Seattle. Rent isn't cheap.

However, we have just never been in a place ready to buy a home yet.  For one thing, up until now the home market has been outrageously high. Remember just a few years ago when dinky 50 year old 1,000 square foot homes were selling for $500,000?  Those same homes are finally back down to the $200,000 or less range - which is right where they should be.  Simply put, it's finally a great time to be buying a home.

We are renting a home right now that has been on the market since January.  We feel blessed to be living in it because we have a 3/4 acre backyard, fully fenced, a garden, a garage (which we've never had before), 4 bedrooms, upstairs/down, and 2.5 baths.  Seriously those are luxuries we'd never had in any other place we've lived in.

However, we can't stay here forever.  Will's commute is about 2 hours in the morning, and anywhere between 2-3 hours in the evening.  He takes about 3-4 buses to get home, and while on said bus is either on his phone or laptop working.  And then when he gets home, he sometimes has to work some more.  It goes without saying that Will's job is very busy, and that we hardly see him during the week (thank goodness for weekends!!).

So a couple of months ago, our rental home had a buyer interested and we thought we were going to have to move.  So we started looking at rentals closer to Will's job.  And then we got discouraged after seeing how high the rental prices were on Seattle's eastside.  It got to the point where we were actually back to looking at apartments - which we thought we had graduated from quite a while ago.  But seriously it was the only thing in our price range.

So then we started talking about buying a home, since we would actually have a lower mortgage payment than a rental payment every month.  But as you know I'm married to a man who has a Masters Degree in Real Estate Development and Finance.  What that means is he's not just going to go out and buy a new house.  He will want to find the biggest bang for his buck - which means foreclosures.

It might sound crazy, but I've always loved the idea of finding a home that we could re-do and fix up.  Buying a new home is too boring.  I want to be able to take something that is dirty, old, and ugly and turn it into something new, beautiful, and clean.  Yes it's a lot of work, but I would enjoy it.

So we did find a home.  Will spent quite a few weeks researching it thoroughly before we decided to put an offer on it. Our VERY first offer on a home, EVER. It was a big deal. It was a foreclosure, but had very high potential to be high in the cuteness factor.  We spent a lot of time planning stuff, talking to banks, etc. I even started picking out paint colors and planning things in my head of how we would re-do the inside of the home.


The Monday that we put an offer down on the house, we found out that apparently there were multiple people with the same idea and we were competing against several offers for the home.  We actually re-did our offer for more, with better terms too.  However, in the end, it was a sad day when we found out the bank chose another offer over ours.

Since then we've been browsing the market but still haven't found anything as cute or as good of a deal.  So we're still here for a while.  Sorry to confuse anyone who thought we were moving.


In case you never had the pleasure of being aquainted with Will's car - it was a 2000 Kia Sephia.  It was the car that he picked me up in for our very first date.  It's the car we had when we got married.  We've taken several road trips in that car while holding hands across the gear shift.

Well it died.  Officially.

The plan was to drive it into the ground, and that day finally came last Thursday.  Will was actually taking it in for some routine maintenance, and 5 min from the garage the water pump blew, as well as the belt.  The diagnosis was that it would cost us almost $1,000 to fix everything on the car.  The car itself couldn't have been worth more than $500 alone.  So we decided to not fix it, but donate it to charity.

However, just for kicks and giggles, Will decided to post it on Craigslist to see if anyone would pay $250 for it.  Within 12 hours he got over 100 emails.  People were saying they would pay upwards of $400 - $500 for it.

So he basically emailed several people back and told them he would be at the garage at 5:30 on Friday, anyone interested, please show up.  A few people showed up, with several more on the phone waiting to find out if it had sold.  Will ended up selling it to a Hispanic woman with 3 kids. Her brother was going to fix the car up for her.  We're so glad that it went to someone who could use it, and not just a random mechanic for parts.

But now we're a one car family.  And being that we still want to buy a home, we're not really in a place to be buying a car as well.  So if you know of any dependable inexpensive used cars, we're in the market.


Will has been working at his new job since the beginning of July and doing well.  I don't think he would really want me to go into details, but he had another job offer last week that had the potential to be in line with his passions more, but in the end the pay and benefits were less appealing.  He likes his current job though - although stressful and busy.  He is busy, busy, busy.  But we are very grateful to be employed. And he couldn't be working for a better company.

So yeah.  House, car, and job all within a week.  Crazy, right?  So that's the update on us.  I must now go rescue my crying 1 year old from his crib.  See ya.

P.S. Will's 100 mile race video below.


Carolyn said...

I know that you are disappointed about not getting the house.....but I'm glad that you will be here on the island for a few more months. Sorry that Will has to drive so far, but this is the first time we've ever had family this close, and we are loving it.

Renae said...

Good luck with everything! We have the old fixer upper house and well... Sometimes the rent payment is appealing because we can't budget for breakdowns and things needing fixing. Like our furnace that went up the first year. THAT was a fun one. Or the water pump that had a gas leak in our first home. Good times...

We have always been a one car family and love it. Although, we've always worked really hard to live within a mile of Jason's work place, pediatrician's office, library etc... It's easier to do here than Seattle. BUT, I can't imagine what you guys are paying for in gas right now with all the commuting or for the bus, because you mentioned that!

I wish Will the best with his job. That stuff is so hard and stressful sometimes!

Hopefully the right stuff will come along soon!

Daniel L.Thomas said...

It sounds like Will has joined the club of those who only work half days (12hrs a day). I am sure that it is hard being away from the family so much but the reward to the family is a husband and father who loves his employment. That makes for a happy home. I have to be guys sound happy. It feels great when life is moving in a direction where the challenges are making decisions about houses, cars and jobs. Upward and onward.

Dan Thomas said...

House, Job, and Car. Arne't you glad they are just things?

James and Elizabeth said...

Wow, what a crazy past week. I'm glad you could sell the kia after all. And i'm so sad your house offer didn't make it. Hopefully the right home will show up soon.

Will Thomas said...


You summed up my thoughts exactly.