I have some exciting news!!! After so many obstacles and setbacks, we finally are homeowners. This past year has been a series of ups and downs (and I know I haven’t shared anything with you since last April) but please know I hope to write sporadically about our latest adventure. We closed on the house last night and so this weekend is very full with tying up loose ends with our current rental.
We have chosen to stay in Gilbert, Arizona as we love the community that we are in and feel comfortable raising our daughter here. There are a lot of restaurants we love like Liberty Market, Isabel’s Amor, and Romeo’s Euro Cafe. I still love the Agritopia neighborhood as one of our favorite places to go walk around especially since we frequent the Cosmo Dog Park adjacent to it; I was excited recently to find out more businesses are going into the Agritopia community. Honestly, I think the only way we’d move out of Gilbert is if my husband later on took a job overseas after he’s done with law school, which won’t be until 2019. Even then, I know we are both interested in keeping our first home so we will always call Arizona home, even if it later is only part-time for a few years.
I had been so nervous about this transition since our past experiences trying to buy a home have not gone over so well. Our budget has been so tight we have felt every potential resale of our desired square footage (1,200 to 1,600 sq. ft) was a fighting match against investors who could provide a cash offer that we could not. Comparatively, we also could not afford a new home purchase in Gilbert. Even on the low end last year one of the most affordable new build homes was about $37,000 above our price range. To say our home search was disparaging is an understatement. I know I took this adventure (and its downfalls) very personally because I saw back in 2011 how the Phoenix housing market dipped down significantly and back then a home purchase could have been within reach had I not suffered a yearlong period of unemployment in 2012.
When we put in an offer on this home, I wrote a prospective home buyer letter sharing with the home owner how I am also a female veteran and some of our background. I knew it was a long shot but it has been tremendously scary to see how some properties won’t accept VA home loans or those properties that do are not in the best of shape. The other home we checked out around the same time was built in 1998 and while it provided more square footage had some features we were not exceptionally fond of including a bathroom off the kitchen (those make me cringe) and a shared driveway. Her home, what most markets would call a starter home, fit so much of the criteria we were looking for in our first place and new neighborhood: a three bedroom, 2+ bathrooms, outdoor space, a two car garage, and a community pool. Her home was in such good shape and two years newer than our current rental! This home is the best resale in our budget we’ve ever seen and I must say I could not have envisioned how lucky we would be in being selected as the future owners.
The former owner, who is still currently serving our country, wrote us a wonderful “Welcome” letter for our new place which was tucked into a card and inside we found several gift cards to nearby restaurants. I absolutely love the sentiments shared in her letter and please know the only reason I do not include a copy in this post is because I want to respect her personal privacy and the privacy of her family members. I wish many others could have such a meaningful experience as they navigate the toughest purchase (or decision to sell) in their lives. I hope her new home fits her just as much as I expect our new home to fit our family.
Below are some images of the new place:
Yesterday, we started testing out our paint samples. We picked up a couple samples of Behr’s Broadway from Home Depot. Behr Paint is one of the paint rebate offers for Memorial Day. We quickly found out the color was a bit darker than we imagined. However, our plans also include Ralph Lauren metallic paint and once I saw how dark the Broadway paint was I realized we could be a bit more bold with the metallic paint. (We do know the color is too dark to do throughout the house. We are now scouting around for a lighter gray for our main home color.)
My daughter likes the Monarchy (metallic color) and we’re planning on using a number of colors to brighten up her room plus we’ll also have her furniture and toys for punches of colors. My desire is to have a bunch of different size ‘stars’ stenciled on the walls and a bright white on the ceiling.
Painting the rest of the home will be a slow process, but I want to ensure we have a finished room for Avery within a few weeks. We have some Restoration Hardware paint samples (see below) to test out down the road so stay tuned!