Thursday, February 9, 2012

Let's Buy a House!

A week after we returned from Europe, we flew up to Seattle in search of a place to live.  Originally, we weren't supposed to move until March, so we were in no hurry to figure out our housing situation until after the holidays.  However, right before we left for Europe we got the oh so wonderful news that we could move sooner!  I could not been happier but was also a little stressed out about how much we needed to do before the move!

Conor had business up in Everett during our trip to Seattle, so I got to spend some quality time with my friend Mikael!  She took me to Black Bottle, an awesome wine bar in Bellevue!  Almost as great as Purple...but let's be honest, nothing is better than Purple!  Later that night, we had a blast playing Dance Central and drinking some vodka gimlets.  I can't wait for more nights like these!  In fact, we had so much fun that I convinced Mikael to call in sick to work that following morning!  The next day Conor met up with us for lunch on Capital Hill and then happy hour & dinner in South Lake Union.  Our college friend, Jamie, joined us along with Mikael's boyfriend Arza. 

On Friday I met with Shanna, our realtor, to look at some houses while Conor was at work.  Conor & I had pretty much decided that we wanted to live in West Seattle.  Neither Conor nor I had spent much time in the area, but we liked the proximity to his work (about a 25 minute commute) and to downtown Seattle (10 minutes).  It's a great neighborhood and very family friendly! :-)  Being so close to Alki beach is another plus.  Shanna & I looked at about 15 was exhausting!  There was one house I loved and few others that were okay.  I wanted to buy a house so bad, but Conor was still on the fence about the whole thing.  I was really just hoping that he was going to fall in love with the same one I did. It was technically an older home but had been completely re-done, updated, and modernized by a really cool local company, Green Canopy Homes, who have a strong focus on energy efficiency and a modern style that just fits Conor and I so well.

I had the evening to butter Conor up about how wonderful this house was before he would see it the next day.  I'm sure I talked his ear off the whole drive to Bellevue where we met up with my friend Gretchen!  She moved to Seattle right when I left for Delaware, so I rarely got to see her.  It's so nice to be moving back to city where we already have friends!  Gretchen took us to the 520 Bar & Grill where we chatted it up over a couple glasses of wine.  We might have bored Conor a little bit with all the girl talk, but he was just happy to be done with work for the weekend and to have a beer and a scotch in front of him! 

We spent Saturday looking at more houses, and I finally got to show Conor my favorite!  He had really liked what he saw on the MLS listing, and loved it in person. Just as much, if not even more, than I did!  While standing in the living room he exclaimed, "Oh man, I'm really going to buy a house aren't I?!..."  It was such a big decision, and we had so much of our future up in the air in the coming years, so we decided to call it a day on the house hunting and sleep on it.  We drove around West Seattle at night to see the neighborhood more and make sure things looked safe.  Then we went to Buddha Ruska, a Thai restaurant very close to our potential future home and had a great meal.  By the end of dinner, we were getting closer to sorting out all the details in our head and deciding what our next move would be. We were still strongly considering renting, at least for a short time while we got re-settled in Seattle, but found that the rental market was so strong in Seattle that it was darn near impossible to find a place that we felt we could be comfortable in for anywhere near what we felt was a reasonable price. Not to mention that that there was next to nothing worth checking out in the areas that we wanted to live... You see where this is heading... ;0)

Sunday we grabbed some bagels and coffee and decided that it was time to meet up with Shanna, put in an offer on the house we loved, and hop on the plane back to Arizona.  That next week Conor buried himself in paperwork, the internet, and spreadsheets trying to learn and calculate everything under the sun with respect to buying a house, shopping for home loans, and budgeting out our next few years . We worked through a few rounds of counter offers back and forth before finally coming to an agreement that we were comfortable with.  The closing date was set for December 21st, and we were moving to Seattle on January 3rd so, needless to say, our timeline to get this deal done was pretty tight... Fortunately, we had the best realtor and loan officer and they immediately got to work in setting everything up for closing. After flying around like crazy for a couple days getting paperwork signed, notarized, and overnighted back to Seattle, not to mention another week of business in France and Italy for Conor... We finally had a chance to sit down and toast to our new adventures as homeowners!  To top everything off, we got the wonderful news that I was pregnant that same week!  There's nothing like hitting a couple of milestones all at once!

We couldn't be happier with the house, the location, the neighbors, and getting to know Seattle again! Although the house was so fresh, new and ready for us to move in when we first arrived, we have made some great progress in making it our own by doing some painting, trading out some of our furniture to better fit the house, and adding some additional features for storage and such.  Once we get a little more settled, I will post lots of pictures!  For those of you who are in Seattle or close by, we will definitely be throwing a big housewarming party at some point to stay tuned! And then maybe another one... just in case it's too cold or rainy to break in the awesome deck and take in the view! Or we'll surely find some other excuse to party! :-)

No comments:

Post a Comment