So the fun has begun at Gardella Drive. We left the keys here last night in hopes that the remodel fairies would visit. THEY DID! The once outdated mint green kitchen has been torn out (still some green residue on the walls though). The closet in the master bedroom also has a ‘small hole’ in it, we decided to knock that all out so we ( cough cough Emily cough) would have more closet space. It will be converted into a slightly larger master closet and slightly smaller guest one. But now looking at it I’m wanting to turn it into a master suite ;). Wishful thinking. I have loose measured the rooms so we can start picking out furniture this week and see what will fit. So all in all every thing is starting out great at the new abode. We will keep the posts coming throughout the process. Eventually we will put up some photographs too.
It’s about to be official!! We are soon-to-be homeowners! It was a loooong wait so let me tell you all about our experience.
We started looking for houses in April/May of this year and quickly learned what all the news was about regarding the housing market. It is nearly impossible to find a house! First of all, there weren’t many houses on the market (about 1/2 what’s normal for the area). Second of all, when we finally found a house in our price range that we liked, it would get approximately 10 offers. Unfortunately, we were always in the disadvantage because we are first-time homebuyers and weren’t able to put as much money down as our competitors. We spent every weekend from May – September looking at houses.
The first place we put an offer on was a condo in San Ramon. It was a flip so everything in the house was fairly new. We were super excited about the house and immediately put an offer on the house. Unfortunately, the realtor wasn’t very on top of receiving the offers and closing the “pool”. It got up to 12 offers and we eventually found out that we lost the race.
The second place we put an offer on was a house in Dublin. This one was maintained so well and was soo adorable. I toured the house when CJ was on a business trip but knew he would fall in love with it if he saw it. The owner was getting relocated so the fate of the house was in the hands of the relocation company. We put on offer on the house but were beat out by someone who had $200,000 in cash to pay up front. Who has that kind of money laying around??!? We were really bummed when we didn’t get that house.
You know what they say, the third times a charm! And that’s what ended up happening for us. We got the real estate notification that this house came on the market in late August but decided not to take a look at it. To this day, we can’t remember why that was. Luckily though, my parents found the house on Trulia and suggested we take a look at it. Lloyd (our realtor) called us around the same time and told us he had a house that he thought we should take a look at. We decided to go for it and take a look. We toured the house and thought it was pretty nice. It’s about 1400 square feet, so a bit bigger than other houses we toured and it was much more fit for entertaining. The kitchen is old and outdated but that’s fixable. So we thought, why not! Let’s just make a offer and see where it goes. After a few days, we found out that our offer was accepted!! This house was an estate sale so the process was going to go differently than a traditional sale.
So, we got the appraisal done, bug inspection, and started to wait for the probate court approval. And we waited….and waited…. until finally finding out that the court date was October 1. We were counting down the days and it finally came! The seller traveled up from Southern CA for the court date, got to the court in Berkeley, and was told that the judge had been reassigned. Because of that, they lost their court date (doesn’t make much sense) and had to reschedule. The soonest date they could pencil them in was November 14. So we went back to the waiting game…
Meanwhile, we had our mind on other minor things. You know, a wedding. No big deal. 😉
After coming back from the honeymoon, getting back into the swing of work, and waiting very patiently, the court date was finally here! We took the morning off from work to drive over to Berkeley as the seller requested that we come this time. We arrived a 1/2 hour early and were anxious to find out if the offer was approved. Our realtor Lloyd, the seller’s realtor Kevin, and the sellers finally arrived. They were three adorable ladies – the homeowner’s mother and two sisters. The homeowner passed away in May of this year so they were helping execute his will. They were so sweet and we’re so glad we got to meet them. After waiting an hour, the judge called our case. She reviewed the documents, asked a few questions, and APPROVED THE OFFER!!! Woo hoo!!
So now we just need the loan docs to be prepared and it will close! We’re planning on ripping out the kitchen and completely redoing it with custom cabinets and brand new appliances. Making the cabinets should take three weeks, remodeling the kitchen and refinishing the floors should take another three weeks, and then we can move in! After all the remodeling is done, it will be absolutely perfect for us! We can’t wait to buy furniture and to decorate the house as our own.