He and she had been renting their entire relationship. Why wouldn’t they? They were only 24 years old by the end of January 2016. Now that she was almost half way through her second pregnancy, and baby was crawling everywhere at a ripe 9 months of age, it was time to get serious about finding a house again. (This time one they would actually follow through with.)
They had looked at a few houses that were either falling apart or in bad areas of town, sometimes it was both. After a few weeks, they grew frustrated by what little their budget could get them. Where they lived was a great area for rental properties, so big companies and investors would buy up all the houses in the nicer areas and rent them out, which didn’t bode well for the Anonymous family and their house hunt.
Finally one morning, she received an email from Zillow with a saved search update. There was a house that was just put on the market in an okay area and had some work done on it recently. It still looked as though it needed some work, but she knew if they didn’t get into see it that day, it would be gone in a flash.
Their realtor was on it. They saw it that night and made an offer on the place, and with some back and forth, there was an accepted offer. From the house being so new to the market, there was an open house set for that weekend that the seller’s realtor decided to go forward with. “Babe, we should go, but give fake names, so their realtor doesn’t know we are the people buying it.” He suggested super enthused.
“Yes! I like this!” She exclaimed, already working on name variations that sounded real. Upon getting to the open house that weekend, the woman never asked their “names,” which was fine since he and she never landed in agreement about what their alter names should be.
What people don’t explain on HGTV is that closing on a house isn’t as simple as an accepted offer (unless you are somehow able to pay for a house in cash). It’s a month or more of emails, credit checks, bank statements, signatures, inspections, earnest money, insurance, closing costs (which he and she had to pay for), and making sure you don’t open any new lines of credit, along with packing and whatever else the bank and realtors require, all so that signing on the dotted lines (which there are many) results in the new ownership of the home. On January 21, 2016, checks were handed over and papers were signed, all within a matter of 20 minutes somehow.
They had done a final walkthrough before closing, but realized that their dog was a tad more odorous than they had thought. Their renovations had definitely been DIY, but he was gung-ho about doing all renovations himself. They weren’t able to sleep there until that weekend, since their bed was still at the apartment, but they decided to order some food and eat it at the new place on the floor. All of their stuff had been packed, meaning no more cooking meals anywhere until they were settled in the new house. She craved spaghetti, so they ordered from a chain Italian restaurant. “Look! Our first takeout menu for the house!” She said, already feeling at peace with the largest purchase in her life. Baby played in his walkabout as they ate on the living room floor, looking around.
“We are going to make this house our own sweetie. We can take out some walls, put up drywall over the foundation in the basement to finish it off, rip up the carpet and match the bamboo in the bedroom. It is going to be a great starter home.” And he meant it. That day he ripped out the carpet, which quickly removed a fraction of the dog odor.
Within the first week of moving in, she came home from work to find one of the first walls he wanted to take out, missing.
By the next weekend, there were several down.
His stepdad and her dad had been a huge help in getting them this far. In a few weeks her dad would help getting plumbing in the new bathroom that would go in the master bedroom they created. His stepdad was helping move electric and remove some of the studs from the old framing of the walls.
After the walls had come down, she received a follow-up email from HGTV’s House Hunters. They wanted he and she to begin the application process of being on the show. The only issue was that they wanted them to hold off on renovations and on moving in. Whoops! She had inquired right after they had put in an offer, thinking they would never be contacted. For a while, they thought they could pull it off. They would speed up renovation and move their stuff back into their apartment (that they still have yet to sublet or else they will pay for it until May 2016). Easy. They even did the phone interview. It was when it came down to really thinking about how long and strenuous moving had been for him and their families (since she wasn’t really allowed to pick anything up, being pregnant).
They finally decided that it wouldn’t be in their best interest to move again, speed up renovations, and take off five days of work just to be on TV and get $500. It was an awesome feeling to get that far though, since they felt it would have been a strong chance that they got on the show. “This is going to be our five year house.” He had once expressed to her. When the kids were older and needed their own room or when they all just felt they needed a bigger better place, maybe they would have another chance.
None of that really mattered to he and she. They were just happy to have a place to raise their growing family, and a place to finally call home.