The Road To Buying My First Home: Part 5
One of the most hectic and enjoyable days of the entire process was the day we closed on the house. From the final walk-through with our Dan Ryan construction manager Joe to signing our life away at settlement to then starting the process of moving our things over to the new house, it was a pretty busy day. The final walkthrough basically gave us one last chance to check out the house and make sure all of the small issues we marked off during the inspections from earlier in the month were taken care of. Although nothing huge was discovered, it is important to make sure that all paint splatter and other small messes and miscues can be cleaned up (within reason) prior to closing on the house. As you can see in the images below, several very small cosmetic issues were marked off during the last set of walkthroughs with the inspector and on site construction manager a few weeks before.
Although the moment we signed on the dotted line and officially closed on the house was a great occasion, there was plenty of work left to be done. We didn’t have a whole lot of time to reflect since we were due to be out of our apartment in a few weeks. This meant non-stop moving into the new year. However, after many years of apartment living, going through the up and down of life, and dreaming about this day, it was almost hard to believe that this day had finally come. It went beyond my wildest dreams to not only be closing on such a nice house, but to build it from the ground up was pretty surreal. I can’t imagine that most average people think they are going to be capable of doing what my wife and I had just accomplished, but somehow we managed to find the right situation and made it a reality. I never could have imagined doing this if you had asked me a year or two ago.
Our success story couldn’t have happened without the team around us. My wife in general deserves a lot of the credit. She was very persistent in our search. She found the build site. She did her homework on just about every detail that came up. Many times she wowed our real estate agent, construction manager, and anybody else we crossed paths with along our journey. Speaking of Laura, our real estate agent, she was there for us every step of the way. When we were just starting our search and didn’t know what exactly we were looking for, she was there every steps of the way to help us out. If one or both of us had to work and there was an inspection or meeting that had to take place, Laura was always there to represent us. Brandon, our loan originator, provided an equal amount of support in his role as well. Anytime we had a question about the loan process, he was there to crunch the numbers and help us strategize in order to get the best rate possible. Both of these individuals were responsive, supportive, and reliable through every step of the process. This went on right up to the day we shook hands and officially signed on the dotted line. Our construction manager Joe should also get a lot of credit as his team did a brilliant job of keeping the build on schedule. We didn’t move in at the exact point we were hoping to, but it was pretty close. The building crew was often here on Saturdays and Sundays working hard to get this house built before the end of the year. These guys worked extremely hard and deserve and enormous amount of credit for making all of this happen.
Although this is the last part of the home buying/building series, this will not be the last story about the house. We have an unfinished basement, unpainted walls, and many other projects to tackle over the next few years. I’m pretty sure there will be other quirks and stories that pop up as time goes on. Thanks to the warranty we have on the house and appliances, we’ve had some very minor repairs done since the move in, but nothing too major. I think the biggest repairs have been for the dishwasher (it wasn’t pumping water into the unit) and some minor popping noises that could be heard when walking around the second floor (a problem that has been resolved since our service a few weeks ago).
As of today, we’ve been living here for a little over one month. After years of grinding away through the day to day rigors of life, living in several different apartment complexes, and getting used to having neighbors up, down, and around, you might think it would take some time to get used to living in such a quiet place. Frankly, It couldn’t be more the opposite of that. It feels very natural to be in this house despite the fact that we have not yet filled it and shaped it to our liking just yet. When I look at the decisions we made from the model of the home itself to the kitchen flooring and cabinet choices, I have no regrets. We probably have a few more windows than we need, but I am not always a big fan of having a lot of light in the house either. Our blinds installation man from Lowe’s did a great job of installing blinds the day after we closed on the house. When closed, they manage to keep a decent amount of that extra light out. Our driveway didn’t turn out quite the way I expected to as well. I was hoping to install a basketball hoop, but the driveway slopes down too much for it. Perhaps it will feel better once they come back repave it in the spring. Putting these minor flaws aside, I couldn’t be happier with our house at this point. Now that we gave ourselves a chance to settle in and enjoy the house, it will soon be time to start checking off the list of diy projects that await us in the future.