This house. This house made me crazy for a few months. I'm quite sure I made a few other folks crazy too. Do you ever just *know* where you're supposed to be? It's like I can hear the Moana them song "how far I'll go" playing in the background of all of this. Just kidding, duh. That movie wasn't even out yet. So here's the story of how we became the (proud) new owners of the Farmhouse on Persimmon Lane.
We looked for a house for about 2 years and I had all but given up. There were a few that stood out, but each time they'd somehow be snatched off the market before we could ever get our paperwork in! Then there were the "almost" houses - plenty of them. Every bit of them hanging around on Zillow with the green carpet, brass fixtures and mauve accents they were ALMOST tolerable, but at the top of our budget and I had to stare at forest green countertops? Uhh, no. How exactly do you find an affordable home for a family of 6 on one income? As the young kids say - the struggle is real. We saw houses with basements that seemed like labrinths, houses with shared driveways, houses that looked like they belonged on that"Holmes on Homes" show. Um, yeah...thanks but no thanks.
I'll never forget the day hubby sent me a screenshot of the house. I could only see the front but I went digging into the real-estate app to find it. The home was for sale by owner, but then I saw it "under contract" - ugh. I seriously wanted to cry, but I had an idea! Without the blessing of my realtor I broke out paper and pen. I wrote a letter to the homeowner. "Dear Homeowner; I want to raise my family there" - Now I can't recall what I wrote, but that was the jest of it. I could just imagine it! I ended the letter with "So if the contract falls through, please contact us - we want to buy your house!" - I sealed the letter with a photo of the kids and I sent it off. I thought nothing of it, and I heard nothing back. It wasn't until I was blabbering on and on about the house while on vacation that I realized - HEY! It's back on the market! I immediately called our real estate agent, who called the owners. He called back and said "NO GO" - wait what?! I was about to lose my mind! I asked him if he told them how much equity we had in our house and he said yes. You see, the seller didn't want to entertain or "waste their time" showing their house to someone who didn't have the free and clear to move and we still had to sell our home. I begged and pleaded with him to call her back a second time and say "TELL HER WE ARE THE FAMILY WHO WROTE THE LETTER!" - He confusedly asked me, "What letter?"- Well, you see...uh...I wrote her a letter! I know he wasn't pleased with me reaching out to the seller but it's not like she had an agent and the property address was right there - besides the house was under contract so it was all a wing and a prayer anyway.
Fast forward, we were granted permission to see the house. I should mention that I hadn't actually seen much of the property as the listing had very few photos. It had a 4-stall horse barn, 5 acres and an old charming farmhouse that made me fall in love the second I saw it. My sister and I actually drove out one day and that's when I knew (again) that I REALLY had to call this place home. It HAD to work out. We arrived on the walk-through day and things looked less than perfect when we arrived. I opened up the back door and was greeted by pheasant wallpaper border and burgundy trim; wowsah! It certainly needed a bit of freshening up! We walked into the kitchen and I said "Welp, maybe this isn't my dream house!" We continued to walk through the house and, to be honest, it wasn't bad. It had a lot of outdated carpet styles and colors that weren't exactly my thing, but definitely a charming wonderful house and I could already picture my daughter climbing trees and my boys running through the pastures.
We tried to figure out financing for both houses, but that got shot down. We hadn't sold our home so we just didn't know what we would do! That's when I saw the listing on Facebook and everyone and their mother was commenting on it! My sister tagged me and said "I thought you were buying this?" and of course (so humiliating) I had to write back "the deal fell through" - ugh. Rip my heart out again. So, as fate would have it (and it must have been) my friend Jorgina saw my post. She sent me a PM saying "hey, what's going on with this house?" - I began to tell her the obstacle of one income vs. two mortgages. She immediately helped us with a plan as Jorgina Colyn is the most amazing finance person I've ever met! We were able to maximize our financial dealings to make it all work. Somehow - and I'm still astounded by this - we were able to obtain the VA financing AND still qualify for the other mortgage. Of course this wasn't going to hold very long because it just wasn't feasible for us to carry two mortgages - but we were approved and that was a huge step in the right direction!
We finally came into the offering phase of buying and we offered full asking price. We really had no contingencies other than crossing the bridge of what would need to be fixed to get the VA loan, but we offered. We heard back that they had two offers at the same time. I panicked. I'll be the first to admit - I panicked. I pretty much cornered my husband into offering 10k more. Over time 10k wouldn't have made any difference, but that 10k could be the only reason we get this house - we had come so far and I wasn't willing to at least go down without a fight! Here's the thing though - WE GOT THE HOUSE!
So we got the house, we just had to sell our other one! We decided on a closing date that would maximize the amount of time we'd have payment overlap, so we had about 90 days before the first payment. Luckily we had about 5 showings in one week, and thankfully one of those showings paid off! We were able to sell our other house and buy this one too! We did overlap one mortgage payment but we had a solid strategy to keep everything moving in the right direction (thanks Jorgina!)
So, Persimmon Lane Farm was the inspiration for my Photography business. I'll write about that in another blog though. For now I thought it would be funny to share some irony...So here at Perismmon Lane, we have ZERO Persimmon Trees. However, my dear friend Jorgina is now the proud owner of a Persimmon Orchard! I know...it's probably not nearly as funny to you as it is to me. So whenever I want a persimmon, I pop on over to pay a visit the woman who made our dream possible! <3 Thanks Jorgina!