It’s been a wild weekend.
Last weekend, as I said, we met some new friends in Tacoma who recommended a new Tacoma specific realtor to us. We contacted them and were referred out to a different, also Tacoma specific realtor. We talked briefly with her, and then decided to promptly fire our old realtor and hire this new one. (Sidenote: it was SUCH a good idea.) Mostly because the old realtor had basically told us we didn’t want to buy in the neighborhood we liked because the area “wasn’t safe” – but really probably meant “black people live there.” And fuck that.
Anyway . . .
Yesterday we drove down to Tacoma to meet with the new realtor, get some info from her, and then check out a couple of houses. We were immediately so glad we made the switch. She really seemed to understand the priorities we had – urban amenities, diverse neighborhood, walkability, etc. In fact, she lives in one of the neighborhoods we were most excited about. Further solidifying our love for the new real estate group, they were sponsoring a community bike event in their parking lot and as luck would have it, Ansel decided to wear his helmet on our trip down and immediately climbed up on one of the bikes. (*side note: we need to get him a bike – maybe a balance bike? who has good ideas about that?)
After chatting about the process, the market and what we are looking for, we headed out to look at a few houses. The first one was a gorgeous craftsman, with original millwork and an incredible mature garden. It also had a shitty, teeny tiny kitchen and awkward walls and . . .oh yeah, it was built in 1922. I LOVE old houses. Adore them. Which is why the first house I bought was built in 1898. It was so cute. You know what else it was? A giant, money- sucking hole full of cast iron pipes and no foundation. I got stars in my eyes and took one look, said “No” and steered me out of there before I could start pleading my case.
The second house we weren’t feeling hopeful about. It seemed especially small from the pictures. But, it was in the neighborhood we liked, and it was new. Like, so new no one has ever lived in it. There was an open house at this place, so we pulled up and wandered in.
We walked into a massive living/dining area to the left and a massive kitchen to the right, all beautiful and bright and open. The kitchen has a huge area for a table, a massive island, beautiful granite countertops. The living area stretches on and on, nice slate laminate floors, so airy. It’s a rambler, so it stretches back with a little laundry closet on the right, two smaller bedrooms on the left, a bigger master with it’s own bathroom (nothing wild, but a private bathroom still!) and a second bathroom for the other two rooms. There’s even a two car garage in the back!
We were totally in love. A brand new, lovely, big enough house in an older, established, city-amenable neighborhood, that was listed at $40K under our max?! Now we REALLY had stars in our eyes.
We walked outside and chatted with our realtor. She confirmed what we thought, which was that this was a real find. We walked back in and looked again. This was it. This was the house we wanted to buy.
Once we clarified the biggest (for us) issue – when the first mortgage payment will be due – with our lender, we went for it. We had driven home so A could nap and ended up going back down to Tacoma to write an offer.
Today has been long and full of anxiety. We heard back this morning that they had a second offer, and spent the day sending texts to our lender, our agent, our friends who are realtors, trying to come up with our best offer. Finally, about two hours ago, after some more back-and-forth with the sellers, we are officially under contract – set to close June 6th!
We’ll have about 6 weeks between when we close and when we have to be out of our rental. We’ll need to put up a fence for the dogs, buy a refrigerator and washer-dryer . . .and we can paint, move little stuff slowly, take our time getting into the house and getting out of this one. It’s going to feel extravagent, after our last move!
It feels wild that 48 hours ago we had no intention of making an offer on a house. But, here we are. It feels lovely and perfect. The house is 5 blocks away from our new friends. There’s a park down the street. It’s only few blocks from the lightrail, and there’s a lovely little shopping and restaurant area close by. There’s even an ELCA Lutheran church just down the street.
So, we’re headed to the City of Destiny.