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Saturday, May 12, 2012

I haven't posted much in the past few months for many GOOD reasons.  But mostly because I was sooooo sad in October ( I know its silly to be sad about a material thing and I know horrible things happen to people all the time and this really wasn't horrible, but I couldn't help being sad) and then after that just too overwhelmed and extremely busy.
Here's the story:
In September for my birthday gift we were given an approval to purchase a short sale house (the house this blog is about) we had been waiting for almost one year.  At that time we had some issues because the house was vandalized, we were given extremely high estimates to make the house habitable and the owner wouldn't cooperate, so we decided to walk away from the deal.  I was devastated!!! I couldn't accept it.  Two days later I went back to tell them I wanted to go forward, but the house was under contract with another buyer.  I was so upset I refused to write in this blog that I had lost the house.  One of my followers asked why I wasn't posting, and my response was, I can't because I am so sad, I don't even want to write about losing the house.
Since we had been searching for our dream home for many years and hadn't found anything and also made offers on less than ideal homes in late October and November, we decided to give up on looking for a home in Miami and stay in our current casa.
However, we did want to invest in real estate.  We started looking for a property that we could buy and then rent out for vacation rentals in the Florida Keys.  We are familiar with the process because we own one in Miami Beach.  We looked very far south close to Key West and didn't see anything we loved. 

On the way back to Miami I made an appointment to see a house in Key Largo.  It was almost dark when we arrived.  The realtor warned me ahead of time that it was really in bad shape. 
Immediately upon arrival we fell in love.  The house was in a beautiful neighborhood, on a decent lot with the bay in the backyard.  You can even see the bay from the front yard as you drive in.  At that point we were hooked...it didn't really matter what the house looked like...

Thank goodness, because the house was in pretty bad shape.  Everything was original from the 1960's and pretty ugly.  The realtor encouraged us to make an offer if we liked it.  I explained that we did like it, but it was way too expensive with all the things we needed to do to it. Again, she told me to make an offer. 
I offered $500,000.00 under what they were asking.  After much convincing by the realtor, the owner counteroffered just $125,000.00 above what I had offered.  We were thrilled!!!! Immediately we signed the contract and got to work on securing the financing.  When we did the inspections we found that the roof also needed repair although the realtor had said it was new.  I won't bore you with the details, but I will tell you the price was reduced another $25,000.  We didn't tell a soul about the purchase.  Nobody knew because we had told so many people about the other house and it fell through we decided to keep this one quiet until it happened. 
We were scheduled to close on January 30, 2012. 

On January 26, 2012 I received a call from the realtor of our "dream casa".  When I saw his name on the caller i.d. I flipped.  He told me he thought the other contract was falling through and was willing to give me an opportunity to buy the house although he had multiple offers for the property (true).  He said I had to agree to all their terms or else no deal.  The terms were not unreasonable, however, they made us agree to purchase for $10,000.00 more than before.  We closed on the Keys on January 30th.  We were very happy!!! On February 1, he called that the contract was officially cancelled and we could send him a contract with all the items we had agreed on.  I did and we entered into the contract.  We waited about two months and received the approval and were told we'd have to close before April 23rd.  Again, the process was arduous and very annoying at times, but I am happy to say we closed this evening and the house is ours!!!!! Yay!!  (Which goes to show many things, but mainly I think if something is meant to be it works out without you having to push it or manipulate it.  Of course you have to help it along, but in a reasonable manner.  I also think this was a good lesson for our children to see.  We were persistent and we achieved one of our dreams.)  Again, we kept this purchase quiet also.  Imagine everyone's surprise when we told them the news today.  I'll just say, many people think we are crazy!!!!  I assure you we are not...both purchases were made of sound mind, with much thought and with great price tags which didn't hurt!

One of our friends asked, "when did you win the lottery?"  Lol!  We didn't win the lottery, but we did have an amazing mortgage broker and banker who figured out the best way to structure each deal within our means.  I'd be happy to recommend them, we were very happy with both.
I've started working more in order to pay for the remodeling of the house in the Keys.  We will be renting our current casa and the Keys house so as far as monthly expenses for the new "dream home" it will probably be right about what we pay now in our current home.  Taxes and insurance might be a tiny bit higher, but not much.

What I've been doing all this time:

  • working more to make money to pay for all the new expenses
  • remodeling of the Keys house
  • organizing and looking for the paperwork needed for our loans
  • looking for fixtures, flooring, bath tiles, accessories, etc. etc. etc.
  • Being a wife and mom
  • Planning and hosting parties for my childrens' religious events (one in February, one at the end of April)
  • Worrying
  • Worrying more
  • Stressing about whether buying the "dream house" was financially smart
  • Stressing about finances
  • and tons more I can't think of right now
I have to say, although intensely stressful and overwhelming this has been a very rewarding and happy time in my life.  I am immensely thankful for the opportunity to realize these dreams and feel very blessed that I had the opportunity to do so.

Look for posts and pictures about the progress of both houses, shortly...

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