Over a month ago, we made a big financial commitment as a couple and a very long term one. You know a 30 year one at that. We bought a house. Funny thing is, WE did not make the financial commitment, Ryan did. Technically, Ryan bought the house and Nicole is only on the deed! Someone got the better end of the deal here! BUT… We are officially residence and homeowners in Erlanger, KY!!!
Our home buying journey was a whirlwind and happened quicker than we had ever imaged. Over the past few years, we were working on getting to a spot where we could financially buy and knew that we wanted to do so this year. However, we had no clue we would find our home after only looking for a couple of weeks.
After settling down at home on the evening of Christmas Day, we both decided to download the Realtor.com app… you know, just to look and start determining what we want in a new home. About a week or so after looking around the app, we decided we wanted to check out a place down the street from us.
Now, we wish we could say that this was THE house, but honestly, the place needed more work than we could reasonably take on…. So, the hunt continued. The Realtor.com app kept us busy most evenings (and some during the day while we were supposed to be working). It had become a slight obsession to be perfectly honest. We had over 6 months to find a place before our lease was up, but that didn’t stop us for stalking the app regularly.
During our hunt we scooped out a total of 4 houses… the second one we saw was too small. The master bedroom wasn’t even big enough to put our bed in, let along other bedroom furniture. Then one Sunday, we set up a couple of showings in Erlanger, one of which we weren’t super interested in because it didn’t have a garage but was worth a look.
When we walked into the 3rd home of our hunt (the one we weren’t really interested in), it was totally different from everything we had seen online. The place was freshly painted, brand new kitchen and carpet, had all the appliances and Nicole fell in love with the large bay windows in both the kitchen and living room. The place also had things we didn’t realize we wanted, like lights and fans in all the bedrooms. We were very impressed and it a delightful surprise to say the least.
After spending some time at this house, we went to the fourth and final possibility. This house was not made for tall people. As we toured both the upstairs and basement, the steps were extremely steep and felt like you were walking up a ladder. Then in the basement, we both felt the need to bend down to make sure we didn’t hit our heads (technically there was enough room… by maybe centimeters). Needless to say, this was not the place for us.
As we were wrapping up our house tour at the final location, we stood around in the kitchen talking with our realtor, Sherry with Coldwell Banker and her husband, Bud (who happened to also be our finance guy) about the previous house. We shared with them that we talked about it on the drive over and knew this would be a perfect first home for our family! So, we decided to place an offer. Yep, you read that right, we decided to buy a different house than the one we were standing in. Shhhhhh…. don’t tell the other sellers!
The longest part of the process was the time from when we placed the offer to when the we heard back from the sellers. In case you’re not aware, this is usually just a day or two turnaround… but it feels like eternity. Especially since we had already discuss possibilities and how we would want to transform the house into our home.
Our hearts sank when Ryan received a call from Sherry explaining it’s possible we wouldn’t get the house… they had another offer. So, as we waited for the official “sorry, no thanks”, time just drug on. We were not holding our breath they would accept our offer. Honestly, why would they… someone else already showed interest in buying it and in this market, house sell quick.
Ryan was at work when he heard from Sherry stating the sellers countered our offer. Without hesitation, Ryan accepted the counter. This is the perfect time to note that he did this without technically consulting with Nicole… so yes, Ryan spent over $100k without his wife’s approval. (Good thing we thought ahead and had discussed what we were willing to spend on the house.)
The feelings of joy and excitement rushed over us like nothing we have ever experienced. It was such a surreal feeling to think one of our biggest dreams (with a bit of fear mixed in) was going to happen! WAIT WHAT…WE’RE ACTUALLY GOING TO BUY A HOME!!!! Guess this is what it must feel like to be a “real” adult huh?!
Over the next month, we spent many stressed hours making sure we’ve crossed all our Ts and dotted all our Is. It felt like every other day we needed to do something to move forward. Never in our lives did we realize how much we would have to justify what we spent our money on.
Funny side note, when the lending agent was reviewing Ryan’s bank account and she saw a transaction with the name Krystal Flowers and commented “oh, how nice, you bought your wife flowers.” Why is this funny? Ryan had received a payback for dinner from Nicole’s friend… and we’re sure at this point you guessed right, her name is Krystal Flowers. So, no Ryan did not buy Nicole flowers. FYI… Ryan doesn’t buy Nicole flowers… like ever.
But all this stress and worry came to an end on February 21, 2020… the day we officially bought a house!!!! The family selling the home were the sons of the original owners. They were selling their parent’s home as part of their estate. We could tell it was bittersweet for them. This was their childhood home. They place they grew up and now, that chapter of their lives was officially over.
However, after our quick closing (literally we were done in 30 minutes), when talking to them, we found out the house use to always have cats living in it. The men were delighted to hear this house would be a cat home once again and yes, the girls have adjusted quite well to their new home.
Since our closing was later in the day, right after we headed north to pickup the boys and grab a celebratory dinner. On our way back from dinner, we surprised the children by stopping at the new house and letting them see it for the first time. This was our home! We did this for them as much as we did it for ourselves!
Our first family photo in the new house!
Not sure why, but the boys enjoyed quite a bit of time rolling around on the floor in the “fancy” living room!
To wrap up our joyous season of buying a house, we asked our friend, Morgan of Morgan Abbatiello Photography, to capture a few portraits of us in our new home the next day while the feelings were still very raw! (The boys choose to sleep or play on their tablets instead of going with us).
As small gesture of thanks with a bit of humor for being the one to actually buy the house, Nicole gave Ryan a dozen cookies from 3 Sweet Girls Cakery to celebrate.
Have a Great Day!
Nicole & Ryan
P.S. As we continue on this adventure of being first time home buyers, we’ll keep you posted on our progress!