Saturday, July 29, 2006

Signed, Sealed and Delivered! ....almost ;)

What a week it has been! It seems that God has just dropped a house into our lap!

For those of you who don't know, we've been househunting this summer. We have outgrown our quaint little apartment (which has been awesome for the past 5 years) and feel like now is the time for us to purchase our first home. The timing is right considering Deyan's schooling, but the market is INSANE!

So, after looking at over 20 homes, we were feeling kind of discouraged. There wasn't really anything decent in our price range. There were a couple we were interested in, but they had some drawbacks so we didn't end up putting in an offer. We basically decided last week that our best bet was to buy a North End Housing Renewal house. The deal with those homes is they are either renovated or brand new. The government then pays a grant to qualified home buyers worth 10% of the down payment and takes out a silent mortgage on a portion of the house over the course of 10 years. As a 1st time home owner and one who falls within the right income bracket, we qualify! In the end, our down payment is covered and roughly half the house is paid for us! The only downside at this time was that there were no homes available and the new ones wouldn't be ready until mid-December. We weren't sure if we were willing to wait that long, but we knew in the long run it would be worth it. Back to this week...

Tuesday morning I dropped the kids at a babysitter's and went to some appointments. Deyan and Tyler left for work but it began to rain so they ended up coming home and taking the day off (they do landscaping outside). Since I wasn't home, they decided to grab a bite to eat and drive around the neighborhood looking at all the properties where the new homes were being built. They didn't any lots that looked promising until Tyler noticed a For Sale sign on a house with a North End Renewal Housing sign on it! They wrote down the address and came home to find out what the deal was.

Wednesday morning our real estate agent informed us that the house was indeed for sale, but it wasn't officially listed yet. (this meant no one else knew about it so we had first dibs) We made an appointment to see it that evening. We loved it and asked our architect friend to come back with us to check everything out. He approved as well. We told our agent we were interested in putting in an offer but we still had to work out some financing issues.

If anyone knows what a crazy house market is like, you would know that unless you have a letter of pre-approval, most vendors won't even look at your offer. This was particularly true with this type of home. The problem was that our situation is unique with me being self-employed, partially on mat-leave, and Deyan just graduating. Our income on paper doesn't give an accurate picture of what we could and soon will make. The bank, of course, doesn't really look at that though and pretty much brushed us aside. We had tried someone else and they didn't even return our phone calls! So Wednesday evening we contacted a mortgage broker that had been referred to us by a friend. We filled out an application and Thursday morning he sent us a letter of pre-approval! We met with him Thursday evening to discuss our options and then met with our agent to sign an offer to purchase. They accepted our offer Friday morning!

So, barring anything going wonky with our mortgage approval or grant approval, we will be moving into a completely renovated home on September 1st! This home has new insulation and a new energy efficient furnace, all new plumbing, electrical, roof, windows, flooring, kitchen and bathroom, hot water tank, paint, etc. The foundation has been resealed and restabilized. It comes with a new washer, dryer, fridge, stove and dehumidifer (which we choose within a budget). It is bigger than the brand new homes and is ready now. It is also $10,000 cheaper than everything else we were interested in plus the grant! If I didn't know any better, I would say that it was a great coincidence that the boys found it! But I'm giving Jesus the credit for this one! :) He always takes care of us.

I wish I could post some pictures, but since it was never officially listed, there are none available! :) Maybe if we go in to see it again and take measurements we'll snap a few photos. Oh! I almost forgot that it has a front porch - one of my dreams! It is a closed porch, which isn't my first preference, but still! :) There isn't much of a yard at this point, but there is potential for next spring. Please pray that everything continues to fall into place and that we can get all the packing done in time!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Found a House!!!!

Please pray for us! We have found exactly the house we need at this time for the right price and with the right conditions. We are trying to put in an offer today and need some prayer coverage - especially that our finances will be approved and that the house doesn't sell out from under us!!!

I'll try to post pictures and info as soon as I can.


Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pictures from the Lake

We had a wonderful time at Lake of the Woods a couple of weekends ago. I'm finally getting a chance to post some photos! We are always very grateful to John and Violet for inviting us! And it's always so much fun to hang out with Jocelyn and her family!

Do you see the deer? Simeon did!
Fishing boat ride
Ionka and Esther Iova
The little swimmer!
Tyler and Deyan did some daring cliff jumping
Uncle Tyler and Simba
John even let Simeon drive the big boat!
Nice boat, eh?
Ionka and Violet
Chillin' in the hammocks
Jocelyn picnicing among the boys and the little queen!
Breakfast together!
Sim loved being all by himself on the boat!
Swimmer boy thought the lake water was very cold! But he hung in there!

The float plane dock is always very exciting!
Baba and her babies in the beautiful cabin!

Thursday, July 06, 2006

8 months ago...

...I was curled up in bed with my brand new baby girl, thanking God for a fast and uncomplicated birth with perfect timing, gazing at her beauty, overwhelmed with gratitude that I was no longer get the drift! :)

Yes, our sweet little Esther turned 8 months old at 8:04am today. She no longer weighs 8lbs 8oz, though. At her last weigh-in 6 weeks ago she was on her way to 18lbs! 8 is the number signifying 'new beginnings'. Hmmm I wonder if this will be the month we buy our first home!!! :) There have been alot of other prophetic things surrounding her young life for sure!

Esther is such a playful, happy, patient baby. Sure, she has her moments, but generally she gives us plenty to smile about! Simeon and her are really starting to play together more. No one can make Esther laugh like her brother and vice-versa. This is so rewarding - especially during the tough moments when he's sitting on her head! Now, if I could just get her back to a better sleeping pattern at night...

Anyways, I know people always brag about their kids on-line, so I won't bore you anymore. But I am so proud of my babies and wanted to share my joy with all of you! :)