October madness: Train and House Hunting

Welcome to my life, October! My busiest month all year, I think.

I gave you a brief rundown of all the goings on of this month. Last weekend we saw Train in Reno with my youngest brother and his girlfriend and my mom. I wish I’d gotten some photos, but we were having such a dang fun time, I didn’t even pull my phone out once to take one. My bro took some video. If you want to check it out, his ID is MrTacoBoat. My favorite part of the show was the mash up they did of  songs through the years. And there’s a point in the Drops of Jupiter video where he moves his phone around and gets a shot of all of us. If you’re into that kind of thing. For now, I guess the best I can do for you is this: both bros and I at my wedding.

My youngest brother Dan is to my left. Matt is to my right. He’s 3 years younger than me. (photo by Sarah Maren Photography)

I love my bros. I got pretty lucky in that department. They’re pretty awesome people and great brothers! This is actually one of my favorite pictures from our wedding…you know, that doesn’t feature Jim and I.

Anyway, so today is Thursday, and Jim and I leave for Santa Cruz on Saturday morning where we will begin our one year anniversary celebration with Jim’s grandma and her husband, Lutz (who is for all intents and purposes “grandpa” but we call him Lutz…I guess because he’s not Jim’s mom’s dad? I dunno. But it works).

The only photo our photographer got of the four of us. It’s cute, but it’s supposed to be a portrait. What the heck? (photo by Sarah Maren Photography)

We are spending the night with them on Saturday before heading to Monterey for the rest of the weekend. I got a living social deal for a hotel there that included credit at the restaurant and the spa. We’ll probably go to the aquarium, cruise around town, go to the beach, maybe check out Carmel for one day. Who knows. We don’t have plans further than the dinner and spa reservations I made. We are exchanging gifts on Friday, I think, because we both bought things that were way too big to bring with us. I wish I could show you now what I got Jim. I’m SOOOOO excited about it. He’s going to absolutely LOOOOOOVE it. I just know it.

Last week, we buttoned up the last of the crap we needed to do for our pre-approval for our home loan, so this past week, we’ve been looking at houses. The market in California, and specifically the area we are in, is insane. There are so few houses and so many buyers that there are often multiple offers on one house and bidding wars are pretty common from what our agent tells us.  It’s a little discouraging for first time buyers, but not impossible, and we have a conventional loan, not a FHA, so we should be okay.

That being said, we found a house we love! I’m trying so hard not to get too excited because the likelihood of us getting the first house we put an offer on is pretty slim, I guess. But it’s so cute. It’s the perfect size and it has a really nice yard and it just needs some minor work…interior paint and carpet. The layout is great and there are some neat little unique features. The neighborhood is really nice, schools are great and there’s a park just around the corner.  I think it would be a really great first home for us.

Anyone else ever use the Snipping tool in Windows? This photo is from Google Maps. So freaking amazing.

We saw it on Tuesday night, the day after it came on the market. Tonight we’re going back to see it during daylight. I CAN’T live in a house that feels like a cave, so we need to see what kind of natural light it gets…and hopefully I can see that through the awful bright paint.  Our moms are coming along mostly because they’re curious but also because we value their opinions. The seller isn’t reviewing offers until Sunday, so tomorrow we’re sitting down with our agent and putting together our offer. We’re hoping people are scared off by the paint and also the mild smell that betrays the fact that the current owners have cats. And it’s not updated. Our agent says the seller wants a family or a young couple ready to start a family, and we fit that bill perfectly!

We also looked at a different house on Tuesday. It’s a bit different. It’s brand new. Built in 2008 and its questionable as to whether its been lived in at all or not. It’s technically zoned as a condo because it’s in a development made up of six houses that all share the same driveway. They all have their own garage and their own yard. They’re independent of each other, but they share a driveway. The one we liked faces out to the street, so it’s not sharing a driveway like the others are. It has a very small yard, but the square footage is good and the layout is good and we’d be comfortable there. It’s not a dream house. It’s a first house. And it’s priced $60,000 less than the one we are putting an offer on. The downside of this one…besides the small yard and close neighbors…is that it’s currently tied up in a bankruptcy deal with the two houses next to it and a decision won’t be made on the case until January. At that point, it might not even be for sale depending on the judge’s decision. So this one is in the backup position at present.

The one we are looking at is the one with the star. The one that google marked is also for sale, but it’s smaller and just too cramped in the corner for our taste

I’ll keep you posted on our house hunting progress. It’s so exciting! Cross your fingers for us that our offer will be accepted on Sunday! I’ll try to post again before the weekend, but if not, I’ll have a full recap when we get back!

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