Thursday, June 6, 2013

Blindly Blooming

Two weeks ago today, we bought a house here in Rome, Georgia.  The first time we ever walked into the house, our names were on the mortgage.

That's right.  We bought it sight-unseen.  What on earth were we thinking?

Let me start by saying that I do NOT recommend doing things this way, especially if you are buying a house for the first time.  But if you've been around me or this blog for any length of time, you know this is not our first rodeo when it comes to moving.  This was our fifth home purchase.

We made two trips to Rome before moving here.  The first time we looked at houses within a certain price range.  The second time - with an actual job offer and specific salary - we looked at houses in a lower price range.  One goal we had was to buy this house on a 15-year mortgage, and thankfully we did accomplish that.

In a certain neighborhood that we really liked, there were three houses in a row for sale.  Let's call them A, B, and C for simplicity.   (They are actually about the same distance apart.  It was hard to get a good picture of all three without causing a bit too much curiosity among the neighbors.)

During the first trip, only House A was for sale, and it was one of the ones we saw.  We loved it!  It was impeccable inside and out, and it had a wonderful play set in a big back yard.

But it went under contract by the time David got a firm job offer.

By the second trip, Houses B and C were listed.  In addition to several other houses in Rome and another in the same neighborhood, we toured House C.  We tried to see House B, but the renters living there were very inflexible when it came to scheduling showings.  Never mind.  House C was a foreclosure and needed some work, but we felt we could get it at a price that would still work with those added expenses, so we put in an offer and headed back home.

We soon found out that there was a second offer on House C, so we put in our best offer.  We "won" the bidding battle, but the bank still countered at a price we felt was too high considering the money we would have to put in.  (We later learned that a previous home inspection had revealed water leaking into one of the interior garage walls.  That, along with other needed things like appliances, blinds on all the windows, and hardware in all of the closets, would have put it out of our price range anyway.  Thank You, Lord, for Your protection!)

While this was going on (after we were back in Fort Smith), our agent finally got in to see House B, and he called me as he was walking through it to tell me how it compared to A and C.  It all sounded good to us, so with an agent sort of trembling with fear (and at first refusing to do it), we wrote an offer on House B, which we had never been inside.

A couple of hours later, the negotiations with the owners began.  The final price was settled within about an hour via text between David, me, and our agent, while I was grocery shopping with the kids in Wal-Mart.  Of course, we had a home inspection done, but it was the most pleasantly boring one I've ever seen.  (The most serious "issue?"  The gutters need to be cleaned out.)

So now we're here living in good ol' House B.  Do I have any regrets?  Nope.  The house definitely has some "quirks" that I'll point out when we get settled enough for me to post pictures, but nothing that would have been a deal-breaker.  We love this neighborhood, and we're happy with our decision.

Now, I must say this wasn't truly a blind decision.  Thanks to sites like and Google Earth (and LOTS of practice studying listings), I had a pretty good idea of the layout of the house.  I spent many hours with those pictures prior to us moving in, but seeing pictures and walking around inside are two different things.  However, with the exception of the living room (which is bigger than expected) and one of the bedrooms (which is smaller than expected), it's pretty much what I thought it would be.  Houses A and C had almost identical floor plans.  While House B looks very similar from the outside, the floor plan is different. While I did prefer the upstairs in A and C, the downstairs in our house is far superior for our needs.  All 3 have very large bonus rooms downstairs, but ours is the only bonus room with a window, and that makes it a perfect, sunny room for homeschooling and for my online teaching.  (If you're studying the picture above, the downstairs window in the other houses is in the laundry room.)

Also, I happen to know that the people who bought House A paid $14,500 more than we did for the very same square footage.

I believe we are in the house that God had for us.  Maybe He used the difficult renters to save the house for us.  We have talked to several people (including the ones who ended up buying House A) who said they tried to look at our house but couldn't ever schedule a showing!

At the end of the day, a house is a house is a house.  There are definitely things to watch for (and I hope to post about those soon), but almost anywhere can be made into a true Home with the right people inside, the determination to love it, and some cans of paint.  :)

Is it perfect?  No.
Is it my favorite house in all of Rome, Georgia?  Nope.
Is it HOME?  Yes!

So have you ever done anything like this?  If so, how did it turn out?  Would you do it again?

{By the way, this is totally off topic, but have you "liked" my Bloom Where You're Planted Facebook page yet?  I'd love it if you would!  The link is at the top of this page on the right-hand side.}

This post may be linked up to one or more of the following blog parties.  Check them out! Monday: Menu Plan Monday on I'm an Organizing Junkie Wednesday: Works for Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family Friday: 5 Minute Friday at The Gypsy Mama, Company Girl Coffee at Home Sanctuary, Pieces of Amy Other days: A Wise Woman Builds Her Home

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a pretty cool story. I thought your were teasing at first when you said you bought a house with out seeing it on the inside.


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