If you want to skip the preface and just want to read more about the process of us actually buying the house, skip to paragraph seven. The preface is important, because it explains how far we had come in a very little time.
It was my eighteenth birthday, and I had plans to move out of my mom’s house only a month from then. Finally, the sweet taste of freedom was so close! Although, I came home on my eighteenth birthday with a tongue ring… so the taste of freedom hurt like hell. Anyways, I saved up some cash, sold my 1992 Honda Civic for pocket change, packed up my shit, and moved 5 hours away to beautiful Santa Barbara, California. I had just enough money to cover my shared-apartment’s deposit and maybe a month of living. So immediately, I went job hunting. Within a week, I had four job offers. Within 2 weeks, I had a Full-Time & Part-Time job.
I wore myself thin by November. I was working thirteen/fourteen-hour days and had barely enough time to eat. I lost a bunch of weight and wasn’t really enjoying myself. I didn’t have time to enjoy myself. So, I found someone to sublease my portion of the shared-apartment. My mom wouldn’t take me back in just yet. I stayed on my Grandma’s couch for three months until I could convince my mom to accept my jobless broke-self back into her life.
Early in 2012 my mom had kicked me out of her house and I was thrown into a living situation with my boyfriend (now husband), Jesse. I was so glad he took me in, although he was renting a bedroom in his sister’s house and had a kid of his own already. We lived there happily for almost a year. Jesse worked Full-Time as a Tire Technician, and myself as a Hostess/Server at a popular restaurant.
I got knocked up. At nineteen, co-living with my (already fathered) boyfriend and his sister’s growing family. I know! I should have been more careful. But hey! It all worked out in the end, and I wouldn’t change a damn thing!!!
We finally earned enough to get an apartment on our own. We moved in a month before my son was born. All four of us, happy as can be for over two years. The only thing bringing us down, were the noise complaints from the downstairs neighbor (I guess we walk heavy [shrug]) and the strong smell of marijuana coming from… literally every other apartment.
I remember sitting out on the balcony of our extremely affordable, outdated 2-bedroom, 2-bath and thinking to myself: “Where is my rent going to”? That question ate at me more and more nearing the first of each month. It saddened me to hand the apartment office-lady my cashier’s check. If I knew how easy it was to buy a house, we would have purchased way sooner.
I convinced myself to at least try to buy a home. That was probably the hardest part for me. It all seemed like it would be too good to be true and extremely out of a twenty-one-year-old’s grasp. The first thing I did was talk to my sister who referred me to the Real-Estate Agent that helped my sister buy her home. My sister told me: “If you have any questions, your real-estate agent can answer them”.
The real-estate agent referred me to a lender that she works with on a regular basis. The lender needed multiple forms of identification, as well as a constant flow of pay-stubs, tax forms, and bank statements from my husband and I. In which we happily obliged. We were approved for an FHA loan (for first-time home buyers) of $200,000 and I got a $50,000 deferred loan from my city. We couldn’t have done it without the deferred loan. It lowered our monthly payment at least $350!!!
I looked at houses while my husband was at work, and got my hopes up on every house. We were denied with a quickness on every house we could afford. The market was booming, houses were going like crazy, and nobody wanted to sell their home to somebody with an unstable FHA loan. [Sometimes the city doesn’t go through with their part of the lending deal and denies you because of some fucking overtime that put you over the income bracket…*glares*. We had to get a letter from my husband’s employer stating that overtime isn’t consistent.]
I felt mental making offers on houses and constantly getting denied. It really starts to break your spirit. Not only did we have a very low amount for the houses in the one city that still had money to deferred loans available, but the houses also had to be livable upon moving in. There were so many specifications with the FHA loan! Eventually, my real-estate agent convinced me to look at a house that I specifically did not want to look at. The pictures were terrible, the location is down the street from low-income apartments. I. Did. Not. Want. This. House. I walked into the house pointing out every flaw, completely distraught. The seller was asking $259,000 and we only had $250,000 to offer. So, we bid on yet another hopeless house and I wrote a nice letter to the seller. I like to think it was the letter that did it, but some-how we were approved!!!
These were the exact images used to advertise the house… Enjoy!
I don’t know why he took pictures of the corners of some rooms, and his washer & dryer… He left out 3 bedrooms, and like half of all of the rooms that he did get pictures of!
When I went to the house later-on to complete an inspection, I started seeing everything just how it was. It was beautiful! All the negative things I had seen in the house before, they were just cosmetic! My husband and I used our tax returns to cover the closing costs (a bit under $5,000). I ended up fixing everything I hated in time (mainly the living room paint choices… smh [shudders]). Don’t worry, there will be either a house-tour blog post (at the very least) or hopefully a video very soon!
We have been home-owners in Vacaville, California for two years now and we hope to purchase more properties within the next ten years.
- March 2012 – Moved in with Jesse & his sister.
- February 2013 – Moved into the apartment.
- March 17, 2013 – We had our son.
- April 29, 2013 – Jesse & I got married.
- Spring 2015 – Obtained: Real- Estate Agent & Lender
- August 2015 – Purchased Home
- August 27, 2015 – We got our keys!!!
Jesse and I went from living paycheck to paycheck renting a room from his sister, to owning a house in about three years. What helped us the most is having an employment history of over 2 years, and having good credit!