Thursday, March 7, 2013

The story of OUR house.

After being married (almost) 7 1/2 years, living in little apartments that consist of 650 square feet and soon-to-be 3 kids, we will have our own home. Our own starter home. I am still in denial, or shock really.

I feel like for the past 7 1/2 years we have been playing house.
Then the babies came, and it felt more real, but still, just playing.
We left our tiny 650 square foot apartment, the place we had spent the majority of our marriage together and our future was planned.
But now that we are building our first home together, to fill with our own appliances, furniture and keepsakes along with our 3 kids while my hubby becomes a doctor,
I feel like I have legitimately grown-up.

And for those interested, here are some FAQs answered, 
because I am sure there will be many Q's asked by a certain few :)

Why aren't you renting?!
The city where Richard's medical school is located, has some very dangerous non-family-friendly areas. Everyone, including real estate agents, told us to stay away from most of the areas except 2. One of them is a 30 minute drive (one way) from the school and the other area is the one the school is in. It is safe (it has an A+ rating on safety) , very family friendly, protected from the "bad" of the "scary" area by a big highway, and super close to the school. Since time with the family will be very limited because of how busy he will be, we opted to live in the area next to the school so we can spend an extra 1-2 hours a day with Richard (figuring in commuting time and the fact he can come home for lunch). This area doesn't have many rentals and the ones they do have are more than the allotment the school gives you for housing (because they only give enough for a single room apartment since the majority of the students are single men), requiring us to take out more student loans (NO THANKS!!) or not have enough for other expenses. It can be done, and we were going to, but it is definitely not ideal. Considering the only options were very small, with stairs (they are very hard with multiple small children and for that reason I REALLY don't like them) and no backyard and the fact I will have 3 VERY young kids, my time while he will be in medical school would have been awful really really hard. 
Long story short, we found out a couple months ago that my in-laws had sold their house and had a big chunk of money that they wanted to invest in housing for us (they are acting like "bank" and we are going to make monthly payments to them as if they were the "bank"). So we started looking at houses and because the area we need to live in is so nice, there were zero options in that price range. So we decided to look at all the options, including building. We found a perfect lot about a 2 minute drive from the campus for a decent price (and down the street from the brand-new elementary school and church building). And then we found out about a building company that could do everything we needed for the price we could do it in. The whole time we have been very cautious and did a lot of research to make sure it was the right decision. After all our research, we realized it very much is

What about the fact you are leaving in 4 years?
With the medical school growing by 30 seats a year and with their plans to open a P.A. school in a few years, we know that there would be a HUGE influx of students and a huge shortage of housing (and this school seeks after students who are LDS with families). So the possibility of renting or selling it when we are ready to leave, is very good. And the price of rentals with it's specs are VERY high, so worse case scenario and we can't sell it, we would make a lot by renting it. And like I said, there is a big market for that with the school growing so much. Plus, worst worst case scenario, and we can't sell it OR rent it out, we could stay there for 3-4 more years after medical school and Richard could very possibly do his residency there (and staying in our brand-new home we built in a very nice area wouldn't be a problem...hehe).
BUT even with all that considered, Business Insider predicts that Yakima will be one of the top markets to grow in the next 4 years (it should grow almost 8%) and it was named one of 15 of the best in the nation for housing markets because of that! And the neat thing, is we will be ready to sell in about 2017 when it is predicted to be at it's peak! HUGE BLESSING

How is it a good idea with property taxes, utilities, insurance etc?
Part of our research we did before making the final decision was to find out exactly how much that would be. The school gives you a utility and insurance allowance which is a little bit higher than what we will need to spend. And when we figured in the property taxes plus all the utilities etc. in the monthly payment, it is still much cheaper than renting.

What is the status?
The building permits have been approved, we have paid for the lot and closed on it, we paid the first deposit to the builder/contractor, temporary power pole is up and they are staking out the house on the property tomorrow so they can start excavating this next week!!

Will it be done by the time school starts?
The reason we choose the company that we did is because they are under contract to be completely finished with the project in 4 1/2 months. School doesn't start for another 5 months so we know it will definitely be finished in time. Their contract says 4 1/2 months, but they have been finishing houses in 85-90 days consistently and the main contractor is one of Richards relative and very old family friends, so we know we are in great hands. He knows our deadline and says he will definitely make it, with a good buffer.

What are the specs of the house?

almost 1500 square feet
3 bedrooms
2 full bathrooms
2 car garage
Walk-in closet in master bedroom (YAY!)
Kitchen bar
Covered front porch
Soaker tub and normal shower in master bathroom
Oil rubbed bronze fixtures (all lights and door handles)
Recessed lighting in the kitchen and covered porch 
Thick craftsman style trim throughout the house
Rounded corners on all walls and windows
Cheyenne doors throughout the house
Staggered cabinets in the kitchen
...perfect starter home!!!
(and I can't wait to put pictures of all the things we picked for the inside!!!)

So it is happening
I still can't believe it! The way this has come together is absolutely amazing. I really feel like things have been "guided" and really full of so many blessings. I know it sounds weird, but I have felt that way several times in this process. Like for example: as soon as we realized buying a house in that area was too expensive, I started looking at property and found the one we bought. We looked at other options and did our research trying to keep an open mind, but the whole time I felt a real sense of urgency. I quietly felt a little frantic. But I wasn't sure why because they hadn't had any offers on it since it hit the market almost a year before. Well we sped things through, put an offer on which they accepted and paid our earnest money. Almost as soon as we did that, the Realtor said they had multiple people put offers on it as back-ups and a lot of people very interested in it. She said that we did it at the perfect time. Now I see why I felt the urgency! If we would have waited much longer, we probably wouldn't have gotten it because they went $6,000 under their asking price and I am sure someone would have offered a full price offer! PHEW. 

Richard and I have had so much fun through this process! We are always talking about how we want to decorate the house, how we want to put a huge garden in the side yard and set-up our backyard asap (the yard is going to be HUGE!!! I am so excited). Richard is so excited to make some of the furniture we need  (like this kitchen table) and I am filling my Pinterest boards with ideas for our house. We had so much fun picking out all the things for the house (like carpets, cabinets, doors, flooring, windows, trim, fixtures etc) and we agreed on all of it!! We kept laughing the whole time because we would choose the same exact thing every time! We really are 1 mind and soul mates. We have had so much fun daydreaming constantly, making plans and getting randomly giddy when we think about it!

And lastly, we are SO INCREDIBLY GRATEFUL to my in-laws who have chosen to invest in this project so that our lives in medical school will be much easier! I feel so grateful to be a part of such a wonderful, supportive and selfless family!

Can't wait for our house to be finished so we can begin to fill it with fun memories!


  1. How wonderful & exciting! So glad everything is coming together so well. Can't wait to see pics!

  2. WOW! It's so amazing to hear how things are coming together for you guys! I'm SO excited for you McKenna! Me and Kristen Frongner live in Marysville and Stanwood (1 hour north of Seattle). We'll have to come visit you guys and see your little starter dream house. Bah! I'm so excited for you! Good luck popping out her little girl soon :) Have a great rest of your month!!

  3. SO EXCITING! Congratulations! What a blessing. I was talking to my mom on the phone today and she said that life is a series of tender mercies. How true!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...