Friday, January 14, 2011

The Big News!

Currently Reading: Dune by Frank Herbert

By now you may have heard the big news, but for those few of you who still haven't, CC and I closed on a condo today, right around 2ish in the afternoon. We've been working on this deal for a little while now, going back and forth with the seller about some minor issues, and we went through the whole mortgage process and all that and today we finally finished.

On the whole, it was a good experience. Nothing tremendously bad happened though it was a bit stressful on CC who hasn't been through anything like this before (they don't buy houses the same way in the Philippines as we do here).

Our agent was great. Got everything set up for us. The mortgage lender also did a great job explaining everything and getting all the paperwork done. Same thing at the closing with the title company. Everything went super smooth. We both got a bit of writer's cramp from all the signing of documents but otherwise, it went well.

About the best thing that happened over this whole process was us being forced to take a homebuyer's course. Initially I resisted this. Last thing I wanted to do was spend 8 hours on a Saturday sitting in a class on how to buy a house and blah blah blah. I mean, doesn't that just sound like about the dullest way to spend a day? We didn't have a choice though. Because this is our first house we qualify for all sorts of state and federal loan programs, great interest rates, help with the down payment, that sort of thing. Getting all of this means taking the course so in the grand scheme of things, losing 8 hours was worth it.

We actually learned quite a bit. Granted, a lot of it was common sense or things we'd already picked up from doing research on the internet but they were able to fill in a few gaps in our knowledge. In fact, CC and I were wondering why more people don't take this class before getting a home, even if they don't qualify for the assistance programs. You get quite a bit of practical advice and a really handy "how to buy a house" book.

Best part of the whole thing was probably the lecture by the home inspector. Now, these guys have pretty much seen it all. They go through all the houses and document what's wrong with them. They make recommendations on what to fix and how. They note anything that's not up to the current safety and building codes. To sit down with one of these guys and have him tell you exactly what to look for is SO helpful. He pretty much told us how to avoid buying a money pit. Right there, that's worth the time.

Anyway, now we're done. We've got the keys and everything. Tomorrow we start packing things up here at the apartment and Sunday we'll start trucking things over to the condo. It's not very far away. According to Google Maps it's only 5 miles. Takes about 10 to 15 minutes to get there, depending on traffic. It's about 10 minutes from where I work which means it will DOUBLE my commute time but I can live with that. (Probably had a lot of people making ugly faces at me on that one. A 10 minute commute!)

Pictures: you won't get any of those until we get settled in. Yes, we could go over there any time we want and get snapshots of an empty condo (like we did with the apartment) but I think this time we'll just hold off and post pictures only after we're done. You'll just have to be patient.

SO, if CC and I seem a bit distracted over the next week or two, if we have a bit less free time, don't worry. We're just moving again. And yes, we'll be sure to tell everyone the address.

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