11.15.2010

Casa del Sol

Today marks exactly 6 months since we moved into our new house.
I can't believe it has been 6 months.
On one hand, it feels like we just moved in.
On the other hand, it feels like we have lived her forever.

I realized that I have never blogged about how the house came to be.
It is a great story & it would be remiss of me to not blog it.
First, let me give you a little background.

In February of this year, Kevin and I decided to bite the bullet and try and move into our "final home". We had been living in our current house for almost 6 years and were starting to out grow it. It was a buyers market and we figured since home prices were low, it would be a good time to make the jump to our final house. Before we went "house hunting" we needed to sell our current home. Kevin is the more logical person & I am the more emotional person about houses and Kevin said we couldn't put an offer on a new house until we sold our old house. We needed to sell our house so that we would know how much equity we had & how much down payment we had, etc. We did a few things to get our house ready to list, got our listing ready & our house was set to on the market March 25th.

On St. Patrick's Day (March 17th) Kevin called me from work (after he had been looking online at new houses for us) and he told me,
"You are going to be so bummed. Your dream house just went on the market today, too bad we can't put an offer on it since we haven't listed our house yet."
I asked Kevin what street the house was on & what it's specs were.
As he described the house, it had almost everything we were looking for in our "final home"
1. On a court (and this one was at the back of a court!)
2. Large Backyard with a pool
3. Four Bedrooms (plus an office)
4. Walking Distance to our favorite Biking/Walking Trail
5. In a specific neighborhood (there was basically a one mile radius in a specific neighborhood that we wanted to live in)
As Kevin told me about this house & sent me the link, I knew that this was our house.
They had priced it well, so I knew it was going to go fast.
I told Kevin we had to put an offer on it, ASAP.
Kevin said, No...we can't put an offer on a house until ours is sold.
The next day, March 18th, I drove by the house because it was on my way home from school. The Realtor was there setting up for a Broker's Tour/Open House.
I decided to go in and check out the house. I introduced myself to the Realtor, told her we were listing our house in a week and I asked her if they would be taking contingent offers.
She said no.
I looked around the house & saw great potential. This was going to be our home. I had a feeling.
I called Kevin as soon as I got in the car & begged him to put an offer on it.
He said, "Not until we sell our current house."
That weekend, I made him go to the Open House and he also thought the house was great. The Open House was packed. I really, really wanted to put an offer on it. But Kevin is a wise man & reminded me that we couldn't put an offer on it until ours was sold.

Finally it was the 25th of March & our house went on the market.
That night we got an offer!
We countered the next day and then on Saturday the 27th we were in escrow. As soon that happened, I told Kevin we HAD to put on offer on the new house because we had driven by and there wasn't a Sale Pending on it! Our Realtor (who is our Sister in Law) called their Realtor, left a message saying we were going to write up an offer.
This was Saturday evening.
On Sunday we went to church & then had plans to meet our Realtor & our parents at the new house.
As we were pulling down the court, our Realtor called and said that she just heard back from the other Realtor & that the house went Pending on Friday, they just hadn't put a Sale Pending sign up yet. I was SO incredibly bummed. I felt that the house just slipped through our hands.
Their Realtor told our Realtor to call back in 2 weeks to make sure that everything was going through. That gave me a glimmer of hope, but I was still bummed.

We moved out of our house on April 10th and into my parents house. The escrow was so quick & we hadn't found a new house yet, so my parents we nice enough to let us live with them until we found a new house. We didn't know how long that was going to be....a month? 6 months? a year? Yikes.
The whole time we lived with my parents, I couldn't stop thinking about the other house that we just missed out on. Subconsciously, I couldn't stop picturing having Claire's birthday at that house. When I imagined Christmas, I was imagining it at that house. But, I knew that probably wouldn't be the case.
We just kept praying that the right house would come on the market for us.

Fast forward to April 12th .
I told Kevin we needed to have our Realtor because it had been 2 weeks since we tried to put the offer on the house (and the Realtor told us to call & check on the status)
Also during that time, things with our previous house were getting crazy & our buyer's funding was all out of whack & we weren't sure that deal was going to go through.
The night of Tuesday the 12th we get a phone call from our Realtor & she said that she just got a call from the Realtor of the house that we wanted & that the house fell out of escrow!!!!
That Realtor called us because she remembered how much we loved the house.
The house had actually gotten 4 offers, but she called us because knew we really wanted it!
So on Wednesday the 13th we met the Realtor at the house to do one walk through & put an offer on it. As I pulled up to the house, I was listening to this cheesy Christian radio station that I sometimes listen to & as I pulled into the driveway a song called "Second Chances" came on. Totally cheesy, but it brought tears to my eyes!

We put the offer on the house & then 24 hours later they accepted (it got a little crazy in those 24 hours because after we put our offer in, the other family who pulled out of the house came back again and said they wanted the house again....it was nuts!)

We had a quick escrow & we got the keys on May 7th and our first night at the house was May 15th. (we had to get things fixed & painted before we could move in)

We are so happy at this house.
We call this house the "Money Pit"
Have you seen that movie?
There have been lots of things we have had to fix, but we still love it.

One of the best things about this house is our neighbors.
This court is UNBELIEVABLE.
This court is unlike any court I have ever heard of.
Everyone knows everything about everyone on the court (in a good way)
There is a block party at least once a month, not including the handful of impromptu neighborhood dinners that occur each month.

It is a quintessential Americana court.
It is how neighborhoods should be.

There are 12 kids (including my girls) on the court and 8 of them under the age of 5.
If you drive down our court you will likely see all the kids riding bikes & scooters in the court while the adults are gathered on one of the front yards having a glass of wine!
There are 4 original owners on the court (who are like Grandparents to all the kids)
It is a very special place.

It is a VERY social court, which is a good thing because we are very social people!


Last month at one of the block parties, 2 of our neighbors presented each house with a plaque.
They had "named" our houses & made plaques for each house.
They named our house:
CASA del SOL
The reason they named our house CASA DEL SOL (or, House of the Sun)
is because when we re-did our pool this summer, we put in an Acapulco step
(it is basically 1 foot of water, for kids to play on, perfect for toddlers who are learning to swim)
Another reason our house is named CASA DEL SOL is because of the way the sun sets.
Our house is at the back of the court & in the late afternoon as the sun is setting, our backyard gets SO much sun. In the summer, it is SOOOOO hot back there. And, all the rooms in the back of our house get so hot.

I like to think another reason our house is called "House of the Sun" because it could be "House of the SON". We are the only Christians on our court, and I know we are meant to be a light to the people on this court.

I know God put us on this court for a reason.
The way that everything came together for us to get this house was nothing short of a miracle.
I am SO, SO thankful for this house & this court that we have called home for the past 6 months.

14 comments:

  1. Love this story!
    All the reasons to move really resonate with me. We completely outgrew our old house. The new one we will keep forever.

    We also had a house that the backyard and deck faced the sun. With temps of 95 plus 99% humidity for FIVE MONTHS this year, we couldn't use our deck or yard. And don't get me started on mosquitos.

    Our new house is like a dream too!

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  2. Oh crap, I hit publish before my real comment!

    I read it as "House of the SON" because there might be a boy in your future :)

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  3. Oh my your pool! I'm jealous. And how cool that the Christianity thing plays in. Very neat.

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  4. Wow, what an amazing story! And I would love to live on the street like yours!

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  5. And all this just so we would end up being neighbors!

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  6. I love the plaques; what an amazing neighborhood. You are blessed! :)

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  7. SO awesome! congrats on the *new* abode!

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  8. I see a great example of submission there. Listening to your husband's advice worked out great. Sounds like a great little court. Yes, be that light so others may see how great our savior is!

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  9. i think "great" is my word of the day, haha

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  10. That sounds like an amazing neighborhood! So happy for you guys! It's great to hear a happy ending!

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  11. Oooo what a great story!!! Loved reading it!!! :)
    And love the name of the house and how it can be changed to Son. God knew exactly what He was doing placing your family there. :) way too cool!!!

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  12. You're lucky! We've lived here 3 weeks and haven't even SEEN a neighbor! I would love a neighborhood like that.

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  13. What an amazing story!!!! Brought tears to my eyes there at the end!!! You have been very blessed and I believe your on that court for a reason : D

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  14. I totally know how you feel being the only Christian - we live in Utah and I understand what it's like to be a minority. God places you where he needs you. Hope you and your sweet family can be a light to your neighbors.

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