The Hunt Is Over

Wow. It's now the third week of July. Where does time go? It's super crazy and a little scary how fast time moves, and while at times, I like it, most of the time I don't. It just means that I'm getting older, and the things I look forward to come and go too fast.

Lots to report on this Monday night. Recapping the past few weeks, Bryan and I were here for the 4th of July. It's the first year in a while that we have been here, and it's also one of the only weekends this month that we aren't traveling. I should actually say that I was here -- Bryan was traveling for work and was only home for the actual 4th, during which time he was so exhausted from travel that he couldn't do anything with me. In any case, time was spent at the beach, Cubs game and BBQs, so overall a good weekend. Although I did wish for a little bit that I was in Okoboji, but I am happy to report that my sisters and I are heading up there the first weekend in August. there is something to be said for the lakes in Iowa. I just love going up there to relax, have fun in the sun, be on a boat, drink on the dock and spend time with my family.

So, as we know, Bryan and I have been looking for a condo to buy here in the city. Everything was going wrong: We found a place loved, it was too expensive. We found a place we loved that was affordable, and it was in the wrong location. We found a place we love, the taxes are too high. It seemed to be one thing after the other and we were beginning to question if we were trying to push something that just wasn't meant to be.

So, on what we had determined as our last day of hunting, we visited a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo. It's on Damen Avenue, in a fantastic neighborhood called Roscoe Village. Close to trains, bars, restaurants, stores, and in a great public school district -- a hard find in the city. As we were walking up, I said "I have a good feeling about this place." Sure enough, we loved it. It was built in 2002, and though not as big as some of the other places we liked, it is gorgeous and perfect for us. Literally the worst thing I can say about is that there is no foyer. Beggars can't be choosers.

So, we made an offer. (!) We made a few offers, in fact. The seller countered, so did we, and then we realized one small fact: The home is not VA approved. You see, we are doing VA financing, to take advantage of Bryan's time in the military; but, in order to do that, we have to buy a home that is already approved by the VA. No big deal, right? Well, normally it wouldn't be, but apparently, the VA is super backed up and the approval process can take up to three months! Naturally, the seller did not want to wait for three months to approve the building; the place is vacant and that's three months for her to take the place off the market. So, back to the drawing board.

Then we hear that wait -- the seller WILL wait to approve the building - but she won't come down on the price as a result of having to wait and she could "potentially" be missing out on some higher offers. Well, we couldn't go much higher than the last offer we put in. At that point, we had come up $25,000 from our original offer! Give me a break, right? Ar this point, we wanted this property so bad that we decided none of the other places we wanted were worth this stress, so we would give one more offer (the maximum we can afford) and if she said no, we were walking away from the whole process.

Wouldn't you know, she accepted our offer and now we are under contract to buy our first home!

We are over the moon with excitement. It is very, very stressful, don't get me wrong. Today, we had to come up with $2000 to put toward closing, have the home inspected, and pay for an attorney to look over our stuff. Which meant we first had to find an attorney, and schedule a home inspection, which is tomorow night. After that, we'll wait for the financing to go through and for the VA approval and hopefully, before the end of August we will be homeowners! My best friend told me tonight, "Wow, you're like a real adult. Getting married and buying houses." It's true, too. Not sure what to make of it all!

We were home this past weekend for another wedding. Our good friends got married in Iowa City and I was a bridesmaid. I must say, I just had a blast with my "high school" friends. I haven't gotten to write about them much, but I promise to devote a blog to each of them, because they are each so awesome. We all live around the United States -- from Iowa to Missouri to Illinois to Tennessee to New York. I miss them all so much and love that all of us are getting married and able to be involved in such an exciting time in each other's lives. The downside to the weekend was not being able to see much of my family. But, my mom and younger sister and her boyfriend are coming to Chicago this weekend and as mentioned, I will be going to Okoboji in a few weeks, too.

Next weekend, we are headed to Virginia for Bryan's childhood best friend's wedding. I"m excited to see where he grew up, and to meet some very important people in his life. It's always weird to me that we have been together 10 years and I haven't met some of his family, or his best friends, but we have plenty of time for that in our futures.

Wedding stuff has been put on hold for the time being as we settle this house issue. We did get some sample monograms back that we will choose and we are awaiting getting our engagement photos back. I can't wait to see them!

Longest blog ever. I have to bid adieu, since I have to rise at 5:30 am for a "voluntary" boot camp class at 6am. Aren't you proud? I told you, the quest never ends...
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