Monday, January 25, 2010

We have a lot going on!

WOW. So much has happened since the last time that I posted! It's amazing, though, how all of it has ended up turning out for the better.

Kevin and I were packing up our house in Flower Mound on Thursday night preparing for the movers to come on Friday when we received a phone call from our David Weekley sales consultant. We are unable to do the elevation of our floor plan that we signed and paid earnest money for a month ago, because we are only 3.5 lots away from one of the same elevation instead of 4 full lots. We were very upset to find this out less than 2 days before our design center appointment, since I had put hours of work into making our selections and budgeting for that house. We voiced our displeasure with her and told her to cancel our appointment because we were going to have to start over. With her, she asked? We told her we didn't know. Immediately she said she would call her boss and figure something out to help us stick with DWH.

We found out the next morning that they are going to give us a bigger (by 400 sq. feet), better floor plan for the same price. The same floor plan, in fact, that we had originally wanted but moved away from because the base price was 20K too high. All of the sudden it's affordable!

So we started over with the Medlock, and went into our design center appointment on Saturday a little less prepared than I would have liked. We spent 4 hours there picking out everything from countertops, cabinets, and sinks, to tile, grout, and backsplash.I was shocked at how many choices there were and at everything that we had to pick out. David Weekley gave us a design center incentive of 10K, and we managed to stay within that budget! I am so happy with the things that we picked because we stuck with a lot of standard options and upgraded the little touches that will make a huge difference. I am in love with our master bathroom and our kitchen.

Sunday we met with our consultant again to finalize the new contract, and then Monday we met with our builder for the first time for our preconstruction meeting. We had to pick out where all of the electrical and multimedia goes in the whole house, and also decide what to move around, what walls to move or delete, etc. Wow. Then he put a "sold" sign on our lot and took a picture of us standing on it (see below).

So that's all of the news about the house. They will begin construction in about 2 weeks and be finished by early June. Now back to Friday morning in Flower Mound. Kevin begged me to stay home that day to help but I really wanted to go to work. I should have listened because I was rear ended that morning on 635. I'm okay, but my car was not so fortunate. It's got a big long scratch and a lot of paint transfer. After that happened, combined with the fact that I left a lot unfinished at home and the builders were coming at 2pm, I decided to call a sub and head home. I helped Kevin and we were ready for the movers right as they arrived. They loaded our house for 6 hours!!! And then they ran out of room in their huge truck and Kevin had to go rent a U-Haul to finish up. Saturday morning we (and the movers) put the entire contents of our home into a climate controlled storage unit. Then we headed to the design center. That was a long day.

After our builder meeting on Monday, we drove back late to Flower Mound and loaded up both of our cars with our stuff to take to Debbie's house. Kevin was very angry about the amount of clothes that I have. We got there at about 10 and unloaded and umpacked until almost midnight, when I sat down to write this blog. I am now about to go to bed because I have to leave this house (in Fort Worth) at 6am to be at my school (in North Dallas) at a decent time. Wish me luck.

Here are some pictures.

In front of our pile of dirt:

Our new floor plan (3000 sq. feet). We are switching the powder room and utility room and knocking out a wall to make a larger utility room. We are also converting the formal living room to a study with french doors and adding a back porch. We'll also add a fireplace (yes, that is an upgrade - weird, I know).

This is our elevation on a different house. We will have maroon brick, and the center point of the house will be made of white flagstone.

We close on the sale of our home here on Wednesday afternoon, and then the last thing that needs to fall into place is me finding a job for next year!!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Good News Update

Hello, friends and family!

Last Thursday Kevin and I had dinner with our realtor (the one who helped us buy our house 20 months ago). She gave me a compliment on how clean my house was, but still said that it may take a while to sell, since the market is slower than it typically is.

She listed it in MLS and put a sign in our front yard on Friday afternoon. She hadn't even had time to post pictures or her virtual tour by the weekend. Kevin and I had 2 showings on Saturday for the same people, and then 2 more today with 2 different people. At 3pm we had a great offer on our house and sent in a counter-offer. They accepted it!

We are getting $1,500 less than our asking price, which was high. It also happens to be $10K more than we paid for our house less than 2 years ago, which is still amazing to me. We have to close on January 29, which will be very tight for us. But it's good because that's another month (February) that we will be able to sock away money toward closing on our new home. Our realtor also knocked her commission down to 4% (from 6%) because it was such an easy sale. She was shocked at how well it all worked out. We still have to make it through appraisal and inspections, but we all suspect that everything will go smoothly.

Basically, God is doing great things for us. All in the last month, Kevin got an amazing job opportunity, we have the priveledge of building a beautiful house for our future family in a great neighborhood, and our house here sold (after only having to deal with 4 showings). It's so cool to see how great things are coming out of the hardest time in our lives thus far.

There are still a lot of things to work out with our move, the priority being that I get a job in Houston. This has now become my new focus, along with packing our house up so that we can move in with Kevin's mom on January 23rd. We're going to hire movers to take our stuff to storage in Houston (and follow them down there to supervise) that weekend. Then Kevin and I will live at Debbie's for two weeks together until he has to move to Cypress, and then I'll be there for another 4 months. I am so grateful for her hospitality!

We also still need to secure a pre-approval for our new home before we go to the design center on February 13th, as we will have to put down a 25% nonrefundable deposit on our upgrades at that time. We'll be meeting with our lender hopefully tomorrow or Tuesday.

Oh yeah, Kevin is also going to have to sell his truck to make our debt to income ratio work with his (very) base salary. The vast majority of his income will come from a great commission program that the underwriters cannot take into consideration since it is a new job in a new city. His new job is giving him a company truck in February. So if you know anyone who is looking for a F150 with a lot of upgrades in great condition, let us know!

So that's the update! I am finishing my ILD training this week so I will be out of school another two days, and it's only a four day week. I really hate missing school! I miss my kids, and even though I have great subs and detailed plans, I still worry about the instruction that I am not giving them when I'm not there. My next course for grad school is also starting on Tuesday, and I'm trying to complete an online Defensive Driving course as I write. Actually, I'm on a mandatory 12 minute break. Talk about busy!

I hope that all of you are staying warm in this cold weather! Thank you for your encouraging words, good thoughts, and prayers as Kevin and I work through the details of this big life change that we are approaching. I love you all more than you know!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Our BIG News!

We are moving!

As many of you know, Kevin and I have been going back and forth on whether or not to pack up and move to Cypress (Northwest Houston area) for a couple of years now. It has never just seemed right to me until now.

Kevin went in to interview for a sales position (here in DFW) about 2 weeks ago and was offered the position, but the guy decided he would be more useful in Houston because of his relationships with the golf course industry guy down there. When he came home and talked to me about it, my intial reaction was to shut it down, and he accepted that, which meant a lot to me. A couple of days later, as we spent a lot of time in the car driving to visit our families over Christmas, we had some time to talk it through. Without the pressure on me, I was able to see that there were far more pros than cons to the idea. Basically the only con is my job, because I love it so much. If I could pack up my school and everybody in it and transport it with me, my life would rock! While I am sad to leave my job, this is an excellent opportunity for Kevin and our family, and I have faith that God will provide me with another job that I love.

Also, a while back when we intially talked about moving this year, our realtor told us that the best possible time would be to list our house in January or February, because of the way the market works around here. As it turns out, that is now perfectly in our timeline. To make matters even more interesting, a house of our floor plan one street away from ours sold for MUCH more than we paid for ours after only 3 days on the market, about one month ago. It just really seems as if everything is pointing in the same direction!

So Kevin accepted the job on Tuesday after Christmas and then we headed down to Cypress (as we had already planned) to stay with friends for New Year's Eve. We planned to talk to some builders in a new neighborhood (Bridgeland) while we were there, and maybe see if they could hold a lot for us near our friends to build on in a couple of months. David Weekley went over and above for us; they would not hold a lot but are going to go ahead and start construction NOW and then hold our house empty for 2 months until we close on June 30th. We also got our lot premium waved and a lot of other incentives, so we were excited. So yes, we are building a house now!

We are using this floor plan, but adding another full bath upstairs, a fireplace, and converting the formal living into a study.

This is a picture of our exact elevation that we have chosen, but with different brick and stone.

And here is OUR brick, stone, and exterior paint colors. With the paint, it is the lighter two colors on the bottom of the page. I am so excited to finally have flagstone on my house. For some reason I love it!

I think we'll love our house, and our neighborhood. It is a master planned community with 900 acres of lakes (residents can rent canoes and paddleboats for free), and also walking and bike trails, pools, splash pads, work out facilities, catch and release fishing, butterfly gardens, etc... It will be a great place to raise kids in the future.

So as it stands right now, our house here should hit the market in the next few days. I have been de-cluttering and packing (staging) like a fool. When it sells, Kevin will be moving to Houston (to stay with a friend) and putting all of our things in storage until we close on our new house at the end of June. I'll be staying here to finish out the current school year. Kevin's mom offered to let me stay with her and it looks like a good option for us, so we'll see.

I could use some prayers to keep myself pulled together throughout this process as I teach my 23 kiddos, look for a new job in a different city, finish graduate school and all of the certification testing that goes along with that, try to see my husband occasionally, sell a house, and build a house. Wow. Also, I must find a job by June 1st in order to ensure that we will get our loan, so I'll be working hard toward that goal.

So anyway, that's our news. We'll keep you updated as things happen, but for now that's where we stand. Thank you for reading my long post!