Forever Home - From Start to Finish
The finished product.
On Memorial Day Weekend 2010 my husband and I, though we weren't married then, moved in together. My husband brought a daughter and I brought a son. After a year of living in Oxford, we decided to move to Cumming.
We were in Cumming for two glorious years. On June 5, 2012, I gave birth to our baby girl. In August of that same year, we tied the knot. We had planned on purchasing this house, but adding a third kid to an already too small three bedroom wasn't going to work for us.
In 2013, we wanted to try something a little different. We moved to Kennesaw. For the first time we were able to rent a roomy house. Of course, that also meant my parents lived in the basement. There were several reasons for that occurrence. My Mom helping watch the kids so I could get a job was at the top of the list. After one year, the owner of the house wanted to sell it and we did not want to buy it.
In 2014, all seven of us moved to Auburn. By far, this was the greatest move yet. Auburn reminded my husband and I about how our hometown of Conyers use to be when we were younger. Two years and some complications later we made our last move.
May 31, 2016, my husband signed the papers for our forever home. My husband, me and our three children moved in the very same day. This feels like home.
A Little To Be Desired
When we went to talk to the salesman, he showed us a finished three bedroom floor plan house. I was under the impression he thought that was all we could afford. We were very adamant about needing four bedrooms, so the kids could each have their own room. In actuality, he was just showing us so we could see the differences between the three and four bedroom plans (great marketing strategy). He then took us to see a finished four bedroom. We fell in love with it. Then, he wanted to show us where our lot would be if we chose to purchase from them. With just a stubbed concrete slab, I was apprehensive about them getting it finished in time. We had to be out of our current house by midnight on May 31st. You can see that they were, at that time, doing three houses simultaneously behind our lot. Next, they would be building our home and two others simultaneously. My husband and I were nervous, excited and totally overwhelmed, but we went ahead and took a leap of faith and put the earnest money down for this lot.
Starting To Get Exciting
To My Great Relief
Before they were finished with the other houses, they had already brought the wood to start framing ours. Even though we were still leery, we were getting excited. Some people don't get to watch their home being built. We felt blessed. From that moment on, we wanted to see every single stage of the building process. We were very interested in seeing, from the inside out, what our home would be made of. With each progression, we got more and more excited.
It's a StartClick thumbnail to view full-size
From the Ground Up
It was absolutely incredible watching the transformation. We really wanted to go by there every single day, but managed to do it once a week most weeks. It felt like it was taking no time at all for the structure to come up.
In the meantime, we were having trouble getting approved for the loan. USDA denied us. So, it was time to go after an FHA loan. I'm starting to stress out again. Taking deep breaths and remembering where this will all end is the only thing that kept me semi-sane.
Inside MuscleClick thumbnail to view full-size
A Little Muscle
After the "bones" came up, the "muscle" has to be put in. The electric and HVAC systems were cool to see without the Sheetrock up. The fact that both bathtubs were already in place was a surprise. At this stage, I could begin to envision how everything was going to look. I began to make plans, in my mind, where all of our possessions would go once the house was finished.
My husband and I were still waiting to hear back from the FHA representative about the approval for the loan. We got a conditional approval to start and had to send them more information. We thought it would done in the matter of a week. Emotions were running high and the kids were getting in on the excitement.
Inside Walls Coming TogetherClick thumbnail to view full-size
The Inside, Too!
Our home was coming along. Watching the outside structure come together was one thing, but getting to see the materials and installation of the inside structural parts was getting us excited again.
With the FHA loan, we had to give them even more paperwork on ourselves than USDA. It seemed that every single week were being asked to present more and more personal documents; bank statements, paycheck stubs, tax statements, contact information for various people, etc. It was exhausting and the anxiety was setting in. I was starting to get worried we wouldn't be ready to sign by May 31st.
Finished!Click thumbnail to view full-size
We're Almost There
Finally, we got to see the finished product. It looked stunningly beautiful.
There was more than plain old anxiety apparent in us, because we were still waiting on the final approval from the FHA representative. It seemed like we would get them the documents they were asking for, wait a few days and have them ask for more and then do it all over again. This cycle went on all the way up to May 27th. We had hoped to sign the papers on May 27th, but because the underwriter needed so much information we had to wait. That weekend happened to be Memorial Day weekend. The attorney that was to be present for our signing doesn't come out on Saturday and Sundays. With Monday being Memorial Day, we had to wait until Tuesday, May 31st. Keeping in mind we had to be out of our then current house by midnight that day, we were panicking. We had no idea how we'd do the walk through, sign the papers and move all of our belongings out of the old house and into the new in one day.
We Have Keys
We're Ready to Move In
The place where we rented our truck kept telling us that we would not be able to get a truck until Tuesday morning. So, now we were going to have to pack a truck, do the walk through, sign the papers and unpack the truck all in one day. Also, there was only going to be one person coming to help us. My husband was very diligent in calling every single day to see if we could get a truck any sooner. This paid off in a big way. Not only did we get the truck on Monday afternoon, but we didn't have to return it until Wednesday. My Father-in-Law came to help us Monday and Tuesday. We had friends come out Tuesday evening to help finish unloading the truck.
There are still a lot of boxes, bookcases and decor stored in the garage, but we have our most important belongings in place. Little by little, every day, we get more and more done. We are home; a word we've never associated to any house before.