It is finally official.....we closed on a house in Washington state today! It has been a pretty interesting process trying to close on a house living all the way over here in Saudi but after many DHL packages, a couple of trips to the embassy to get things notarized and my mom acting as our power of attorney...the house is official recorded in our name!
And now for the questions and details.....
Are you leaving Saudi and moving to Washington? No, we are still in Saudi and plan to be here or overseas for several more years. We would love to live in Washington when we are done and really feel like that is the best place to raise our kids but we want to finish out our experience living overseas and put ourselves in the best financial position to have the freedom to choose to live in Washington when we are done.
So, why the house? Well, the housing market in Washington and specifically Bellingham is on the rise. Not as low as it was but it still hasn't recovered. Housing is more expensive in the Pacific Northwest than Texas, although property taxes and insurance are lower which help. Since we want to eventually live there we saw this as a way to get into the market/area when it was more affordable. We also felt the need to have a "home" and a place to call our own as well as put money towards. This place allows us to have a home we could live in when we are done and if we don't end up living there the house would still be a good investment if we decided to sell it.
Details on the house.... It is a 1924 Colonial Cottage in Bellingham. It is an historic area close to downtown. When I looked I was open to anything and then decided on an historic/older home for the area that they are as well as the fun of renovating and restoring. This home is 4 bedroom/2 bathrooms and just under 2,000 square feet. It has good bones and layout but needs some love, renovating, updating and restoring it to its 1920's character. I love the location of it being in a great area and it has a green space/park area in front which hides it from the street and makes your front yard feel so much larger! It also has the required garage/ample parking that John requested and a pretty big back yard for being in the city. I will add pictures as we go of before and afters of the inside mostly to keep the suspense and I feel like my pictures right now don't do it justice :)
Is it close to your parents....well, it is not as close as we were in Texas (less than a mile) but it is pretty close! We are now a whole 6 miles away....a 15 minute trip!
What are your plans with renovations? For the first couple of trips it will be boring stuff but things that need to get done in the crawl space/basement, roof and exterior siding/paint and boring stuff from the inspection report that we want to repair and get done correctly. Then once we are done with all that my plans are to do the kitchen, bathrooms, change the mudroom/back entry by possibly moving the staircase, restore the wood floors, update the fireplace, lots of paint and wall paper and many, many more projects! I have so many Pinterest boards going which have been helpful for John to visualize my plans.
Hmmmm.....when did you look at houses? Was it this summer? Wasn't John in Saudi? Yes, it was over the summer, with the two kids and my mom and John was in Saudi which means John has yet to see the house. He has seen pictures, a drawn up floor plan courtesy of my mom and that is about it. We had tons of skype sessions discussing the various houses I was looking at, lots of pictures back and forth and a whole lot of trust! I am pretty nervous/excited for him to see it when we are back in December!
We are so thankful for the ability to buy a house and to be able to be selective and almost picky in what we wanted at this stage of our life. I am in LOVE with this house and am excited about all the hard work and sweat we will be putting into it. I am excited to watch the changes and updates and be able to see it all pay off. It is a great feeling knowing we have a home somewhere in the world and one that hopefully we can live at and enjoy in the near future!
So....when it is finally done and we are finally back and hopefully live in Washington....visitors are very welcome! We have plenty of space and will have lots of catching up to do!