New Door

One thing was for sure, the front of the house needed a little facelift. It looked so 'blah' and we wanted to give it a little facelift. I asked Dan if he was opposed to painting the door a fun color. For a while we were talking about red. But red brick house with a red door seemed like too much clash. My mom suggested black, and I liked that, but it wasn't jazzy enough. Then when I was driving through a neighboring neighborhood, I saw this cute red brick house with a dark navy door and dark navy shutters. I was in LOVE. I told Dan that that was what I wanted to do and he was all for it! I love him. He lets me do what I want lol. Of course we do not currently have shutters, but we will soon (especially now that we bought a miter-saw! BDE!!)
Anyways, going from white to navy took three coats. Dan took the week off to work on things around the house and this was one of his projects. I gave him specific instructions based on tutorials I had read about online. He did an AWESOME job.

After painting the door, he also spray painted all the hardware. WHAT A DIFFERENCE!


Step 7: Closing


Step 7: Closing

Make sure you are having good communication with your lender and getting everything in order before headed to closing. Your lender is going to need the most recent months of pay stubs, bank statements, records of all debt, etc.
The most important tip I can give is to be keeping a close eye on what is going on with your bank. The will comb through EVERY SINGLE deposit and withdraw and ask where all the money is coming from. I bought something for my mom and she wrote me a check for $70 and they wanted to know what that $70 was for. It is crazy. So make sure not to do anything weird with your money or that you are at least documenting all this transactions.
When it comes to closing day, get ready to sign A LOT of papers. I was excited to finally perfect my signature...and by the end, it was just a scribble haha.
Closing for us took an hour and a half and was just sign, sign, sign, sign. Dan and I were so fortunate to be able to close ON OUR 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY! How cool was that? Our lender gave us a bottle of wine with a picture of the house on it. It was really sweet.

**Don't forget to call and get the power and gas turned on once you close on your house!


Step 6: Inspections


Step 6: Inspections

After your offer is accepted, you need to get inspections done. In Texas, you are given a small grace period window where you can back out of your offer and only loose your earnst money (which for us was $100). During this grace period is when you are going to want to get all of your inspections done.
This is another thing to add to your budget because as the buyer, it is your responsibility to pay for these inspections. For our house, we had a general home inspector, a termite inspector, a pool inspector and a foundation inspector.
It wasn't cheap and wasn't something we had budgeted for... HOWEVER, I am so glad we did. Each inspector found something and we were able to counter our offer to the seller after finding out the things we did.
The main thing was that the foundation needed work and we had the seller fix this before purchasing our home.


Step 5: When you find THE ONE.

Step 5: When you find THE ONE.

Our second house to put an offer on was the one we ended up closing on! I am so happy with how everything worked out!

So you found the house you love. Now what? Talk to your realtor. You are going to want to make a competitive offer. We ended up offering $1,250 over the asking price and offering to pay our own closing costs AND the title transfer (we REALLY) wanted the house.
Your realtor will help you come up with the best offer and then will present it to the seller's agent. And then, you pray and wait!!


Step 4: The Hunt.


Step 4: The Hunt.

Honestly, this is the best part. I downloaded all the home buying apps on my phone. My two favorites were Zillow- which whenever we were driving around and saw a house was for sale, I was able to just pull up the app and it would show where we were on the map and what house was for sale and how much is was going for.
My main favorite app was Realtor. I had my favorite search saved and every day (more like 5x a day) I would go into the app and check out what was new. As soon as we saw a house that we like, I called our realtor and we set up an appointment for later that day. In this market, and in our price range we were looking in, you HAD TO ACT FAST! There would be new homes posted that day and I would text my realtor and she would say the house was already sold.
Come up with a dream list... that will help you be able to quickly filter through which houses to go see and which houses to pass on.

My dream list included these things:
  • close to my parents- that was the whole reason why we moved out here and I didn't want to live 30 minutes away from them
  • close to the freeway- with Dan's and my work, we need to have fast access to the highway for our commutes
  • not have a back alleyway- here in Texas, a lot of houses have back ally's were you have your garage. I don't like that.
  • I wanted a pool- at first I didn't think this mattered, but after spending my first summer here and realizing how freakin' hot it is, I knew a pool would be the only way to get the kids to play outside
  • I wanted two stories- I don't know why, I just did.
  • I wanted four bedrooms- three just seemed like we would grow out of it too fast
  • I wanted to be close to a park- I want to be able to walk to a park that my future kids can play in
  • I want to live in a neighborhood where the elementary school is walking distance
  • I wanted bricked
  • I wanted granite in the kitchen
  • Updated appliances
  • Updated master bath

Here were some of the homes we went to look at:



The last pictures were from the first house we put an offer on. I loved this little house. I instantly pictured my future family growing up there, swimming in the pool, cooking, Christmas, parties. I had plans right away with how to decorate... we put our offer in and I was CRUSHED to find out that we didn't get it. I went into a mild depression spell... I felt like all my dreams were shattered.
Looking back on this moment, I was being so silly. I had come up with a dream list and this house really didn't meet the majority of my dreams. We offered $1,500 over the asking prices and offered to pay our closing costs. I later found out that this house sold for $700 UNDER the asking price. I am so gratefully that we ended up not getting this house because we would have never found the house we live in now!

One thing to keep in mind, pictures do AMAZING things to homes. Every time I fell in love with a house online, I was quickly disappointment with how small the house ended up being in person. Pictures can be deceiving! Go into each house with an open mind and tell yourself that it will not look as big as it does in pictures!

Anther tip, look the house up on google maps before going to go see it. One house we went to see we fell in LOVE with because it had a great big backyard with an amazing pool, big bedrooms, updated master bath, but it fell on a really busy and noisy street. I was hard to pass on this house, but I knew that years down the road I would be really bugged by all the noise.


Step 3: Finding a Realtor.


Step 3: Finding a Realtor.
Find an awesome realtor. In this market, you have to ACT fast. Houses this summer in Texas were going into bidding wars the day they went onto the market. And having a realtor who will work with you and be willing to drop whatever they are doing to show a house is the realtor you want. 

A good realtor will help you keep your head strait when in the "la la land bliss" of looking at houses. Each house I stepped into I was just in aww of how pretty it looked, and the fact that I was actually looking at houses that I wasn't paying ANY attention to foundation, cracks in window seals, what direction the house was facing toward the sun, signs of water damage, signs of house settling, is the carpet new, can grass grown in this dirt, are the cabinets showing termite damage, etc...

A good realtor also knows the market and what banks will agree to. We fell in love with one house and really wanted it. The house was listed below Dan's and my budget
There are lots of realtors out there, so I would ask around and choose your realtor based on referrals.
Some buyers are worried that they will have to pay their realtor, which might be true, but USUALLY it is the seller that pays all those costs, so it does you no harm at all getting a professional on your side.

We were very privileged to have a great realtor, Danna Fason, who my parents had worked with a year before. She was awesome.


Step 2: Understanding different types of loans and choosing the right one for you.


Step 2:  Understanding different types of loans and choosing the right one for you.

Let me start this by saying I am no expert, nor do I even fully understand all the different types, but from going through this myself, these are the things we learned the hard way.

When we first started talking about buying a house, we knew there were two loans out there. FHA and Conventional loans.

FHA Loans:
  • You only need to put down 3.5% of what the home is. So if your home is $100,000 you only need to put down $3,500.
Convention Loans:
  • require at least 20% down. So if your home is $100,000, you will need to put down $20,000.

Being first time homebuyers, we knew that it would take us a few more years to be able to have 20% to put down on a house so of course we started our home buying journey planning on doing an FHA loan.

We found THE HOUSE and put our offer in. We REALLY wanted the house so we told the seller we would be able to close in 30 days. The next day we told our lender we had made an offer and asked what our next steps were...Little did we know, there were a lot more requirements that went along with FHA loans....

FHA Loans:
  • if you have worked part time (like ME working for three different dental offices) for less than 2 years at the same place, your income doesn't count towards what you qualify for a mortgage.
  • if you get paid on commission (like DAN working for Enterprise) for less than 2 years, your income that is paid on commission doesn't count towards what you qualify for a mortgage.
So suddenly the amount we thought we qualified for, dropped SIGNFICANTLY and the house we fell in love with no longer looked like a suitable option. AND THEN we found out that by doing any FHA loan required an extra expense each month called MORTGAGE INSURANCE.  Even if Dan's and my salaries worked out, we would have to pay an extra $250 each month for mortgage insurance JUST BECAUSE we had an FHA loan. $250!! Are you kidding me? That was not in my initial budget......

So I freaked out. We didn't have 20% to put down, and we didn't meet the requirements for FHA loans... what were we going to do?????????

Piggyback 80-10-10 Loan:

After our first lender pretty much told us we couldn't do either loan, we decided to find a new lender. Our new lender worked for a smaller bank, which allowed him to have more flexibility and to offer more products to choose from and qualify for. Our new lender told us that there was other options and we could make it work. He told us about the 80-10-10 loan. This is similar to a conventional loan except now we only have to put 10% down (instead of 20%), then we have one mortgage that is 10% at a higher interest rate, and a second mortgage at 80%.
This type of loan allowed us to dodge the mortgage insurance and our second loan, the 10% one, ended up being cheaper than the mortgage insurance we would have paid had we gone with an FHA loan.
The only problem was that we weren't quite planning on putting 10% down on a house.... but I really wanted this house, so we re-arranged our budget and pulled money from savings to make it work.

Step 1: Set a budget.


Well hello, it feels like it has been FOREVER since I last blogged. Over a year. What the heck. So much to fill you in on, but I'd rather just jump to the most recent and most exiting stuff! The biggest thing being that we moved to TEXAS this summer and JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE!!! Holy cow. Can you say "Grown Ups"??

Anyways, what an adventure this was. And I really felt like I need to tell you all about it so future home buyers can get a taste of what to expect going into your first home purchase.

Step 1: Set a budget.

From even before Dan and I got married, we started creating budgets on excel spread sheets. We are big time planners and hate to waste money. We budget for EVERYTHING. When we first started talking about buying a house, we started a pretend spread sheet on how much everything was going to cost. I talked to my parents about what they spend each month.

Things to think about are:
  • Mortgage payment
  • property taxes
  • mortgage insurance
  • home owners insurance
  • HOA
  • Cable and Internet
  • Cell phone
  • Utilities
  • Tolls
  • Water
  • Car note
  • Insurance
  • Car gas
  • Food
  • Dates
  • Tithing
  • Random expenses
  • Health insurance
  • Monthly allowance
  • Savings
  • Student loans
  • Baby expenses/child expenses
  • vacation fund
Start by listing things that you already spend money on, and then add in what expenses you will have when buying a house, ie) property taxes. I always over estimate what we might spend, and then that way, what is left over at the end of the month can go towards savings.

Once you have your budget created. Start plugging in numbers into a mortgage calculator to see what you are comfortable paying each month while sticking to your budget.


Where there is smoke, there is fire

I took this picture yesterday when I got home from school. Smoke had totally filled the sky and ash was flying around. Pretty scary actually. 


Dan's Party

I asked Dan what he wanted to do for his birthday party and he told me that he wanted to have some friends come over and play Wii and have J Dawg's.
A few weeks ago, Dan and I discovered a delish knock-off J Dawg special sauce. We also found out that J Dawg's use hot dog buns from a local bakery in provo so I picked some up and also got some good quality hot dogs from Costco. I chopped up some onions, pickles and jalapenos for people to top their dawgs with! I must say, these dogs were delish knock offs!!


Happy Father's Day

Happy Father's Day! I hope everyone is enjoying their warm & sunny weather this Sunday and getting to tell their fathers how much they love them. I sure love my dad!
This year I made these cute BBQ rubs and put them in mason jars that I found at walmart. I tied raffia around them and designed my own label to put on the top. I was pretty impressed with how they turned out! They were really easy and a fun little craft to do. My mom told me that she is using one of the rubs on the ribs for dinner tonight. Yum!

Have a great Father's Day! Love you dad!


Dan's Birthday

What a fun day it has been! Today is Jana and Dan's birthday and they both got to celebrate in style with a Kit Kat Cake. I saw this on pinterest a few weeks ago and thought to myself; man, I've got to try and make that for Dan's birthday. And so I did! It turned out awesome and I also gave the idea to my mom who made the same cake for my sister today!
Other than this fun birthday cake, we went to Texas Road House where Dan got to ride the saddle and open presents. Enjoy these super fun pictures!!


Guess who graduated middle school?...

This guy.................

To one of the funniest and most handsome kids I know, Nate Dogg, I love you and am so proud. Wish I was there to be at your graduation and hear your speech. Love you bro!


Happy Mother's Day

I love my mom so much. She is my total super hero, my idol, my inspiration, the kind of person I want to become. I love you mom.
For those of you that do not already know, a few weeks before my mom was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. It was a total shock, a total wake up call, a total mind blow that something like this could happen so close to our family. Still to this point it is unreal. My mom has been so strong through the whole thing and I look up to her greatly. Not only having to go through a serious surgery to remove the existing tumor and 6 rounds of chemo, but having to loose your hair would be one of the hardest things to EVER have to go through. I look up to my mom so much, not only is she so beautiful, she is so strong. I love her so much!!
Happy Mother's Day Mom!



I have a new favorite thing to make and a perfect way to end a date night: the cazookie. Now I wish I knew who first came up with such a treat so I could pay proper credit, but in the end, the origin isn't what matters. What matters is this delicious, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, sinful cookie dessert with ice cream. Holy cow. Yumm.
The first time I had this dessert was at a restaurant in Orem called "The Chocolate". What a cazookie basically is is a cookie cooked in a pizza dish at 475* for 10 minutes. The high tempture perfectly cooks the outside but leaves the inside all doughy. 
Here is the recipe of the one we made tonight:

Peanut Butter Cazookie
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
3 tablespoons chunky peanut butter
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon beaten egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
9 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 tsp salt

Mix everything together except the chocolate chips with an electric mixer. Then stir in the chocolate chips and pour into a small deep dish pizza dish. Cook for 10 minutes at 475!!


The Family

I can't wait for the long weekend to be able to go through all the pictures from our wedding. These were a few already on my computer that my uncle took. Our wedding day was awesome, best day ever!


Puerto Vallarta

On our cruise we spent a day in Puerto Vallarta. It was our favorite port. It was beautiful there and so fun to explore the city! We started our day having breakfast at the buffet and then took off exploring the city. We took a taxi instead of their hot and smelly shuttle and Dan and a great time getting to speak spanish to our driver.
Downtown Puerto Vallarta is beautiful (and super hot). There was so much going on! Street performers, beach art, and kids selling chiclets. It was a such a bright and color city that loves catering to us tourists.
For lunch we ate at this really cool resturant/hut that was right on the beach. It was great too because it had free wifi haha *even on vacation we still crave the internet.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...