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Thursday, February 16, 2012


We bought a zoo!  What?!  Yes sirry Bob, we're homeowners....and SOOO stinkin' excited about it!

The original plan was to move out of our apartment at the beginning of November, house sit for Dave's parents for the month of November while they were on a cruise in Europe, and then move into our new apartment that we had all lined up for the beginning of December.

...And here we are.  Obviously that didn't happen.  At the end of November, a week before Dave's parents got back (and a week before we were to move into our apartment) we decided that buying a house wouldn't be such a bad idea, since we wouldn't be paying much more for a mortgage than we'd be paying for rent.  So after some thought and inspiration, we made an executive decision and pulled out of the apartment.  Dave's parents were so great to let us stay with them until we found a house, and the hunt was on!!

And it WAS a hunt... let me tell ya, we saw some BOMBERS!  We looked in Sugarhouse, Murray, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Sandy, Draper, and even ventured over to the Suncrest area up past Draper.  We saw foreclosures, short sales, and regular sales, and had the pleasure of seeing a whole array of beauties!  We came across everything from disgusting, germified, Egyptian architecture, strange, small, dump, nice in not so good areas, retro, ugly, too big, extremely outdated, too expensive, a mouse running across the living room, too expensive to fix up, and our FAVORITE:  Russian occupied Finland :)  such a pleasure... (it included bars on the windows, a bomb shelter, an ancient oven, a freezer buried in the backyard, sheet metal fencing with barbed wire on top, and a classy extra bedroom in the attic! etc. etc. etc.  You get the idea.)  By the time everything was all said and done, we had looked at a total of about 60 houses.  Our real estate agent (Dallas Eichers) was  Dave's cousin and we had a good time working with him and his business partner Craig.  One word:  ENTERTAINMENT. They are fantastic and worked hard to make everything happen for us.  

We first saw our house before it was even put on the market.  We looked at a house in the same area and really liked where it was. So, when Dallas was driving through a neighborhood nearby, he saw a house that looked like it was being flipped (a group of investors bought it and were fixing it up to sell) so he looked into it.  He wouldn't let us look at it until he found a ballpark price for it because he said it was really nice and wanted to make sure it was in our price range.

When we saw it the first time it was near the end of being fixed up, and we really liked it.  But we didn't go for it right away.  I don't think we had a big enough idea of how nice it really was at the time because we hadn't looked at very many houses yet.  So the hunt went on, and about a month later (January 9), we were driving over to throw an offer at a house in Suncrest, when we changed our minds last minute and all of a sudden remembered and fell in love with that house.  So, we put an offer on that one (we called it "Tim") instead.  By that time it had been on the market 2-3 days.

Our offer didn't do it for them right then, but after they sat on it for a bit longer, some back and forth counteroffers, lots of patience, researching some potential problems, me driving by it 12x a day and looking at the pictures from the online listing 50x a day, hyperventilating, inspections, radon testing, unexpected curveballs, digging up part of the backyard, and signing our lives away, the deal finally closed and the house was officially turned over to us on February 9, 2012! (Exactly a month after we put our first offer in.)

It's incredible how well everything has fallen into place, and it's amazing how everything is continuing to come together.  The house was in pretty bad shape before it was fixed up so we had to make sure all of the problems were taken care of.  Which we did.  And just to double triple check, the night before closing, my cousin Scott was awesome to come and look at the roof and a few other things that he has experience in and found a cracked truss.  So the sellers paid to get it fixed, whereas if we had discovered it later on, we would have had to worry about the cost.  The only appliances we were going to have to buy were the washer and dryer.  But a day before closing, Dallas told us a client of his that sold her house and was moving out told him we could have hers if we came and moved them out.  So we got them for free!  Our parents have given us a ton of their old furniture including love sacs, tables, shoe shelves, a sofa chair, a desk, rugs, and even a shop vac.  We needed blinds for the whole house and my parents were willing to pitch in and give us early birthday presents to help cover the cost. But wait, there's more.  When Dave went to get the locks changed, it took a while, so they gave them all to him for free!

We didn't waste a second and moved in last weekend (February 10).  My parents, Emma, and Mike and Mandy were awesome to come help us get moved in.  My dad came and helped unload our things and move furniture in, my mom helped measure for and pick out blinds...it turned out to be a bigger and more time consuming task than expected so I'm glad she was there.  Dave, my dad, Mike, and Dallas went to get the washer and dryer from the lady's house and moved them in.  We took a few trips to Home Depot that night.  Mandy gave me motivation later that night to keep on going, and was a huge help in unpacking all of the kitchen boxes.

I couldn't sleep in the house until we had blinds, so Dave installed the blinds the next day while I set up the kitchen, unpacked boxes, and organized closets.  Dave got everything we crammed in the garage cleared out so that we could pull a car into the garage.  He is so excited to have a garage to be in charge of :) ...since "he doesn't have any say in the house." But unfortunately his truck won't fit in so Karen has been enjoying the luxury.

We have absolutely LOVED it!  We've already met a lot of the neighbors, and they're awesome!  They've been so helpful and welcoming.  We are excited to get to know them.  It's still a little weird to us that we actually own a house, and we're still getting used to calling it "our house."  Definitely been a good weird though!

One of my favorite things about the house is that we don't have to do anything at all to it.   The only thing that needs work is the yard--a project that we are excited to take on, and one that can be done here and there.  In the 21 months that we've been married, this is the sixth place that we have lived, so we are excited to be "stuck" and not have to move again for a very very very LOOONG time.  We've had enough of that to last a lifetime :).  Since it's a complete remodel, I'm also very excited that it doesn't have anybody else's germs in it that we have to worry about.  We have our very own place to call home and can do whatever we want with it!

The house and location totally fit us, and it's definitely the perfect house for us right now.  I know we'll be happy there for a long time.  If someone would have told me when we first started looking that that's the house we'd own, I would have sent them to the loony bin. :) I didn't think we would find one that had everything we wanted in it.  I can see us now... sitting on our cozy porch in our cute whicker chairs (that we have yet to get) in the cool summertime evening breeze drinking fresh squeezed lemonade.  Perfection. <3

Needless to say, if you haven't noticed already, we are thrilled to be here!  We are so incredibly blessed and know that we are being watched out for.  There are so many people to thank for making this happen, and we are so grateful for everyone one of them.  


  1. Oh Katie!! I am just as excited for you two!! Congrats. We just bought our 1st house as well- besides the Kamas condo. House!! Home!! We LOVE it. Isn't it so stressful to look and then make an offer, wait, wait and seriously sign your life away? I thought I'd end up in the lOony bin for sure..sigh. Anyways, you are a great writer. Fun to read the update! Congrats again. Bre

    1. Yes, it is! Congratulations to you too! I just read your house posting on your blog last week!! When did you guys move in? It's such a fun, cute house! And it looks like you're enjoying your garden :) It is SO stressful! I didn't think we'd ever find one. I'm glad we both stayed out of the loony bin! And is Harper doing ok? I was getting updates from your blog.

  2. Kate and Dave,
    So happy for you! Congratulations on your new home. It looks wonderful! Grandma told me you hoped things would work out so you would be able to get THAT house and call it your own! So glad it happened! Can't wait to see it! So great you had such awesome help moving in and getting settled. It made me laugh to hear you talk about "germs." Guess you've got the same problem as most of the Neff family does. I think its in our genes...so I refer to the "condition" as having "Oscar genes!" Love you!!

    1. Thanks Aunt Anna! :) We are sooo excited that it all worked out! Haha and yes....definitely a bit of a germaphobe with the "Oscar genes". I'm glad I'm not alone in that!

  3. this is so stinking exciting! I am so jealous you guys are paying for rent anymore! What area of salt lake is it in??

    1. Thanks SarahJane! :) It's in the St. Mark's Hospital area in lower Holladay. How are you guys doing??

  4. ah what an adventure! I love this post from you guys! Can't wait to see Tim now that you are moved in!

  5. rocking chairs on that "unsafe" porch are a MUST!