House Buying // Part 8 Finale
In my last update, we were waiting for everything to go through (appraisal, inspection, loan, etc...). After that, it was simply a waiting game until our close date. We had a couple small ticket items come back from the inspection that we asked the current owners to fix, which they did. So let me explain what happened in closing and the weeks prior:
PART 8: Closing time.
Since we had a flexible close date, we let the current owners decide on some dates. They gave us two options and we chose the one that gave everyone involved the most time to pack and get out. I think that was also their preference, so it was perfect. In those weeks before, there was very little going on. We would get an update on where our loan was in the approval process, or the time and place of our closing meeting. So when the afternoon finally arrived, we were soooo ready. Our apartment was all packed and cleaned, and I had a "weekend box" of an air mattress and cleaning supplies that I was going to bring to the house immediately afterwards. We would be in the house a couple of days before moving, so I wanted to spend that time deep cleaning.
In some states, Georgia included, the final closing meeting includes several people: The buyers, the sellers, each side's Realtor, the buyer's loan officer, and a closing attorney. Everyone all together at one table. I had asked my Realtor if these meetings were ever awkward. She told me they can be.. usually everyone is just kinda quiet, or if there had been disagreements between buyer/seller it could get uncomfortable. Thankfully, we already liked the sellers (based on what we knew of them, and the way they took care of their house). We hoped they'd be just as excited to meet us..... and guys?... they were. They were a younger couple, but older than us (they have young children). They were the age of my older siblings, so I felt comfortable with them. The four of us were the first ones to the law office - we greeted each other right away and everyone was all smiles! Remember that heartfelt letter I had written them while they were deciding on multiple offers? They reiterated SEVERAL times to us and the Realtors that that was the overarching reason they chose our offer. They said it was an answered prayer, and after reading our letter, there was no question our offer was "the one." What a sweet thing to hear!! Usually in these situations you expect that people would choose whatever benefits them the most financially... but these kind, caring, genuine people wanted something greater than that. They wanted someone to love their home the way they loved it. It was their first home, and the one they started their family in. It held so many memories for them, that they didn't want it to go to someone who had no heart to care about that fact. They wanted their beloved neighbors to have a new little couple to love and see them start a family there too. I know I'm beginning to ramble, but these two were seriously the sweetest people!!! Our closing meeting was SO positive! Not to mention, our Realtor was such a sweetheart and brought us a housewarming gift - a chime for the porch!
Throughout the couple hours we were all there, signing papers, etc... we kept talking and getting to know each other. Everyone was laughing and sharing memories and she was telling us about all the neighbors. We asked questions about the house, they told us about things nearby, as well as good trails behind the house. They were actually building their next home, but admitted they were almost more excited for us to have this one - so sweet! We weren't even paying attention to the papers we were signing! When everything was over, we all hugged. It felt like we had made honest-to-goodness friends who were simply passing the torch down to us (the wife and I almost cried as she handed me the house keys and garage openers across the table).
Seriously guys, the whole experience was so endearing. Saying goodbye was very bittersweet!
At one point during closing, I had asked where they got a certain piece of carpet that had been in the living room. They explained someone had given it to them, and I mentioned I would probably do something similar. When we all got off the elevator in the lobby, we said goodbye once more and Tom and I lingered to speak with our loan officer (who, by the way, we LOVE). We had some questions as to why our loan offered us so many grants, etc.. Then I made a comment about how wonderful the sellers had been and we all agreed. She told us that whole situation was so unusual and such a beautiful thing to see... she said we all seemed like old friends! Suddenly, the wife came running back in the doors. She asked Tom and I if we'd like to have the carpet that had been in the house. We didn't want to make her feel obligated, but she insisted.. she said they had gotten in the car and she and her husband decided they just wanted us to have it. At this point, I couldn't handle their kindness anymore and started crying. I hugged her again, and we said we'd figure it out over email. I shoo-ed her out the door because I was starting to cry and she said, "Me too...! Okay, bye!!" and ran out to the car. My jaw was just dropped and my eyes were welled-up when I looked at my loan officer... WHO WAS ALSO CRYING!
Tom had to go back to work, but we chatted for a minute in the parking lot about how blown away we were. We agreed that when the time came for us to sell this house, we would treat it the same: we would pray for another sweet couple looking for their first home, and take an offer not just based on financial implications.
I drove straight to the house after that, crying all the way there out of gratefulness and a full heart. Who says buying a house is stressful?? This was amazing! God answered their prayers, and ours... what an awesome God we have! Truly, this whole journey was part of His incredible plan for our life and we feel overwhelmingly blessed.
We have remained in touch with the previous owners and they have truly become new friends. How cool is that?? In fact, the first full day there, I spent the day cleaning while Tom was at work. All day I had been thinking "Gosh, I wish they hadn't moved and we somehow lived in this cul-de-sac too.." When Tom got home, he said out loud the exact same thing!
Anyways, when your closing date comes up, don't be nervous about it. Maybe you'll have an experience as incredible as ours. I really hope you do, actually. On that note, though, have any of my readers had a positive or negative experience with house closing? I love hearing your stories - tell me in the comments! I hope you enjoyed this long-winded finale to this series!
Now, I hope you're all ready for a load of before and afters and decorating posts! Looks like I'll be adding a new category to my menu, huh? Stay tuned for sneak peeks of the place :)