Blog PostsUncategorized January 15, 2019

Buying our house… chapter 4

If you haven’t read chapter 1, 2 and 3…

STOP right now, go back & read them.

It’s important.

Let’s get started right where we left off at the end of chapter 3…

It’s finally CLOSING DAY! Friday, August 31st 2019 would be the day that we would buy and take possession of our lake house!!

Here’s how it was supposed to go… sign closing papers at 10am in Ames, leave by 10:30 to drive to Clear Lake, hand the seller his proceeds check by noon, spend the rest of the day/weekend deliriously happy, celebrate our purchase, show it off to friends & family, take measurements, make lists and start planning our remodel.


Here’s how it actually went… arrived in Ames for closing at 10am, had a brand new closing agent so we finally finished signing paperwork around 11am but then we realized there was no proceeds check for the seller, spent 45 minutes tracking down the seller’s proceeds, put a new plan together to have seller proceeds wired to his bank, drive to Clear Lake finally arriving there around 2pm to find the seller still at the house and not completely loaded up/out of the house!


This is not how my plan was supposed to go. Not. At. All.

Even though I had explained the mix up on the proceeds & the new wire transfer plan to the seller’s banker, she hadn’t called to explain it to him. There before me stood a very skeptical, old school gentleman who expected a large check in exchange for the keys to his home. So I explained what had happened and that the funds were wired to his bank so he should go there & close on his new house (closing was scheduled for 2pm) as originally planned. Did I mention he was skeptical? So he called his bank to check… the funds were not in his account… his banker lady was out of the office… great.


We’re still standing outside our new house and now I’m nearly in tears. I’m a Realtor. I do this stuff every day. After 14+ years and over 600+ transactions under my belt why on earth was this happening to my own purchase? Approximately 10 more frantic calls back and forth til we learned the wire had actually gone out, but due to business practices of both our lender and the seller’s bank the funds wouldn’t actually “show up” in his account until after 3pm. He was going to have to trust us and head to his closing.

Luckily he did trust us.

He handed over the keys and headed off to his closing. He left behind a bunch of stuff in front of the garage that he said he’d be back for on Saturday and hopefully someone would come next week to get his boat lift. I was so relieved I wasn’t even worried about the stuff. If he comes back for it great, if not, no big deal. We finally had our house!!

Cory and I promptly walked inside to check out our new dream and the first words out of my mouth… “What the Hell have we done?”

In my defense I was pretty stressed with the highs and lows we’d already been thru that day. The house wasn’t exactly clean. The heavy drapes were all shut and it was pretty dark. Even after we opened the shades you couldn’t really see out with all the plastic on the windows. The orange counter tops were a little brighter than I remembered. The kitchen was painted blue and the living room green. I’d never noticed the heavy accordion doors used to divide the living room/dining room/ kitchen. The tub/shower in the main bathroom was baby blue. And the nearly white carpet in the living room had stains… deep breaths… deep breaths…

Then my amazing sister, Betsi and her boyfriend Brian showed up. They brought tools and lots of ambition. We all immediately went to work on removing the heavy shades, the window plastic and the accordian doors. It was getting better! We had light! Then Betsi and I started on painting… white.. everything white for now. I needed a fresh palate, a clean slate! The guys removed the plate rail from the top of the cabinets, filled holes in the wall (from shades, pictures, etc), cleaned out the garage attic & garage and made 3 trips to the local landfill.

Needless to say Betsi, Brian and many other friends who stopped by helped us all weekend. Cory and I hadn’t planned to start on the house at all that weekend but we were (and are) so happy that we had help. It was truly amazing what some elbow grease and sweat equity could do to a place in 3 days.

Some other things we “learned” about the house that weekend… the freezer side of the side by side fridge only opened about 4″ because the fridge was too big for the space & it ran into the wall, the “stackable” washer & dryer worked great but it wasn’t a true stackable unit so you need a step ladder to access the settings/on/off buttons, the electrical for the house was going to need an upgrade, the original carpet in the house was an ugly brown shag (still in all of the closets), the fireplace doors are just decorative for now (not fastened in the least bit!) and the dishwasher didn’t work (later we would realize the dishwasher wasn’t even hooked up anymore and a wine cork was used to block off the hook up to the garbage disposal!)… on the plus side, the garage was much bigger than we expected!

And the view from our deck… was breathtaking!

sunset 1