House hunting realities

Who is addicted to HGTV shows like “Property Virgins” and “House Hunters?”  I love those shows and, despite knowing they are not reality, I expected more of what you see on tv to be reality.

We moved to the Austin area with the hopes of buying a house.  Houses here are not cheap but they are much cheaper than southern CA.  The housing market is hot and we learned that bidding wars happen here like they do in Cali.  Our apartment is in the ‘burbs about 20 minutes from the heart of Austin and we fell in love with this area.  Naturally, we wanted to find a house near where we currently live.  
When we started browsing earlier this year, we got a reality check as to what we could buy in this competitive market.  We met a fantastic realtor at an open house and she offered to show us around the area.  During that 6 hour tour (did I mention she is fabulous?!), we discovered little pockets of the area that we did not know existed.  We also realized we could get more bang for our buck by moving even farther from the city….hello, country living!
Our neighbors….far cry from Orange County / Los Angeles
Our realtor told us that prices skyrocket spring through fall and we decided to start looking seriously sooner than anticipated.  The neighborhood that caught our eye the most is a small community and few houses come on on the market in our price range; we knew we would have to jump on any that we liked.  At the end of February, we looked at several homes and fell in love with one and put an offer on it.  That experience was nothing like what we see on HGTV!  A bidding war developed and we lost the house (possibly to an all cash offer) and it stung.  
We kept looking and settled on a new build that appeared to be a great investment.  Our offer was accepted two days before we left for Costa Rica.  Note: It is not recommended to try and buy a home when you know you are traveling out of the country! We returned to a load of tasks to complete for the underwriter/mortgage company and we prepped for an April 15th close.
This past week, a series of events occurred in which we wondered if a body was buried on the lot next to ours and the outside inspector we hired wrote up a 30 page inspection report and flagged numerous code violations.

When I was driving the area a couple weeks ago, I saw something strange on the lot next door; I showed it to my husband and told our realtor about it the day of the inspection.  We dug to get to the bottom of the creepy sign mystery and (thankfully) learned it is not a grave marker!

Seeing this on the lot next door was just a little freaky!

We quickly backed out of the contract (whew!) and revisited a house under construction that had never left my mind.  In the course of 24 hours, we backed out of a contract due to discovering fraud and put a contract on a different house!  Fingers crossed that it will be our home in a couple of months!

We still have to vacate our apartment since we had ended our lease early but we got an extension of a few weeks.  Since there is a gap between when we move out of it until the house closes, I had to find us a place to live.  VRBO to the rescue!  I think I found a place to rent for a month.  

How do I cope with all this crazy, stressful stuff?  I run and workout!!!  Running and other forms of exercise I do (pilates, barre, yoga, kettlebell) I feel are are gifts from God during the trials of life.  I am grateful to have an outlet for relieving stress during weeks like this.

Next big decision— What treadmill to buy!

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