Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Goodbye Blog–Hello Business!

Hello, all!  I’m so sorry about the lack of updates.  It’s been a crazy whirlwind of teaching, presenting, graduating, and preparing to move.

All is well after a lot of heartache about missing out on our first home, but we are happy now that we aren’t taking on more debt.  We found a decent two-bedroom apartment in a great neighborhood that actually lets me have one whole wall of light blue (it’s the little things)!  I’m so excited for some color!  We are moving June 1st.

I am definitely back to blogging, however, I will no longer be updating this blog.  Because my photography business requires so much of my time, I will be blogging over there regularly (often about similar things), so please go follow the blog over there if you would like to receive updates.  I’m very excited about what is yet to come and am praying that God blesses my business.

I’ll see you over at Sarah Syhakhoun Photography!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Tiffany and Nate: New Post on SS Photography

I was mighty busy over my spring “break.”  When I went down to visit family and friends in my hometown, I met up with one of my best friends, Tiffany, and her fiance, Nate, and we rocked out some engagement photos.  You can check them out on Sarah Syhakhoun Photography.

Tiff_Nate-5

Saturday, March 24, 2012

We are 2 Days Away . . .

From finding out whether we will be homeless at the end of May.

I feel completely sick and devastated right now.  Add on top of that how stupid I feel for even telling anyone about our “first home.”

As of right now, we no longer are buying “our” townhouse and we have a good chance of not being able to stay in our current apartment.

Everything is just a mess.

Let me rewind a bit.

A couple weeks ago, we got preapproved for the exact townhouse I showed you pictures of in my last post.  We put in an offer, got the offer accepted, and were told that as long as nothing went wrong with transferring the title, we didn’t spend tons of money, and Mr. CS didn’t lose his job, the final approval process would go smoothly.  We were already preapproved for that home.  The mortgage officer already had all w2’s, tax returns, etc., during the preapproval process, so we assumed he had been thorough when preapproving us.  I don’t really want to go into all the details for security reasons, but basically we were 99% certain the home was going to be ours.

Once we heard all of that, we paid $300 to have an inspection that went pretty well overall.  We spent some time last weekend checking out our new neighborhood.  We learned that there was a huge, beautiful horse farm just down the road which melted my heart because I felt like we had a part of the country in the city.  We couldn’t wait to move in and call it our home.

We dreamed of brining our first baby home to that house.

We dreamed of buying a dog this summer.

We dreamed of going running in the safe neighborhood, of house warming parties, and of beautiful gray and aqua walls.

We dreamed of paying off our student loans in five years.

We dreamed of finally having a place of our own that was cheaper than our current apartment.

Since it had already been a week and half since we had the offer accepted and we had only heard positive news about the final loan approval, we gave our notice on our apartment.  We gave it a little less than two weeks early because there was another young couple, just like us, who were interested in renting our property and they had to give their notice soon.

Then, this week, our mortgage officer called us and basically tried to talk us out of the house.  We should have seen it as a major warning sign, but I was so busy this week working on filming myself in the classroom and doing hours and hours of work to get my teaching license that I just assumed he was looking out for us.  He told us that because this property did not accept FHA loans and the loan it does qualify for is much stricter than FHA that we would have more money if we bought an FHA-approved property.  This made no sense because he told us while we were getting preapproved that the monthly payment would be comparable to what it would be as an FHA loan.  We were so confused about him dissuading us because this was our dream first house (at least in that price range).  However, we just blew it off.

Then, he called later in the week and told us that we were “cutting it close” and that when he ran our numbers through a program, it said we were approved, but when he manually entered them, it said we were not.  He promised us he would let us know by Friday if we would get the home or not.

Mr. CS had the day off yesterday and waited by the phone all day.  When he didn’t get a call, he called the mortgage officer because come Monday, the young couple will be coming to see our apartment and will most likely put in an application on it.  The officer again basically told us nothing concrete, but told us it looked bad.  He said he would let us know for sure on Monday.

Well, after talking to my parents about it (who had talked to him on the phone as well), we learned that we got scammed.  He basically told us that we weren’t getting the house without officially telling us, probably because he didn’t have the you-know-what to tell us that he messed up and never should have preapproved us for the house in the first place.  I honestly think he didn’t think they would accept our low-ball offer, so he preapproved us for it anyway.  That, or he just didn’t spend the time doing a thorough preapproval and didn’t want to admit his error after the offer was accepted.

We called our realtor last night and his exact words (coming from a man who has been completely professional) were “Oh sh*t.”  He could not believe this happened.  He felt horrible.  He said he had never heard of anything like this happening once someone was already preapproved when no financial changes were made.  The loan should have gone through as long as something with the seller didn’t go wrong and we maintained our income and debt, which we did.

After looking at our preapproval letter more closely and learning more about the final approval process, I know this should have never happened.  We should not be preapproved one day and then told that we don’t make enough money for the house or have too much student debt the next day.  If that could happen, what would the thorough preapproval process with all tax returns, w2’s, and student loan info be for?

The worst part about it is that we didn’t learn about all of this until last night when our landlord’s office was already closed for the weekend.  We left a frantic voicemail message and also emailed them begging them to let us retract our lease termination letter.  The couple who wants our apartment is coming to see it on Monday.  We are praying that the office will allow us to renew our lease so we can have a place to live until we are ready to look for a house again. 

I feel like a complete prick now because this other couple really wanted our apartment and now have their hopes up that they are going to get it.  They may still get it and we will be in a frantic search for a place to live once our lease is up.

This whole thing is a disaster.  I felt like I got hit by a train when I woke up this morning because of the emotional toll this has put on us.  Thankfully, my faith in God only gets stronger through these situations and my relationship with my husband will not suffer because of some person who completely broke our trust.  I’m praying that he doesn’t do this to anyone else.

The moral of the story is to pick your mortgage officers carefully, to not be quick to trust others, and to not get too attached to a house until you are living in it (and maybe not even then).

Ugh.  I hope you all had a better week.  I’m ready to crawl into a hole for a while, but I need to be strong.

It’s just a house.

Friday, March 16, 2012

We are 52 Days Away . . .

. . . From moving into our FIRST HOME!!!!

I am so sorry for the lack of updates.  I promise once I am done student teaching I will be back around here more with updates galore, but right now I am giving 100% to Mr. Converse Sneakers and my teaching.  It takes A TON of work to become a teacher these days.  I am putting in at least 60 hours a week (if not more) and am getting paid absolutely nothing, so we have been very tight with our money lately.

So, after looking at tons of townhouses, we could not get one out of our mind that had really strict financing policies (no FHA loans – they only accepted mortgages through a different program much like FHA but stricter).  After rethinking what we wanted to do a few times, we put in an offer – a low offer that included the seller (the bank since it is a lender-owned property) paying the closing costs and 60 days until closing (so we wouldn’t be paying a mortgage and rent at the same time) and a few days later they accepted our offer!  We thought for sure they wouldn’t because we low-balled it and because it was such a nice townhouse (much nicer than the other ones at that price) in a prime location.

Let’s just say our monthly payments with association fees and taxes will be lower than our current apartment’s montly rent costs and we are getting a ton more with it.

Here are the details:

  • 1,500 square feet
  • 2 car HEATED attached garage (I forsee winter DIY projects in my future)
  • 2 bedrooms plus a huge bedroom-sized loft that will be our office
  • 1.5 baths (the full bath has a double vanity)
  • A fireplace in the living room
  • A staircase with a banister (so charming and not in most townhouses around here)
  • TONS of light
  • A back patio with no neighbors behind for miles (so it’s like owning our own detached home in many ways)
  • A large kitchen
  • A semi-formal dining area
  • A HUGE walk-in master closet
  • Another HUGE walk-in closet off the upstairs hallway

And the area is to die for.  I’m a country girl as you know, and the city this is in feels like a nice mix of city and country.  We are minutes (at walking/biking distance) from Walmart, Sam’s Club, Home Depot, tons of restaurants, Michaels, Best Buy, etc.  AND the area has a tremendous amount of walking/biking paths.  It is so safe, quiet, and yet near everything.  Somebody pinch me!

Mr. CS was the only one able to attend the inspection today, but everything went really well.  Only a couple things that we already knew about need to be fixed, but they are minor and mainly cosmetic.

I’m sure you want some pictures!  I have not been able to take any photos myself, so the listing photos will have to do.  I’ll be sure to post more photos and even maybe a video when I get a chance to get over there.

firsthouse1

firsthouse2

firsthouse3

firsthouse4

firsthouse6

firsthouse7

firsthouse8

firsthouse9

firsthouse10

firsthouse11

We move May 7th!  That’s the Monday of my last week of teaching.  I’ll need the new house excitement to get me through the week because it’s going to be a very emotional one.  I can’t imagine not seeing my seventh graders after May 11th . . .

We would greatly appreciate any prayers that could be sent our way that everything goes smoothly.  We love the place so much and cannot wait to move in.  Many great marital “firsts” will take place in this home and we cannot wait!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

I’m Alive . . . Somewhat

I am so sorry to everyone who has been waiting for more posts.  You all have been so patient!  Honestly, I don’t know when they will be coming.  I’m guessing from now until May, posting will be very sporadic, but I’m hoping after that I will have more time to do projects, think of things other than teachingteachingteaching, and have some goodies to share with you!

I’m into my third week of student teaching and I must say, I love it!  Does it make me very nervous?  YES!  Is it rewarding?  Of course!  Are some kids naughty?  You betcha.  However, overall, I am very happy to report that it’s something I can see myself doing for a long time.  I am teaching seventh grade literature and writing in a Catholic private school.  It’s very different to anything I’ve ever been exposed to, but it is amazing.  Dream job!

As for my photography business, it’s been going really well.  I second shoot my first wedding the weekend after this one and can’t wait.  I’ve had some very random calls about maybe being featured on a very well-known website, but I don’t want to say much more in case that path leads to nowhere, which it very well could.  I’m really excited to see what the summer has in store for me with my business.  It’s going to be crazy juggling the business and teaching once I find my first teaching job, but it will be worth it, I hope.

This should probably comes as no shock: we are back to house hunting.  We are working with a different lender (MUCH better – he really loves his job and wants to help us get the most for our money).  We’ve been looking at townhomes and are still considering single family homes.  If we don’t find anything using solely Mr. Converse Sneakers’ income, we will renew our lease monthly and use my income once I have summer job and/or am teaching full-time.  We could not find any apartment we liked that was less than a mortgage would be, so we decided now is the time to buy.  I’ll keep you posted on that as things start happening.

I’m sorry for such a boring, random post, but I wanted to make sure everyone knew I am alive and will be back.  I really will be back, I promise!

See you . . . soon-ish!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Quick Update: Super Exhausted

Hello, everyone!

I'm just dropping in to let everyone know I have begun my student teaching semester, so things around here might be a little sparse.  Teachers work extremely hard, so as a learning teacher, I am working double time just to learn the ropes, finish my class work, and meet new people.  It's exhausting and it's only the third day of the semester!  I'll try to post when I get the chance, but honestly, my teaching and my well-being come before my blog, and I'm also working on my photography business as well.  I don't want to ever let the blog (or at least my online presence in general) fade, but it will be pulled back during this time because I just don't have time to do it all.

I hope you all understand and still stop by to check in once in a while! :)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Decorating for Two: Living Room Edition

When I was describing the house offer situation earlier this week, I left out a couple details.  I would like to think that I did not get emotionally attached to the house, but the truth is, I didn’t even try to stay away from letting my emotions cling to the house.

You see, I’m very good at rationalizing things to myself and my hubby.  Before we even saw the house, I was dreaming of how we would decorate the house if we got it.  Surely, by making a few moodboards (that took a few hours to create), I would not get emotionally attached to the house.

Yeah, right.  I promise I’m not as dumb as I seem!  I’m just a passionate dreamer!  I rationalized the mood boards by telling myself that we could easily use the moodboards for a different home – I was simply trying to determine our style before we got to a house.  It’s a very important house hunting step to determine your style first, right?  Hmmm….not really.

Instead of letting the mood boards go to waste until we find a house (if we even use them when that day comes), I thought I would share with you what our combined decorating style is, since our apartment is definitely not the best reflection of it (read: no time or money to make our apartment pretty at the moment and we were waiting to get a house before we went all out on d├ęcor).

My decorating style could be described as feminine, colorful, bright, cottagey, and quirky.  Mr. Converse Sneaker’s decorating style is more masculine, with more neutral colors, darker tones, and less bright.  After living together for a while now and sharing our likes and dislikes, we have started to be drawn to similar rooms.

Here are some rooms we both like (neither of us are in love with any of the rooms, but we both like most of each one).  Click on any of the images to be taken to the pin on my Pinterest.

sarahlivingroom1

sarahlivingroom3

sanlivingroom1

sarahlivingroom4

sanlivingroom2

We both like:
  • A large amount of neutrals (usually white, light gray, or deep mocha brown) with lighter pops of color
  • Light-colored sofas (I prefer an English roll arm sofa and Mr. CS likes anything that looks comfy)
  • Nothing that is overly matchy
  • Fun, quirky details
  • Vintage/retro details

When I saw our dream house, I knew the entry way living room would make a perfect place to create a multifuctional room that works as an entry way, living room, office, and library.  This is the mood board I came up with:

moderncottagelivingroommoodboard

Click here or on the image to head to the original mood board on Polyvore (where I created it) to get get more details about each item.  I wasn’t going for a specific source list we would use, since we would probably find most items by thrifting, researching like crazy, or making them ourselves.  This was to serve as a jumping off point for the room.

I started with the entry way area, which is on the left side with a console table that would hold papers, keys, gloves, and boots.  Above it would be some really awesome abstract art that would serve as the piece that determines the room’s color scheme.  I saw some cute hooks with the letter “s” on them since both our names and our last name start with “s” that we could hang our keys on or even dog leashes once we get a dog.  I really had it all planned out!

We would get a cute owl umbrella holder (Mr. CS loved that detail) and hang a wooden wall pocket system by the closet door to sort our mail.

The living room portion of the room is found in the middle of the image.  Of course, it would have an English rolled arm sofa (my absolutely favorite) with some fun pillows.  The curtains would be layered to make the room a little fancier and would pull in the blue.  The rug would add a graphic trellis pattern and more blue.  Instead of having all white furniture since we like to mix and match different finishes, the coffee table and media console would be richly stained wood.  I had plans of including a whole wall of art and photos since I’m a gallery wall fanatic.

Then, along the back wall of the room that would also act as a hall and the first thing people would see when they walked in, would be two white bookshelves flanking a secretary desk.  The book shelves would be beautifully styled (of course) to bring in more color and personality.  The secretary desk would serve as our command center where we would pay bills, write letters, meal plan, etc.

As much as this mood board was catered to a very specific room in mind, we could easily take many of the ideas and plan them to a different room, perhaps even in an apartment.  I was sad when I found out we would not be getting the house because I was really excited for this room, but at least now we have a point of reference that we both love (yes, my hubby is fully on board with the design scheme, I can barely believe it) that we can turn to when making decorating decisions.

What do you think of our combined style?  Have you ever planned an entire room, only to learn that it would never work or the room you planned it for would never be yours?

Linking up with Five Days . . . 5 Ways

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...