We drove home on Saturday from the Mammoth Trip. Before we left town though, we had the chance to meet up with my friend, Erin, and her family, who were camped just outside of town at McGee Creek. I've known Erin since I was 17.
I love everything about this photo. I love the flowered headbands Eric willingly and knowingly has on his head that he was carrying for Cora. I love all the hands reaching out and encircling family members, with each of the littlest kids in our family under the wings of everyone, and right in the center, Erin and I have our arms naturally linked.
After saying goodbye to our friends we continued the long drive down south. It was full of Eric and I constantly batting ideas, possibilities, and possible no-go's back and forth. No matter what question or issue came up, we had a way to find an answer for it. We were sure. We wanted to move up there. Would his work accept the idea of his working remotely? We were going to have to wait to find out. The worst of this was the Pandora's box of adventure that had been opened by deciding this. If they told Eric no, what would we do? You can't tamper excitement like this down very easily.
The girls never seemed to tune into the import of our conversation. Since they weren't catching on, we decided to wait until we even knew if moving was going to be a possibility.
We arrived home late Saturday night. We got the approval to work remotely (YAY) on Tuesday and on Wednesday we called our real estate agent in Mammoth and asked how we could get out of escrow on the current condo and instead, look at buying a home. By Thursday we were out of the escrow and she sent us links for four properties to look at. It took me two days and a whole lotta of schedule shuffling (GIANT thanks here to the friends who made this following part happen. Alexis, Kristine, Christina, Katie, and Mele, thank you!) Saturday we arranged childcare for the girls for the entire day and Eric and I drove up to Mammoth to look at the proposed properties.
So basically 8 days after voicing the idea of moving we were driving up to look at homes. Damn, sometimes we move fast.
Mammoth is an 8 hour drive one way. It didn't feel like 8 hours as we headed up, though I did have the startings of a cold and we had to stop in San Bernadino to get some Dayquil. We arrived around 5:00pm and met our agent, Christine Galbreath. She had us hop in her car and we headed out to inspect the properties on our list.
The home we thought we'd end up loving because of the pictures we had seen turned out to be a dud. Amazing how photos can make a place look so much bigger than it really is. The home that was the second lowest on our 'do we like this?' list was a wonder. It felt right the moment we walked in. Every second longer we spent walking around was more and more of a confirmation that we'd found the right place. We took videos. We took pictures. We let ourselves dream a bit. As we left with Chris, we told her to go ahead and make an offer.
After a quick dinner, we were back on the road for an 8 hour drive BACK to San Diego. We had a babysitter to relieve and a full day of babysitting ain't cheap, you know? The tunes from Sierra Wave Alt 92.5 serenaded us as the sun set behind the Eastern Sierras and turned the landscape of the Long Valley Caldera from blues to purples and then the black of an evening sky.
At some point that Saturday evening, Chris submitted our offer. Now the seller had 72 hours to respond. The waiting to hear back almost killed us. It was a long, excruciating weekend and then we didn't hear anything. All day Monday we pretended we weren't waiting for alert notifications on our phones for an update from our realtor.
FINALLY. Tuesday evening we heard back. They countered our offer (we had offered less than the initial asking price.) They countered that night and we responded affirmatively on Wednesday morning. We heard back Wednesday night - offer accepted! We were going into escrow on this beauty.
I wanted to jump and scream with joy but Eric tempered me, and rightly so. We were using a VA loan, and they are notoriously picky on properties. Starting escrow with a VA loan was a long way from actually closing escrow on one. Just because we had gone into escrow did NOT mean we'd end up getting to buy the place. We tried to tone down the hope and sit tight and wait. For those of you who know me, toning my excitement down, and sitting tight to wait, are not really well developed tools in my skill set.
Over the weeks that would follow I spent a lot of time looking at these pictures and watching the videos we took of the place on repeat. My Pinterest ideas boards for the girls' room and the place in general grew by leaps and bounds.
Here's the upstairs, including the kitchen, and large open plan family/living room. Peep those windows. The view is spectacular from all of them and will let in so much sunlight during long winters.
There are TWO bathrooms. What a luxury! The upstairs bathroom has both a shower AND a bathtub. WHY? We had no idea, but it certainly looked lovely. It seemed like a waste of space to have both so my plan was, if we ended up closing on the place, to take out the tub and replace that area with some nice shelving since there wasn't a lot of built in storage.
We eventually found out why that gorgeous tub is there. I'll tell you why later...
Heading downstairs there are three bedrooms.
For some reason there was no picture of the third bedroom in the listing and we both forgot to snap one. We had it captured in our videos though so we were able to include it in our dreaming. And yes, those are skis in the tile in the downstairs bathroom. How adorable is that?
A washer and a dryer. A washer and a dryer. A washer and a dryer. I can't even.
Handsome Eric surveying what could be his kingdom. This is the lower deck.
VA loans have a 60 day escrow period. They can close sooner than that, but they can also take all 60 days. We were about to head into a very long wait. Neither one of us is good at that but nonetheless, the waiting, and the mountains of paperwork began. More soon!