Sunday, July 6, 2014

Choosing a home in Texas

We got a new job Southwest of Dallas and at the end of June we moved to Texas. I had never been there before. Derrill had only been there when he had his flyout interview. He is going to be working in the Texas A&M system teaching Economics which is what he loves. We really just been having one adventure after another because in April we had our third child, but that story is for another time.

After Derrill got his job, we planned to look for a house to buy and move down here after we bought it. We spent some time before we had our baby looking at homes online and narrowing down some of what we wanted in a home. After we had our baby and we were trying to choose a time to come and see homes, we realized that we needed to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan in order to start looking at homes. I got some names of some lenders and made some phone calls. One man I talked to said that there would be no way to close on the loan until after Derrill started his job. We didn't want to wait that long to move here and get settled. We were thinking late July, early August would work.

So, I started looking into places to rent and I found that there were not very many 3 bedroom apartments available. I could find about 7. As I made calls, I also discovered that apartments were being taken quickly because there was a shortage of places to live given the influx of new students - TSU is adding more than 3,000 next year. I called people and started realizing that we were not going to be able to visit and see something and choose what we wanted to live in. I began to think that we would be really lucky if we could get into a 3 bedroom. I discussed my thoughts with Derrill and he suggested he would rather live in a 3 bedroom and commute from Dallas than live in a 2 bedroom. I began to panic and determined that I had to take the first 3 bedroom that I could get.



Most places I called were very congenial and talked like their apartment was available. I asked for additional pictures and received promises from 4 people that they would email me pictures of their apartment and received pics from one. One gal I talked to told me that her apartment would be rented by the time I could get information to her. I like the honesty, but there was nothing nice about the way she shared it. One place told me they expected to have two places open in June, but I could not get them to answer their phone or call me back again. Then an application I did turn in no one ever contacted me about it.

When Derrill told me that we would have to really commute if I didn't find a 3 bedroom closer, I started to look outside of Stephenville. I googled and found small towns that were close and then looked them up on Craig's list. One listed was already rented. I found one being rented in Glen Rose and called the realtor that listed it. We spoke and she said she would email me an application. When she emailed me I heard the most hopeful news so far. She asked me to send in the application ASAP because she had heard from some other people the same day, but told them she was already processing an application and would let them know if it didn't work out; then she let me know that application was mine (which she obviously hadn't received yet). I felt really good about her email and about renting the home. She didn't get us extra pictures that I requested, but she was holding the 3 bedroom house for us if we wanted it and I assured her that we did.

So, now we were looking at the possibility of moving to Texas in June a full month or two earlier than planned. Homes go so fast and that is when the owners wanted the home rented. If we wanted the home then we didn't have a choice about when to start our 12 month contract. I was really excited about it every day except for the day that we signed the lease. That was the only day that I got a little worried. On that day I realized that it was all real, that we were really going to Texas and were committed to living in that home. To be truthful I was overwhelmed, though we had been looking forward to this time for a year, maybe three, all the responsibility of it actually happening was crushing for a few hours. After we signed it and got it sent off, I was alright again.

All the changes to our plans came about within a week or two and felt like quite a whirl wind. There was one night when Derrill and I were talking about the possibility of taking the Glen Rose home. I told him that I felt that getting to know people in Glen Rose would be important to feeling like Texas was our home because then when we moved to Stephenville we would have a wider base of friends here from two different wards and towns. Derrill felt the Holy Spirit when I said that and we felt sure that we were meant to live there.

Derrill or I will talk about traveling to Texas and seeing our home another day.
Sent from Joy's iPhone