We had a few houses in mind after some research the other day and we asked the realtor about them. Unfortunately they were pretty much all short sales (which average 6 mo to a year in Hawaii) and one was already in escrow. Also our realtor was telling us the bidding wars go so crazy for property in Hawaii that it just takes a long time and you get way outbid by people who can go a lot higher.
Our realtor found out about these new houses that were being built. They are in Ewa Beach- the area that we had narrowed down is a good area with affordable (for Hawaii) houses at the moment and close to Pearl. These new houses are expected to be completed between mid January and mid February. There were a couple of different plans becoming available- 5 to choose from. The option we really liked that was a three bedroom house was the only one not available. But they had two slightly smaller three BR's and two larger four BR's available.
We filled out some paperwork to get a shot at one and our realtor fronted the money for the deposit. There were 17 houses that became available today when the office opened at 10am (Hawaiian time). Our realtor, as well as many others, lined up at 9:30PM last night to get a shot. She was fourth in line. She called us about two hours ago while we were in there (they were letting people in one at a time to sit down and reserve a house) and reserved a house for us!
We ended up getting a FOUR bedroom, 2.5 bath house- 1,194 square feet, with a two car garage, a small fenced-in backyard and even a covered lanai (which is sort of like a Hawaiian porch) you can sit out on the patio in the rain.
We get to pick our paints and carpeting. Soooo excited about that!! The house is planned to be done (and she said it's pretty accurate unless there's really bad hurricane-type weather) on February 4th- the same day I come to Hawaii! We actually won't be able to move in for about a week after that, but since Nick has multiple friends in Hawaii hopefully it won't be a problem staying with them for a week until the house is ready.
I'm still pretty in shock about this. I have never even had a new car! I was hoping for at least a two bedroom house. Three would have been amazing. Four is actually a little unnecessary but it wasn't that much of a difference in cost and the advantage to when we move in a few years is that if we decide to rent it for a while instead of selling, we can get probably 600-700 more per month for a four bedroom house.
Also, now we can have our master bedroom, an actual spare bedroom (instead of an office room with a futon in it), an office, and...a scrapbooking room? Haha. But yeah probably. I'd love to be able to get scrapbooking shelves that Target sells so that I could actually have all my stuff there and ready to work. Right now it takes me 30-40 minutes just to lay out everything and another 45 minutes just to break everything down and clean up. I could really start getting into crafts again. And I could do a lot of Goodwill shopping for hard wood furniture. Since we're going to have a real garage/work area, I could sand and repaint wooden bedside tables and various furniture. I'm starting to get really excited about this!
It's also really nice to get everything organized before Nick and I leave. Next week will be madness with all the moving. And I'm happy we're figuring this out together instead of him having to call me and talk over the details then have to call back to Hawaii to confirm.
This weekend is our last weekend in Charleston. Today Nick and I walked the entire Ravenel Bridge- all 2.5 miles across the bridge from Mt Pleasant to downtown Charleston and back another 2.5 miles. This is the same bridge Dustin and I walk frequently but we usually go about 70% of the way then turn around. It felt pretty good to walk the whole thing to the other side and touch the wall at the end. :) There are pics down the bottom of this blog from downtown Charleston's view of the bridge.
After the long bridge walk we went to brunch at Hominy Grill. I really wanted to go to Saffron (most AMAZING pancakes I've ever had in my life!) but they had already stopped serving most of their breakfast food. (We'll have to go there next week before we leave.) Hominy was amazing though. Everything they have there is incredible- especially their pumpkin spice bread! Hominy has been on several Travel/Food channel type programs and all over the news...Mmmm such good food. Glad we got to eat there once more.
I also stopped at the art gallery by my restaurant on the way back home to try to find a small piece of artwork on a budget as a Charleston souvenir. I thought I was out of luck and at the last minute found a 16x20 painting of one of the famous historic houses in downtown Charleston along the Battery. There were so many other clique Charleston paintings of water and palmetto trees...I wasn't a fan. But this one was different- it was a night so the colors were completely different and it wasn't overwhelmingly cheesy. Simple, elegant and still tasted very much of Charleston. I got a great deal on it too. I hope to be able to continue buying small paintings whereever we go. I think those would be nice to display in our new house. :)
Tonight we're going to eat at the downtown location of my restaurant, Five Loaves Cafe. Eating at the downtown location makes it feel a little less like work since it's not where I usually work. They have a fabulous dinner menu and I thought it would be nice to eat there once more before we leave.
Tomorrow Ali and I are going to do a bottomless mimosa brunch (oh hell yes). Can't believe I'm not going to see her anymore! She was such an amazing saving grace here to me. Love that girl like crazy.
Then tomorrow evening we're doing a going away thing at Rooftop Restaurant on Vendue in downtown Charleston. Nothing big and fancy- I just invited friends from Army Wives, Five Loaves, etc. The movers come Monday and Tuesday and we're leaving right after I get out of work on Wednesday....so this is it.
So far it's been an incredible weekend- saying goodbye to Charleston but finding out all this awesome news at the same time. SO many more adventures to come. I can't believe I'm going to be living in Hawaii with Nick! Is everything else after Hawaii going to be a downgrade? I think so. Hahah.