As you may recall, my spouse and I embarked on this adventure of selling our home last year and building a new one in order to have my mom come live with us. We found a home plan in Winter Garden that would give her space to have her independence while still providing our family with a close connection. We have reached the finish line of our story and this is how it all turned out.
A month before closing, it seemed that not much happened inside the house–but every time we stopped by, we found one or two surprises. If it wasn’t that the wood floors had been installed, it was the cabinetry, appliances or light fixtures. I could start seeing how all the selections we made months before at the design center were starting to look in the space, and fortunately all the elements played well together. We became a little worried because we had been keeping a list of things that were still not done or had been done incorrectly.
A week before closing, we had a formal walk-through with the project manager to inspect the home and learn how everything worked. Many of the items on our running list had still not been taken care of, and that alone made us uncomfortable considering our closing was only a week away. The project manager assured us that all corrections would be made by closing. (Closing, or settlement, is the final step of a real estate transaction. On that date, all parties in the real estate transaction sign the necessary documents. After signing, ownership transfers to the buyer.) That last week, we finished packing and making all moving arrangements. We were closing on a Tuesday, and for strategic reasons, we decided to move on the Friday and Saturday of that week. This would give us a few days in case the closing got delayed either by the builder or the mortgage lender.
Closing day arrived, and we were overjoyed! That day, we had a pre-closing walk-thru to ensure that all items in the list from the previous week had been corrected. Thankfully most of the items were completed with three remaining that would be taken care of the day after closing. We then drove over to the title agency where all the documents were ready without any delays. We were met there with our sharp and loyal real estate agent who was amazing and patient throughout this whole experience. The process took a little over an hour altogether. After signing, we received the keys to our home and took photos holding a giant key to keep as a memory of this eventful day. We were just so filled with emotion, not only because we were finally able to give my mom what she needed and wanted, but also to have this project completed for our family to be in a comfortable home for many years to come.
In thinking how to end this adventure, I couldn’t forget the fact that we all have the same hopes and dreams. As a young adult, I didn’t think that I could ever afford buying a home, but I had hope and became informed about government assistance programs for first-time buyers and made that first step into owning a home a reality many years ago. Four homes later, we built a new home from the ground up. In our minds and hearts, this project started about two years when I got the initial call from my mother about wanting to retire, and we offered for her to move in with us. Since then, we hit some good and bad moments, mostly good ones; but above all, we kept a positive attitude which made a world of difference. For us, the financial situation was big. Could we afford a bigger home? Could we get a loan for so much? There were a lot of unknowns, but I realized that we were not alone in this ride. In the end we were able to get what we needed in a realistic affordable way. I am thankful to our agent, our sales rep with the builder, our mortgage advisor at Partners, and numerous others that supported us throughout this process. Without their support, this dream would have never become a reality. Now on my new drive to work every morning, I pass by the Disney entrance sign that reads “Where Dreams Come True,” a daily reminder that our dream indeed became true.