The House

So, I intended for my first post-wedding post to be about the honeymoon, but then a series of things happened very quickly that took precedence, so I’ll get back to the honeymoon later (it was awesome, by the way).

One of the things that has been burdening Tyler and I about our move to Oregon was that we had no clue where we would live.  We weren’t prepared to purchase a house yet – we both felt strongly that we should rent for at least a year and feel out the new city and jobs before we made that kind of long-term commitment.  But we also wanted to look into renting a house instead of an apartment.  We now had the means, and we wanted a clear distinction that this isn’t just a re-creation of our college apartments, this is our married home. We also wanted to live in Hermiston (just 7 miles down the road from my high school job), because there is a much higher rental market there, and it is considerably larger than Umatilla (they at least have a Wal-Mart).

The problem with renting houses in the Hermiston/Umatilla area is that they are in incredibly high demand at the moment.  We tried to look at a few places about a month ago, but the realtors basically said “The turnover rate is so high with these properties that nothing you look at today will still be available at the end of the month.  If we post a house on Monday, it’s usually gone by Wednesday.”  So we waited.  I watched their website every day to watch the houses come and go, some in our price range and some not.  Around 11am this morning I called the realtor and asked about the three properties that were currently on the website and within our price range – a mobile home in Umatilla, a mobile home in Hermiston and a house in Hermiston.  She immediately said that the house was far and away the nicest of the three, with granite countertops and hardwood floors in the kitchen, a double car attached garage and twelve inch thick energy-efficient walls to lower electricity bills.  She really insisted that there is no comparison between this beauty and the other two slightly cheaper dwellings.  She also said that the house had one applicant on it, but that their application was incomplete – if we completed our application before they completed theirs, we would have priority on the house.

I had some snap decisions to make.  Tyler was at work for the day, and on order for our application to be complete, I needed to have:

  • Two separate applications completely filled out (one for each of us)
  • Photo government ID for both of us
  • Proof of income for both of us
  • $70 Application fee
  • One of us had to see the house on the inside before applying

I decided to eat a hasty lunch, grab our passports (as photo ID), print out the applications and get in the car as fast as I could.  I dropped off Tyler’s application at Staples while he was working (which he filled out and faxed on his lunch break) and picked up one of his pay stubs from his car, and drove straight to the Umatilla School District to sign paperwork.  I got to the district office a half hour before the closed, and signed my teaching contract, an acceptance of position, my W-4 and I-9 forms and even a direct deposit – I am so officially contracted and hired!  While I was there, the business manager quickly typed up a statement of my annual gross income on district letterhead – a crucial part of the application process.  I then jetted over to the realtor’s office in Hermiston, and arrived at 4:15, (just 45 minutes before they closed) and was prepared to see the three properties.  They took me to the nicest house first, newly painted inside and out.

It was already striking.  Then I walked in and saw this:

This is a dimly lit photo, but the first impression was striking.  The big windows, the granite countertops, the nice lighting, it all took my breath away.  Here’s a view from the back door into the main entry way, looking at the front door:

You can see the countertop peeking around the corner.  The kitchen is probably my favorite part.

The house was built in 2006, so all of the appliances are really nice (I especially loved the glass-top stove).  Once I took a good look around, I said to the guy who was showing the house “I don’t need to see the other two units, I just would love to go back to the office and make sure I am the first person to complete an application for this house.”  We got back around 4:40, and I submitted our complete application at 4:58.  I asked them how long their processing time was, and when I would expect to hear whether or not we were approved.  They hemmed and hawed for a moment, and then decided it was easier for everyone if they just processed the application right now.  I walked out of their office at 5:20 with our holding deposit paid and a huge grin on my face – we got it.

We have a home.  And it’s beautiful.  We may only live here for a year, but this is a beautiful way to start our married life together.  The questions, the stress, the burden of not knowing where we will live is all lifted.  Our new address (for the next year at least) is:

The Butler Residence
746 E Catherine
Hermiston, OR 97838

And we couldn’t be happier.

2 Responses to “The House”
  1. Alicia Kippes says:

    Sarah and Tyler,
    I’m SO proud of you two!! This house is definitely been blessed by God; there is absolutely NO way that getting the house would have worked out if it had not been God’s will. SO HAPPY!!! Can’t wait to visit you two (complete with a bottle of wine!!!… probably Late Harvest Chenin Blanc!)

  2. Aggie da Momma says:

    Soo exciting! Congratulations, way to get things done my girl! Can’t wait to see it and help ya move in!
    Lovely house, what a great (other) thing to fall into place so soon, so well.

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