Tag Archives: Buying a Home

Waiting Game Again

Are we really playing this waiting game again? I think so… UGH! I’ve never bought a house before and we’ve never gotten this far into the home buying process in the last 2 years. Mostly because Kevin didn’t make a sizeable enough income to support two mortgages. Now that Kevin does make enough income; without using his overtime or per diem, I’ve been able to really get some insight that I didn’t have when we tried to start this journey.

Once we realized that Navy Federal Credit Union was unable to get their figures correct, provide us with the proper information or get the information I had given them correct that we would be using another bank. So we decided on Wells Fargo. Our buyer’s agent hooked us up with her mom, who just so happens to be a mortgage consultant at Wells Fargo. So We’ve been getting great service from Wells Fargo. I truly can’t say good enough things about Wells Fargo and our mortgage consultant.

This waiting game again, is really getting on my nerves. Right now we’re waiting on the VA Appraisal. Once that is submitted, as far as I know the underwriting department looks it over and decides if the house is worth what we’re paying for it, if not then we’ve got to start over and we’ve already put about $1,300 into this process already. Fees that we don’t get back if our contract goes to shit!

Right now, we’re on business day 8 out of 10. So hopefully by Monday the VA Appraiser has done their job and writes up their report and submits it to our bank before the close of business on May 20, 2016. With a VA loan there are certain stipulations, for example ALL of our documents have to be in our file for 14 business days before we can go to closing. That means all the inspections (pest/termite, water test, VA appraisal) and all of our income related documents, our bank statements, etc. I honestly think that the process may have been easier if we hadn’t used Kevin’s VA loan. But then we would have need at least 3.5% down for a down payment. Which right now, just wasn’t possible for us, so we just went with the option that was best suitable for our family and our financial situation.

I will say that it hasn’t been a horrible process now that we’ve chosen the proper bank for us. Right now, we have our conditional approval. Just waiting on the paperwork from the appraisal to be uploaded and then play another portion of the waiting game again!

It’s a rough spot to be in, mostly because we’ll be leaving for the East Coast shortly before closing and with either stay with my sister or just go visit friends in Virginia that are still active duty. Until we close we’ll be in limbo. So we’re really trying to wait until the last minute to leave here and head to the Maryland/Virginia area.

Man, I still think about all the times I said I hated the Virginia area and how much I wanted to be back in Maryland. I guess I felt so isolated from the “real world” when we lived on base. But now, I’m chomping at the bit to move back. I can’t wait. We’ll be close enough to visit family again. I’m dying for the family interaction again.

Well I’m headed out the door to go get some milk. I forgot to buy some yesterday while I was grocery shopping. I was so focused on getting out of the store without wanting to rip my hair out. If anyone has young children, they you understand my dilemma when it comes to shopping with them. Their hands are always touching things, they want to whine and cry, ask for things I haven’t paid for yet, etc. So I rushed and missed a few things I needed.

In the meantime, wish us luck and that this appraisal process is quick and painless.

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Moving Forward & Letting Go

This post is going to be a little personal today. Today we’re moving forward & letting go.
We’re headed on to the next step in our loan process. If you’ve ever had the opportunity to use a VA Mortgage loan, it’s not always an easy, quick, or pleasant process. The VA is 30-45 days behind on all their stuff. They’re overworked and understaffed, so it is taking a little bit of time to get to everyone’s requests and paperwork. So we’re right on track to close when we had originally planned! YES!

Right now our realtor has hooked us up with a great Home Inspector who can do the entire thing. Pest Inspection, Termite Inspection, etc. So we’re scheduling him to go out to the house as soon as possible. Then we have to get a VA Home Inspector to come out to the house to do the appraisal process. Then once all the paperwork is in our file, we can go to closing!!!! We’re so close! Just gotta make sure that everything with our actual home inspection goes to plan. Keeping our fingers crossed that there are no structural damages or anything that would cause us to back out of our contract.

The Coupon Clippers

While this house gets us into our own home, it is not in anyway shape or form our dream home. We’re going to pay off this home as quickly as we can so we can use the property as rental income in the future and have a home built for ourselves. This is our starter home! Being that we can realistically pay the home off within 10 years (we’re getting a really great deal), we know that we’re not stuck with this home for longer than we want to be in it!

So now that our house process is moving forward, we can start letting go. Letting go of things from our past. We’re going to downsize our possessions and make sure our home is only full of things that bring us happiness and joy. There’s no point in having things in our new home that drag us down. So out with the old and in with the new. Obviously, this will take time.

I’m really looking forward to being less scatterbrained all the time. I always felt more on top of my game, when we lived in Virginia. My brain just functioned so much better in my own home, even though I had a million and one different things that needed to be done every single day. We’re really ready to get back to our normal life with each other. We have a lot of time away from each other and Kevin’s been living in a hotel pretty much since he started this job in November. Granted, Kevin will still have to travel for his job, but 50% of the time he will be home at night with his family where he belongs!

I’m so ready for our lives to become normal again. I’m so ready to be able to catch up with old friends and actually be able to host holidays and parties. Plus once we move into our home I call the shots. I can make all the YouTube videos I want. I’m really looking forward to being able to post videos again. Lots of DIY videos to be done, ha ha ha. I’ve got so many ideas floating around my head that I just can’t think straight. I’m so ready for this house to be OURS!

So from here on out we’re moving forward & letting go!
I’ll be crossing my fingers for a good outcome to our home inspection and once that’s done if all went well, we move on to the VA Home Appraisal.  Keep checking back for updates as we have them!

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Taking the Next Step

I feel like we’re heading in the right direction. We are finally taking the next step in the mortgage application process. Our application has finally been assigned a Mortgage Specialist. I’m so excited that we’re hopefully one step closer to homeownership. I really hope the Maryland property doesn’t mess this up for us.

Taking the next step has my stomach all in knots. I can’t believe that we’ve finally gotten to this point, it’s been a long time in the making. When we last applied for a mortgage Kevin wasn’t making enough money to cover two mortgage payments. Now that we’re in a better financial place we’ve got the ability to cover the two payments if the need is there.

So what got us to the point of taking the next step? Well, it all started when Kevin was involuntarily separated from the Marines in late 2014. The moment we found out that $hit was going down, we immediately went into saving mode. We took our tax return and paid off Kevin’s truck and paid down/off credit card bills. We knew we’d get a separation pay, that would cover the mortgage on the Maryland property. So we didn’t have to stress about that. We put aside every single dime we could from the middle of April until October when we got his separation pay.We moved before we had to be out of our house, we found Kevin the first job he could get in August 2014, so he was getting paid by the military until October and was getting paid by the new company. So we were just putting money into savings or paying off bills.

We had moments of struggle (financially) during the last 18 months. But finding Kevin this amazing job and the opportunity he was given by them… has been such a blessing. We are both so very thankful that he has this job. I’m so glad that we are finally taking the next step and moving forward with our lives.

I guess, I’ll have more to update once the Mortgage Specialist and I go over our paperwork. We could be homeowners by the time the kids get out of school for Summer break, which is what we’ve been hoping for all this time. We’ve done our best to not uproot them during the school year. So we’re hoping for the same this time around.

Well, my household chores are never done. Dishes, laundry, picking up toys and vacuuming is on my to do list today.

Update to come once we’ve gotten our pre-approval or if we’re back to square one.

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It’s a Sauna in Here!

I was trying to get ready for my dentist appointment for this afternoon. With all the kids home and only me here to keep an eye on them, I have to do things in stages. So I decided to start with my hair. I put Ryleigh in her playpen, grabbed my hair straightener and went to the bathroom so I had a mirror. I turned my straightener on it’s max setting of 400 degrees because I have thick, coarse hair. I started sectioning off my hair and combing through it to get all the knots out. Once I got through the first layer of hair, it was already a sauna in the bathroom with the door open and the exhaust fan on!!!

I made it to the top layer of hair (my fourth section of hair) and just couldn’t take it any longer. The sweat was just rolling down my back. Ugh, I hate that feeling! Yuck! Sad part is, I just got a shower this morning before the kids got up! I have to get a shower every morning because the moment we get in our room every night, is the moment we start sweating! It’s like a sauna in there too!

I wasn’t even in the bathroom with the door open for 10 minutes and it pretty much instantly became a sauna.

The kids spend most of their time in their room, I spend a lot of time in mine and Kevin’s room because that’s where my computer is located. I have all my editing software for photos and video on it. So I tend to spend a lot of time there. Kevin spends a lot of time in the living room with Zachary and Ryleigh because it has the most space for them to run and play.

It’s so hard living in someone else’s home and not being able to make changes to the heating and air conditioning settings for fear of upsetting/pissing someone off. We’re going to have to draw the line somewhere, I can’t take living in a sauna for another year! We’re used to having our A/C set down to 64 degrees at night and max of 70 degrees during the day when we were in Virginia.

The temperature of this house is killing me, I’m tempted to go get my hair cut. I’m tired of dealing with all this hair, with the heat, and these kids! One less thing for me to worry about, all I’ll have to do is run a brush through it, a take all of 5 to 10 minutes using my hair straightener instead of 30+ minutes trying to straighten it all!

In about two hours, I’m going to try and get Ryleigh down for a nap so I can go put on makeup. Hopefully that won’t take me too long. As I don’t want to spend 20 more minutes in a sauna.

While this is a stressful living situation for my kids, my husband and myself; we are very thankful that we have a place to live for the time being. We’re trying not to over-stay our welcome, but it’s getting close. Our anxiety levels are through the roof and our marriage is starting to suffer a little bit.

We were really hoping to be out of here before the school year starts in August 2015, but I’m not sure that it’s going to happen. We’re still hoping for the best and doing all that we can to make that happen.

Well I’d better go finish my hair. Head on over to our YouTube Channel, leave a comment, rate and subscribe! Subscription is free! So click that button, so you can see what’s happening in the Delancey  Family’s Journey to Home-Ownership!


Canon Vixia HF R600


For the last month or so, Kevin and I have been discussing the idea of buying a new “vlog camera” that doesn’t have a retractable lens.
I have a little FujiFilm FinePix Z90.. but it has a few drawbacks.
The FinePix Z90, has a slide down face plate that covers the lens, this also is how it’s turned on. If I left this in my purse to capture snippets of video of my little ones, 90% of the time the battery was dead when I went to use it. It was always opening in my purse, draining the battery, and of course I didn’t know it.
It’s a decent “vlog” camera. It’s a shame that it doesn’t allow me to change more settings, but for less than $50 (before taxes)… it isn’t horrible. Plus, if you’re known for breaking cameras, this would be one of those you could easily replace because of it’s cost. If you’re just getting into vlogging this could also be a cheaper way to see if you like making videos.
Right now, I’m still waiting for the Canon Vixia HF R600 to charge. It takes 5 hours and 35 minutes according to the instruction manual. So I can’t really say how I feel about it just yet. But the reason we bought a camcorder versus a compact digital camera is because it doesn’t have a retractable lens. Once a retractable lens gets off track, the camera is basically useless. So you’re out about $110+ for a Canon PowerShot Elph model. The other reason we bought a camcorder over a compact digital camera (point and shoot) is because the majority of them do not have articulating screens. So you can’t see if you’re in focus or if you’re in the video or not.
From time to time, I may use the FujiFilm FinePix Z90 as long as the battery is charged. Maybe I’ll use it for when I go out by myself, I can vlog without having to carry the camcorder. We’ll see, it mainly depends on the difference in the quality of the video footage between the Z90 or the HF R600.
If you’re a vlogger, what’s your favorite camera/camcorder/phone to record your videos with? I’d really love to know, so leave me a comment below!


Welcome!

You should check it out, if you haven’t already!

We’re the Delancey’s! We have 5 crazy awesome kids (you can see all of them in the video above). This is our life and no matter how crazy it can be at times, we do our best to enjoy all the ups and downs.

The only thing we’d change is not having a place to call home! If only we can find a home builder to help us achieve our dreams of home ownership of a house that is safe for our children and that fits our needs when it comes to our family size.

Please help us make Delancey Dream Home a reality instead of a dream!

We don’t expect to receive things for free, we want to work for them! As you can see, I (Victoria) have some skills when it comes to creating videos. I think I could have done way better if I had brought out the tripod to give my shots a more steady look. I’m still working on learning some awesome transitions from one clip to the other. But I’m working on it. It’s hard to work when your computer is in your bedroom and you spend more time in a common room of the house because of the kids.

Once we get a house of our own, I’ll be able to edit without any problems because I’ll be putting the desktop in the room our family spends most of our time. That way I can edit while the kids play, watch t.v. and nap. But for now all my editing time is in the evenings after Kevin gets home and after we have dinner, weekends, or early mornings when the kids are still in bed.

I was thinking about learning iMovie so I could edit in other rooms, but I want all my videos to be edited with the same software. That way the all have the same look and feel to them. Plus I really like Adobe Premiere Pro CS3 (yes, it’s old but its mine and I like it).

This weekend I’ll be working on our regular video intro.

Hopefully, I’ll be able to get some more fun footage of this weekend’s festivities, maybe a trip to get some ice cream, watch some fireworks, etc. Although I’m not sure how the fireworks are going to work out because little miss Ryleigh doesn’t handle loud noises well when she’s awake. So we may not get to see fireworks. If we can’t go see the fireworks, we’ll do some sprinklers & something else fun for all the little ones (an art project).

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Living the American Dream

While Kevin and I want to live the American Dream, right now we’re far from living the American Dream. Days like today, make me miss our military life so much. Granted, we didn’t have a house that was ours, it was just a rental. But we had a place to temporarily call home. A place where our kids had space to play, space to grow and learn, and space to call their own.

Right now the kids have no space to do much of anything, no space to run, craft, play video games with the Kinect (xbox360) that they got for Christmas while we were still in Virginia (2012) or the Wii. There isn’t much of a backyard for them to play in, so they don’t get to go outside very often. The kids hate being in the house all the time. Our oldest son wants a tree house, our youngest son and daughter would enjoy a swing set with slide, all the kids would enjoy a little above ground pool during the spring and summer months. Kevin would love to have a place to entertain and grill (an outdoor pizza oven would be a nice thing to have as well). I’d love to have somewhere to plan my lilac bushes (all three of them), some morning glories, and a few little trees where we can hang some bird feeders. I’d love to have a gazebo, as well so I can use that for some portrait photography sessions.

In all reality, we just want a place to call home. A place of our own. We just want a roof over our heads, that has enough bedrooms & bathrooms that isn’t riddled with asbestos and lead based paint for our family of 7. Then we’ll be living our American Dream. Everything else is just a bonus for us. Having lived in military housing with the basic bare minimum for living arrangements, everything else is just an upgrade for us. Not a necessity, but a luxury.

I just hope we’ll be able to live our American Dream sooner than later. Our kids need the space to grow, play, and learn. Kevin and I need the space for our sanity, ha. Living with someone else, plus our 5 children has been a challenge. I’d love to see our kids cut back on the arguing because they don’t have any space to call their own. I’m dying to give them all their things back that are in storage.

I just want to give our kids some normalcy back. I’d also like to have some normalcy back in my life.

Right now, we feel like we’re stuck in limbo land with nothing to call our own. Hoping that things will change so we can finally start living our lives the way we want to live them. All we need to do is find a home builder that can help us achieve our goal of home ownership.

 


YouTube Earnings

Since I just posted my first two videos on YouTube under Delancey Dream Home’s Channel, my YouTube earnings are very small. But as time goes on, I gain subscribers, more views, and more; our YouTube earnings will increase. I posted our first video 1 week ago and have made an entire PENNY! While this may not seem like much, but that money will add up and will eventually be part of the way we pay for our dream home.

Everyone is always curious about others YouTube earnings. I’m guilty of this because I know YouTube can be a lucrative way to earn money, while still being home with my children. Everyone’s earning potential is different because it rests on so many different factors (i.e. what ads are playing or posted on/near your video, how many views you get, how many people click those ads, etc). It’s all a game of numbers. But if you know how to come up with good content, how to get your videos seen, produce good quality videos, and gain loyal subscribers/viewers.. then you should have no problem earning big bucks in no time at all.

So what are we going to be doing with our YouTube Earnings? Well right now they are so small that they’re just going to add up in my Adsense account, until they reach the payout amount set. Right now I have mine set for $500 instead of the $100 threshold that Adsense has already set up. I will probably be changing the threshold to a higher amount once I start earning more money, that way I’m not touching it until we are ready to use it for our dream home. I also have my Adsense account set up for my blogs (I have 5 blogs; all have different niches). Plus I have 4 other YouTube Channels set up with my Adsense account. So as my YouTube Channels grow, my YouTube earnings grow. As my blog traffic increases, my earnings form my blogs grows. Now none of this will ever make me rich (unless somehow one of my videos goes viral). I can dream, right? 😉

So what am I doing to help increase my YouTube Earnings? Well I’m starting off by researching videography tips on YouTube. This is a great resource for learning DIY things regarding videography/filmmaking. Being a photographer, I already have the basics for filmmaking/videography. I have the cameras, the lighting, the tripod, and more.

The next thing people need to learn is how to title, tag their videos, and where to post their videos so they will rank high in search engines (Google, Bing, Yahoo!, etc) and on YouTube. Video SEO (YouTube SEO) is an important part of getting your video seen. People have to be able to find it. If your video shows up on the first search page on YouTube, you’re more likely to get more views than someone who is on page 3 or beyond. People don’t like to really search for things, they want it all right on the first page. So YouTube SEO is important. I’m still learning, researching, and trying out new ways to rank my videos and blogs. But soon I hope to be on Google’s 1st page for all of my blogs & YouTube channels. I’ll take what I can get for right now.

So as you can see YouTube Earnings are based on lots of different figures and variables. So while I may have earned a penny in one week, someone may earn $1 in a week. Now I can’t discuss anymore than how much I earn. Meaning I can’t tell you what my CPM, RPM, etc. All I can tell you is that it really takes time, dedication, knowledge, and know-how. If you’re looking to start a YouTube channel, don’t just jump in and expect to make money right away. Do your research, create content that people will want to watch, and just be yourself.

Thanks for stopping by to see what Delancey Dream Home’s first penny earned on YouTube.

 

 


Hot Cocoa & Early Morning Soccer

We’re up way to early for Summer break, but when your 3 year old and your 1 year old get up before the sun comes up, you get up with them. They’ve been changed, dressed, and fed. Now they’re both content playing and watching Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on DVR.

I’m sitting here with a nice warm cup of hot cocoa, watching Zachary (our 3 year old) kick his new soccer ball around the room. No matter how early he or Ryleigh wake me or Kevin up, we cherish every moment we get with them. Because these little moments won’t last forever and tomorrow is never promised.

Since it’s pretty quiet in the house, I thought I’d post a new blog. I know I’ve wrote one everyday for the last few days. But things have really been on my mind now that the kids are home for Summer Break. I’m also surfing the web, looking at furniture for our dream home. As much as I don’t want to buy new furniture, I know that our old furniture won’t fit in with a new home. It may be saved for the basement, so the kids can use it. If anything gets spilled on it, it won’t be a problem. But for the main portion of the house, I want to buy new couches/loveseats/chairs. I want to DIY a farmhouse style dining room table with benches on the long side instead of chairs. I’ll have to get Kevin a table saw, because we don’t have the space for one of those at the moment.

Once we get our dream home, we’re going to make the kids custom loft beds, with a couch, desk, and shelf-unit. So they have more space to move in their rooms. Plus they can have somewhere to sit when they watch T.V., somewhere to do homework, etc. Hopefully, we can find some corporate sponsors to help us reach our goal of home-ownership.

Well since it’s Summer break, I guess I should make a nice breakfast for the other kiddos. They only eat cereal and pop-tarts during the school week. So now I need to step my mommy-game up and make them something delicious in the mornings. Since I have some time before they get up, I think I’ll make some homemade cinnamon buns (Cinnabon Style) with cream cheese icing.

We hope everyone has a wonderful Monday. We’re going to try and make the best of the day.

 


Not the Only Ones

I know we’re not the only ones who have slipped through the cracks after getting out of the military. We sure won’t be the last to slip through the cracks either. It’s a shame that the men and women who serve our Country are forced out with nothing to fall back on but a little bit of money and 6 months worth of medical insurance. Hell they only get 2 years worth of MWR benefits (gas station on base, commissary, bowling/movie theater, Exchange, and possibly the gym), if they even live near a military base to use those benefits.

 

It’s so hard to watch as our Veterans struggle to find jobs that can support them and their families. The Marines don’t get certifications for certain “jobs” that they do, like Kevin. His MOS was an 1142 ( Small Engine Repair Specialist; a.k.a Generator Technician). While there are Generator Technician jobs all over the CONUS; Kevin doesn’t have some of the certifications that companies want. No Certifications= no job. Even tho’ he has 10 years of experience and he works hard, it means nothing to them.

 

I wish there was a way for Kevin and I to help other Veterans that are going through the same thing we’re going through right now. If I could start a Non-Profit to give to veteran families and individual veterans that are struggling to make ends meet, then I would. But I just don’t have the means to start such a project at the moment. Kevin and I would do anything to help others that are feeling like we do these days.