So on Saturday the 13th I flew to Pittsburgh to have a weekend of house hunting with my husband whom I hadn't seen for a month and a half. I was sooooo super excited for a) getting to see Brett, b) getting to be alone with Brett for a weekend (to be embarrassingly honest, I put on fake nails for the occasion and super-glued my fingers together, yeah, good times), and c) getting to see my new home and search for a house!
We went out for dinner the first night and Brett let me choose where, so of course I chose Thai, and we went to a place called Nicky's Thai Kitchen and it was soooooooo good. I died of deliciousness.
We walked around the city for a while, which was fun but quite chilly.
We walked around Market Square, which was trying to be kind of like a European Christmas Market. And there was an ice skating rink too, and it was all very pretty.
Okay, those were my own pictures, now some from the internets:
(this one is the same place I have a picture of above)
And here's a picture to show how that Christmas tree is that I took a picture of, above.
From the little time we had to look around, Pittsburgh was pretty cool. I liked it, and I don't usually like cities.
So anyway, I got there Saturday then on Sunday we went to church with the Kimbers and to their house for dinner. We had a great time visiting. Then the house hunting began because there was a house for sale by owner that we decided to go see that evening. It was my favorite house I saw the whole time. I fell in love hard with this great big room it had. It had windows on every wall, four skylights in the high ceilings, and a great big awesome fireplace.
The price was good, it had a nice bit of land, and the house was extremely well-maintained. The next day we went out with a realtor all day and saw a lot of trashy houses and I was very disappointed. So when our realtor dropped us off back at our hotel, we went out to the same house again that we had seen the day before so that we could see the yard/land in daylight. I loved it again. Then the next day we went and saw more houses, none of which I really liked. There was one that Brett liked a lot and I hated it sooooo much because it was suuuuuuuuch a terrible style (I think because maybe an Indian doctor had built it and he had very oriental or at least very different from American style)? Anyway, so Brett was mad at me, but we decided to go back one more time to the for sale by owner house to give it another good look, and this time we were in the rush hour traffic that Brett would actually have to be coming home in every day and that finished that then and there because Brett did not want to drive in that. It was a bad spot because of having only little roads to drive on that went through a town, so lots and lots of traffic lights and then the tunnel where traffic always gets backed up.
So anyway, Brett and I flew back to Utah and after Christmas (Jan 1st) Brett flew back to Pittsburgh where he is staying in an extended-stay hotel. We had looked at more houses, and now we knew what areas to try to look in for a better commute, and we decided to look at houses with only 3 bedrooms if they had a basement that we could build a bedroom in, and Brett went out with a realtor again and looked at several houses, and..... WE FOUND ONE!!!!!
I am sooooooo happy and feel absolutely amazingly blessed because after looking at all these houses that were bad, and having so many different critera (size, land (and not just land that is all woods, which is common there), commute, price, good neighborhood), I thought for sure I would have to just give in on a few things and "settle." But I really really really am 100% excited for this house. It has 5 acres, 3 bedrooms, a big unfinished basement that we can eventually finish just how we want, is at the end of a very very long driveway that no one else will be driving on, and everything about the house I LOVE!! The cupboards, the appliances and sinks, the color of the wood floors, etc. It's amazing.
Here are a few pictures of it. (Of course, we wont' have as nice furniture--we probably won't have ANY furniture for a little while--but you get the idea of the house anyway.)
Now if only everything weren't so blastedly ridiculous for getting our stuff together. For instance, the mortgage company wanted a year of bank statements, so Brett got them for them. Then they said, "We need these in English, and dollars." Well.... they're in German, and you can just as easily as anyone convert the numbers to dollars. And then they wanted a W-2, which Switzerland does not do. And all sorts of stuff like that. And then Brett was trying to buy a car, but he has to be able to license it and they won't let him license it without having a PA driver's license, so when he tried to get one of those, they told him they don't recognize his international driver's license, so he can't get a license, so he'll have to start the whole process at the bottom and get a learner's permit. ?!?! That doesn't even make sense. Anyway, just the whole problem of not being a permanent resident yet and the catch-22s that that creates. Oh well, it will all work out eventually. And I'm just so grateful for the blessing of this awesome house.