We are moving to BANGOR, WASHINGTON!!
We actually found this news out back in September, but have been kind of quiet (we told our family and close friends) about it because we were told that orders change multiple times during SOAC and rarely do people end up with the same orders they receive at the beginning. Well, it's five months later and we still have the same orders, so here I am sharing the news!!
Shortly after we arrived, we received news that Mike would be reporting to the USS Henry M Jackson (HMJ) once he finished school at the end of February as the Engineering Department Head. This is the job that Mike wanted, so he's thrilled about that, but we were somewhat disappointed to learn that the HMJ is based out of Bangor, WA. We were hoping to stay on the East Coast after being so far away for two years, but alas, the Navy had other plans! We will be an hour west of Seattle (yes, that's possible!), so the thought of being in the PacNorWest is growing on us. Coffee, beer and wine lovers welcome!
Mike was somewhat disappointed to learn that the HMJ is a boomer submarine instead of a fast attack, which is what he was on when he lived in Hawaii. The fast attacks are the submarines that go on the top secret missions, which, for a guy like Mike, is super cool and the dream! Boomers like the HMJ serve the purpose of nuclear deterrence. Their main "mission" is to remain undetected, unlike the fast attacks which go after other vessels. They also carry the nuclear weapons. So, definitely cool stuff, but not as exciting on a daily basis.
After a few months of letting it sit, we have become pretty excited! We're still disappointed that we aren't on the East Coast and Mike is still wishing he were going to a fast attack, but everyone we know who has been stationed there absolutely loves it, so we are extremely optimistic!
Around Christmas, Mike's mom connected us with a real estate agent in Bangor who could help us buy a house. We didn't want to buy anything, but the market out there basically promotes home ownership, so we knew pretty early on that we would be buying. Mike planned to go out to Bangor for Presidents' Day Weekend to house hunt, but we started receiving listings so that we could see what kind of houses were available in our budget.
So, for two months or so, we have been looking at listings and seeing houses that we liked. There were tons of houses within our budget, all of which we liked and would have worked, but it seemed too early to do anything, especially since we weren't out there to go look at them in person. We were pretty set on waiting until Presidents' Day (at least) to make any serious decisions.
Until this house popped up.
From the moment I saw the listing, I loved it. Mike felt the same way and we just kept saying "should we do it?" We debated this for a few days and finally asked the realtor to go take a tour of the house and video chat us in. I was secretly kind of hoping I would notice something extremely wrong with it so I would have to wrestle with the decision of buying a house sight unseen. Is that bad? Well, of course that didn't happen and we loved the house just as much as when we looked at the listing. We hung up the phone and didn't even have to say anything. We knew we wanted it. We weren't going to make an offer that day and let it sit for 24 hours, but then we got a call that there were two other offers on the house, so we needed to act quickly!
We put in an offer and I wrote a nice letter hoping to appeal to their emotions (who doesn't love a picture of Finny?!?!) and went to bed crossing all of our fingers and toes. We woke up Sunday morning hating that there was a three hour time difference. We told ourselves we would wait until 5pm our time to call our realtor, but at 4:30, we got the call that our offer had been accepted and we were going to be first time home owners!!
It's been a wild weekend with a huge life decision, but I am so excited for us and can't wait to see our new house!! We expect visitors and will have lots of room, so start looking at your calendar and let us know when you're coming!
A major shoutout to Mike for dealing with the logistics and nitty gritty of this house buying process. He has shown once again that there's no one I'd rather do this crazy thing called life with :)
Also, I have no doubt that because I am sharing all of this, we will get new orders tomorrow, but what can you do?