Monday, July 16, 2018

New House

6 months ago we moved into a new home. I realized recently that I had only really ever mentioned that in passing here on my blog. Well it is impossible to believe we have lived here for 6 months already...it seems like a couple months at most. I thought I would give a little back story on our move, and then maybe share some room "tours" as I get things finished (I am the slowest decorator ever-you'd think we would be done after 6 months...)

The last home we lived in was supposed to be a 5 year home. But, adding 2 kids to the mix, we quickly outgrew it. I hate to say that we needed more space, because I know we had enough but it was very crammed. The kitchen was tiny and keeping enough food and cooking supplies on hand for 6 people was almost impossible in that small space. We only had 2 bedrooms upstairs, so the boys were down in the basement, which felt too far away if something were to happen. We were planning on staying our full 5 years because of the program that we built our house through. If we left before 5 years, we had to pay back a prorated amount, so it really wasn't on our radar to move yet. 5 years would have been next April (2019). 
I enjoy browsing homes on Zillow. Weird pastime, I know, but it was helpful to look at houses both for decor ideas and just to see what types of homes were in our area in our price range so we could start thinking about what we wanted in our next house. One day, I was browsing on Zillow and I came on this house and fell in love with it. Somehow, it had been on the market for almost a year and I had never come across it. It didn't even cross my mind to consider buying the house, but the layout was very interesting-unlike any I have seen in this area ever before, and I wanted to show my husband because we liked to bookmark certain layouts or things we liked in homes. The layout, we later found out, is called a "dropped foyer". You can see in the picture below, how only the foyer is dropped down just a little bit, making the whole house very open. I have had people say "oh, so it's a split level" when I try to describe it, but it's really not. I feel like the picture shows it better than I can explain it in words.

That evening I showed him, and he had also come home with some news about our current house/repayment situation that opened up a door for us. The house we were browsing was new construction that had been sitting empty since the builder finished it. We had some uncertainties that made us unsure it was even an option for us (like, we were under the impression there was an expensive HOA-later found out there's not) but we called the builder anyway and went to tour it a day or two later. We had driven by the same night we found it and the lot that it was on was incredible. A huge yard in town, and a very convenient location. My husband had just started a new job and this made it a lot closer for him, and is right down the road from where my kids do homeschool classes once a week, not to mention 3 minutes away from literally everything I could need to survive-Target, Walmart, movie theater, bank, doctor, Chick fil a, Caribou, Starbucks, a bunch of other restaurants and stores (it's a little dangerous, to be honest). 
So when we met with the builder to tour the house, one of the questions we asked was 'how much would it be to build this same house (with a few cosmetic changes to our liking) in a year or two?' Because this particular house had dropped in price significantly due to sitting on the market so long (they were really desperate to get rid of it by this point as they needed it sold to be able to buy more lots and build more houses!) The realization after talking to him was that it would be up to $40-50k more on a way smaller lot, with probably less finishes and upgrades.
We thought and prayed about it and decided to make a move, so we put in an offer contingent on our house selling. This means the house would be under contract, but we wouldn't set a closing date until our house was under contract, and they could still market and show the house. If they got another offer we had 48 hours to either remove the contingency and set a closing date, or back out. 

They accepted the offer right away and we needed to get our house ready to sell. There was a lot we hadn't done yet, thinking we had a couple years. Our realtor was out of town for a week, so we basically spent every waking hour that week moving a bunch of stuff to my in-laws, cleaning every surface and finishing a bunch of stuff (putting closet doors on, touching up paint, finishing trim in the basement, etc.) It was a looooong week. But we got it done, our realtor got back into town and we put our house up. 2 weeks before that we hadn't even been thinking of moving. We had to get so much stuff squared away with the bank, our realtor, etc. we thought there was no way it would all work out, but it all fell into place very quickly.
The day it went up on the market we had a showing within 2 hours and a few hours after that we had an offer. For $20K below the asking price and contingent on their house selling (wasn't on the market yet and they wanted to do sale by owner). Womp womp. For the first day on the market, we weren't ready to go that low yet. But we had hope that since it had gone that well the first day, we shouldn't have any trouble selling it. Unfortunately, we were listing right before the holidays hit, so we had showing after showing after showing after showing.....of mostly not serious buyers who were just "browsing". The serious buyers we did see it was either the wrong location, or not big enough mostly, but we heard the most random and weird complaints. Like one person said it was exactly 150 square feet too small. This was a single person. We had 6 people living there. I understand everyone's preferences and needs are different, but to have that specific of a square footage requirement just made me laugh. One person didn't like that we had a tree in our backyard because it could fall over and crush the house. Lol, ok. This went on for a couple months and it was so hard to keep the house clean and get 4 kids and a dog out of the house day after day after day. We decided to pull the contingency and set a closing date on our new house so that we could be out of the house and not have to deal with the showings anymore. We were set for January 2 to close on the new house. 

In December, things were crazy. We went to New York, it was Christmas and then I got really sick. It was one week before we were set to move and we hadn't packed a single box. I couldn't figure out how to have showings with boxes everywhere so we had planned on speed packing the last week and doing no showings that week. 
Exactly 3 days before we were set to close on the new house, and one week before moving, with zero boxes packed yet, we received a great offer on our house! It all worked out so perfectly. We were able to take those few days to get a ton of stuff packed, then close on the house and while the painters were there that week, I was able to get window coverings done, move some clothes and things over, have our appliances delivered, etc. It was also great because we had a few weeks before we had to officially be out of the old house, so we had time to get it cleared out and cleaned up, which meant we could just focus on getting moved and settled in for a week or two. 
Besides the fact that the price and the lot were right, the biggest reason we made a move on this house was because we had made a list at one time of all the things we wanted in our next house. We each added things to the list and put them into the categories of absolute must haves and would be nice to haves. Of that entire list, this house had every single thing except one of the "would be nice's". It is definitely not the perfect house-I would have chosen some different cosmetic things and wish the kids bedrooms were bigger- but it is pretty close to perfect for us!

 One of the biggest things we wanted in a house was space to entertain. Our first house was old and large and we hosted and even had people live with us. We both really enjoy hosting and at our previous house it was almost impossible with the size and layout of the home. We want our house to be a blessing to others and to be a place where people can gather and share life together. We really want it to be a place where everyone who steps foot inside feels at home and like they belong here. We have already been able to host so many gatherings, out of town family and friends, and do so much life here and that has been the best and most important part of moving here. 
Aside from that we love that it has a bigger kitchen (seriously so stinkin glad to have cabinet and counter space to cook for my family!), a huge yard for our kids and their friends to run and play in, a big basement for company to stay in (my whole family is out of state!), and a separate dining space (our last house had the table IN the kitchen which was the worst design ever). There are plenty of other little things that we could certainly live without but are really enjoying like main floor laundry and a master bath-those things are just the cherry on top of a really good thing. 

If you made it this far, thanks for reading! I am really looking forward to many more years of life with my precious family and friends in this place God has given us. 
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