July 25, 2012

Our moving story & open house

{yes, that’s actually tile up the wall.}

Our house has been a serious labor of love.  When we found it, I was in love.  And I still am.
…Which is why our move is so crazy.
But here’s our story:
4 years ago, my husband (Dave) & I sold the townhouse that we’d bought as newlyweds at the height of the market… for a huge loss.  We moved into my parents’ basement to recup & soon after, I started this blog.  I had just gotten my design business going & my mom generously babysat for our then-one-year old (Christian) so I could meet with clients and work.  Living with my parents was actually pretty awesome (free babysitting, good food, quick runs out to the movies while the baby was sleeping, getting to be with my little sister who lived there-  she’s 15 years younger than me) .. but all we thought about was buying our own house again.  It felt like such a longshot.
 {our basement family room}
Here I was designing houses for other people and I couldn’t even afford my own.  We did as much as we could with our basement & would peruse real estate listings frequently.  Sometimes it depressed us & other times it got us dreaming about the future.
We decided to start taking some drives with an agent and I started sharing the houses we were looking at… And in this area, it wasn’t much.  Some of the houses actually scared my parents because they were so unlivable, but we saw potential in them.  My parents talk about how I looked over the yard of a ramshackle 836 square foot house with tears in my eyes because I thought it was so great & could picture our family there.  hahahah
I thought about what we could do with the wrecks and how we could make them work.
We finally find our house and I remember when I first saw the online listing…  I saw a living room wall of windows and so much green outside of the windows.
 It was contemporary, which was a big change for me, but I was excited.  It had been on the market for 4 years and my husband drove by it one day after work and said it was in a culdesac and was actually surround by trees.   We went to see it with our agent.  It was the first house we looked at that day and we looked at 18 others but once I’d seen it, I just knew.  After that, we weren’t interested in the center hall colonials we were seeing, we wanted the split foyer!!
I knew it wasn’t pretty.
And that it was creepy.
Family members told us not to buy it and our agents weren’t very keen on it either…  but we were set on it.
After begging & wrestling the house from the original owners (They bought in the 70s) we were thrilled to move in & start making it ours.
I chronicled all of our projects in this blog showing you probably waaaaaay too many photos of the minute changes we’d make.  We’ve been in Heaven fixing this place up & making it perfect for our family.  We love the neighborhood and our town and pictured ourselves living here for years to come.
..Still I perused the real estate listings out of curiosity and always with a tiny hope in the back of my mind that I might find something we loved & something we could afford right near my mom.
It was while checking out listings for one town that a listing in another town oddly popped up on my search engine and it intriqued me.  I was sitting in the back seat of our minivan holding the pacifier in baby Luke’s mouth on the way home from the beach andI read the house’s description aloud to Dave as he drove.
We were laughing as I read more & more and it just sounded to perfect for us.  (me- “2 car garage.”  him- “SOLD.”)
I tried to understand the floorplan and figure out which rooms were where and how many rooms there were.  (Was the rec room the same as the family room or was it actually another room??  I had to know it all.)
I jokingly texted my little sister who was also driving home from the beach a few miles behind us that she needed to tell our mom to be scared because we’d found a house we loved.  We were laughing and kidding but the laughs were insterspersed with “what ifs?”
There was an open house the next day and we decided to go just for fun.  As we pulled up, we could see that it was packed with people and I told them from inside my car to “Get outta my house!”  (Don’t worry, the car windows were closed.)  We walked in and this is what we saw:
I loved it.
We walked around the house and yard over & over.  I wanted it but couldn’t get over leaving our current house and town.
Dave was down.  (Grandmother, if you’re reading, that means “up for it” or “game.” 😉
I stayed at the open house almost the entire time & tried to work out ways to remedy the floorplan and make it better.  (All while trying to keep our exhausted kids from running around like the maniacs that they are.)  I didn’t feel like I could think of moving to the house until I could envision how we’d fix it.  I finally figured it out and was okay to leave so we could think.
We called our families & told them we were seriously considering it.
And then we seriously considered it.
The biggest con for me was (and is) leaving a place we’ve poured so much into and a town/ community that I love so much. We’ve FINALLY gotten our house exactly where we want it to be and what do we do?  We go looking at new houses.
Add a 5 year-old, a 2 year old and a newborn into the mix along with a home-based business that both I and my husband support the family off of and we’re starting to sound insane.
I know all of this.  I really do.
But somehow this house is calling to us.
We did pros & cons.  We prayed about it.  I stayed up at night reworking the floorplan and envisioning what life would be like there.  And if I’d be okay leaving.
Still unsure, we took another trip to see the house to see how it felt.
And it felt right.
I suddenly felt that it would be okay to move on, to start a new chapter.
I see so much potential in this house and I’ve never seen my husband so excited about something this big before.  We talked and we decided we wanted to put in an offer.  We went over again with our fingers crossed as my parents saw the house and we waited to hear if our offer would be accepted.  Someone else had submitted an offer too and as we ate dinner with my family at a loud restaurant, we strained to hear the phone’s ring, hoping it woud be good news.
We got a call: The owners were deliberating between the offers and wouldn’t be getting back to us until the next day.
Try sleeping on that one.
I went to meet with clients the next day and Dave drove with the baby in the car so I could feed him before & after the meeting.  During the meeting, he got the call that our offer was accepted!!!
It was so surreal.
Our house is going on the market this weekend.  My other baby.
It’s very bittersweet.   I love our house and our life here and I’m sad to leave.  Yet I am sooooo excited for a new place to make home.  This new house is challenging & different and I can’t wait to stretch myself creatively a bit.
The real estate photgrapher came in this weekend and it started to feel more real as I cleared off surfaces and depersonalized the house a bit.  Our agents are having an open house both Saturday and Sunday of this weekend, so if you’re in the area and are interested, feel free to email them for details.  (but promise me, no judging!!!  😉  😉
I’ll be back soon to share pic & plans of our new house!!
To read the blogpost from when I first revealed that we’d moved into my parents’ basement .. click here .  I was  so embarrassed at the time and will never forget my now-friends who commented on that post and how their comments really did make me feel better.  It was one of the first times I realized what true  friends my  ‘blog friends ‘ really were.
To read about my plans for our current house before we bought it, click here  …  Reading through it just made me teary now…  dreaming about the wisteria-covered pergola Dave would build me one day and that I now have.
To read about our last house purchase, go .here  Again, the comments from my blog friends helped us and I won’t ever forget it.

If you’d like help creating a home you absolutely love, contact me about our design services.

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