Apr 9, 2013

Surprise ... We Moved!

I told you in my last post that I had big news ... well this is it! After two years of sweat and hard work (and not just our own, but that of our amazing families, too!), we decided to move on to a new home base. There was a lot of debate, many pros and cons lists, and some serious soul searching over this decision. In the end though, as much as we truly did love our house and neighborhood, it just didn't feel like our "forever" spot. We tried hard to make it feel right, because god knows we did not want to uproot and move for the seventh time in as many years, but we couldn't stop our wandering eyes.

Right after Christmas, I dragged Ben to view a house I'd spotted online. It was a standard brick colonial; the online photos made it look fairly plain, and I wasn't expecting too much. But it was a good price point in one of our dream neighborhoods, so I figured ... why not take a peek? Well much to our chagrin, Ben and I both ended up really loving the house. Max was also a big fan, playing and running around the spacious rooms and the gloriously flat yard (one of our main troubles with the old house was that the entire yard was on such a steep slope). But we weren't ready for this. At all.

We went home and dragged our feet, and began the great debate of 2012, still discussing over New Year's whether we should jump on this house or not. When we followed up on the property, we learned that another offer had come in, and of course THAT was when we realized we really wanted the house. The next few days went by incredibly slowly as we waited to see if the house would be snatched away from us. As it turned out, the offer was rejected, and we had a real shot at this place! We scrambled to get our finances in order, analyzed our budget down to every last loaf of bread, and ran and re-ran the numbers about a gazillion times. This house would be a financial leap for us, but we felt we could pull it off as long as we were okay with living more frugally for a few years. No fancy vacations and less eating out - which we figured would happen naturally once we were balancing life with a 2-year-old and a newborn! So in went our offer, and then we waited.

Ben and I came up with a game plan to sell our house. Before making an offer, we'd already met with a realtor and contractor to get ideas on what updates would be needed, so we figured we would get started whether this deal panned out or not. Ben, Max and I had just walked into Home Depot for supplies when I got the call from our realtor. Our offer had been accepted! Just like that!

I thought Ben might start hyperventilating in the middle of the light bulb aisle. Not like, I'm so happy, yippee sort of hyperventilating (although he WAS happy, too), so much as an, oh my god, now we will have a bigger mortgage and we have to sell our house and move type of hyperventilating. We were thrilled and terrified all at the same time, especially since the whole deal hinged on us selling our own home within less than three months!

In a matter of weeks, we tore our house apart - upgraded kitchen counters and appliances, painted the exterior and interior, got a new roof put on. It was mayhem, I tell you! Our lives were turned upside down for a few weeks, and then finally our house hit the market. Keeping it clean for showings everyday (when living with a very hairy black dog and a 2-year-old) was intense. I spent at least an hour prepping everything each morning before Max and I left the house (and we HAD to leave the house in order to actually keep things clean). Thank goodness we only had to show our house for five days before an offer came in. All of our hard work wasn't for naught - we accepted the offer quickly, and so here we are now, totally moved into a new (to us) home ten minutes up the road! There was much nail-biting and suspense until the moment we signed our final signature on the closing of both homes. We are still amazed that everything worked out the way it did. There was a real possibility that we could be carrying two mortgages right now, or that we'd still be showing the house as I was going into labor, neither of which were enticing propositions!

I had grand plans of photographing our beautiful updated home for you, but every time it was cleaned up, it seemed we were running out the door to clear the way for a house showing, and I never managed to snap any photos. I finally got some shots of our (very empty) house as we were doing our final cleaning, so I will share those as soon as I can!

And of course there will be some photos of the new house to come - I have a whole new set of projects ahead, although nothing is quite as urgent in this home. There are no harvest gold appliances or mint green exterior paint, I am happy to report :) The things we'll be tackling first here are purely aesthetic, like lots of paint. But I will delve into those details another day.

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