How is it moving day already?! It came up so fast yet so slow! I can tell you one thing, I'm super excited to stop living in a sea of boxes.
We saved the kids' rooms for last and poor little Ben was quite confused when all of his toys were put away. We showed him the box that said "Ben's Blocks" and he was very pleased with himself that he recognized the letter B's. Then off to Grandma's they went for the weekend!
We decided that we're not in college any more and our families have been so gracious to move each so. many. times. that we decided to hire movers. BEST MONEY EVERY SPENT! They did all the heavy lifting, loading, transporting, and unloading. It was heavenly. Especially because we took the washer/dryer and fridge!
And the fridge was quite the adventure. Stripped screws, tricky doors, dropped doors, and scratches, you name it. Did you know that you can put a rubber band between the screw driver and the stripped screw - Viola! The screw becomes functional once again. Even the movers learned something new!
Today's the day! We're buying the farm! *GULP* Here we go!
I'm surprisingly pretty mellow about this whole thing. Jess has been doing the bulk of the work with the water inspections, property survey, attorneys, bank, blah blah blah. Understandably, she's more stressed than I am but she's done an amazing job keeping everything straight. I'm so thankful that's she's taken the reigns on this one.
The closing went off without a hitch. There were giggles and jokes and it was a very pleasant experience. Of course, there's that moment when the keys hit your palm that you think "oh shit, what did we just do?!" but that's immediately followed by "SQUEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!"
I had big plans to head over to the house immediately following closing, vacuum and steam clean the carpet upstairs in the bedrooms, then race back down to get the kids home for dinner. I had a little hiccup in my grande plan because apparently you're not able to enter until the closing is recorded. Makes total sense but I didn't know that. So, I lingered. Once I got to the house, I was only able to get through the kids' bedrooms, which was good enough. The carpet is new and only upstairs so that definitely made me feel better about just moving in.
Tomorrow is moving day!!
And I wonder where my kids get their cheesiness from...
What a weekend! Our current house went live on the MLS Thursday night and within 30 minutes, we had a showing scheduled. A total of two showings on Friday, TEN showings on Saturday, and two more showings on Sunday, we have A FEW offers! I can definitely see it; what's not to love about this house!?
All this action has definitely made me nostalgic. We moved to this house when our now 3 year old was only 7 months. It was the first time he slept outside of our room and where he took his first steps. It's where we brought his baby sister home to only 2 years later, and then where she took her first steps. We've had dozens of long talks out by the firepit and countless laps around the neighborhood (and maybe one of those was while I was in labor!). But, the thing that keeps me going is all the new memories to be made in the new place. A home is just 4 walls without the love and family within it, and those things will follow you wherever you go.
I don't care who you are, presents are always fun to get and even more fun to give! This time, we were the getters!
This iron compass thingy is a housewarming gift from my parents. I can't even begin to explain how much this means to me. When my mom and dad viewed the house for the first time, my mom appeared to be less than enthused. She made a few comments about it's age and appearance and then proceeded to run around with the 3 year old and not provide any constructive criticism. And, if you knew my mom, her middle name could be constructive criticism (I love you, Mom! That's why I wanted you there). So, naturally, I assumed she hated the house. I thought that she thought that it was the worst idea I've pretty much ever had. And then she thinks of us and does something so unexpected. It turns out, she's pretty jazzed about the whole thing! Just keeping me on my toes mom...
What a whirlwind, in the best of ways.
Two nights ago, we drafted and submitted an offer. About 3 hours later, we were notified that the buyer wants to sell the house to us and modestly countered our offer.
That night, our realtor asked us what our gut was telling us. I got emotional and a little teary and told him that I didn't want to leave the house when we were there last. I loved watching the kids' faces as they ran around the yard, explored the little barn, discovered nooks and crannies, and crunched leaves in the driveway. I want more of that. I know kids can find wonder in just about anything and be happy most any place. But there was something different there.
Holy smokes, did we just buy the farm? We sure did! We just bought the farm!
Today, our current house goes on the market. Our realtor anticipates we'll be under contract by the end of the weekend. It's Thursday afternoon. More whirlwind!
The timeline for the next next few months should be exciting and interesting. During November, we'll be getting our inspections done - home, well, septic, and pests. If all goes well, we continue to move forward. December should bring us bids from contractors and hopefully nailing down a design plan for the renovation. January is when the fun really starts - closing on both houses and demolition! Hopefully we'll be unpacking boxes come March/April 2017, just in time to enjoy our first Spring on the farm.
I can't wait to start this adventure!
Well, another 2 months...ok 3, but who's counting...have passed since the last post. Lots and nothing to update at the same time.
For building the house, we solidified a plan that made us happy and submitted a deposit on the house, contingent on a few things. Contingent on finding land (not an easy feat) and contingent on selling our current home (not on the market yet). It was a small deposit that would lock in the price we agreed upon until we were ready to build. So that was reassuring! We wouldn't be subject to price increases, etc.
Then came the land procurement. Ugh. Property after property was crummy - too slanty, ravine in the middle of it, too close to some 'unsavory' neighbors. Our land budget just wasn't allowing us to find THE property of our dreams. Pretty much at a standstill.
Sunday mornings are reserved for wearing the pajamas too long, sipping the coffee, playing with the kids, and searching the various apps for newly listed homes. And we stumbled upon this one
This house had hit the market in May and we both fell off our chairs with it's beauty and charm. It was perfect. It was also "too far" and way out of the budget. Oh yeah that. But, it came back on the market a few weeks ago with a significant price drop. The seller has already moved out and is eager to sell. (The seller who had hens and goats, BTW!) It was now within the budget.
So naturally, how far exactly is "too far"? Some quick google mapping and we see it's 25 minutes to work for us both. To work = 25 minutes...to Grandma's = 28 minutes...to daycare = 25 minutes...to downtown Durham = 18 minutes. OK! That's totally doable.
So within the target commuting area, within budget, with enough bedrooms (mama wants another baby in the future), 5 beautiful acres, great elementary school, goats ok, chickens ok, room to build a little dog facility but let's face it they'll be inside dogs, raised garden beds, fenced areas, tree lined driveway, and a perfect front porch swing ready for some sweet tea sipping. Let's go see this old girl and see what she's made of.
Turns out she's made of some pretty great bones. We submitted an offer today.
Given that it's two months (ok more than two months but let's not get picky) since my last post, I figured this post was appropriate to discuss time.
Time me is a funny thing. When we're babies, we're blissfully unaware of time. Nights are days, days are nights, and it's ok to have a party at 3 am! As young adults, it also might be ok to have a party at 3 am! But, in the 30's, time is precious. It's a season of life for watching children grow, for counting birthday candles, and for slowing down and enjoying. Once we get a little bit older, time is often something we wish we had more of.
So updates on the house? We found a property that was a great location, access to great school, 3 acres, access to city water, and within budget. Whaaaaaaat?! It didn't have a perc test or recent survey so that was requested. After a looooot of digging, we finally found the restrictive covinants. And no chickens. No goats. And no breeding for commercial use.
Hold led the phone - breeding for commercial use? Whaaa? Yes, the wifey dreams of breeding Golden Retrievers in her Golden years. I can't argue much because who wouldn't love to be surrounded by Golden Retriever puppies several times a year. I will allow this.
So, the dream goes back on the shelf. We're continuing to work towards fine tuning the house and making sure we have a quality product at the end. I think we need to expand the search and look a little more rural but I'm the only one on that thought path at the moment.
And so I leave you with this. Just too sweet for words
So decisions are hard. From what to wear in the morning to deciding what schools to send your kiddos to, decisions are hard. Thankfully, we both wear scrubs to work so we don't have to use much brain power for that!
The house. Right now our options would be to purchase an existing home that does or does not need some work. The problem with this is that we'll need to make a strong offer to be accepted and that means we'll need to have already sold our current house. Move to an apartment again with 2 kids and 2 dogs? While we scour the earth for the dream house? One that's within budget? For who knows how long? This does not sound appealing.
The other option is to agree to build. This is the option we're more comfortable with right now because we may be able to get a little more for our money and have a definitive period of time in the interim housing.
Pulling the trigger. Holy crap that's scary.
Here's an example of what we've found for a purchase.
It's beautiful. Big enough, close enough to work, but needs some work. And it's already at the top of our budget. Probably not the best idea but it's so pretty...
...And here's what we're looking at building and where. Three acres, exactly how we want it, still within budget and a good location to work and good schools.
The choice seems pretty clear but it's a hard decision to make. Time to clean the house and call the realtor - we need a for sale sign in our front yard!
So this weekend we drove up to Asheville for a weekend of R&R, camping, and s'more eating. Ha! Two kids under three...no R&R to be had. But we did manage to have some fun!
And we we did manage to Zillow, Trulia, and Realtor.com ourselves into dreamland once again. So there's this house...
It's in a great school district, on 2.6 acres, within a reasonable commute for us both, so gorgeous. What's the problem? It's already under contract! Whomp whomp. I think I shed one glistening tear.
Reigning in my daydreaming a little bit I try to tell myself "it's already at the top of the budget, no room for improvements" or "it needs a lot of work and what if the electrical/plumbing/structure need major improvements"...but then the dreamer in me says "but that porch!", "but we're handy", "but it IS actually within budget, just at the tippy top", "but but but..."
But, oh yeah, someone else is going to be living this dream, not us just yet