Facebook reminded me yesterday that it has been FIVE years since we bought our house. I can't believe it; it feels like....maybe three? Jay and I definitely lost some time when Beck was a newborn, but still. Five years seems like way too many.
So, with Beck (and her stuff) growing, and the possibility of more children (maybe, sometime, no other information at this time thanks for asking), we started to assess our housing situation last year. We live in a great neighborhood and had zero desire to leave, but our house lacks storage and a few other things that are key for hoarding Americans. In truth, we love our house but were kind of at our wits' end working from home together in a small space with no office. Also the storage thing.
So we started looking at houses with the Realtor we used to buy this house. We got pre-approved for a new mortgage, we did all of the stuff. We found a house that we saw huge potential in and raced to get our house on the market to have a shot at it. It was a long saga, but the short of it is that we lost the house due to ours not selling fast enough. We had our house on the market for about four months, and had over 60 showings. Sixty times of making the house look not lived in, moving the dogs back and forth to my parents' house, keeping Beck's stuff immaculate, never leaving dishes overnight, never starting any house projects because what if someone wanted to come look at the last minute, and one time someone showing up an hour after their scheduled time about 5 minutes after Beck had gone down for a nap. There were four showings on my birthday. There were tons of times we couldn't be home when Jay was in town with Beck by himself while I was out of town for work.
It wasn't fun, AND our house didn't sell. We still don't know why; our house is updated, clean, and in a neighborhood that people love. We don't think it was overpriced, and we just didn't get it. We also didn't want to leave - after that first house that we really wanted we never found anything remotely close that looked appealing in our price range. After the headache of having the house on the market for so long, the heartache of losing our dog, and the lack of anywhere to go, we took about thirty seconds to decide to take our house off the market and explore remodeling instead. We had actually considered it months ago, but didn't look into it a ton and decided to go the buying route first.
I think we were both relieved to take the house off the market, it had been such a struggle with no good outcome. We talked to a few contractors and have decided to do most of the general contracting ourselves with the help of a neighbor who is a builder and an architect friend who is drawing our plans. Yes, we realize this is going to be a lot of work. We also want to be heavily involved in the project and are of course on a budget, and saving contractor fees will increase what we are able to do project-wise. We have a MASSIVE plan with several layers of "if xx works we can afford xx" based on how much our loan is, how much things cost, and what hurdles we may or may not encounter. AKA how much the hurdles will cost when they undoubtedly occur.
So! Right now the bank is doing their thing and the architect is doing his thing. We are researching and budgeting and reading a gazillion "where to save vs splurge" articles. The short of it is that we'll redo the kitchen and do a small addition of a half bath, laundry room, mudroom, and new entrance. That will connect to a screened in porch. The kitchen/mudroom/porch are all connected, so that's the major part of the project. Other things later on are a new driveway, new deck, replacing vinyl siding with Hardiplank, and redoing our master bathroom. Our plan is to start with the big piece, then add on as we are able to afford more components to the project slash as it makes sense. We're going to plan carefully, take our time, and try not to get totally taken advantage of by ... anyone. We're scared and excited and impatient but hesitant all at once. We're also spending a lot of time on Pinterest.
But, we're staying, and we feel so good about that. I don't know if this is our forever home, but it feels like our forever neighborhood, so we want to make this house something special that we can enjoy for several more years. There will be storage.
Also PS I need a new wreath. The one in the picture was taken by the birds. Long story.