Monday, July 24, 2017

Thursday, July 20, 2017

The House Hunt Part 2

If you missed part one check it out here.

There was a glitch with Mike sending us houses so we had been sending him houses the entire hunt. It wasn't a huge deal because we love house hunting and Zillow was our life during this time. But he texted G a house he thought we would like and we agreed it was beautiful, but decided we wanted to pursue new builds or houses walking distance to a downtown.

We started looking at new builds and houses walking distance to a downtown. Our plan B was always to be able to walk to a cute downtown if lakefront wasn't in the cards. The first house we saw in a cute downtown had foundation issues (surprise, surprise!) so we decided a new build was the way to go!

We looked at five new builds in a super cute town ten minutes from my work. They were gorgeous, of course. But the basements were not finished, the decks were tiny and the kitchen layouts weren't my favorite. The real deal breaker was how close they build houses nowadays. Each house we walked out on the deck and there were ten other decks staring at you. It made me so claustrophobic.

I felt like a monster because G was totally sold and ready to put an offer in on the last new build we saw. But I just could not get excited. The lack of privacy stressed me out. A jetted tub wasn't an option. Finishing the basement was an added expense. The kitchen was small and felt cramped. I just felt like we weren't getting ANYTHING we wanted!

We went to eat and after much discussion G agreed with me that this was not the house for us. It was getting late so we decided to text Mike in the morning that we would see the house he had texted G.

It was a Wednesday and we told our realtor we wanted to see the house he had sent us. He was a little surprised we didn't want one of the new builds, but happy to set up a viewing that evening. Except there were 8 viewings that evening and 12 viewings the following day! Our only option was to go on lunch so that is what we did.

We instantly fell in love with the house. It felt like a brand new build. It was everything we wanted (except lake front). Jetted tub. Walking distance to a cute downtown. Completely updated. Finished, walkout basement. Two car garage. Gas fireplace. Great school district. It even had a mud room which I didn't care about, but now cannot live without!

We drove back to work talking about how THIS was our house. It had only been on the market two days and had 8 showings that evening so we knew we had to act fast. Between work and meetings we made an offer and waited. Hurry up and wait as the saying goes.

We asked for an answer by 10:00 the next day so as not to give them time to get more offers. We heard at 9:00 we got the house!!!! The reatlor owed Mike a favor so she cancelled all 12 viewings scheduled and the house was OURS.

Now I was excited, but it was also our fourth offer and I couldn't believe we were finally moving forward. And the fact that we weren't buying a house on a lake was a tough pill to swallow. I never thought I would leave my first house unless it was for a lake house and reality set in and I struggled.

But I got over it and once we had the inspection I felt much better. I just have a hard time with super big decisions. But I'm so so happy with our decision and wouldn't change a darn thing! I love our house even more now that we are living in it. Walking downtown. Enjoying the short commute to work. I'm such a nerd because I'm loving the washer and dryer. I can't wait to start sharing pictures of how we are decorating because I'm having a blast making it our own.

So that's the story of our house hunt. It was a long journey, but it was worth it. G and I learned a lot about each other. We learned patience and trusted God's plan. We could not be happier in our new house and are so thankful for the process!

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

The House Hunt: Part 1

Before I start sharing pictures of our new house it seems only fair to explain how we got there. Spoiler alert: It was a long road!

It all started with this river house. This is the house we fell in love with enough to put our house on the market. The house that broke out heart when we found out about flood insurance and walked away. You can read the whole story here.

It was an educational experience and we ruled out houses on rivers after that. We continued the hunt on lakes... er... lake. There is only one lake close to our jobs so we narrowed in on that area specifically.

I remember taking the above picture of the cutest house with THAT sunset view over the water. I was smitten. I turned to G and proclaimed, "Lets make an offer!" To which G replied "The roof is caving in!" Ahhh yes. The foundation was bad. The roof was caving in on two separate parts of the house. It was only 800 square feet, 2 beds and 1 bath. But that view!

We realized pretty quickly the houses in our budget (and even a little over) were major gut jobs. We knew buying a lake house in our budget would take work, but we didn't expect foundation to be an issue in every single house. Frankly, that scared us because the cost to fix it was significant. Especially when all of these lake houses were already at the top of our budget AND needed to be brought up to date. 

The houses on this lake that didn't need any work were half a million or more. So it looked like this lake was just not in the cards.

We branched out. We looked at lakes closer to where we already lived and figured we could handle the 45 minute commute if we had lakefront property. We fell in love with a cute little house on the lake across from our old subdivision. It was recently flipped and a little over budget, but we were still smitten. We walked the lake while our house had showings and dreamed about living there. We saw the house and there were a few red flags: Old roof. Signs of water damage. All the door walls needed replacing. 

That didn't stop us. We met with our realtor, Mike, and wrote offer #2. We went back and forth, but the sellers would not budge on their price and refused to do any repairs. We were brokenhearted, but we had to walk away. It didn't make sense anymore. We could potentially get ourselves into a money pit and it wasn't worth it. And in case you are wondering, the house is off the market now so I don't know what happened. Weird.

I should also mention the market is crazy right now. It's a sellers' market. Houses are flying off the market. Sellers think they can get crazy amounts for their homes when the comps say otherwise. We kept pursing the dream that set our soul on fire, but houses were going too fast. If we couldn't get into a house that day it could be sold the next day. We also saw a lot of houses pending an offer, but allowing us a chance to offer as well. MADNESS.

So then we went back to a house we had originally ruled out. It was on a lake, but it was majorly outdated and over 3,000 square feet not including the finished basement. We didn't need that kind of space. It also faced a Walmart which really bugged me. It was in a newer sub so taxes were incredibly high, but the school district wasn't that great. It just had so many cons. We went back and forth. 

But it had a lake view! After much discussion we decided we had to pass. It was just too much compromise. I was relieved because I never really loved the house or could get too excited about it and it needed so much work. But G was bummed. It was tough! This hunt was so hard, especially when we didn't agree.

We started looking even further from work. It's crazy, I know. An hour commute just for a lake? We were so set on being lakefront! These houses were more summer homes though with no garage, really bad gravel roads and super tiny. We decided being closer to work was the better option.

Mike was selling a house in the subdivision across from the lake we had originally tried to be on close to work. We decided to see it and originally ruled it out right away. It was over budget. It wasn't on a lake. It didn't have a walk out basement. It didn't even have a jetted tub! 

But after our second offer fell through we decided to look at it again and decided a half mile walk to the lake would suffice. We made offer #3 and they countered. We decided to give our best offer and they declined. We were actually really relieved. I think Mike pressured us a bit and we were getting frustrated with the house hunt and almost settled. So thankful it didn't go through! And I guess it's good they held out because the house did end up selling for about $4,000 more than we were willing to pay.

I had been eyeing this insanely beautiful house since the beginning of the hunt, but taxes were insane and it was at the top of our budget so we had held off. Now we were ready to check out this house. I just could not get it out of my mind and I wasn't loving anything else we had seen. 

Of course, I fell in love with it. Completely renovated the way I would renovate a house. A jetted tub. Backed up to woods. Across the street from a beautiful, private lake (hence the high taxes) and a two minute walk to the subdivision beach. It was perfect! Except.... foundation issues. It seems to be the theme of our entire house hunt. There was an offer on this house and we had to give our answer that night and we just couldn't do it. 

The best thing about house hunting was exploring all the cute towns. We made a point to check out a restaurant in each town we were house hunting in to discuss what we had seen. So we were in a new city and I told G we had to go explore the downtown of this new city .He replied, "Why? We aren't going to live here." And these words would come back to haunt him because that is the very city we ended up moving to, ha! But more on that later!

Stay tuned for the second half of our house hunt tomorrow!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Life Lately

The sunsets have been unreal lately.

Darn those buy one, get ones at Biggby. Gets me and my coworker every time!

I went out with coworkers for sushi last week and it was amaze.

I'm on a major wine flight kick on our date nights. Four cheers for Chardonnay all the way!

This Carbonara risotto was insanely delicious. 

Dry champagne Rosé is bomb!

I'm adulting so hard right now because I'm obsessed about my new dining room table I bought on Wayfair. It's so cute and I'm counting down the days until it delivers.

This past weekend we celebrated Bennett's first birthday. My mom made the cake and cookies. She did an amazing job!!

Bennett liked the cake too!

The highlight of the party was the water balloon fight. Ella went after Uncle G.

Then G went after Ella, ha!

Such a great party. My SIL did an amazing job! 

Since my brother was in town from Chicago for the party we hosted a little get together the following day so everyone could see our new house. We gave the tour and ate pizza on the deck.

We had a fox draw-off. It was Brad vs. Jess and Ella declared Jess the winner.

My people! LOVE.

We headed to the park after lunch for some fun on the playground. 

The swings were a huge hit!

As were the musical instruments.

Such a fun family filled weekend!!