Saturday, March 26, 2011

Ready for a New Home

Six months of apartment life is slowly starting to wear on us. We live in an oh so spacious garden apartment with paper thin walls that afford very little privacy. Our upstairs neighbors are rambunctious college girls who enjoy throwing parties five nights a week that don't wind down til 5 am. Yes, we're a little tired (quite literally!) of apartment life.

We've been looking at houses online for months, and we really haven't seen anything we liked. Both of us have pretty extensive wish lists. Big windows, lots of light, white trim, a huge kitchen, a big master bathroom and closet, space for my sewing room...the list was never ending, and we were sure we'd never find what we wanted.

One afternoon my husband mentioned building a new home in one of the new developments nearby. I was doubtful. Can we afford it? Are we going to be able to find a floorplan that suits our needs?

Turns out, there was indeed the perfect floorplan for us. Behold, the Venice:


There were a number of things I liked about this floorplan. I liked the mudroom off of the garage. It was the perfect place to drop coats and keys. I loved the counterspace in the kitchen, the bright morning room, and the open family room. The master bedroom was spacious, the closet was huge, and the bathroom was an upgrade over our last home. Duel sinks and a soaking tub? Amazing. Second floor laundry and large secondary bedrooms? Sold.
Almost. The base price wasn't bad, but it was at the top end of our comfortable budget. The upgrades we'd want to include, like the morning room and giant kitchen island and upgraded masterbath would push it out of our range. I was honest with the sales rep, and within a day she responded with a very tempting offer...they were willing to upgrade the kitchen and morning room, plus finish the basement. We decided it was worth a second glance. After all, this was a great floorplan that fit our needs perfectly.

There were things we just weren't sure about, though. We had lived in a subdivison where all the houses looked alike, and it made selling our house difficult. We didn't know what the neighborhood would look like when it was completed, and what we did just didn't feel like home. We decided to mull it over for a few days before going back to discuss pricing out the other upgrades features we'd like.

Meanwhile, I kept browsing over the listings sent to us by an agent our selling agent had referred to us. There wasn't much that caught my eye (that we could afford, that is!) but one day I saw a listing for a large house in another nearby community. It was lots of space, more than we'd need, and it was in a good school district...and it was in our price range. There was going to be an open house that coming weekend. So we decided to check it out for fun, then go talk to the sales rep about building our new home.

I could hardly sleep that night, and this time it wasn't because of the noisy neighbors.

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Fresh Start... Out with the Old

In with the new!

I deleted the old blog today for no particular reason other than wanting a shiny and fresh new blog. I'm going to try to actually keep up with it this time!

So much has happened within the last year. Last spring around this time, my husband accepted a new job in the Washington D.C. area. It was exciting and scary. We had concerns, but the prospect of living in a big city with so much to see and do was an amazing opportunity. We put the house we were living on on the market and hoped it would sell quickly. He began traveling for his new job, leaving me at home to contend with showings and upkeep and caring for our two year old son. "It's just for a few weeks!"

The house didn't sell as quickly as we had hoped. In fact, it took four months before we had an offer. In retrospect, four months on the market wasn't *too* bad, considering how terrible the market has been. At the time though, it was absolute torture. I'll admit it, I was pretty unbearable the last few weeks. It was depressing to be apart, and things just weren't going the way they I thought they should. A good group of friends (who shall be called the PWs from this point on) reminded me that something good would come out of all the struggling and to be patient and wait for it. I was pretty sure nothing good would ever happen. Like I said, I was pretty unbearable, and sometimes maybe a smidge dramatic.

An offer  finally came in, and we really began to solidify our plans for the move. We picked out a tiny little apartment just outside the city, signed a lease, and started packing. I came back to the house to pack and tie up loose ends.

One week before we closed on the house, I received a phone call from my husband. He told me he had been offered a job close to our home. Should he take it? The cost of living here was no where near as much as it would have been in the D.C. area. Our friends were all here. Most importantly, the job was a better fit for him. Without a bit of hesitations, I said yes. We both felt relieved, and we realized that moving to D.C. wouldn't have been a good choice at all. Note to self- the PWs are wise and all-knowing.

The new job was only an hour away from the house, but there was a tiny little problem- it wasn't going to be our home in just a few short days. I signed a lease on the first apartment I found. "Just for a year," we said. "We'll save some money and next year we can start looking for a place to live." We moved into the apartment at the end of the summer, ready to spend the fall and winter together again at last, confident we had made the right choice.