Hey friends, hope you are getting used to the changes on the blog (still working on it) but today I wanted to give you an update on another change – our recent move. Not the recent blog move but the change of homes. A few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to share about it. Lately though, things have been slow around the blog. It has been a bit more difficult to get a post in. The move, kids, family, all these things are taking priority. Plus my lack of motivation is not helping either. I had to tell myself to “snap out of it” and get this post. Still didn’t finish it last night so I had to squeeze some extra time this morning while the kids did a “quiet” activity.
If this is the first time you are hearing about our move, then I am happy to inform you about it. I think it is only fair to inform readers about certain changes. After all, you all are my support (read, comment, encourage) and that keeps me going here on the blog. Plus you have seen our previous home over and over on the blog so there is no point in leaving you hanging. This little (long) update will answer some of the questions that may be floating around in your minds:
- Wait what? Did they expand their home and added more walls or something?
- Did they add another room?
- Did they paint with different colors?
- Did they move?
If you guessed the last one, then you are correct. We moved at the end of June and let met tell you, finding a place to move into was no easy task. I will explain a bit further down this post but here is a first image of the new. I did not mention our moving on the blog earlier because we were not sure if our home would sell fast. You know, it is hard to tell. You sing a song and at the end of the day, your home still remains on the market. But once things were confirmed, then I felt it was OK to talk about it (new home image).
Back in 2012, we bought a small home in an upscaled city where my husband grew up. It was a fixer upper with two bedrooms and two full baths. Our girls shared one of the rooms. My husband along with a friend worked tirelessly to renovate and make our place new. We moved within two weeks after we purchased with all the updates (light fixtures, kitchen reno, bedroom reno, bathroom reno, paint, and all other renos big and small completed. It was like walking into a brand new home (well it actually was). Back then, my blog was picking up and I didn’t taking before and after pictures. And most of them must have crashed along with my previous laptop. I think I have a few somewhere – will have to search through to find. Anyway, while we loved our little place, we decided that we wanted a bit more room to host our growing family (baby #3 was on the way)!
We decided to put the house on the market and search for something with a bit more room. After 7 showings the day after we put the house on the market, we had about 4 or 5 offers. People were literally offering way more than we expected to have that town home. The area was nice and quiet and people like to retire there, too. But because it sold so fast (closed in 3 weeks), we had to find another home quickly. I don’t three weeks is enough to rush into buying a home unless you find the perfect one right off the press. At the end of the day, we ended up picking something that none of us truly really loved. But we had to stay in a hotel for 3 weeks while we awaited closing. I spoke about that here. It was a single family ranch home with a bit more room with an added family room that made it stood out among the similar ones in the area (old home).
Neighbors or others who visited seemed to like it and always gave some good comments. Overall, the house was really clean. Despite my endless efforts to make it warm, cozy, and functional, there were some underlying issues and some areas that could use a bit of updating (older model). Remember our main bathroom? I was not too impressed with it and the kitchen either but there were some talk about renovating it. All in all, we looked passed these issues with the intent to work on each area overtime (see the tiny kitchen in the old home).
That house was only one town over. It was very familiar grounds as some of our shopping were already done in that area anyway. We had loads of church friends who lived there. More so, my husband’s grandma was in a home care in the general area. My husband wanted to keep an eye on her and wanted things to be easy for visiting and such. All of his other family members had already moved away from where he grew up (in that area that I mentioned earlier with our first house). So it was down to him to take on the responsibility. All in all, the area itself was not bad at all. Park right there, head cop right next door, Walmart, Target, Ross, Kohls, you name it was only a “stones” throw down the street. And they opened up a new Michael’s craft store just when we were moving:(
But you know, I don’t think we really loved the house. There was just something about it. Every so often, one of us would talk about how much we sort of missed the little town home. Don’t get us wrong. We liked that our son had his nursery but the functionality of the house in general just was not working out too well for us as we hoped. It seemed like we moved from one starter home to another. At one point, my husband thought that the housing market wouldn’t be so friendly to us if we decided to sell. So we kind of left that option right where it was. Plus grandma needed someone close by.
Then one day, we were talking about the layout of the house again and some of the struggles we were having. I hadn’t realize that he was struggling with it as much as I did. But I guess we both were trying to put on a “good” face about it and trying to make it work.
After my husband’s grandma was gone, he felt like there was no real purpose for us in that general area anymore. There was nothing really keeping us back from moving. Deep within, we both felt a longing – a longing for a change. We needed a fresh start. Our first daughter and if we were 5 so we were going to enroll her in Kindergarten, we definitely did NOT want to enroll her in the schools in the area. The ratings are just too low. We’d have to enroll her in the private school from our church (which was where we lived previously). It is a huge school that attracts many who really excel. Just in case you are wondering, children are not required to attend school here until they are 6. So we are still in the deciding process with outside school or home school (living room in the old home).
My husband contacted a realtor to inquire about the housing market. To our surprise, other homes in the same area were selling for a good price. Keep in mind that some of these houses of the same model were smaller than ours because we had that additional family room (family room with me trying to make it multi-functional – to no avail).
Our house went on the market in April and had 3 bidding within one week. That first contract fell through and the house went back up on the market in late April. We were able to close within 2 months with the second contract.
The part you might be more surprised with is that we are now renting. We wanted to rent a bit to try to figure things out before rushing into purchasing again. I admit that in the past, I couldn’t understand why people would sell their homes and go rent. Seriously, it was beyond me. But now I get it. People have various reasons. (Big fenced backyard in our old home).
Finding a house to match our desires was not the easiest. There are many lovely homes out there big and small but some of them just was not falling into place. Now our must haves were not too many as its only a rental but we wanted:
- a house (prferable single family but town home would have been ok, too).
- a fenced backyard
- no tiny kitchen
- an extra room for play
- Good schools
It didn’t have to be the largest house on the market. In fact, we had gotten beautiful smaller rental house when we first put the house on the market. It was not too big but not too small and just seemed so perfect. My husband had his mind set on it but we had to decline since our contract fell through. There was a wait list for other renters and we did not feel right keeping the Landlord waiting.
So back to the search. We wanted to make sure we weren’t moving from one non-functional to another non-functional. So many of the houses we saw missed that “one thing”. Either it had a fenced backyard but no extra room, or it had the extra room or rooms but no fenced backyard, or just did not fit our taste. We were pickier this time around and it was only going to be a rental. There another house we thought that may have worked out and even had a pending lease on one. But it was just too far away.
On the last minute, we got accepted with this one and we are happy with it. Confession: It is way bigger that we had in mind for renting and the price is definitely higher than what we wanted to pay but we couldn’t keep looking. Staying in a hotel for 3 weeks like we did when we sold our previous home was not going to cut it! Our kids need someplace to call home and we were just tired of looking. The Landlord (who lives in another state) was willing to bring the price down a bit because the house had been sitting empty for 4 months. He had terrible renters before who did not pay their rent. Still no fenced backyard but at least it does not back up to the streets. And it’s big enough that the kids could play outside on warmer days (close up front).
So now that you have a bit of background as to why we moved, I thought I would show you some photos of where we are. You have already seen the front but if you’ve been following me on Instagram, you have probably been seeing rooms with all different colors. I take one look at my Instagram and gasp at the colors!
Take a look for yourself – every room is a DIFFERENT color. Really? Who does that? Our bedroom and the guest room are the only two rooms painted white or something light. Sigh. Not sure I am really digging the paint colors, especially that YELLOW. . . and the green. . . . and the burnt orange. . . . and that. . . I prefer somewhat a consistent feel and I won’t mind the bedrooms being personalized to one’s tastes but everything else . . . We do have the option/permission to paint but it is not going to be cheap unless we do it ourselves. And my guess is that it is not going to happen. So I will have to learn to deal with it because the house itself is beautiful.
Tell me, would you all go through the hassle and paint or would you try to deal with the multi-colored home? So far, we only signed for one year.
A few rooms in view as you enter (living and family rooms).
Lovely huge kitchen
Dinning room when we first moved in
I did not take much of the upstairs as I was trying to snap a few before we moved our stuff inside. That’s the girls room. It is a Jack and Jill kind of set up that goes through their bathroom into our son’s nursery on the other side. Then our Master (and it is a Master) plus an extra room that I plan to decorate as a guest room. The girl’s wanted to keep sharing as they are still very small.
The kids favorite spot
While I will like to have everything set up all in one day, I have to remind myself that Rome was not built in one day. The only two areas I really worked quickly to get set up were the dinning room and the backyard. When you have a collaborative post, you got to get moving. I was happy for the push, though!
Remember these posts? Dinning Room
Down the street
Every thing looks lovely. Only downfall is that we don’t own the home:( But the neighbours have been so welcoming. That house with this car is right next door and the neighbors keep bringing us Italian meals from their son’s restaurant. Their home has the most beautiful front entrance. Thought of taking a few photos and showcasing it on the blog as I could only imagine it decorated for Fall or Christmas. Think they’d let me?
Evening walks – excuse the flip-flops after work!
One of our favorite attractions in the neighborhood (which seems to be everyone with mall kids favorite place as well is the community’s splash park. The kids love it!
Anyhow, that’s where we are. We are happy with the choice and I don’t think we can really say that we miss our old place. Sadly, we tried to make it work but decided to end the frustration and move on. Hope you have gotten some insight as to where we are with our home. And thanks for stopping by to see what Zan’s doing at home, LOL! Thought it would be funny to include this in the closing (goes along with the title).