I have a lot of requests for more house stuff so I thought I could start posting a little about it! I'm giving a little backstory on how we got to this house, so if real estate/house hunting is uninteresting, scroll down to all the before photos!
We LOVED our last house...it still holds a special place in our hearts. There wasn't a day I didn't walk up the stairs in that house and think how incredibly lucky we were to live there. It was a great house but after a 4 years we knew it wasn't our forever home. (Side note: our dear friends bought it so we still get to see it. And we bought it from a friend so I love that the friend tradition continues!)
We had a few things we were looking for in a long term home. We definitely wanted a garage! Our last two houses were both over 100 years old so neither had a garage. After 8 years without one, we thought it was time to stop scraping ice off of our cars every morning! We also really wanted a master bedroom/bathroom. In our last house, the kids' bathroom and 2 of the bedrooms were actually larger than the "master". We were hoping to upgrade to a king bed. And the main thing we really wanted was to get off of a busy street. Our last 2 homes were actually right across the street from each other, so they were on the same busy road. While our backyard made up for the busy street, we wanted to feel comfortable sending the kids out to ride bikes and visit friends.
Other considerations were a good sized backyard, since we were coming from a house with a larger yard, 4-5 bedrooms, room to entertain and something that spoke to us and had character like our last homes.
We started looking in February of 2016. There was a cool house with an indoor pool that we considered briefly and that jumpstarted the search more seriously. If you've been through the process you know it can be long and difficult...and this definitely was for us. I spent every day obsessively looking at the MLS listings and texting with our realtor, Aaron Oldham (@thehomescoop). I have to plug Aaron, not just because he is our good friend, because he really goes above and beyond for every client! He made the whole process so great and was instrumental in getting us our house. He also has an incredible eye for design/remodeling and has great ideas.
In August, I decided to look at a for sale by owner house that had been on the market for awhile. It had a good sized backyard and had some character. After taking Adam through it, we saw it's potential and made an offer. Unfortunately after stringing us along, we found out they had an offer put in weeks before ours, from someone who was trying to move by their mother. Can I plug having an agent? That whole experience was terribly annoying, all because they were not agents and definitely did NOT know what they were doing.
I spent the next 2 months thinking we would NEVER find anything else and that we had missed THE ONE. Ha, looking back I can't even imagine being in that house. In October, another one finally popped up that we were interested in. It had these amazing decks with an incredible view and a great living/entertaining space. We made an offer against several other offers and it was accepted! It was going to take some finagling to get it to work though. A side porch was going to need to be converted into a mudroom and office and then a storage room was going to be storage/guest room/exercise room. And then we got a bid for the yard...it was sloped down the mountainside. To level it out and make it useable, it was going to be at least 100k. Yikes!! And then the biggest blow came...it appraised for 100k LESS than our offer and their list price. We were also able to find out that this same thing had happened a few months prior and the deal had fallen through. The sellers were unwilling to budge and wanted us to still pay what we had originally offered.
In the midst of this ordeal, a house popped up on the market. I looked at it on the MLS for a week, over and over again. It was more than we were initially planning on spending and larger than we were looking to buy, but I kept going back to the photos. It looked incredible! So we went to look at it "for fun". Adam says this was just like when I wanted to go look at puppies "for fun" and we came home with a puppy. Ha! Of course, we both fell in love with the house. Again, there were multiple offers and Aaron (@thehomescoop) was instrumental in getting us the house without overspending. Our offer was accepted and the appraisal came back above our offer price! Hallelujah! It had everything we were looking for and more. The yard is large and feels incredibly private, it's on a quiet street, has plenty of bedrooms and entertaining space and has so much character!
The original owners had built the house and lived there for 30+ years and then both passed away. The house feels so special to us. We are only the second family to have lived in it! It has amazing bones and was well taken care of...it just needed a little updating! It is definitely our 70s dream house and we keep pinching ourselves that it's ours. I can't wait to share all the before/afters, hopefully in the next few weeks!