Hello blog world. Sorry for yet another hiatus, but… WE MOVED! Everything went smoothly with the sale of our old house and the purchase of our new one, thanfully. We’ve been here for 2 weeks now and things are finally settling a bit. I’m still fine tuning some of the organization and set up, but I’m almost there.
In other news…
We. LOVE. This. House. So much!
Our house hunting journey has been a bit all over the place this year. Initially we started on the building path. We found a designer and contractor who walked us through the process of designing our own custom home. I’m not talking about the normal suburban subdivisions where you have several layouts to choose from and can customize and upgrade as your budget allows. I mean, we started from scratch and designed the whole house – from the floor plan and layout, to the exterior materials and interior finishes, to the features and utilities we wanted in place. We went window shopping for the flooring, counters, kitchen and bath hardware, and designed a fireplace to be built in. We created this beautiful 936 sq. foot, 1 bedroom home, with a patio of equal size (including a pizza oven and built in wet bar). The crowning feature was a whole wall of accordion glass doors that made the transition from inside to out seamless. And we were so excited about it!
Until, of course, the cost to build such a home was revealed to us. We were still optimistic, however had some trouble finding land. Most of the available and desirable plots in close vicinity to our job had crazy building requirements, most requiring a home of 1,800 sq. ft. or more. We finally found a plot that didn’t have any size requirements, however after extensive research and number-crunching, it was confirmed that the house, once built, would not appraise for the money it cost to build. The other homes in the neighborhood, combined with the small size of our planned home, just didn’t add up.
So we reluctantly gave up the idea of building our dream home and decided to start looking for something to buy. Our original priorities were to downsize, be closer to work, hopefully have a newer home, and end up owing less than we currently did. The only thing we managed in the end was to be closer to work. All of the homes we saw in this area that were 1,000 sq. ft. or less were almost 100 years old and in need of a lot of work. Everything else was 3-4 bedrooms or more, hundreds of square feet more than our current home, and over our initial desired budget.
None the less, we still looked at several homes and even made offers on a few of them. Most already had offers on the table, or were sold to other buyers. It’s a hot market in our area, and by the time we’d seen a home and decided to make an offer, we’d find out it was already sold. It was a discouraging few weeks, to say the least. Especially since we didn’t love any of the homes we saw.
In the meantime, we were working on improvement projects at our current house, getting it ready for the market. One positive to the market being as it is, we had high hopes of a quick sale. One by one, we finished the projects we’d always talked about doing but never got around to… isn’t that how it usually goes? Things were looking good, but we weren’t quite ready to post the house when we found our new home.
I think it was pretty clear to both of us when we first walked in that this was the right house for us. It had come on the market that morning and we wasted no time in coming to see it. It is a few hundred square feet bigger than our previous house, built only last year, and with some amazing features, upgrades, and an ideal layout. We spent maybe 10-15 minutes in the house and were discussing our full price offer with our agent before we left. We were in negotiations on another home and dropped that quickly in favor of this new house. We were even willing to go above the asking price and fight for this one if necessary. Luckily, we didn’t have to. The seller’s only request was that we post our house for sale immediately, due to our offer being contingent on the sale of our current home.
We posted our house on July 4th for $20k more than our agent suggested. We asked that the house not be viewable until that Friday after 5pm. We made an exception for an out of town couple on Thursday and ended up with 4 other viewers that night. We had 10+ people view the house by the end of the weekend and had 4 full price offers by Saturday. We ended up accepting an offer for $10k more than asking price, and thankfully the house appraised for that amount. Inspections and appraisals went smoothly, and 30 days later we were stacked for a busy Friday of closings. The sale of our house had to close and fund, our purchase of the new house had to then close and fund, and all in time for the seller of our new house to close and fund on her purchase of a new home. We got all the paperwork signed in advance, were out of our old home by 9am, and had keys in hand to our new home by 3pm on Friday, August 10th.
For the most part, things are settled. I’m not posting pictures yet because the main focus of the house is the kitchen/living space, and it looks crazy empty without a couch. Once our couch arrives, I will post all the photos. Because let me tell you, this house is begging to be photographed! The kitchen is beautiful, the lighting in the main area is perfect, and the floors – oh! the floors! There was originally carpet in the living room and office space, but we were lucky enough to work with the builder to match the same hardwood that is in the kitchen and dining room, and had it installed the weekend we moved in. It looks so amazing now that the whole living area uniform, and it was worth the headache of having construction happening at the same time as move in.
We got our desks preliminarily built this last weekend and internet installed, so computers are finally up and running. I got the new bed I’ve been dreaming of, and it is everything and more than either of us hoped. We started fresh on so many things, and I’m glad we did. It feels that much more exciting, and that much more ours. Previously we had a bunch of second hand or used things; furniture, dishes, etc. All of it was a combination of each of us as individual people. Now it is ours, together, completely. Everything we accumulated and chose together. Besides the fact that we love this house, we are proud of it and all of the things that fill it. Despite it being just a bit crazy to move a month and a half before our wedding, it definitely feels right for us to be here.
Next up is our wedding, which I am equally excited about. All of the details are coming together, give or take a few. And I’m really starting to focus on how incredible it is going to be to have all of my people from all over the country here, in one place, all to celebrate something that makes me so happy. It’s going to be whirlwind week, but I’m looking forward to it. I still have some details to iron out, but I have all of next month to do so.
Luckily work has calmed down so much in the last month. We finally got a new director for our department, and the moment she became official every bit of the peripheral chaos that has defined the last 2 years at this job dissipated. Just like that. I’m not even sure what exactly my new boss did or didn’t do, but there is peace in our department like there’s never been before and it is so refreshing. Things are still changing, there are still unknowns, and still crises waiting around every corner, but there is peace despite it all. I’m thankful that I have been able to get moved and am going to be able to get through wedding season without any extra stress coming from that.
It’s crazy looking back on 2018 so far and contemplating everything that has happened. It’s been an insane year, with so many changes and stresses. And yet, I’m here feeling better, more optimistic, and more fulfilled in life than ever before. I am looking forward to everything calming the fuck down after the wedding, don’t get me wrong, but it’s cool to see where I’ve been and where I’m at now.
I can’t guarantee regular posts in the next 2 months, but I promise that once wedding stuff is over I will be able to get back to a routine of regular posts, including new recipes, monthly favorites, and hopefully other new content. This first year of blogging hasn’t gone as I expected, but I’m optimistic about it moving forward. Someone I follow on social media recently said she feels like her “new year” begins in the fall, rather than on January first, and that really resonated with me. Fall is my favorite season, and I definitely feel refreshed and like all things are new then. I’m thinking of adopting this philosophy.
I hope you all are well, and that life is satisfying to you. It’s a really encouraging and peaceful feeling when it is, and I find myself more confident all around because of it. So despite my chaos, I’m wishing you the same fulfillment and satisfaction that I’m feeling. But if not, it’s okay to not be okay, and whatever struggles you are facing, know you aren’t alone. In the end, you are in charge of your life and your choices, and you have the power to design your own life. So design one you love. Take the time to figure out what makes you whole and happy, and fill your life with it.
Currently drinking: Deschutes Twilight Summer Ale. Actually it’s gone already, so I’m headed back to the kitchen for either Deschutes Black Butte Porter or Pacific Wonderland Lager. Beer. It’s what’s for dinner.
Currently playing: Monster Hunter World on PC. I’m terrible at it, but Pat is actually playing it with me so this a big win for us.
P.S. The picture is all the houseplants that have moved in with us! They are filling me with so much JOY! I got 2 more today that aren’t in the picture. ALL THE GREEN THINGS!
Hello! I’m Whitney and this is my home for all things food and life.