Surprise! If you follow me on Instagram, you likely saw my hints these last few months about a big life change and my recent update that Nick and I are moving. I’m happy to finally share that Nick and I purchased our dream house and could not be more excited to start this next chapter in our lives!
Okay, let me rewind and start from the beginning.
Nick and I moved into our townhouse February 2018 with full intentions to rent for a few years until we figured out our next steps. At that point in time we were unsure where our careers would take us, where we wanted to live and what we wanted in a home. We both loved our townhouse in terms of size and location and I truly believed we would be staying for at least 3 years. Fast forward to December 2018 when we got permission from our landlord to have Nick’s dog, Molson come live with us. You see, when we first signed our lease, pets were a non-negotiable. Because of this and Nick’s intense work schedule, Molson stayed with Nick’s parents until we could figure out our next steps. After multiple conversations, our landlord graciously agreed to let Molson come live with us after a hefty security deposit and an additional $150 a month. Yikes!
Financially we were able to make this work however it got Nick’s mind thinking of all the possibilities we could have if we owned a home. No more small yard. No more worry about hanging things on the wall or wearing shoes in the house. No more $150 monthly pet fee. We knew our commitment to each other and ultimately agreed upon a commitment to this area. So in March/April we decided to start the looking process and see if there were any homes that checked off our boxes and fit into our set budget. If we found the perfect house before our lease ran out September 1, we would jump on it and not look back. If we didn’t, we agreed not to settle on something just to get out of our lease and would resign a 6 month agreement and continue our search.
The house we let go.
From the start there were homes we loved that unfortunately were off the market before we could schedule a showing. This market right now truly is a sellers market as houses cannot stay on Zillow long enough.
In June we found the perfect starter home in our desired location. 3 bedroom, updated kitchen, family room, 2-car garage, fenced in yard. The house even had a pool which I wasn’t keen on (expenses, maintenance etc.) but the house checked off so many boxes and was under budget. We booked multiple showings, by ourselves and with our family, and put in an offer within the week. After a few weeks of back and forth, the house came off the market due to personal decisions by the sellers. Absolutely heartbroken, we had to say goodbye to this home and start from scratch.
The Dream Home
After losing a house we already fell in love with (and after being told it was ours), it was hard to imagine finding a place we loved just as much or more. Our timing was running out as our landlord needed notice by July 17 and everything on the market wasn’t “right.” The last thing I wanted to do was rush into a house and pick one just because we were running out of time or felt desperate.
Nick had his eye on a house that checked off a lot of boxes and was in our desired neighborhood, however the price didn’t meet our budget. I truly believed it was a lost cause but God works in mysterious ways. Within two weeks, our realtor notified us of two price changes on the property that made things more realistic and show worthy. We scheduled a showing and fell in love the moment we saw the house, the neighborhood, everything. We called our realtor later that night and asked her to draft an offer. We wrote our personal letter and sent it in on July 4, expecting to have to wait the long weekend. Boy were we wrong!
Within 2 hours of our realtor placing the offer, we received a counter offer. We countered back and within one hour of that they accepted and the house was ours! I was in shock, complete disbelief. We already lost one house and I was hoping this wasn’t too good to be true. We received their final signatures on Monday (so it was kind of a long weekend to only have a verbal agreement) and the rest is history. A week later we had our inspection which went better that smooth, and here we are with keys in our hand to the “Dream House!”
Details on our First Home
To be honest, this house isn’t what I imagined I would be purchasing. I always pictured that New England style colonial, white with navy blue shutters, a navy blue door and white picket fence – the most preppy, classic Americana house you could imagine. That house is also the style I pictured if we were to be living in say Massachusetts or somewhere down South.
Our house is inspired by Spanish architecture. Warm tones and beautiful arch ways welcome you from the outside while rustic elements like wrought iron railings and beams comfort you on the inside. What sold the house for me were the beautiful beams, elevated ceilings and fireplace that reminded me of my childhood home in NJ. I know a lot sold the house for Nick but I’m pretty sure the backyard and 2-car garage were his two selling points!
Next week we’re starting some preliminary renovations and updates that we wanted completed before move in day. We’re replacing the carpet in the bedrooms, and removing the carpet on the main level and installing luxury vinyl flooring to look like hardwood. I think those changes alone will make a difference and add more character to the home! I’m also going to repaint the cabinets white myself, update the hardware and then later this fall replace the countertops. Last but not least, we’re putting up a fence for Molson to freely run around the yard! We can’t wait to watch him chase frisbees all day and all night!
My lists of wants and house updates goes on and on like any homeowner, but those are the immediate updates we plan on tackling. Renovated bathrooms, light fixtures and paint colors can come next year (or 3 years!)
Here’s a few pictures of our home before any renovations:
Next week I’ll share tips for millennial first time home buyers and a look at the mortgage process. Until then, we’ll be here on cloud 9 enjoying our new home and finalizing any packing at our old home!
A huge thank you to our incredible realtor, Tracy. She honestly treated us like family and went above and beyond to make sure Nick and I were happy and comfortable during the entire home buying process. It was nice knowing she was always a text or phone call away, and trust me – there were a lot of texts and phone calls during this process!
Last but not least, a huge thank you to our parents and family for all their encouragement and love during this time. We’re grateful our parents raised us to be successful and independent individuals who are able to make this purchase and big step in our life thanks to our hard work and upbringing.
I’m still in disbelief this house is truly ours. We can’t wait to share this home with our friends and family and make so many memories during this next chapter of our lives!