We closed on a new house last night.
This signals the start of a new stage of life for us. We're so excited and a bit nervous too.
The past month has been filled with an insane amount of big decisions and hard work. We found a house, offered, had our offer accepted, made the big decision to move, packed up a quarter our stuff, got our house ready to list, listed it, had 5 showings in a week, I got approved to continue my job remotely and now we've closed on the new house.
We didn't pick the timing. In fact, I probably would have chosen any other time than the holidays, but this is how it happened, and it's working out. And now we'll have Dave's slow season to settle in the new house.
To back up just a bit, we began casually looking at houses closer to Dave's job to cut down on his 1 1/2 hour commute the last week of October. We knew continuing to live the way we have since March was not sustainable. Our thoughts were that we might find something and move sometime in the spring or summer of 2017.
We started looking at country houses on 5+ acres with enough space to raise a family. However the market for that type of house in the area we were looking was not ideal and we got pretty discouraged that we'd have to settle for an ugly house or do a major (expensive) remodel.
October 30: we returned home from some showings feeling disappointed and I escaped by taking a nap. When I woke up, Dave had an idea he wanted to bounce off me. He suggested instead of putting the pressure on ourselves to find a house for the next 20 years, we look for something that will work for the next 5. Something like the house we have right now, with a few improvements and closer to his work. He even had two houses as examples to show me on Zillow.
All of a sudden I felt so much better. This we could. This was manageable.
We decided right then and there to look into one of the houses Dave had found. It was only 5 minutes from his office and had a few details that had me excited.
October 31: Dave couldn't sleep that night because he was thinking about that house. In the morning, he reached out to the realtor and got a showing despite the fact that she was planning to take the listing down that day. I had to be at work that day, but was able to take a break while Dave walked me through the house on facetime. We both loved it. That night we added our offer to the 2 others already submitted.
November 1: We woke up the next morning to find out our offer had been accepted and I drove down after work to get my first in real life look at the house. (I had 24 hours to see the house and approve as a contingency in the offer.) Well, I couldn't find anything I didn't like or couldn't imagine making work. This house had all the little things we always wished to add to our old house. The only thing missing was a dishwasher and we could fix that. It wasn't any bigger than our old house — still just a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath. But we'd have a basement and bigger closets. For me a big selling point was how much natural light the windows let in and the views out of the windows. It was all we need.
Over dinner that night we discussed the reality of the decision. Going through with the offer meant we'd move toward many things, but also away from the home we'd built for 3.5 years. We felt a bit crazy, but we had to strike while the iron was hot. So we did. Our decision was official on November 1. It was a week after we'd started looking.
And now here we are. With a new house on our hands. And a whole new life to build. We can't wait to get started.
For now, here's a picture of our air mattress bedroom setup in the new house: