As long as I can remember I have dreamed of a home of my own. Being able to have a place that was all mine, to fix up and make over however I wanted was always a dream of mine. Even when I was in high school my Christmas presents were often things like my kitchen aid mixer or dishes. I moved out at 18 and lived in a variety of apartments and rental houses. I moved a lot, I liked looking for new places and setting up a new home, but I really couldn’t wait to buy a house of my own!
Two years ago today that dream came true! It’s amazing to think that this little slice of the earth is mine (well technically the banks, but in five years when my mortgage is paid off it will be aaalllll mine) and I have loved every minute of it. Even the hard annoying parts of being a home owner (pipes backing up, furnace not working in the middle of winter, washers and dryers breaking) have been a wonderful challenge. My house is fantastic. A 1926 craftsmen it has charm and unique features and a style that I fell in love with the moment I saw it online. I have a laundry chute, a built in linen press, amazing woodwork and so many other fun details.
I looked at houses online for years, even when I knew I was in no position to buy. I knew I wanted an older, solidly built home that didn’t look like every house around it. I didn’t want to live in a subdivision and I needed a fenced in back yard for the fur-baby. I wanted a bigger yard for my garden, but some compromises had to be made at my price range! I remember one house we looked at had been pretty much demolished inside (let me just say there are some very creative photographers out there who make places look great online) one place was missing its front door, and another one had a bullet hole in the window!!! Seriously!
I was very lucky that my house was still on the market, it was near the top of my budget but it was move in ready and had so much potential. We put in an offer and were so excited…until we found out another person had outbid us. BOO… our Realtor encouraged us to keep positive and looking. But my heart wasn’t in it, I had fallen in love and nothing else on our list even compared. Luckily, the other person backed out and we had the opportunity to place our offer again! Woohoo, they accepted. Then the ‘fun’ part of waiting for all the paperwork to go through, it is a VA mortgage so we had even more paperwork and hoops to jump through than normal. Our offer was accepted in the spring, we didn’t sign until August. It was dreadful. I would find excuses to drive to that side of town and see my house, planned where I would put furniture, started picking out paint colors. The best part was we got our keys at signing and I got to run around my beautiful empty house that night!
In the last two years we’ve made some changes. Nothing to huge yet, budget definitely not being on my side after changing careers and getting a divorce, but I still love my house. Some cosmetic changes we’ve made include new floors in the kitchen, new handles (seriously went a long way to updating the cupboards) painted a few rooms, took down the ridiculous deck in the back yard, added my raised garden boxes in the front yard and my lovely fence.
We have a big honey do list for the rest of the house but I’m so happy. Home ownership is hard and sometimes expensive but completely and utterly worthwhile. It’s mine. I own this piece of land and this house. I can do what I want to it! That’s AWESOME.
The five year plan has changed a bit since I signed for the house. Instead of long term plans we focus more on paying off debt and preparing to move to our forever home. This has been the perfect starter house and I will be sad to sell it. But I comfort myself with the thought of all that room for my goats and chickens. We’ll be moving just south of town, hopefully to a property with about 10-15 acres. Lots of room for us to eventually build our dream homestead. Far enough from town to be private, not so far we can’t enjoy our lovely hometown. I am so thankful that I had the ability and opportunity to buy a house at 24, I’m thankful for my military service making that possible, thankful for my wonderful realtor being so helpful and not pushy, thankful to my mom for going with to see some of these…interesting… houses. And thankful to Dustin for slowly but surely working through the honey do list (seriously, isn’t that fence beautiful).
Tell me about your first house! Was it new or old? Did you live there long? How did you know it was ‘the one’?