(Published out of order--this was the first "new house" post I wrote but never finished and published.)
We're officially homeowners! (For the third time...hopefully the last).
We moved out of our three year rental against our will and into another rental for four weeks. Just after signing the lease on the second rental (hereafter known as "Half-way House") we discovered our dream home had fallen out of escrow. We didn't think we could afford it, but the mortgage lady worked some dark magic and we somehow got it. Now, when I say it is my dream house, I'm being disengenuous. It is not even remotely my dream home in and of itself, except for one key element: it has a big yard.
As Doug and I have looked and looked and looked at homes over the last three years, almost all of them have come up short in one area--the size of the backyard. Our first rental had a tiny yard. Literally, just a back patio. Barely big enough for the tiny 6 foot trampoline we found at Walmart.com and a patio table.
So for years I've been day-dreaming.
Wishing for a yard with enough room for a BIG trampoline.
Longing for a yard deep enough to set up a volleyball net, throw a baseball or kick a soccer ball...
But as we looked we discovered that even if the property info listed a larger sized yard, it was taken up with a huge slope, a ginormous pool, a long drive-way, or some other unusable space.
Newer homes being built around here seem to be getting larger, while the lot they sit on gets smaller.
Sure, 4,500 square feet and five bedrooms would be fabulous, but NOT 5.5 baths with 5.5 toilets to clean. And not sitting on a lot barely big enough to hold the house!
My sister and brother-in-law kept telling us to look for the yard, not the house. They pointed out that in their neighborhood, all the homes sit on .5 acre(ish) lots. We pointed out we couldn't afford their neighborhood.
But then the home three doors down and across the cul-de-sac fell out of escrow.
A home built in 1988 sitting on a half an acre flat lot.
It also has some other huge bonuses: A downstairs office that we've converted into to a guest room and a downstairs full bath. This is perfect for visitors and especially perfect for my Mother-in-law who has bad knees. This was #2 on our wish list: Downstairs guest room and full bath!
Upstairs there are four bedrooms. We decided to keep Max and Sam together in one, Gabe and Gray together in another, and use the third for a play/bonus room. Linc will stay in our walk-in closet a little longer and then we'll figure out where to stick him when he moves to a toddler bed.
#3 on my wish list: Place to corral every single toy and game we own. Check!
Since moving in, we've deep cleaned, (previous owners had several pets and we have several pet allergies between all of us.) painted, done a lot of work on the backyard including removing three very large dead trees, and started remodeling the downstairs bathroom and upstairs boys bathroom due too leaky grout and mold issues.
My current project is acquiring rugs to cover some of the hard floors to dampen the noise produced by five boys in a big echo chamber. Sometime down the road we'll work on living room furniture and stuff for the walls.
One of the huge bonuses of this house lives three doors down the street: My SISTER and her family. We love hanging out with Laura and Jeff and especially love late night snack time after the kids are in bed and spontaneous hot tub parties at their house. Laura has four daughters whom we love a LOT! Their oldest daughter Ashlin has been our #1 babysitter since we moved here. Since she is now out of state for college, the job falls to Makaila. Even Dania, who is Max's age, loves to help with Linky and takes him on walks. Their youngest, Kirra, is Sam's age and she loves to come over to play. It's been a lot of fun having them so close and seeing the cousins hanging out together.
I want to post some house before and after pictures, but there are no good "afters" yet.
Those will be forthcoming...
For now, I think I'll send the boys into the backyard and go take a nap!