We Bought A House!

We officially closed on our first home October 7th!  Such a sweet moment for our family.  Something about aging and having kids made us crave setting down roots and establishing a bit of permanency.  We feel incredibly blessed to have found a house that we love, on a street that we love and in an area that we love.

We actually just moved two minutes from where we were renting this past year so it was the easiest move we have ever experienced.  Even though we were starting over in a new house, it was so nice that we didn't have to start over with a whole new community/grocery stores/friends/etc.  We've been in the house for nearly four months now and we are still getting things situated but we have been loving it.

So here's the back story of our home purchase...

Pretty soon after moving to Fresno we had our feelers out to find a home to buy. It wasn't our intention to start searching right away, but once we got the ball rolling it was hard to imagine renting for a day longer than we needed to.

We found two houses in the first half of 2015 that we loved but the timing wasn't right so we moved on from those.  Moving on felt devastating in the moment but in hindsight was kind of a relief (they needed a lot of work).

Around June we had pretty much written off buying a house for the time being.  We weren't liking anything on the market and it just all of a sudden didn't feel right to buy.  Just before signing off completely from the home search, I noticed a house for sale on one of my favorite streets.  At the sight of it, I had the following thought: "That would be an awesome house for us, it just seems way overpriced." And with that I deleted my Redfin and Zillow apps and tried to put the home search out of my mind.

Around mid-July though I downloaded the Redfin and Zillow apps again just so I could have my radar out there for what was coming up.  I noticed that that same house I had been intrigued by before had dropped its price significantly, putting it in a much more reasonable range for us and also for what the house seemed worth.

I texted Aaron and told him about the house and suggested we ride our bikes by it that night just for fun.  Aaron got home from work, we hopped on our bikes and did circles around the house.  We really liked it on the outside but it just still didn't feel right to go for anything at that moment.  We figured that at the new, lower price the home would be gone soon so we really weren't taking the house all too seriously for us.

Weeks later in August though our feelings about home buying started opening up again and I noticed that that house was STILL available.  I texted Aaron at work and said, "That one home we rode by is still for sale.  Do you think we could just put in a low offer and see if they'd go for it?  It's been on the market for months now."  Aaron said he'd be interested in checking it out so I arranged an appointment that night with our real estate agent to see it.

We walked in and I immediately knew it was right for us.  I was sold before even seeing all the rooms.  When you've been looking for months and months, you really hone in on what you want and you know what "right" feels like to you.  I just loved that the kitchen opened up right into the living room (my biggest wish list item) and I loved that the backyard was generously sized for a Fresno backyard (also major bonus points for having no pool!  I'm not ready for that at this phase of life).  Another big perk was that the house didn't need a major overhaul or even much fixing up, just paint.  Of course, there are changes that we would love to make, but we could live in it as is for ten years without doing anything and it would be totally fine.

Aaron and I both felt good about it all and agreed to put in a low offer to see where we could get.  We felt like it was a possibility but still a long shot so we weren't getting our hopes up too high.  After some negotiating though we settled on a price with the sellers and just like that the house was ours.  We found out we got the house while we were at the beach with our friends (here).

At first, I had a really hard time believing that the house was actually going to be ours.  It just felt too good to be true.  Eventually though I let myself accept that this was for real and I started getting really excited.  We couldn't wait to get those keys in our hands.

We moved quickly on all the paperwork and got our keys as soon as possible on October 7th.  Aaron had said that the first thing he wanted to do in the new house was to lay on the floor, look at the ceiling and bask in home-ownership.  So we opened the door with our very own keys and walked straight into the living room to lay on the floor.  It felt great and was such a happy moment for our little family :)

^^Eleanor was all about those keys and garage openers.  We had a little family photo shoot before going in on our own for the first time.

Our house has four bedrooms and two and a half baths.  There's one main living space with a fireplace that opens up into a kitchen.  The living room ceiling is vaulted with wood beams and one of the best parts of the house.  We're using the front room (mostly likely the previous homeowner's formal dining room) as our piano room.  The master bedroom feels roomy with a fireplace all of its own.  And Eleanor's room has a dreamy bay window that gets lots of great light.  But probably Aaron's favorite feature in the house is the whole house fan that sucks up all the hot air in the house.  We haven't lived in this house through a Fresno summer yet, but I know we will love that thing when it is 106 degrees outside.

We started moving some of our things over right away and then did a big push that Saturday.  My parents came down to help us move and several awesome guys from church came to help too.  We provided Rosas chocolate milk and Judy's donuts, of course. A friend let us use his truck and trailer so we didn't even end up needing a U-haul.  In so many ways, it was the simplest, easiest move we've ever done and yet it was still totally exhausting.  We were so grateful for all the help from family and friends those first couple of days.
My parents had to leave that night and when they left the kitchen counters were overloaded with boxes.  I don't know what got in to me because I was SO tired but I was determined to put the kitchen in order that first night before going to bed.  I texted my parents these pictures late that night because I was so proud at what I'd accomplished.  Unpacking a kitchen is no joke!
Now nearly four months in, all the boxes are unpacked, 3/4 of the house has been painted (not an easy task) and the house feels less and less empty as time goes on.  I still haven't hung many things on the walls and we still have some major sheet mirrors to remove but we are at a good point right now.  I'll share photos of the house some day soon.

I am so grateful for the chance to put down roots here.  Buying your first home feels like a massive life step and feels pretty daunting but we are so glad we are here in this house.

Now, you all just need to come visit us!  We have a guest room all set up just for you.  It looked like this the night we moved in but it's looking a lot more inviting now (updated pictures forthcoming :))
And that's the story of our house buying and moving :)

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations on finding a new house in the same area as your rental. I cannot imagine how easy that made the move. I think the house looks cozy, and I am glad you did not have to plan any big remodeling projects. Your baby girl is going to love her bay window as she grows older. I hope you were able to get everything painted and more decor on the walls.