How I Met My House

I read Kate’s post yesterday about a blog party at Our Suburban Cottage focusing on how the participants met their houses – I instantly thought, “Count me in!”  Sooooo, here we go!

{ December 26, 2008 – the day we officially moved into our house. }

It’s no secret that I’m a huge sucker for houses, and our house in particular.  But I didn’t always feel that way about our humble abode.

{ Our house the way it looked the day we bought it. }

You see, we started out our married life in 2007 in a great little townhouse – it was brand-new, in a fabulous area of town within walking distance of restaurants, bars and shopping, and it was an awesome home for us.  For awhile.  Less than a year into our town home-ownership I got antsy – very antsy.

{ Christmas 2007 in the townhouse. }

The big switcheroo started in February of 2008 when I drove by an open house in a quiet little neighborhood near where I grew up – the house was huge {over 3,000 square feet}, two-stories {love!}, completely affordable and in terrible shape.  I was instantly smitten.  I called Jason and my mom to come take a look at it – we were such nerds, exploring every room and trying to hide the fact that I was ridiculously excited about the house.  We dreamed up renovation plans and hoped that the owners would accept a contract contingent on the sale of our town home – turns out all that fretting was for nothing because the house instantly sold {and the story of the new owner is a doozie!}  I was bummed but the seed had been planted – I wanted to move NOW!

Fast-forward a month and our townhouse was on the market.  We obviously listed it ourselves and it was a pretty hot property, if I do say so myself.  Within a month we had a full price offer {a good $40k above what we bought it for the year before} and we started looking for a new house like crazy.

We focused our search on just one or two neighborhoods and soon fell in love with a huge house that turned out to have huge problems – we eventually walked away from the contract and kept on searching.  Then the sale of our townhouse closed in the middle of June and suddenly we were homeless.  My parents were incredibly generous and let us move in with them – it was only temporary, right?  We were sure to find a house soon . . .

All in all, we looked at easily over 150 houses – that’s the danger of being a Realtor and being able to show yourself houses!  We put an offer in on another house that was going to be a financial reach for us, and luckily it didn’t work out.

In the end, we kept coming back to a one-story ranch house on the same street as the house that started my new-home-craze {remember the open house that I wandered into?}.  It didn’t have a few of the things that I originally thought I wanted {like a second story}, but it had awesome potential and a lot of space in a fab neighborhood.  Oh yeah, and did I mention that every single room needed to be completely gutted?

We finally closed on our new house in September of 2008 – but we still had a long way to go before we could move in.

We hired a contractor, spent every spare moment for the next 3 months at Home Depot or Expo or a random tile store, and spent the other few waking moments scoping out the progress on our house.  Which, for most of the time, looked like this:

And then, finally, we moved into our new home the day after Christmas – it was awesome!!!  I think my parents were even more excited than we were – my poor parents.  They were so patient and awesome to live with during those 6 months – seriously, they deserve medals.

Anyhoo, that’s the story of how we met our house – and how we fell in love with it and made it our own.  Of course, we’re still tweaking and decorating and all of that good stuff – a home is never really finished, is it?  But I guess that’s the fun part.  :)

So how did you meet your house?  And be sure to check out other people’s house stories at Our Suburban Cottage.

P.S. Curious about our renovations?  Here’s a {somewhat outdated – sorry!} photo gallery of the changes we made.  And while we’re at it, here’s some info on how we refaced the fireplace, tore the entire house apart, prepped our subfloors for hardwood, and refinished the front door.  Oh yeah, and we got hooked on renovations so we flipped a house.

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Comments

  1. Jenny says:

    Great floor plan! That’s so cool that you were able to make changes to the house to make it feel like home!
    Jenny´s last blog post ..Homeschool Expo, Part 2 & SafetyTat Winner

  2. Meredith says:

    Awesome story! It’s funny how things typically work out, especially when searching for a house. Cool floor plan software too!

  3. Becky K says:

    Oh, if I were to follow my dreams and become a Realtor I am afraid I would want to buy way too many houses. I love, love, love to move
    and start over with a blank slate.

    Glad you found the right home and that your parents are such generous and loving folks.

    Becky K.
    Hospitality Lane

  4. Nicole says:

    Fun idea although ours isn’t as adventurous! ;)
    Nicole´s last blog post ..earth day ~ 2010

  5. Cathy M~ says:

    Just checked your photos of your house. You have done a truly amazing job! I love your style & your ability to transform! If you have a minute stop my blog & sign up for my first giveaway! BTW my aunt & uncle had a similar style home that they renovated, too in Bloomfield Hills MI
    Cathy M~´s last blog post ..My First Giveaway

  6. Katrina says:

    I really like your home journey story about buying a place and then know its not quite right and finding the perfect home foryuor and your hubby that you transformed into a PRETTY home – with a FAB kitchen and family room etc etc…..

    Do you think you two will own your current home for a while?
    Katrina´s last blog post ..Getting My Knit On

  7. What a great story! It’s probably nice in a way that you ended up in a house that you were able to make completely your own…after a WHOLE lotta work. And I have to say, I’d be in trouble if I were a realtor. I’d be wanting a new house every month!…well not really, but kind of :).

    Thanks so much for linking up to my party!
    AnNicole@OurSuburbanCottage´s last blog post ..How I Met My House Party!!!

  8. Petie says:

    What a great Christmas present! I enjoyed looking at all your home transformations. Great job! I think you’re right about “a home is never really finished”, but what fun it is to decorate and re-decorate :)
    Petie´s last blog post ..How I Met My House

  9. I love your fireplace. That mantle is simple yet gorgeous. You guys have done a fabulous job!
    Sarah Marie aka Miss Mud´s last blog post ..Mississippi Mud Give-Away

  10. What a great story Liz, I loved reading this ! I’m amazed how much you are able to accomplish – so inspired !

    Kate
    Kate at Centsational Girl´s last blog post ..Living Room Inspiration: I Need You

  11. pam says:

    i viewed the photo gallery of your remodel. gorgeous! i love what you’ve done with the place. and i would love to have a ranch. that’s one of our requirements for our dream home. no more stairs! pam

  12. christy says:

    Loved this post, especially the photos! What a fun bought-your-first-single-family-home house story! ha!
    christy´s last blog post ..The bounce pit