It was one that we've been looking at online for months now. We loved the interior, liked the exterior, but hated the location. Open houses came and went, and we didn't go. We were afraid to fall in love with the house, but be miserable with the yard and street. So we didn't go.
A couple weeks ago I was praying about the house search, praying things like "Oh God, give me a house with no neighbors....with 4 bedrooms....and a nice office area..." etc. etc. etc. And God, he has a funny sense of humor. I heard him answer "Umm...do you really want to be praying like I'm a genie in a lamp?"
Yeah, not really, God.
So I changed up my prayer, praying that God would show us a house where HE wanted us to be, a place where we can have a welcoming home for school kids and neighbors, a place of peace in the neighborhood.
And then the house with the less than desirable location popped into my head.
And I said no to God.
Fast forward to that Saturday, a few days after God showed me that house and had been showing me that house all week long. Pete comes home from teacher meetings where a coworker of his (and dear friend of the family) and he had been talking about the house hunting process. And she mentioned we should go look at this house, so kids could come over after school. It was basically everything I had been praying and just confirming that we should go look at that house.
We debated about scheduling something, but were still hesitant.
On Sunday, we mentioned it to a couple of people, and they were also confirming that we should go look at it. But we were still hesitant.
We go home, I get online, and boom. The house dropped in price by $7,000. Um, okay, I guess we need to go look at the house! So I texted our realtor trying to set something up for Friday afternoon, and on Monday she let me know that we had an appointment for Friday at 2.
All week I felt off. I was really excited about going to look at the house, but very apprehensive as well. What if we loved the house but the road was too busy? What if it was quiet in the house, but really noisy outside? What if everything was absolutely wonderful and we decided we loved it? Our house isn't finished getting ready yet! That would be so stressful! The week was a whirlwind of emotions, and I felt like I needed a Bible verse to cling to in order to help me get through the rest of the week and then the house visit. I chose this one:
It really helped me focus on what is really important for the house (a peaceful place for my family and friends, a secure structure, and a place of quiet and rest), and then I knew I'd be able to let God handle the rest.
Finally Friday came. The kids had a half day, so Pete took a half day as well. Everyone came home, we packed the kids up, and then drove them to Pete's parent's for their monthly sleep over. And then, it was house time.
When we arrived, our realtor, Deb, and the seller's realtor, Alan, were both there already. Pete and I checked out the back yard quick, and the realtors came out to meet us. We got a tour of the house, and the house was bigger in areas than we originally thought they were. For an older house, there was a lot more storage than we expected, as well as updates. We loved the hardwood floors throughout the house, and it was much quieter inside than we expected.
|Recessed lighting! We loved it!|
We went out and fully toured the backyard as well, which is below the house and front yard. It felt really private and wasn't as noisy as we expected, either. The house backs up to a wooded area, and apparently who owns the land there has trails cut through for people to walk or ride four wheelers through, which was a really nice addition.
|Looking from backyard up to house and garage|
|Fire pit area with another walk down spot|
We spent about 40 minutes at the house, which was a lot longer than I had anticipated us being there. We knew we'd have a lot to discuss, so when we left, we got right to it.
- Hardwood/laminate/tile floors throughout. No carpeting to rip up or deal with allergens because of it! Woo hoo!
- Private and quiet back yard. It was so much bigger and quieter than we had imagined. There was room for the kid's swing set, a garden, fire pit, and pool with deck!
- A lot of storage space. Even though we've downsized a lot, we have a lot of stuff. I think all of our things would have fit in the house!
|Loved this built in at the bottom of the stairs!|
|One of the bedroom closets|
- Four bedrooms. The boys really want to have their own separate rooms, so this is something we are looking for. They do know and understand it may not happen, but we're hopeful we can make it work for them to not have to share.
|One of the upstairs bedrooms|
- Two full bathrooms. We've really noticed lately how much we really need to have two showers! It works out really well to have this option.
- Big kitchen with lots of counters and cupboards. We love to cook and bake, and this would have had just as many (if not more) cupboards as our current kitchen! These pictures don't show the wall of cupboards and counters with the sink, stove, and dish washer, but they're there!
- Garage! It was only a one car detached garage, but it's better than nothing. There was also room to make it a two car garage down the road if we wanted.
- Quiet. It was surprisingly quiet in the house. We hardly heard the traffic, even when we were really listening for it. Now, we didn't open the windows at all, which would have made it louder, but we deal with tractor trailers and tractors on our road now, so we're used to some big noise already.
- Easy commute for Pete/pick up for kids. The house is across the street from the school, part of the reason why we were hesitant about the location. But while we were there, we were loving the location!
- Bay windows. I have always loved bay windows, and it had TWO of them!!!!
- Bonus room. Off of the living room was a bonus room through a set of beautiful french doors. It also had a huge closet in there. Having a space for the kids to hang out with friends, use their foosball table, and just have a place to play is really important to us.
- The layout. We knew going into the house that three of the bedrooms were upstairs, the master bedroom was downstairs, and both bathrooms were downstairs. We thought that it wouldn't be a big issue, but at least one of our kids is prone to stomach bugs. They'd have to go down the stairs and either through the whole living room or through the living room, kitchen and laundry room to get to a bathroom. The master bedroom would also have to go down the hall and through the living room to use a bathroom. It's not a complete deal breaker, but a frustrating aspect.
|Kitchen looking into washroom.|
Bathroom is across from closet by back door.
- One bedroom didn't have a closet. Again, not a deal breaker. We could definitely get a wardrobe for hanging clothes, but having a bed, dresser and wardrobe in the room with baseboard heat, it doesn't leave a lot of space for anything else and layout options are limited. An option would be to use the bonus room as a bedroom as it had a closet and then use the upstairs bedroom as the bonus room. But, we want to be able to check on the kids as needed when they're playing, and having it be out of the way isn't ideal (but workable).
- It might be cramped. We were surprised that even though the rooms felt bigger than we imagined, how cramped we might be. The living room is smaller than what we have now, and the kitchen/dining room is smaller as well. We could see us feeling claustrophobic there as the kids grew up and had friends over, and that would be a major issue.
- Office space. One thing we definitely need is an office space for me. In order for me to get it in this house, the boys would have to share a room. However, the upstairs bedrooms weren't really big enough for them to share. I could have the bonus room, but then the kids wouldn't have the hang out space. There was a partial basement, but it wasn't big enough for office/studio space plus storage space. The basement was also damp (but this has been a very very wet spring), and although a dehumidifier would help greatly, I don't know if I'd be willing to risk having my canvases and products be down there.
- Resale. Now, we're not planning on moving again ever (haha!), but when we do, we want to be able to sell as quickly and easily as possible. This house has already been on the market for six months. A lot of people probably refuse to look at it for the same reasons we wouldn't (busy road, across from school), and that's something just floating around in our heads. It's not a deal breaker by any means, but just something we thought about.
It was such a weird experience. We went in expecting to love the house and hate the yard and location, but came away loving the yard and location but not liking the house. One of the things we went in expecting was for God to either say that yes, this is the house for us, or no, this isn't the house, but be willing to look at houses even if you are unsure about the yard/location. And we really feel like maybe having houses close to us may not be as horrible as we're imagining, or being on a busy road might not be the worst thing ever. We learned that we really need to keep an open mind, something I thought we had learned when buying this house...but I guess we didn't.
At this point, we're saying no to this house. We're going to keep working like crazy on this house to get it ready, and keep looking. We really want to be in the school district, but maybe we need to reconsider looking on the edge of the district. Who knows! Either way, we will continue to keep you all updated!