Google home. Go on, do it. (But don't leave this page, just open a new tab...and come back soon, we've got catching up to do!)
Did you see the multitude of definitions, images, maps trying to direct you to it, advertisements promising to improve it, witty quotes about it?
Yep. Broad concept, little word.
And in the true juxtaposition only our world can offer, a home is one of the largest investments an individual or family ever makes.
396 days, that's how long Nick and I owned our first home. Long enough to try our hand at a little renovation action and brief enough to not get settled.
No, you didn't blink and miss a post. I have been horribly remiss in keeping Born Daily, well, daily. Ahem, okay, it's more like not even monthly... I can't even apologize well for the absence because I am not sure why I wasn't staying connected. I can assure you I was still cooking recipes you would have loved and the scale can confirm I've been eating... We had other cool content-worthy things occurring too... Let's call it an unintentional over-extended interruption in programming and move over the hump.
Enough of the side notes, to recap, one year ago Nick and I purchased a house. We didn't necessarily pick this house because it was the perfect option for us or because it was move-in ready (it really wasn't!). While it met our basic criteria, we purchased this house primarily for its potential, its resale ease, and, frankly, because it was available in our price range.
In the first days, weeks, and months, our home was a renovation/construction/DIY zone. (Nick has an aversion to "DIY" but that's a conversation for another time...) This house is a teenager in age and not at all a fixer upper of the Chip and Joanna Gaines realm. It was a nice house with modern amenities, up-to-date code, and a solid structure. It just wasn't fresh or our taste; it needed serious updating and refreshing.
Here's the run down of what the house was treated to:
Our families were tremendously helpful in our initial move and updating process and we couldn't have done it without their willingness and knowledge. I thanked the heavens above daily for allowing my husband the ability to do projects on a whim and follow-through with them with no outside expertise.
Okay, now the part you all really want to see: the BEFORE and AFTER pics. I can tell you when I look at these pictures I don't see the dramatic transformation that it seemed like it was as we were completing the work. The house has a different feel now largely because we we are in a different stage in our lives than the previous owners. (The before pictures are from the Zillow For Sale By Owner listing, the afters are our listing pictures taken by me this May.)
Not too shabby, right? We got it just how we mostly wanted it. Then, we promptly put a For Sale sign in the front lawn. Sure, we bought it for the resale opportunity but didn't really plan to take advantage of the location and market quite so soon.
But, the universe works in mysterious ways. Nick was doing well professionally in his main role as a school psych with the local special education cooperative and with his rental maintenance man work by choice. So when the opportunity for him to work in his profession back to where we grew up presented itself, we, surprisingly, and with only about a millisecond of hesitation, jumped on it. Within 48 hours we went from "fine where we were" to inserting a bit of unbelieveable-ness into our lives. As fate would have it, I got my real estate license in late 2015 and was building my business in early 2016 so I was able to sell our house. And once it was on the market, less than 48 hours later we had two full-price offers. And 30 days later, it's a done deal. We're are no longer homeowners. I guess 48 hours is all we need for major life events.
It's been a good house. Within it's walls we've had a proposal (for Nick's sister and our favorite Brazilian), my 30th birthday party, our 2nd anniversary, Garth's 2nd birthday and Shaggy's 10th, the beginning of a new side career, and more. Homes are built with love and even in our single year with this house, we've made built some memories.
Recently, we loaded up our life in a 26' U-haul truck and over the course of three days, seven trips and 1,022 miles, we found our way back to the openness and comfort of a more rural life. Yes, for those who know the homeland, we're now home.
I haven't the foggiest what I'll be doing in a full-time capacity yet though I have had a few interviews and have some applications out, but I'll still be doing real estate and maybe trying to ramp up this blog a bit. I have a few other ideas rattling around in my brain too, but we'll see if I'm brave enough (errr, crazy enough) to pursue them. We are now on the hunt for a solid shack/dump that can be loved back to a happy home that can then be a rental property when we're ready to build. At least that's the plan anyway...
We are glad to have had just shy of three years of new experiences, new connections and friends, and lots of personal and professional growth away from home. We're excited to be back near our families and friends, we're happy to be within minutes of special events and milestones, and, we're grateful not to make that dull, annoying trek to and from on the weekends.
We are thankful for the basement at my in-laws they have graciously allowed us to crash in, with pups in tow, until we find our fixer-upper. We are thankful for my parents who have listened to all the qualms this process has brought and have opened their home to us too. We are appreciative for our friends, new and old, who have accepted this transition with support and smiles.
I guess the world is right, there is no place like home.
This is the part where I need to give the shout out of all shout outs to my husband. I often say he is such a handy man. And, he is. But I need to clarify, he's got skills. Major, legit skills. Nick never ceases to amaze me with his aptitude of practical, applicable knowledge and his ability to innovate, rig, and create. He can fix anything and isn't afraid to use ingenuity and research to address projects. He isn't this way by accident though. It likely natural talent enhanced by a great teacher and loads of experience. Until his early 20s, Nick spent nearly every day working alongside with his Pa, Dave. I can unequivocally say this has infinitely impacted his life and his talents. His Pa helped him develop the greatest treasure one could ever want- the ability to use one's hands coupled with an equal work ethic. I am so grateful to the man I never truly met, but imagine I must see glimpses of daily in his grandson, my husband. This house couldn't have come as far as it did without Nick's patience and sweat. Thank you, lovebird! I can't wait to get started on the next one...
Until next time-