We Bought A House

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Last October, we bought our first home!

If it looks familiar, it’s because it’s the same house we’ve been living in for a couple of years. Only now, it’s actually ours.

The opportunity to buy this house came out of the clear blue sky, but we believe it was absolutely perfect timing. Here’s why:

For a long time, we’d been thinking about buying a house here in Seward. However, every time we were interested in a property, it sold. Immediately. (I’m not kidding—the housing market here is on fire. Several of the houses I’ve toured actually sell the same day they’re listed, and many houses get offers before they’re listed.) After this happened a few times, I was frustrated. Nothing seemed to be working out, so we decided we’d just stop looking. We became happy renting this house; we had a good relationship with the homeowners, and we were content to let it be.

This carried on for a few months, until our landlord emailed us one day and…surprise! He asked us if we were interested in purchasing this house.

I wasn’t excited. My first reactions were mixed, leaning toward no. I never imagined owning this house. I had dreams of a new adventure, a bigger home, one that we’d find and fall in love with and really get to make our own. To me, it wasn’t the “ending” I was expecting.

Aaron was excited. Shockingly, Aaron wanted to jump at the chance to buy the house. This really threw me for a loop, because he had been very disinterested in almost all of the other houses we looked at. It was quite a surprise—especially a surprise involving the largest amount of money we’ve ever committed to—and it was not something I thought he’d jump at the chance to do.

We were headed on a week-long Disney World vacation in a two weeks, which meant we’d have to deal with the attorney, inspector, appraiser, and all of the back and forth while we were away, which would delay the very fast timeline our landlord wanted.

So, we talked. We made pros and cons lists. We prayed about it and thought about it. And we decided that we would buy the house!

Since the house was never listed, we had a lot to learn. We worked with our landlord and his wife and their attorney for all of the contracts, which was a big learning curve. Several points along the way, we felt overwhelmed and like we didn’t know anything. From our perspective, an agent would have been very helpful, but we plodded through paperwork, did research, talked with my parents a lot, and (kind of) figured it out. I would not have been comfortable buying a house in this manner in any other circumstance. Our good relationship with and trust in our landlord was the only way we made it through without completely stressing out (although there was plenty of stress involved). I am so thankful for our relationship with them!

Finally, a little less than two months after we got the initial email, we went to the title office, signed a billion papers, and went back home—to our new house. It was strange, since we didn’t have to pack and move. A lot of people have said how nice and convenient it is, and while I agree, a small part of me wishes we could have the new experiences that come with moving in to a new home. But, we’re thankful that this worked out the way it’s supposed to, and we look forward to calling this house our home for a bit longer.

What’s next? 

Now that we get to do whatever we want to the house, here are some of the changes we’d like to make:

  • Build a new shed. This one is actually already done. We built a new shed on our first official day of homeownership.
  • Paint the front door. It’s finally white after nearly three years of being navy blue!
  • Paint the kitchen cabinets white. I have always said I wished the kitchen cabinetry matched the rest of the white trim in the house. Now, we get to make that happen! This is the thing I’m most excited about in this house, and what I think will really make it feel like it’s ours. I’m looking forward to painting this spring.
  • Put in new carpet in the boys’ room. Now that Shepherd and Wilder are sharing a room, it’s become even more important to replace the ugly blue carpet in their bedroom. I can’t wait!
  • Carpet the rest of the basement. It will be nice to have comfy, neutral colored carpet down there, especially during the winter months!
  • Replace light fixtures and installing recessed lights. The downstairs’ lighting situation is rough (to say the least), so we’ll probably go room by room and make it better.
  • Landscape the back yard. I’ve got all winter to plan what we’ll do to add a little more curb appeal, which will be fun.

Depending how long we are here and how much we want to put into the house, we have talked about renovating the downstairs bathroom. We’ll see!

Even though we were surprised by the opportunity, we’re thankful for this safe, comfortable habitat is now our home. We feel like God provided a definite answer to our situation in a way we never expected, and we’re thankful for our little Sunrise home.

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