If you’ve been around for a while, you know from time to time, I love sharing little personal updates. But I’ve truly missed the “lifestyle” aspect of my blog and getting to share things beyond recipes even though I love being a food blogger.
I’ve been wanting to share this home buying update for a looong time now and haven’t for two reasons. One, we waited a very long time for this dream of ours to become a reality and two, I didn’t know where to begin!
My blogging bestie finally just told me to “just write about it, don’t overthink it.” Which, it turns out was the right answer, just harder for me to do than I thought (mostly the overthinking part).
A little back story, first…
When we moved to Arizona, we moved in with my parents in my great grandmother’s home. She hadn’t lived there in a few years so my parents were living there while they waited for their house to be built. We moved in with them in this small, outdated home and it’s a wonder we didn’t kill each other (five humans, five dogs, and a baby on the way).
Some bump photos at my great grandmother’s house while we lived there
We weren’t exactly sure where we wanted to live but we knew we wanted to buy a house as soon as possible. We had to wait for Steven to find a job but our original plan was to buy a house as soon as we possibly could, which we thought would be a month after Steven started working. Steven started a job in August of 2015 (you can see where this is going…). Well, we are still living with my parents November 2016. It has been an amazing blessing to be able to constantly have help with Greyson, save money for our future home (even though we had no idea when that house would become a reality), and to watch my parents spend this time with Greyson during his first year of life. Truly, this experience has been invaluable to us.
Rewind to January 2016. We finally got to the place where we felt we could re-open our home search after stopping it back in November of 2015. So we began searching with our realtor once again. The particular market we were looking in moves SO quickly here. So quickly that if you don’t see a home within the first 48 hours it’s on the market, it probably will have multiple offers on it once you see it. It was so difficult to watch multiple homes that we loved slip right through our fingers before we even had a chance to make an offer.
We finally found one that we loved. I found it the DAY it went on the market. It had a huge living room, granite counter tops in a decent size kitchen and a beautiful backyard with REAL GRASS. There are some things that are luxuries in Arizona, y’all.
I went to see the house by myself. I knew we didn’t have time to wait for Steven to see it. I made the offer without Steven even seeing the house. We wrote a letter to the home owners with our offer because we knew there was a good chance there could be multiple offers. We talked about how we knew God had a plan for us to live in THAT home and we could see our son growing up there, you know, pulling all the heart strings. They accepted our offer and we set a closing date!
Next came the stressful part of paperwork and finalizing our loan. First, the closing got pushed back a week. Finally, we had a closing date set for St. Patricks Day. The day before closing, our loan fell through. What was “probably” a for sure thing finally became a hard no.There was no amount of money that would fix it, we just could not be approved for the loan. The night before it fell through I looked at Steven and said, “If this all falls through, we really need to consider renovating my great grandmother’s house.”
So when it fell through, we screamed, we cried, and then we went back to the renovation topic. Our family had talked about it before. Her home, while it was seriously outdated, is in an amazing neighborhood where all of the homes are being renovated and sold for top dollar. The initial conversation was for us to all flip the house together, resell it and split the profits. But Steven and I began talking about renovating it to actually live in it and resell it down the road.
Three days after the house buying fell through, my great grandmother passed away. And it felt like every “no” until then finally made sense.
We began discussing getting the house from my grandparents to renovate it and live in it. It took a lot of conversations but my grandparents graciously agreed. Then came the process to figure out the renovations. The process was a bit complicated because we had to figure out how to finance the renovations and once we figured that out, we had to wait on the funding. We finally began renovations on September 15th.
When I say renovations, I’m not talking about a little kitchen renovation. I’m talking about a full blown home rebuild. We took the house completely down to the studs and the concrete subfloor. We are updating everything. It’s a ton of work. It’s a ton of money. But when we are done, we will practically have a brand new house. And the most important part, we will be the fourth and fifth generation to live in it.
My Dad at the house Christmas 1970
My great grandparents lived there from 1959 until they passed, my grandmother lived there for a handful of years as a teen and again as an adult, my dad lived there when he was in kindergarten and again as an adult, and Steven and I have both lived there for a few months. And we’ll be raising the fifth generation in our family there through Greyson and any future kids we may have.
We feel so strongly that there is a big plan for us being in the house. Even bigger than just how cool it is to have the house in the family still after 57 years. We know God is going to use this house and us for big things in our neighborhood and city and we are so thankful to be a part of it. He has blessed us SO much through this process.
I wanted to share this update to let you know what we’ve been up to. I plan on sharing more details about this renovation including what we’ve learned and of course the final results!