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We’ve Moved!!

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Moved? What?! That’s big news! Yes, it sure is big news! Less than 50 days ago we found the house of our dreams and we haven’t looked back! Here’s the story…sorry it’s kind of long, this is mainly for us to remember how good God has been to us during this process.

In June and July we started dreaming about moving because after having Ellie in our lives we realized we really wanted to be in a bigger house, with more storage, more rooms and a bigger yard. Since everything is on-line these days, we started looking at Realtor.com for any houses for sale that piqued our interest. After being in this house for a while and having a baby there, I had a list of things I wanted in a new house. We could look at houses on-line and easily cross them off the list because of “this” or “that”. We didn’t even have our house for sale – which meant we couldn’t ask a realtor to show us homes… so we only saw open houses on the weekends. We also looked at a few model homes in the area, including receiving a price list of options for the models we liked… but the next day I’d forget about what we’d looked at – meaning it just wasn’t the right fit. Looking for a house wasn’t a high priority – it was just us dreaming…. of “someday”.

On July 10th, we drove up to a model home in Littleton. It was pouring rain and we sat in the car trying to decide if it was worth dragging Ellie out into the rain to see this model home. At this point, I think I was defeated with the thought of us being able to build a new home. Despite the rain, we ran inside. We walked through the model home with Peggy, the sales associate, and discussed what kinds of upgrades would be appropriate for us. We left after about an hour with a price in hand of what THAT house would cost us… with all the upgrades we’d discussed. When we got home we just went about our evening like we normally do – I don’t think we even discussed the house. It was just another piece of paper with options and prices.

The next day, a Monday, I couldn’t forget about that house! We told our parents about the house… we brought them to see the model… we talked with friends and family who have built houses… we went over and over the list of options… we went to the model every day… we talked to a realtor about putting our house up for sale… we visited the Home Gallery to see what the standard features and upgrades looked like. We went by the lots several times to sit and pray that we’d do what God wanted us to do. We didn’t want to make a poor choice! The swirl of everything was so exciting. Our parents were excited for us, they were cheering us on. Everything seemed to be perfect. On Friday, less than a week from seeing the model for the first time, we went back and signed a contract with Peggy to buy our house! A house that wouldn’t be complete for 7-9 months.

Although it would be a while before our house was built, we still had to sell our house and needed to get it on the market sooner than later. We spent that weekend prepping our house to be put up for sale and to be shown. On Monday our realtor came over to snap some pictures and finish the paper work to list our house. By Monday night our house was listed in MLS. We had a few showings on Tuesday, then Wednesday, Thursday and Friday! We had an offer come in and we sent back a counter. The couple was trying to decide what to do.

On Saturday we had three showings, right in a row from 9am to noon. We drove up to Boulder to spend the morning just hanging out somewhere else. Our realtor let us know that one of the couples that had seen the house that morning wanted to come back for a second showing and wanted to put in an offer. Our realtor let them know we already had a contract on the table. When we got home, we went into the house (assuming the second showing had already finished) and their realtor was in the kitchen! Embarrassed, we apologized and told her we’d leave – she said “oh, no, stay and meet the buyers”. So we met the couple that wanted to put in an offer. They were probably just a little younger than us, with no kids. They told us they just LOVED our house. After a bit of small talk, they left.

Within 5 minutes of them leaving we had an offer! A great offer! (If you have not bought and/or sold a house lately, it’s an amazingly streamlined system these days – totally electronic, where you sign offers and counter offers on web pages and realtors have almost no paperwork except flyers to print and final contracts to sign in person!) The offer was so amazing that Zach and I both cried when we saw it – it was so amazing what the Lord was doing in our lives. Eight days after signing a contract to buy a house, we had signed a contract to sell our house!

The contract we signed to accept the offer stated that we would close in 30 days. Everything in those 30 days went so smoothly. We found an apartment we could reserve for the proper time, we packed up the house, all the paperwork/loan info for the buyers came through looking great. There was nothing that was going to cause problems or a delay in our closing. Although everything looked perfect, we still were very cautious in thinking that our closing would happen on the 24th of August as planned.

As we packed up the house, Ellie’s sleep patterns started to get a little worse. Just before we started packing, she was waking only twice a night… then everything around her started changing (although I kept her room completely intact until the day before we moved) and her sleep regressed – to 4 or 5 wakings per night. Yuck. She was very happy though during the day, enjoying more and more space in the house because more and more items were getting packed up and moved out.

On the morning of the 24th (a Wednesday) we rented a U-haul truck and started the final preparations to move. We didn’t load the truck until we heard from our realtor that buyers signed the closing papers. We got a call around 9:30am, it was official! Our folks helped us move – we didn’t ask other friends or family for help because it was a Wednesday… (when we move into our new house, we’ll ensure our moving day is on a weekend and we’ll ask for lots of help!)

By Wednesday night all of our belongings were either in storage or in our two-bedroom apartment. I made sure Ellie’s room was all set up – to include her name on the wall and little paisley decals stuck on the walls. Her room looked like her old room (as much as I could make it without spending hours and hours stenciling the wall) within about an hour! Ellie has had a hard time sleeping the last few nights, but I think she’s finally getting used to it! She’s been as happy as can be during the day – all of her toys are here and she is enjoying exploring around here.

On Thursday evening we went back over to our house to do one last cleaning and mow the lawn. When we left, we called the buyers’ realtor to let them know we were out of the house and they were free to move in. We had 72 hours to get out… we were our in less than 36!

So here we are, in our apartment, for 8 months. It was a bittersweet move. It would have been more exciting if we were leaving our old house to move directly into our new house. The temporary living conditions of an apartment made moving out of our old house really hard. We spent so much time making that home exactly how we wanted it. Here are some of the things we’ll miss:

  • Our awesome 7-shower head master shower

  • Our big single-bowl kitchen sink (seriously, you wouldn’t know how wonderful it is until you used it for years and then moved to a shallow double-bowl sink)

  • Our custom-built cabinets in the family room that housed all of our electronics, the TV and all of Ellie’s toys – neatly tucked away

  • Ellie’s nursery – the hours I spent stenciling the walls and decorating while I was pregnant… and the countless hours her and I had spent in that room – day and night… such precious moments!

  • Every wall we painted (not great memories of painting, we really don’t like painting, but just the fact that we painted every wall)

  • The finished basement – our first home improvement project we worked on together

  • The shower we just added in the basement – our last home improvement project in that house.

There are plenty more things that we did to that house – all things we will miss… it was so sad to leave our house on Thursday night. We’ve grown together as a couple in that house, we had our first baby in that house, it was our first house!

With all of those things we left in our old house we are looking forward to all the great things in our new house:

  • A huge yard

  • Four bedrooms upstairs

  • An actual laundry room upstairs

  • A mud room near the kitchen and garage

  • A three-car garage

  • A awesome, open floor plan – kitchen to nook to great room

  • Great kitchen cabinets and a really neat island

  • A large pantry

  • A large linen closet

  • One color painted throughout the house (our old house had so many different colors on the walls, we just followed suit like the previous homeowners had done. Our new house will have “Nomadic Desert” on the walls, every wall.)

  • A study on the main floor

  • A dining room and a nook

  • A covered back patio facing East so the afternoons will be nice and shaded in the backyard

  • A finished basement (we don’t want to finish another basement)

  • and many, many more…

We didn’t break the bank with all the upgrades… we’re getting standard fixtures, carpet, linoleum flooring and formica countertops. We need something to upgrade over time!! It was fun picking things like our house color, the tile in the bathtub/shower surrounds, the cabinets, etc.

What an exciting stage in our lives! The next 8 months with be so exciting… going by our lot at least once a week to see the progress on our house. We’ll keep going to the model every few weeks just to dream some more about how we’ll decorate, etc. Peggy will get to see Ellie grow up in the next 8 months – she’s always at the model.

I can’t wait for moving in and then raising our family in a house that we got to pick! Watching our kid(s) grow up in this house, playing in the yard, hanging out with the neighbor kids… a long, long future we have in this new house!!

If you want our new addresses, send me an e-mail and I’ll give you both our current apartment address and our new home (in April/May 2012) address.