Sunday, March 29, 2015
The Dream: 4+ Bedrooms, 2+ Bathrooms and Room To Breathe
When we had been married for about seven months, our nephew was born. We knew immediately that we needed one of those cuddly little creatures for ourselves. That's when the house search started. We knew we wanted to be settled into a house first and then a baby second...but we also knew we didn't want to wait very long for any of it either. We didn't have to either! Things fell into place easily, just as we planned it in our wishes and dreams.
We bought our first home in late May. It was a 3 bedroom/1 bathroom house with a partially finished basement and an attached 2.5 car garage. There were a few things we wanted to do before moving in and our apartment lease was paid through the end of June. I spent the first days of my summer vacation stripping wallpaper (ducks? really?), painting walls, and cleaning carpets. We moved into the house in mid-June and it was perfect for us. We found out we were pregnant in August. Everything was just right.
We brought our fourth child home from the hospital in 2011, ten years after we were married and nine years after we bought our house. How things had changed in those nine years! We had accumulated a considerable amount of furniture and other house clutter and, most importantly, four children and everything that comes along with them. Our perfect little house was completely bursting at the seems. We now had six people in a three bedroom home, six people using one bathroom, and six people trying to cram their belongings into every nook and cranny available.
Now, in 2015, we know if we don't get out of here we will lose our minds. We are creeping closer to having teenagers each day. We may have made it through sharing one bathroom during the potty training phase (no small feat, let me tell you) but we have come to realize that there is no way we will live through three teenaged girls sharing one bathroom. And so, the search begins again.
We have begun to go through cupboards and closets and basement spaces and started to pack the things we seldom use. We have started to look at our house through the eyes of a home buyer. I've started thinking about how I can pare down the closets and cupboards to make them seem more spacious than the over-crammed spaces they are now. I've started looking at our decorations as something to enhance the space, not to be able to look at pictures and items with sentimental value. We have started to pack away some of the toys that go months without being played with but aren't ready to be parted with...yet. My goal is to make our house look more like a warm, inviting home than the Toys R Us show floor. It's not going to be easy.
I recently reconnected with a childhood friend on Facebook. He was a neighborhood friend, we attended school together from preschool through college and remained friends the whole while but I haven't seen him since graduation day. When he popped up in my "people you may know" section of the screen one day, of course, I clicked on his name and did a little stalking. Guess what? As luck would have it, he's a realtor! I contacted him right away and we are planning to sit down together soon to take a look at our current house and begin to think about what we are looking for in a new house. Today I took some time to make a list of questions I have for him and a list of things our family is looking for in our next house. Boy, oh boy, it's quite a list!
First, we are terrified of having two mortgage payments, so many of my questions revolve around that line of thinking. I also want to know what things we should do to our house to best prepare it for selling and getting the most out of it. And our list of desires? It's about a mile long. Will we find the perfect home that has everything on the list? Who knows. What I do know is that we will find a house that works better for our family as it is now, not the family we were ten years ago, and we will make it our home; a home that will work well for the teenagers who we know will arrive in the blink of an eye. That is what will make it perfect.