So...We Bought a House!

Thank you SO MUCH for all the encouragement when we shared our big news last week on Instagram! I thought I'd give you the full story today. And no, this is not an April Fool's joke-- but happy April! Ha!

Our house hunting journey started in January when we serendipitously ran into a friend's realtor at their house. We had been contemplating whether to rent a larger place than what we have now or to buy a house. I was VERY hesitant about purchasing a house because the thought of owning seemed so permanent to me and like I've mentioned before, we don't know if we'll be in Michigan forever. I really can't imagine having kids away from my mom and dad. My husband is on board with moving to California one day, but currently he loves his job and is getting some really great years under his belt here that would look amazing on a resume if ever trying to apply to a tech firm in California.

Ultimately, we're trying to leave our hands open to what God has for our family! It's a hard thing, though, not without fear sometimes. All that to say, the realtor we ran into suggested just making a meeting with him where we could talk about the pros and cons to owning vs. renting. Perfect, a no pressure meeting! I was on board. That meeting went so well. We quickly learned our realtor was kind, knowledgable, and wanted to HELP us, not just sell to us. Leaving that meeting I felt complete peace that we could move forward looking for a house to buy, but if a rental property came up that seemed like a better fit, we'd do that. 

We began our search by setting up a portal with our realtor that would send us houses that fit into our criteria. 

So, what WAS our criteria?! Here was our wishlist:

- Fenced in yard or able to be fenced in for our dog
- Fireplace & general "character" (I'll let you guess who put this on the wishlist!) 
- 3 bedrooms
- 1.5 baths at least
- Finished basement or one that could be finished to add square footage to the house
- Garage (I really wanted an attached garage)
- A couple projects we could do to put some love in the house + that would be a good investment when we go to sell
Knowing this house won't be our "forever house" (that term always makes me laugh because how are you supposed to know if a house is really forever or not?!), we weren't looking for anything TOO large, but did want more space than our 1 bedroom apartment offers. 

Our First Showings
A couple weekends after we started the process and saw some houses we liked online, we went with our realtor to look at 7 homes. None of them felt right, but it was such a good experience to see neighborhoods and features of homes in person. We then zoned in on one specific neighborhood we both loved!

The next week I saw a house pop up online that I loved from the pictures. I called our realtor and he met us for a tour that day. We walked through the house and I could totally picture ourselves there!! We made an offer than night (full asking) and waited for a couple hours to get the news. They had gotten multiple offers and ultimately decided on a higher offer than ours. It was such a let down. I loved this house! It had most things on our wishlist and I truly felt like it could be our house. 
I didn't realize how emotional this process would be! After the initial disappointment, we rebounded and continued our search. This market is crazy right now and only getting crazier, as snow melts and more people list and shop for houses. We wanted to stay on top of it before our lease on our apartment is up in mid-May. 

Our Second Offer
A couple days after I left for California on the trip to Palm Springs with my mom, another house came up on our portal that we loved. This one was completely done and refinished to look like its charming original self. It had glass door knobs (I never knew I needed these so bad...ha!), pretty marble tile, a redone kitchen, refinished hardwood floors. I really loved it from what I could see online, but the only drawback was it didn't have a finished basement and it would have been tough to finish it ourselves since the ceilings were low. My husband went to see it twice and facetimed me in. 
After weighing it out, we put in an offer over asking price, but were again beat out by another offer who offered over $30k over asking. It was a bit disappointing, but not as big of a blow as the first one. 

Third Time's the Charm
The next day, 3 more houses came up on the market that we really liked. We decided to ask our realtor if he could show my husband the houses, since I was still away in CA. When our realtor met McCann that day he said "I really feel like we're going to find your house today!" McCann said he also had a good feeling that day. Trying not to get too excited, they went through the first house which was a hard no, then drove to the second house and really liked it. They Facetimed me in so I could see the features and I agreed I liked it a lot! They went to the third house and all they could think about was how great the second house was for us. 

Both my husband and our realtor let me know they thought this would be a wonderful house for us-- it checked most all of our boxes! As I was praying about it (I had a lot of time to pray as this is when I got really sick in California), I felt peace come over me. I showed my mom and dad the house and they both really liked it. After chatting with my husband a couple more times that day, we put in an offer. We knew there was at least one other offer, so I was nervous, but hopeful because I felt we went in with a strong offer and terms. 

The next night while I was out to dinner with my parents, my husband called me and said our realtor wanted to conference call in to let us know about the offer. He quickly let us know our offer had been accepted! It was so fun to celebrate with my parents, though I do wish I had been with my husband, too! It's funny, because my mom said casually "I think you're going to get this one" earlier in the day and she has pretty incredible discernment. Crazy how that happens, since she didn't say that about either of the other two houses.

Yep, We Bought A House I'd Never Seen in Person
You read that story right, friends! I still can't believe this, especially given my line of work, but I never even saw our house before putting an offer in on it! This is by far the most trusting thing I've ever done. But the crazy thing is, I wasn't even nervous about it! I fully trusted my husband and realtor that this was a good house for us. With the other two offers I was really nervous while waiting to hear, and this was different. I felt totally at peace that whatever happened was where God wanted us. I wouldn't say I "knew" we'd get this house, I just felt no anxiety over it. Maybe I was just learning to trust God and my husband even more.

So...What Did I Really Think?
The day after I got back from Michigan was the inspection of the house, which was also the first time I'd seen the house! Thankfully, I loved so many things about it! Of course there are some things you really can't get the full effect on over Facetime or photos, so I was surprised to see a few features I didn't love that are all fixable ;) 

Our new house is a ranch style home built in the 60's and it really does have a lot of charm! I got my fireplace and hardwood floors (one of my favorite things about the house is how well the hardwood floors are refinished...they're truly beautiful and I'm so excited about them!) The house has a couple sweet builtins that I love-- one in the dining room and one in the hallway. It's a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bath with a large basement that is halfway there to being finished. The previous owner did some drywall, painting, and installed a bathroom, but we'll need to frame in a laundry room (right now the washer / dryer are sitting out in the open in the basement), carpet the side of the basement we'll use for a TV / rec room, and hopefully eventually put in a counter, sink, mini fridge area. There's tons of room for storage in the basement, though, so we are thankful for that! The basement is a project that we can do to hopefully increase the value of our home.

The other thing we'll need to do right away is install a fence in the backyard. This will do two things: keep Lincoln fenced in and give us some needed privacy! The neighborhood we're in has the garages detached, set behind the houses. So our backyard overlooks ours and our neighbors garages, which I'm not a fan of. I think adding a fence will also help the value of the home! 

There are other projects on the main level that we'll be doing, but I'll save those projects to share for another day (spoiler alert: taking down some open shelving in the kitchen, since it's currently ALL open, and adding some closed uppers). We will get the keys in two weeks and we won't move in until Mid-May when our apartment lease is up, so we'll have about 5 weeks to do what we want to the house! I'm really excited to share this new adventure with you as we become homeowners and get to renovate, design, and decorate our own little home! 

Thank you so much for all of your support and encouragement over the years, friends. From graduating college, to starting my business, then Bloom Workshops, moving across the country, getting engaged, then getting've been here through a lot of my life's biggest moments and I'm so grateful!! I'll be back soon with a full house tour...which might be the listing photos since we don't have possession yet.)

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  1. Such an exciting time for you both! I went through a similar home-buying experience in that I didn't see a house that we were purchasing either. Takes a lot of trust, but deep down, you know if it's right. Congratulations! Good luck packing and making this house into a home.

    1. Hi Nicole! Oh, I'm so glad you can relate. It does take a lot of trust! I couldn't believe I did it. But I'm so happy I did ;) My husband picked a good one!

  2. Ahhh congratulations! Buying your first house is such a huge deal. We did 2.5 years ago and I still remember all of the ins and outs of the shopping and buying process, making it our own, etc. We're still making it our own, actually -- but that's the best part! You're going to do such a beautiful job!

    1. Thank you so much, my friend! Yes!! I'm sure we will be doing things slowly over time...that's the best way to really make sure it feels like you :)


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