Monday, September 19, 2016

Going Home: Part 1

This past weekend we moved into our new home... this home could quite possibly be our forever home.  If it's not our forever home it's our really really really really really long time home.  It's a perfect fit and we are already in love, but before I get into the details of the new house, I want to jot down the process that led us here.... Let's rewind to 2014.

In 2014 the idea of moving came on the horizon.  We had said our townhouse would be our "5 to 7 year house"  We were nearing 5 years at that point and when the time was right, we were prepared to buy again.  We had our fifth child that year and our townhouse was 3 bedrooms and 1,500 sq. ft. with a minimal back yard and zero grass.  When the time was right, we were optimistic to begin this process and widen our space.  We linked up with Jim's cousin Joel, as our realtor.  First up: finances. We looked at numbers and depressingly, we weren't ready.  We needed more money in savings and more paid down on our house.  So, we had to wait.  

2015 came and the numbers looked better and we began to casually look at houses when the right ones came up for sale.  Our criteria consisted of: 4 bedrooms, a yard, a place for Jim to play music, close to where we live now, and room to grow.  We looked at a few houses, but the time still wasn't right and the houses weren't good fits.  It's depressing to realize again and again "Not yet..." "It's not time...."  In Fall of 2015, we sat with Joel again and he said we should list our house May 1, 2016, whether we found a house for ourselves or not.  It was the best time of year to list and we would have money ready and would have a bit more time to pay down more on our current house.  That became the plan and we slowly worked on areas of our house.  

April of 2016 came and (AGAIN) I didn't feel ready.  I thought, "Would we ever be ready? Maybe we will live on our townhouse forever.  It won't ever be the right time.  The stars are going to have to align."  I was doubting our fiances. We unexpected had to replace a few appliances AND replace the van that same month.  With a sigh, I thought "Well, next year..."  Next year's tax return and bonus would bump us back up and we would be at a good point to buy a house.  Plus, not much was coming up in our price range, which was deflating.  

Just two weeks after buying our van, Joel texted us with a house in Alburtis.  We decided to look at  the house even though it didn't seem like the right time. We saw it and were entertaining the idea of this house: right location, next to a park, decent square footage and then, Jim put on the brakes. "It's not big enough. It won't work."  And he was right.  However, something good came out of that.  Joel told us to look at the numbers again.  With interest rates low and tax rates varying, we may be able to afford more than we thought.  He was right.  Our price range widened and the search opened up again, though I was reluctant to feel ready for buying and selling, but I started scouting Zillow and doing repairs to our house felt at peace with moving when the time was right.  I didn't know when the time would be right, but the thought of moving became much more concrete and almost tangible... it felt like it was only a matter of time.  Right then an email came through from Joel: "Interesting property" the subject line read...

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