Y'all - we moved! This post is definitely delayed because we closed on our new house on November 9th. But, when you move two weeks before Thanksgiving with a 14-month-old, a blog post in February about said move is what happens!
The thing is, we weren't really trying to move. Last fall we started getting bids from contractors on doing some renovations to our old house (aka our Cresthill Cottage). This exercise led us to realize that if we found the right house, it could actually be cheaper to move to a new house that had some of the elements we were looking to add. But we weren't actually house hunting.
We found a house that we liked a lot. It was half a mile from our Cresthill Cottage. It was older, but had been flipped. The problem was that some of the renovations hadn't been fully completed. It was for sale by owner and we tried to go into the whole thing without a realtor to save money/get a better deal on the house. Well, that was a bust. I think the owner looked at our young family and made a lot of assumptions about our home buying experience. About a week in to trying to put an offer in on the house (literally, we were trying and they were not giving us straight answers), we decided to bring our good friend and realtor, Buster Leach, into the conversation. When we told the owner of the house this, they got upset and told us we'd have to pay more for the house (which would have been significantly over asking). We felt uneasy about the whole thing at that point, so we walked away from it all.
The only problem was that we had listed our house for sale and had a very interested buyer. So when we contacted Buster, we were kind of in a hurry to find something.
Sidenote: In early 2017, we put in an offer and were under contract on a house in a community of homes that are about 10 years old, but built to truly look like craftsman homes from the 1920s and 1930s. In fact, on these two blocks the homes across the street are from that era and have been renovated. The builder did a great job keeping the charm and character from that time period, but obviously they have the modern conveniences of newer homes. The contract on that first house ended up falling through for several reasons, but we hadn't been able to shake the desire to move into that cute little community. It truly had everything we were looking for: walkable streets, urban vibe, close to downtown, newer builds, lots of character, lots of young families, community park, in Birmingham city limits, really close to Brighten's school, our church, gym, and more. It was perfect!
When we realized we needed to jump into a house hunt last fall, we drove through the community we'd come to love so much. I'd recently seen a house one street over from the house we had the contract on that was for sale. I figured it had been snatched up, but it was at least worth a look. Sure enough, it had a sign in the yard that said, "Coming Back Soon!"
I did a little research and found out that the owner of the home was a commercial realtor. I was able to find his email address online and send him an email asking what the status of the home was. He explained that it had been under contract but the contract had fallen through and he was just really busy and hadn't had time to get it back on the market. I asked if he'd allow us to come see it. He said that we could, and I let him know that our realtor would be contacting him.
Later that week we went to view several houses, including the "coming back soon" house. There was no question that we'd fallen in love. We even loved it more than the house we'd had the contract on earlier in the year and another house on that block we'd looked at after the first contract fell through. We were sold. And as everyone who's bought a house knows, that's the time that the financial part comes into play.
As we began discussing how we could possibly pay for our dream home (by the way, the super interested buyer did not pan out), I asked Jason if he'd considered renting out our Cresthill Cottage and becoming landlords. We ran some numbers and did some research, prayed about it all, and realized that turning our first home into an income property would be a very smart financial decision that would literally be an investment in our future. Jason talked to the lender to confirm that we could do that, and before we knew it we had a contract on our dream home and began looking for tenants for our first home!
We moved into our new house in November. It has been a whirlwind and a lot of work, but we are so thankful for our new home. It fits our family so well, and we'll continue to grow into it as our family continues growing. It even has a great space for guests since all of our parents live out of town. It's a fun home to entertain in, and we got to host our first holiday here at Christmas. It's been a huge blessing to us and we pray it continues to serve our family and those we love well.
We've been slowly but surly putting the new house together. We gained a little over 1,000 square feet, so are just taking it one room at a time. I can't wait to share pictures of each room with you as we decorate and furnish everything!
But for now, here's a little sneak peak at our Cresthill Craftsman!