I have an exciting announcement to make! We are moving! Or we will be. Eventually. When our house is finished. Yes, we decided to jump on the crazy train and build a house. Ok, let me give you some backstory here. When my husband transitioned to working from home last August we quickly realized that our current house was no longer a good fit for us.
We bought this house together just before we got married eight years ago. Chris moved in that May and I joined him after our wedding in July. At just under 1600 square feet, three bedrooms, two baths, it was the perfect starter home for us. After we had Charlotte and I transitioned to staying home full time with her I went through a period of serious discontentment with our house. But the housing market was still terrible and it made no sense for us financially to move to a bigger house. In time (and through lots of prayer and God working on my heart) I grew to love this home and find deep contentment here.
There are still so many things I love about this house – spacious closets, nice flow, and a fantastic laundry/mudroom just to name a few. But Chris is currently working from our master bedroom, which is not a great situation, and the eat-in kitchen is just too small to accommodate all of us, especially now that all of our extended family is nearby (my parents are making long-term plans to stay here!) We would love to host more family get-togethers and have friends over, but it’s hard in our tight entertaining space.
When we started to casually look for houses (via Zillow and Trulia) we realized there was very little in our price range in the area where we wanted to stay. We could up our budget and get a bigger house than we needed, but that went against all of our minimalist/simplifying values and just felt like the wrong call. We knew there was a lot of construction going on in the area, including two neighborhoods that were semi-customizable. We could pick the floor-plan we wanted and choose from the builder approved finishes. Amazingly enough it was actually cheaper for us to go this route too, since most of the existing homes in the area were much larger than what we wanted.
We pulled the trigger and put a deposit down to build our favorite floor-plan on the lot we wanted. A week later we visited the builder’s design center to choose all our finishes, from exterior brick to flooring to granite to paint color. Then we sat back and waited. For two months. It felt like an eternity before we finally got the invite to our “pre-con meeting.” But finally we were able to sit down with our contractor and go over all the plans and make sure everything we’d chosen was correct. When I excitedly asked our builder “So when will we get to break ground?” his response was “About four weeks from today.” Womp womp. I’m sure he saw my disappointment because he assured me they would spend that time pulling all the permits and material orders so that once they were ready to start there wouldn’t be any more delays, but it still felt anti-climactic.
So we waited some more. Then FINALLY, right before we left for Disney World, we got word they would be breaking ground. I was more cautious with my enthusiasm this time, preparing myself for delays. And sure enough, the next week while we were in Florida they had terrible flooding. I was sure our building schedule was completely derailed. But to our relief they seemed unfazed by the crazy weather, and four weeks later here we are!
All this outside progress is thrilling, but of course the inside still looks like this.
So we have a ways to go. I keep hearing warnings from people that builders never finish on time, so I’m holding very loosely to our projected closing date and just hoping to be in the new house by the end of September. We shall see. In the meantime the housing market has really heated up here, and our realtor is convinced our current home will sell fast, so we are holding out on listing until we have a pretty firm completion date. It’s nerve-wracking, but I’m trying to let go and trust God that the timing will all turn out all right. Whew. We’ve never had to sell a home before, but you can bet I’ve been pinning “home staging tips” like crazy. 🙂 I hope to share some of our staged home once it’s ready to be listed. Stay tuned!
In the meantime we are trying to make the most of our summer and family time while staying patient and resisting the urge to buy new furniture. 😉
Have any of you ever built a custom or semi-custom house? Did it seem to take forever? Were you able to time the sale of your current home with your new house closing so you didn’t end up homeless? I’d love some encouraging stories!