I'm sitting here not quite sure how to begin this blog post.
You see, I adore our home. For a multitude of reasons, the home I share with Dean and our kids is incredibly important to me.
I've tried really hard to practice an attitude of gratitude for whatever house or apartment we've lived in over the last twenty years. Whether big or small, pretty or not. I've always made the most of each space, which often means I become quite attached to it …and have a hard time being convinced when it's time to move on.
So when we started to realize that this home – this beautiful home of ours – was growing too small for us, it was hard for me to fully accept. Like I was being ungrateful for what we had already been blessed with.
Dean and I actually started to casually look at other houses about a year ago. Mainly we were looking at new builds and model homes. We were looking for one more bedroom, one more bathroom and a more open concept living space in which we could more easily host our family and friends. Hospitality is very important to us as well.
After a little while though we decided we'd stay put and just work on making this house function better for us. The cost of moving to a larger home was just too much for our budget. So we swapped the living and dining rooms here, added a bedroom in the basement for our son and started planning a large kitchen renovation, with hopes of adding another bathroom at some point too.
But then a funny thing happened this year. Our kids just kept growing. And we found ourselves with two teenagers and another child who will soon be a teen. They began asking for their friends to come over more often. Our extended family kept growing too (in size and in numbers). Waiting in line to use the only bathroom with nine to eleven people in the house on holidays got a little tougher. Sleeping arrangements were a little harder to figure out.
At the same time the housing market sort of boomed even more in Toronto and the surrounding suburbs in which we live. Which meant the value of our house grew quite a bit. And moving to a larger house – especially if we moved a tiny bit further out of the city – suddenly became an actual possibility.
So we started to look again in earnest.
At first we were seriously looking at one particular large century home with outbuildings and a larger property. But there was a LOT of work that still needed to be done. We offered what we considered to be a fair price (given the work that needed to be done and that it needed rezoning to do what we wanted with it), but the owners turned it down. So we moved on. (That property was still for sale the last time I looked – for just about what we originally offered.) That house made me think that I wanted a century home because of all the character, so we looked at several. I didn't love them. Especially the basements. Yuck! We also thought we wanted a country lot. But quickly realized we're happiest in the suburbs. Then I fell in love with a century home that had been moved onto a brand new foundation and basement in a newer residential neighborhood. We almost put an offer on it, but at the last minute I panicked because it would have been a tremendous stretch on our finances. I cried a lot. In the end it sold for even higher. Which made me stop crying because I knew it wasn't the one for us. God has a funny way of letting us know when things are right for us or not.
That house caused us to pivot in our search though.
We started looking at new builds like we had last fall. We visited models and oohed and ahhed at the possibilities and the potential. We narrowed down and really honed in on what we wanted and were looking for in a new house. I had a very specific kitchen and living space idea in my head. We had a model and a lot all picked out. We were working on finishing up a few projects here so we could list our house for sale, in order to sell it and have the down payment we'd need for the new build. I was dreading living in an apartment while the new house was built. But I was happy we would avoid a bidding war and lose out on house after house like so many of our friends had recently.
Aren't those the best two little words in a story?
Even while we were looking at the new build and dreaming about the new neighborhood, I didn't feel entirely settled in that decision. So I kept looking at MLS for older homes.
And then we found it.
It wasn't even officially out there yet. It was listed, but hadn't been shared to MLS yet. I found it on some random realty site and asked our own realtor (who is a saint by the way, for putting up with me!) about it. She dug around and found it and sent over the details.
It was the house.
The house with a layout and floor plan almost identical to the one we were going to have built. The house with four bedrooms, four bathrooms (um, what?!), and the open concept main floor I wanted so very much. There was also a main floor laundry room, a fully finished basement, a guest room in the basement, a larger garage than our current garage, a fully fenced yard. AND AN IN-GROUND POOL.
I didn't know how badly I wanted an in-ground pool until I saw this house. I mean I knew I wanted one, but I had no idea how much.
This house was exactly what we were looking for, but even more. And for less than the new build would have cost us. Like a lot less. Like $100,000 less.
So we bought it. Well you know, the bank bought it. And in a little less than two months we will move into it and make it our own.
I can only give you a sneak peek because I only have what realtor photos were posted online. I can't wait to show you more soon though! Wanna see?
Dean and I cannot wait to paint and decorate and DIY a few little projects to make this new home our own!
A lovely family bought our house and I pray they will love it as much as we did. And that our neighbors will love on them and welcome them with open arms.
We didn't expect to be in a new house when we host Christmas this year. We didn't expect to have so many of our growing (in size, not numbers) family's needs answered. We really didn't expect to be blessed by so many extras that we thought were so far off or not even options.
But good things happen when you least expect them.
And when you have a good good Father God who knows the desires of your heart even better than you do.