Since today is the one year anniversary of living in our home, I wanted to share the story of how we got here, because let me tell ya...it was a doozy of a journey! I'll start by saying that we've wanted to live in this little town for 10 years. We moved to Columbus when our kids were tiny, and a few months later, ended up driving through the historic part of a little hamlet on our way to visit a new church. I'll never forget driving down my favorite street for the first time and asking our old college friend who was taking us to his church, "Where are we? What town is this?!" We were driving down a tree-lined road with beautiful, very old houses, while families leisurely walked sidewalks and kids were out riding bikes as if it was 1984! (Don't mind me...I tend to glorify my 80's childhood a bit.)
After moving to two different states in a 10 month time period, we had just bought our first home; a typical builder grade house that I came to discover are extremely common in this city. Having rented many apartments over the years, we were loving being homeowners, and we settled into life, staying with that same church we had visited, and watching our kids grow.
As life went on, because we attended church in that pretty little town, eventually made friends there, and started attending all the town events like parades and festivals. Since it was 12 minutes from where we lived, I did my grocery shopping there and when my mom would come for visits, more often than not, we'd end up eating lunch there or getting a cup of coffee while browsing the local shops. We considered it our adopted town and knew that sometime down the road, we'd probably sell our house and try to buy one there, but not yet.
Every few years, I'd ask Mark if it was time yet, and he'd always hold us off. Being less impulsive than myself, he likes to keep things safe and solid for our family, so a big decision like a move is not an easy one for him. Finally last spring, 10 years later, we decided that yes, it was time to try to sell and see what happens!
And so began the craziness! Fixing, cleaning, organizing, purging, and finally putting that long awaited For Sale sign in the yard. After 30 showings in 30 days, we finally had an offer! But because of how crazy the seller's market was last year, we couldn't find a place to live. We actually put offers on 4 different houses, and got beat out by someone on all of them. And let me tell you about that second house...
A local shop owner in town that I had become friendly with over the years let me know ahead of time that this particular house was going on the market. So I called the realtor right away, and got the very first appointment to see it. This house was located right in the heart of the historic village, so I was excited to get in there! From the minute we walked up onto that front porch and through the door, I was head over heels in love! There was a gorgeous staircase to the right...there was a window seat in the dining room...there were French doors...a huge pantry...did I mention the porch? Wait, there's even a partially finished basement for our kids and all the Legos? In a 93 year old house? Our realtor probably thought I was crazy because when I get excited, I can't hold back. We had wondered how a house in this location was in our price range, and we discovered it's because of the very small kitchen and the serious need for lots of updates. But I was walking through that place like a kid in a candy store. Mark knew too, this house was something special.
But the reality is, we knew we didn't have a chance at the house. The location was too good and the market was too crazy. We put in our best offer, and waited to hear, but didn't really get our hopes up TOO high. So when we found out they went with a different buyer, we sighed and moved on. We put offers on two more houses, both of them typical development houses, and we were fine with that because we were so excited to be moving to our favorite town. Living in the historic village part of town wasn't a huge reality for us, so it wasn't at the top of our priority list. But we lost out on houses #3 and #4 too. Did I mention it was a seller's market?
As time was slipping away and the date was fast approaching that we needed to be out of our current house, we knew desperate times called for desperate measures. So I started looking at apartments. And holy moly, are apartments expensive these days! We couldn't believe how much more expensive it is to rent than to own. And rental houses were 100% out of the question because of the massive amount we'd have to pay. We decided we'd need to get a two bedroom apartment and make our kids share a room for a year. Keep in mind our kids were 13 and 11, one boy and one girl. Believe me they were less than thrilled, but we are big on building character around here, so we pep-talked them to death and kept reminding them that it's one tiny little year of their lives. They really were definitely being troopers about it.
It was on a Friday last July that we decided to go ahead and rent an apartment we had found for one year, and get back to house hunting the following spring, hoping there would be much more available. I called and made an appointment to come in and sign the lease after the weekend. I had a 10:00 appointment for Monday. But later that same Friday the phone rang.
To be continued....