Marc And I Just Bought Our First Home!
You know what it feels like to wait for Christmas when you’re a child? It seems soooo far away when you think about it in the summertime. Then as the weather cools, decorations start showing up in stores and you start decorating your home, it gets tantalizingly closer. Then, all of a sudden, it’s here before you know it.
That’s pretty much what buying our first home was like in a nutshell – waiting for a grown-up Christmas!
Buying a Home During a Pandemic
Marc and I got married in a horrific blizzard, so it’s no wonder that we bought a house during a global pandemic. That just seems to be the way that major milestones go with us! If and when we ever decide to have children, there will probably be an earthquake on the day of my delivery!
All kidding aside, buying our first home during a global pandemic was definitely a unique experience. In our area, even though interest rates are incredibly low right now, inventory on the housing market is extremely limited. People are a bit spooked to sell their homes for various reasons – uncertainty about the future, not wanting strangers in their home for showings, financial reasons, etc.
This shortage of available houses creates a feeding frenzy among home buyers. At some showings, Marc and I would pull up to see tons of cars outside of the property. There would be an offer on the home before we got the chance to go home and talk about it. Homes are going for above asking price too. We put in an offer on one home at full asking price, but we were outbid by about $15,000. People are waiving home inspections just to get a place and even buying sight-unseen just from online listings. It’s nuts!
Fortunately, we were in a position where we weren’t in a rush. We didn’t HAVE to move out at a certain time, so we could go slow and wait for God to lead us to the perfect home.
The Perfect Home
We live in Chester County, Pennsylvania, which is a very expensive county to reside. Single family homes that had a workspace for me were too far out of our budget. They stretched us beyond where we were comfortable both financially and “fixer-upperly”. Sure we could find a house that needed work at a good price, but we didn’t really have the cash on hand to make it liveable.
The best option for us was a townhome, and that’s exactly what we found!
Our place is 1,500 square feet and has 3 bedrooms and 2.5 bathrooms. It’s just shy of triple the amount of space we had previously. I joked with Marc that I wanted to do snow angels on the carpet in the family room when we moved in! We are one unit away from the end of our particular block, and we’re tucked in the back of the complex so it’s nice and quiet. We back up to a farm and today, I heard roosters crowing in the distance!
There is a walking path on the other side of the road from us, and this morning, I got up early to enjoy my first sunrise walk.
The trail winds around the community and connects with the neighboring one next door, so there’s miles of paths to explore!
We didn’t hire a moving company or rent a big truck when we moved. We don’t have a lot of furniture at present, so it took one trip with 3 cars to bring everything over. As you can see, I have lots of holes to fill, including living room side tables!
I’m through with taking furniture just because it’s free or really cheap. I want to take my time to find pieces that I really love and that function well in our place. This home needs to reflect my style because none of the places where I have lived so far have ever really been “me”. My goal is to fill it with things that I like as opposed to what is trending or fashionable. When I look around my space, I want to smile and savor every curtain, table and light. I know it will take time to acquire new treasures, and I’m very much looking forward to the hunt.
Setting Up Our Offices
Right now, we probably have one more big trip’s worth of things to bring over and then we’re completely finished. We left our Christmas tree, sweaters and other non-essential items behind so we could get set up and start living at the new place. Marc spent the afternoon putting his standing desk together in his office since he’s not going back to work until well into 2021.
I’m still deciding on where I want my office to be. We have a spare bedroom that I could use that’s filled with light. It’s on the small side, but how much space do you need for an office?
We also have a downstairs den that I could use, but the widows are under our second floor deck and it’s very dark down there. I’ve been living and working out of a dark space long enough, and for a soul that craves light, it’s torture. (It sounds like I’ve made my decision, doesn’t it?)
For now, we’re going to keep the workshop at Eight Hundred Furniture where it is – in the basement of the in-law suite where we were living. There’s too many pieces of inventory, tools, equipment and project pieces to move right now. Plus, the garage of our current home is not climate controlled. I can’t be finishing furniture when it’s 85 degrees or 32 outside. Plus, I’m not sure our HOA would take kindly to me running the sander every other day! The garage is also pretty small. We can’t fit either of our vehicles inside! Marc and I were scratching our heads at that one today. Who would plan a development with such a small garage?
I will be moving my business office and all of my online paint inventory along with shipping supplies to the new house though. The post office is conveniently located right across the street from our development, so it will be easier than ever to fulfill online orders.
Savoring Little Moments
Right now, as I’m typing, I have the front windows open and the crickets are chirping outside. I have a candle burning (because we finally have a space large enough for the scent to travel) and Nelson is curled up beside me on the couch. It’s little moments like this that swell my heart with gratitude. It’s almost too much to think about what it took to get to this point in our lives.
All of the moments when I thought I would have to quit the business and get a better paying job, the doubt and uncertainty if I really could make something out of this furniture painting business and those days of feeling utterly defeated are silenced as I sit and enjoy the peaceful quiet of this place. All of our saving and waiting has finally (and literally) paid off. It’s finally our turn.
When I think of all the furniture pieces, cans of paint, workshops and antique markets that have paid for this house, it makes me weepy. Every dollar we put aside has our blood sweat and tears all over it (and a few paint spatters too). I’m looking forward to taking it easy these next few weeks as I bask in God’s goodness and this beautiful home He has provided for us.