Our New House Progress

I would be lying if I said this was a nice relaxing summer, free of projects.  This has been a rough summer.  And I feel exhausted.  I have barely blogged because I don’t have the energy to.  However, I thought I’d check in with you guys and share with you some of the progress being made on our house.

(To see our floor plan, see this post.)

They dug our basement, and that was fun to watch.

Digging a basement

Dug out basement

Then they poured the footings and the foundation.

footings

finished foundation

From here, the framing went really quickly.

second floor

framed house

My favorite feature during framing was seeing the grocery pass through door from the garage to the pantry.  We call it the Costco Door.

Grocery pass through

grocery pass through door

We’re a lot farther along in the construction process than this post suggests.  I just didn’t want to dump it all in one post, because that would be a lot!  There have definitely been hiccups along the way.  Up til this point things went relatively smooth.  The next post I’ll talk more about builder issues we faced.

For those of you who have asked, our house is said to be done on October 15th.

Also, in case you missed it: I had another contributor post on All Things Thrifty last week.  Check it out!

diy memo_board

 

Empty House Tour

Last post I shared with you some details on why we decided to sell our house.  Something I didn’t touch on was how fast everything happened.  I know this is unusual, and we weren’t expecting it ourselves, but we got an offer after only 1 day on the market.

We had to pack and move so fast.

Interiors By Kenz Moves

We had a little goodbye party for our beloved Green Meadow Manor at the end of moving day.  The opposite of a house warming party?  A house cooling party?  That just sounds so heartless.  Sparklers and bonfires were involved.  There is no other way to say a proper goodbye is there?

Goodbye House Party

Goodbye House Party

Goodbye House Party

I decided that a real live moving house tour was finally in order.  I collaborated with The Von Trapp Family Singers for this one.  Enjoy the next 2 mins and 44 seconds of your life, and sing along if you must.  (I’ll even wave to you at 0:46 if you do.  And you’ll probably see a sleeping baby at 0:55 if you don’t blink!)

If you haven’t caught on by now, I am overly sentimental, especially to the close of a chapter.  I let myself feel every emotion.  Aaron and I decided on the day we were locking the door for the final time, we would sit in each room and say our favorite memories and projects we did in that space.  It was actually really fun to remember all the changes and events that took place.  We started in the basement, and worked our way upstairs.

We laughed about Karl’s “chastity bed” in this room…

Workout Room

 

We recalled how this was our very first DIY project and also our very last DIY project in our house.

Basement Family Room

 

I sat in the widow seat and took this picture and thought about every single party and shower that took place here.  Also about how I laid most of this flooring while 5 months pregnant.

Living Room

Living Room

Dining Room Kitchen

 

Together we decided that we’re never go a month without a kitchen sink again.

Kitchen

 

The place where I sat on the floor holding several positive pregnancy tests in shock, horrified and scared out of my mind to walk into the kitchen and tell Aaron that we were actually going to have a baby.

Hall Bathroom

 

Our humble sanctuary.

Master Bedroom

 

But I lost it when we got to the nursery.  I knew I would.  I cried when I was packing up everything from Evelyn’s room.  I cried taking things off the wall.  This is a room I thought I would never get to make, but against all odds, I DID!  Out of everything in our house, I put the most love and thought into this room.  Everything, down to the color selection was symbolic.  (Purple & gold for royalty, fit for the daughter of a King.)

Nursery

 

As much as looking at these pictures hurts my heart, I know that it’s just a room.  I still have my real treasure with me 🙂  And she really is such a treasure, that Evelyn Faye.

Nursery

 

This house was more than just a house.  We didn’t know that when we moved in.

We bought our house at a time when I didn’t feel like I had a place in the world.  This house gave me something to blog about.  And this blog has given me real life friendships that I cherish more than I have words to describe.  It gave me confidence and allowed me to grow creatively.

All the tears I cried were happy ones.  I feel so much gratitude because I know this house was a blessing in so many ways.

I’m excited thinking about all the new memories and projects and life that will be lived in our new house!

Why We Sold.

This post is a little on the word-heavy side.  So go pop a bag of pop corn, pour a Dr Pepper and get comfy.  You’re about to take a trip inside my head and my heart.

After we announced that our house was for sale we got the same question over and over.  It came from our friends, our family, our neighbors, and random people.  I know most people were thinking “You guys are LOCO CRAZY!”  But they nicely said:

“Why are you selling your house?!  AFTER ALL THE WORK YOU DID ON IT?!”

Living Room Design

Honestly, if I had a dollar for every time we were asked that during our selling process we wouldn’t need a mortgage on our new house.

Our intention was never to flip the house.  We made every upgrade because it was what we wanted.  Although, we were always mindful of resale value.  You HAVE to be when renovating.  We knew it wasn’t our forever home.

A quick little backstory on how we ended up with that house in the first place is an important part of the story.  We had only been married 4 months, when the company I had been working for was bought out and I was laid off.  During that time, I was able to cash out my 401K with no penalty.  I was also given a generous severance package.  As a newly married couple, we had barely any savings.  This was in the summer of 2011, the low of the housing market in Salt Lake City.  I had a very strong gut instinct that we needed to use that money as a down payment on a house.  We stumbled onto the house, and knew it was something we could live in and fix up.  I don’t feel comfortable disclosing the purchase price, but it was less than what you could even buy a condo for now.  We were so grateful to just HAVE a house!  It was surreal to us that we were home owners.  We put our hearts and souls into every little thing we did to our house.

The past 3 years, my day job had been in real estate, and I became a Realtor.  I watched the market very closely, especially in our neighborhood.  After Evelyn was born, I just knew it was time.  We tried to put it off.  But that nagging feeling was there, stronger than ever.

There were things that we compromised on when we bought our house.
-Front porch
(No where to put a swing or rocking chairs- a life long dream of mine!)
Outside of house

-Master bathroom
(Just one bathroom for the whole main level)
Main level bathroom
-Walk-in master closet
(We have shared THIS for 2.5 years… and we’re still happily married.  I know!)

Master Closet
-Formal living room
-2 car garage

Now, I understand that nothing is impossible.  And we actually toyed very seriously with the idea of combining the back two bedrooms to make a master suit.  But when it comes to a renovation, you have to look at the numbers and figures.  The return wasn’t there.  The renovation would make it nice to live in, but we would never get that money back in the sale of the house.

It was time to sell, and capitalize on our investment and find a home with the things we had compromised on.

It was a very emotional decision to make.  I’ve cried more tears than I’d like to admit.  I kept telling myself, “It’s just a house, stop crying.” But to me, those weren’t just walls and a room.  Our house was very much a character in our lives.  Those walls box up the memories of significant events in our lives.

We always knew Green Meadow Manor was a stepping stone.  She made it possible for us to have our dream home.  We were able to more than double our investment, allowing us to have the down payment we need for our next home.

It’s still hard.  It’s not just a money game.  I’ve always been a blue personality, and I definitely felt a lot of raw emotions during the process.  I meant to write this post awhile ago, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it until now.  And even now, I feel a twinge in my heart.  I miss my house.  I feel very homesick for a place that is no longer mine.  I wonder what the new homeowner is doing to her.

I’ve never done well with big changes.  This was a huge leap of faith for me.  I heard a quote that said, “Making a big life change is scary.  But do you want to know what is even scarier? Regret.”  I knew if we didn’t do this now, we would lose our window, and I would regret it.  Sometimes you just have to hold your head up high, try not to cry, and say goodbye.

As cheesy as it is… they say you never forget your first love… and that’s how I feel about our first house.

first house love.jpg

 

And as a little postscript, I’d like to add this for my blogging friends:
I am SO sorry for how behind I am on reading your blogs!  I promise I do care.  I want to catch up, and I will.  Real life is so busy.  I have a very demanding baby who I love with all my heart and needs my attention.  Selling the house was busy.  Selling other peoples’ houses is busy.  Going to Disneyland is busy 🙂  My blog isn’t a business.  It’s just a glimpse of my life, my talents, and the things I like to do in my free time.  I love you all, and I love the internet friendships that I have.  Thank you for being patient with me. High fives all around.