our home (for sale)

Thursday, March 24, 2016

When we moved into our new home in August 2014 we thought it was move in ready and "nothing has to be done!"  What a joke that was!  I almost immediately couldn't stand the kitchen.  And the paint colors and every outlet plate etc.  Needless to say we worked on our house from the day we bought it to the day we just listed it (last week!)

We had many discussions and weighed our options many times throughout our short year and a half of living here.  I am going to be very honest.  We learned so much from this experience and hope that this can help someone else too.

In the summer of 2014 I was pregnant with Reid and we'd been living in my townhouse for 6 years.  I love my townhouse and I bought it right when I got my first teaching job in 2008.  But the big downfall of it is that there is no yard.  We pay a homeowners fee every month and they do all the landscaping, snow removal, mowing etc.  We felt that with having a 2 year old and another on the way that we needed a yard, like now.

So one weekend we started looking at houses and met with a realtor at 2 houses that were terrible!  We knew we couldn't afford our dream home but decided we'd look for a house "for now."  But woah those 2 houses were just not gonna cut it.  So our realtor mentioned that  she'd been through a house in our price range that was really nice but it wasn't in the school district that I wanted.  But I decided just to check it out and needless to say it was leaps and bounds better than what we'd just seen.

Of course the next day there was an offer on this house and with next to no time to think about it, we felt the pressure of the other offer and at 10pm on a Saturday night we were writing our offer.

The day we settled on the house I was a little unsure.  My townhouse was newer and the kitchen was newer and I don't want to say that I was having regrets, but I was,

This house impressed us on the original walk through, but when I looked closely it had many things that I didn't love.

Almond switch plates don't sound like a big deal, but woah did they date the house.  Many days of Christian re-wiring and changing them to white definitely made a huge difference.  And the paint colors that were fine really drove me crazy and we switched to colors I felt were better.

Soon after these changes Reid was born and home projects were pretty much on hold while we had those first few newborn months.  But in late winter we had the discussions again about what to do about the kitchen that I "couldn't stand!"  At this time we even contemplated moving but thought that would be crazy since we'd definitely lose money.  And we decided to move forward with renovating the kitchen.

We researched many options, like kitchen re-facing and new cabinets and new counters etc.  One day we went to a cabinet store near Philly to check their cabinets and were not excited about any of the options.  But we were really close to Ikea so I said "let's stop I want to get some picture frames."  I also mentioned that I heard their kitchens were nice.  Christian immediately turned down that idea- Ikea kitchens- no way!

But we went in and we were so impressed with the kitchens.  They were beautiful and so functional and everything we wanted.  So that's what we went with.  I'll write more and show before and afters in another post.  But needless to say our kitchen is by far my favorite part of our house.

It made our house so great!  It took 6 months from start to finish and that was pretty painful but it was so worth it.

But only a few months later we started talking about our school district and friends of ours in our old school district had been raving about it and the teacher and mom in me was so jealous.  Our current school district is known as being the best in the area but I know as a teacher that that reputation really doesn't matter, test scores don't matter that much.  But day-to-day happiness is what matters.

Back to the pros and cons list.  Although our kitchen was awesome and our house was so much better there was still quite a list of things we felt would improve our house and honestly we were over it.  We were over our large yard and over the yard work.  We knew that the right thing for our family was to move back to our old house.

Our townhouse is about 1/2 the size of our current house and during the first year of having a baby I was overwhelmed with keeping this house clean.  It is so big that we couldn't afford to have a cleaning person as often as we needed and the upkeep was just too much.

So we worked on that to-do list (that we started when we moved in) and got our house ready to sell.

Last Thursday we had the photographer here, on Friday it went on the market, on Saturday we got an offer, continued showings (we had about 15 in total,) got another offer on Sunday, and accepted an offer on Monday.  It was a whirlwind- but thankfully quick!

The home inspection is on Monday and then hopefully we will be set for our closing in mid May.

So lessons learned: 

1. Both Christian and I like things a certain way, and unless its how we envision it, it doesn't work

2. Take more time at home showings- look at the little things like almond switch plates  (we feel bad for the realtor next time we go to buy a house- we will be so annoying, I'm sure)

3. A big yard is a lot of work and beautiful landscaping needs a lot of maintenance

4. Make big changes when your children are older, if possible.  Everything is harder during the first year with a baby.

Once our house was ready for pictures we definitely felt proud of how we made it.  We even thought, should we stay here?  But ultimately we know that our townhouse is the better choice for our family right now.  We hope that the next family loves it.

And now for the pictures:

The foyer:

 The living room:

 The dining room:

The kitchen:

The Play Room:

The basement:

The Master Bedroom/Dressing Room/ Bathroom:

Carter's room:

Reid's room:

The backyard:

***The guest room and boy's bathroom aren't too exciting so those pics aren't included! And I didn't include a pic of our master closet- it's massive, pretty much the size of a bedroom.  But needs serious shelving and an island- another project that we envisioned but didn't have the time or money for it.

Now that it's done we will look back fondly on this house that we brought Reid home to and spent almost 2 years in.  But we're crossing our fingers that everything goes through with our offer and we'll be moving in mid-May!


  1. You're a great decorator and remodeler! Everything looks fantastic, no wonder you had offers so quickly!

  2. Gorgeous!

    Will you be going back to your townhouse or a new home?

  3. You did a great job making this house a home for you and your family! We have learned many lessons with our first home too! Xo, Stephanie

  4. SO glad that the process went well and it sold quickly for you!!

  5. How nice that it sold so quickly! I'm sure there will be lots of nostalgia in moving back to your old place!

  6. Your house is gorgeous!! But I can totally understand the reason for moving. That's awesome it sold so quick!

  7. That is one fancy and cozy-looking house. Of course, not everyone will like a house, and everyone has their own tastes to take into account when choosing a house. It is always difficult to move, and I know many people like you who had to move a few times until they found something that they could really feel comfortable in. That is just the way it is.


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