It is with great joy and excitement that I share that Neal and I bought a house! It has been one heck of a fall, but every time I open that front door I am reminded of how worth it it was. Lets flash back a little…
2 year ago Neal and I decided to move out of our apartment and to rent a townhouse. We knew we weren’t ready to buy, both financially and logistically. We wanted to save more money and to feel more confident in where we were buying.
The DC area is an interesting place. You have DC, Virginia, and Maryland, all within miles of one another. You get completely different experience from each place, but you also get completely different real estate. I love Virginia. Always have. I went to George Mason University in Fairfax, lived in Burke, Vienna, Falls Church, and Alexandria for many years, but I just had to realize that living in Virginia didn’t make sense for our family. Our commutes would be horrible, we’d have to find a new daycare, and we wouldn’t be able to buy as much house. Last summer, after moving into a director role at work, I came to peace with not living in Virginia, and despite living in Maryland since 2012, decided it was time to make Maryland home.
Neal and I started the pre-approval process last summer and decided to start looking at houses in October. We found a realtor we loved (Diane) and started working with her in September. The plan was to start our big search Columbus Day weekend, but in late September, I found the one.
It was perfect! It was an end unit townhouse, hard wood floors, tons of sunlight, back patio, finished walkout basement… it was awesome. The kitchen was original, as were the windows, but the roof and HVAC were new. It had only been on the market for 2 days, so we raced home to put in the offer. A few hours later we get a call from Diane that someone had already put in an offer and it had been accepted. It was crushing!! The house hadn’t even had an open house yet and they accepted the first offer? It was a punch in the gut.
That night I found another end unit townhouse in the same neighborhood for sale and e-mailed Diane right away. We met up at 8:30AM to see the townhouse and it was even better than the first. It was the exact same layout, and although it was missing a few things from the first house (deck and hardwood floors), it was perfect. This townhouse had new floors in the kitchen, new appliances, new counter tops, new carpet throughout, and had room for upgrades. The windows were brand new, but we knew we’d need to save for a new roof and HVAC.
The townhouse was also 30K cheaper than the first townhouse. That scared me a little, but we put in an offer! 2 days later we got the news that they had accepted or first offer! We had the house inspected (nothing major going on) and 45 days later, we closed on the house! It has been such an amazing whirlwind these past 2 months. I’ve signed more papers than I can count and have had emotions all over the place. It’s such a thrilling, scary, and draining experience, but in the end, we have a home.
The plan was to move in last Friday, that way we could get settled into the house before the holidays, but then I got sick. There was just no way we could have moved last week, so we pushed it back to mid-December. We’re going to enjoy Thanksgiving, move as much little stuff we can these next two weeks, and then hopefully move all the furniture mid-December.
The house definitely needs some cosmetic work and I’ll be the first to admit that I have NO handyman experience. Neal and I have made our list of things we’d like to do and I’m excited to see this house come together these next few years. The top “big” project on my list is to redo the master bathroom. I honestly hate the bathroom, but we’re going to make it work until we can save for the renovation.
I’m also not a fan of the kitchen floor and kitchen counter top combo, so I’m really hoping painting the kitchen cabinets will help to tie those 2 in together. I also plan to change out a gazillion fixtures around the house and to paint the half bath on the main floor. I’m scared to tackle these project, but I’m also eager to learn and to become more comfortable with DIY.
It’s exciting to think of the memories that will be created in this house. I can’t wait for Magnolia to adjust to the new house and for her to have more room to play and grow. I also think Theodore is going to love this house. Sunlight was at the top of my list and boy does this house have sunlight! It’s beautiful. Theodore is just going to love all the sunspots.
I can’t wait to show y’all more of the house and to share my DIY and decorating adventures. I’m no Joanna Gaines, but I definitely can’t wait to leave my mark on this house.