New Directions – Selling our house & our next steps

If you had asked me a month ago, I wouldn’t have a clue I’d be writing this post. Life is funny like that; sometimes your entire world can be flipped upside-down in a split second.

Since December 2013, when we first built our subdivision house, it really ended up being the house that built me. (Wait… that’s a country song.)

Summer Porch and Front Yard Progress (1 of 20)

It’s taught me so much about how to work with what I have, how to test my patience and my capabilities, and it’s a place where Robert and I have learned so much about ourselves and each other. I put my heart and soul into this place, and for me, whenever I walk into one of our rooms and see one of our projects we did together, I think about the day we made it.

Like when others might see our DIY window trim in our living room, I think about the fun dance party our little family had while painting and caulking it. Our DIY wood beam always reminds me of our major meltdown that happened in the middle of installing it because we got so frustrated trying to make those darn puzzle pieces of ginormous plywood fit together. It’s those things you think about in hindsight and giggle because you realize how much those moments shaped who you are.

But even with all of the wonderful memories this house holds, Robert and I always hoped for a little more elbow room. We always knew this wasn’t our forever home and hoped for a house where we wouldn’t be so squeezed in tight with neighbors in a subdivision. I sort of feel guilty for wanting more, but I just knew this wasn’t our grow-old-together house. We missed the simple things like… trees, for instance.

Summer Home Tour (3 of 10)

Robert and I both really started looking at houses about a year ago. We were never all that serious. It was just “fun to look”. We kept working on our current house to make it really fit our style and our functioning needs until we’d be ready to sell waaaaaaaay down the road.

And then, it happened. The perfect house. I was scrolling online looking at the MLS listings a couple of weeks ago on a whim, like I sometimes casually did, and there in our little suburban town we already loved so much was this beautiful ranch with a gigantic front porch, a massive workshop (hello, DIY), and 4 acres of woods all around it at the very top of our budget.

It still needed work, but we were eager to get our hands on it. We knew the value of our house had increased quite a bit in the past three years, and we knew properties in our area sold very quickly, so we jumped at the chance- put our house on the market immediately, and put in a contingency offer at asking price on the ranch house.

summer tour (6 of 1)

Within 24 hours, we were able to accept an offer on our current house above our asking price (what?!), but our offer on the “perfect” one wasn’t accepted. We were devastated. Since then, we’ve now learned that there were a couple of red flags in inspections, and it’s very likely that we avoided a big financial loss, but after that life-altering weekend of dipping our toe in the real estate pond, I was heartbroken.

We’d sold our house to buy the other, and we ended up with no house at all. So then, that left us scrambling, knowing we’d have to be moved out of our current house in just over a month with no idea where we were going to live. I felt completely foolish. All I knew was God had a plan in all of this and that kept me grounded.

Summer Home Tour (4 of 19)

The silver lining though was we were now in a better position for an offer getting accepted since ours was officially under contract. (There’s always that beautiful silver lining, you know?)

We looked at several other options- we’d thought of buying a foreclosure that needed some work, then thought about buying some land and building a brand new one. But even after touring bank-owned houses and researching building options, neither one seemed to fit. (Our real estate agent deserves a giant cupcake for putting up with me.)

I’d found an absolutely charming house built in 1940 that had been fully restored, but it had a tight floor plan and had no workshop or garage, which was going to be a challenge. And the weirdest problem of all- the work was already done, which meant there wouldn’t be very many DIY projects to do. And I mean… it’s no secret that we’re kind of addicted to the home improvement projects.

In those two weeks of obsessive house hunting, I lost count of how many times I cried. And I couldn’t begin to tell you how often I prayed. But it’s always those times when I’m challenged and completely at my wit’s end that God always surprises me and shows up in a huge way just to prove to me like He always does that HE is in control… and not me.

Summer Home Tour (3 of 13)

Heartbreak after heartbreak and dead end after dead end, Robert and I finally found THE house. The one that had everything we ever hoped for and MORE!

It’s an old brick colonial in a well established, quiet neighborhood with a big yard and huge old oak trees. It has FOUR bedrooms, perfect for a growing family (or at least what we hope will grow one of these days… because no, this isn’t a pregnancy announcement type of post), a big garage with tons of storage and work space for Robert, an office for me, a playroom for Olivia, hardwood floors and plenty of character needing just enough love and care to make for some incredible DIY projects, a fenced in backyard, a huge covered back deck, oh, and a salt water POOL! What?! We’d never ever imagined a pool could even be a possibility. The cherry on top- it puts us 20 minutes closer to both my parents and Robert’s parents, who are all so important to us.

And it cost way less, $45,000 less, than that original “perfect” ranch house that started this whole real estate game for us in the first place. So we put an offer down and it was ACCEPTED!!!

Summer Home Tour (8 of 19)

I can’t wait to post pictures of the “new” (old) house once we get in there. It’s going to be an entirely new adventure since we’re so used to working in our newer builder grade rooms, but this is where we’ll be able to “remove the training wheels” and challenge ourselves even more.

So for the next month, Robert and I will be packing and moving and traveling (for the Lowe’s makeover) and preparing the new place for our next chapter. We got to meet the buyers of our current house, who we know in our hearts are meant to be here to love it as much as we have. And we’ll be officially closing on and moving into the brick colonial in April, which means we’ll be living with my parents in March. (Thankfully, there’s that whole guest bedroom makeover I’m working on there to keep me occupied.)

Summer Porch and Front Yard Progress (3 of 20)

We had no idea all of this would be happening so quickly and that we’d have a million different things fall in our lap, but we’re already so thankful for every new opportunity we’ve been given this year.

I’m so thankful for a God who answers our prayers with “no” because He has a better “yes” for us planned down the road. I’m so grateful for the new adventures that await us, and I can’t wait to see what He has planned for us next.

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106 Comments

  1. I’m so glad it’s sold fast to someone who appreciates all you’ve done!! I can’t wait to see your new house and how you make it your home!! Love following you!! … and if you’re wanting another baby, I’ll be praying for you!! 😉

    1. Thank you, Kristie! We’re not quiiiiite at the 2nd baby stage, but the idea is on the table. I feel like we’ve been saying “we’ll see” for the past 3 years now. So… we’ll see. 😉

  2. Congratulations on selling your home and for being patient and waiting for THE perfect house for your family! Don’t you love it when God does that?? What a blessing it is to let Him be in control so that He can bring us to that “even better” place/home. I can’t wait to see your new house and all of the great ideas you have for making it a home! Blessings to you……

  3. Oh congratulations!!! That is exactly how I feel about our new house and the Lord was totally in control of everything here too. Can’t wait to see the new place and follow along.

  4. What an exciting adventure! Sooo BLESSED by the way you give God the glory as He continues to write your story and you witness through such a strong passion of yours!!! Looking forward to your journey!

  5. So happy for you! I was walking by with some girlfriends, and we saw the for sale sign and i think we all contemplated buying it ☺ cant wait to see your new adventure.

    1. Haha! Well… we’re having a massive garage sale Saturday if you’d rather buy decor instead of a house. 😉 Come take my stuff. Seriously. I’m so not hauling all of this. Haha!

  6. Congratulations Lauren on finding the perfect house. Patience will get you everywhere with a little help from the Lord. I am so excited for you guys! And I know you are going to work your magic on this one just as well as the new one. Looking forward to following along on your adventures!

  7. Congrats!! It’s always stressful to move houses when you’re trying to buy and sell at the same time, but it’s so worth it! The new house is gorgeous and can’t wait to see what you guys do with it! Oh, and so jealous of the pool 🙂

    1. Thanks, Meg! It really is, but it’ll be worth it. And at least the pool will be a fun stress-reliever while we’re hauling boxes. I’m betting money Robert will jump in on moving day fully clothed. Haha!

  8. Congratulations! I’m so glad you found your actually perfect house, even though you thought the one before was “the one.” Totally know the feeling. Good luck deciding what to fix up first!

  9. Yay! I’m glad you found the perfect “new” old house! I can’t wait to see how you update it! We’re in a new build and I’m always looking at listings for fun to see what’s out there. I have such a hard time picturing how to update an “older” house like that. Especially when it’s not a “blank slate.” I am really excited to see what you tackle first and watch it transform into your dream home! Congrats!!

    >> Christene
    Keys to Inspiration

  10. Congratulations on your new home Lauren! It’s beautiful already but I can’t wait to see what you do with it, it will be fun to see all your new projects! I am looking forward to when we can buy our forever home too but for now I am enjoying fixing up our little house and love all your DIY’s!

  11. Congratulations on your next life chapter! I really enjoy reading about your renovations & seeing your beautiful photos. I entered your Lowe’s makeover to nominate my son’s home. Hopefully you’ll pick him & make over his kitchen for his 9 yr-old triplet daughters!

  12. It blows me away how forces work in such sneaky (and stressful) ways, always ending up working out perfectly though 🙂 I can definitely feel you on the wanting more elbow room front and we too look and look at listings in hopefullness. I am so, so happy for you friend and absolutely cannot wait to see you guys grow into and make this beauty your own <3

    1. Thanks, friend! I am SO excited for you and your sweet little (well… probably not so little anymore) bump. Ahhhh!

  13. Ahhhh i am so excited for you! I know how stressful that time can be but gosh the Lord always has amazing plans! I can’t wait to watch you transform it to a beautiful home!!!

    1. Yes He does! I’m amazed every time these big life changes happen and work out better than we could have imagined. So excited for you guys too!

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