I mentioned before I had some exciting news…I’m pregnant!!!
Haha—just kidding. That is the first thing everyone thinks of when people say they have news, right?? Well here’s the real news, accompanied by a long Story of My Life. Congrats if you read it all!
About seven months ago, my husband started a new job. And about six months ago, my husband realized he absolutely loved his job and never wanted to leave. This was amazing news! After spending the last seven years in school, he still wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. He had graduated from dental school, but wasn’t sure he wanted to be a dentist! So he completed a 1-year General Practice Residency with the plan that he would work for a year and then go to some other specialty residency (such as Orthodontics or Oral Surgery.)
At the end of the residency, he was offered two jobs–one as a general dentist, and one as a professor at a dental school. We stewed and thought and made lists about both jobs. But we mostly prayed. And we felt very good about the dental school job. I had secretly hoped he would take the dental school job and realize he loved it so much that he would be done with school and not feel the need to specialize. I was so done with being the student’s wife. I wanted to settle down, buy a house. I wanted to actually have a little extra money. I wanted my husband to not spend all his free time studying. And I knew that another few years in an intense residency would be very hard on both of us and our marriage. The job at the dental school was a huge blessing. He loves it and never wants to go back to school.
This meant that we COULD buy a house and settle down. We planned to save for awhile to have some down payment money. As I searched online for houses in our area, I was pretty discouraged by the selection. I know what I want my house to look like so I knew that many renovations would be in the future if we bought a house. I’m all for renovating, but when it seemed like we could spend the same amount of money to build our perfect house as it would take if we purchased an older house, not including the reno costs. So we decided to build. And it seemed like perfect timing because a brand new development was going in close to our ideal location. It was supposed to open up early in 2014.
So early last week I wrote to a guy we’d been talking with–a sales agent for the home building company for that development. I was hoping for some new news of the development. And that set everything in motion. He had gotten the plat map for the development and once we looked at it, our hearts were like ‘wah wah wahhhhh.’ Pretty let down. They were only opening the first two phases and the lots were pretty small. Additionally, there was a waiting list of over 500 people for this development so they were forced to stagger the sales. There was a very good chance we wouldn’t even get a lot.
We stewed and fretted over this. I looked at about five other developments, driving my kids all over creation just to look at empty pieces of land. It was snowing all week and my car needed servicing. The kids were tired and whiny, my brain hurt, and my other tasks were falling by the wayside as the Land Hunt took over my life. I don’t know why I felt the need to find other options, since we weren’t planning on even putting any money down for several more months. But finding a house has been something I’ve been dreaming of for the last eight years, so I guess I couldn’t wait.
Nothing really seemed to work. There was no perfect place for our perfect home. All the open developments were pretty much sold out or not what we wanted. So I started looking at existing houses again. It was this endless cycle of going back and forth between building or buying. My husband even spent most of his day off on Thursday looking at sites and finding nothing. I had also been praying that I could figure out what to do or where to look and where to live.
This was a big decision. Lots of people have been referring to this as our ‘starter home’, presumably because it is the first home we will buy. But we have three kids, and maybe more in the future. I have an at-home business. I don’t want to move into a small house that we will outgrow in three years and uproot our family again. I want this house to be the house my kids grow up in, the neighborhood where they make life-long friends and lasting memories. That’s why it had to be perfect. Unrealistic for me to think I could get that? Maybe. But we were both pretty determined. Although towards the end of last week, I found myself saying to my husband, “We may have to compromise on the view” and “we probably won’t find exactly what we want.”
Then Friday night came. We had our weekly date night, much needed after a week of dealing with three very intense children and all the things on my mind. I didn’t want to think about house stuff–my brain literally hurt. But as we were driving home, I found myself driving towards one of the developments we had just looked at the day before (albeit in a foggy snowstorm where we really couldn’t see anything). Feeling like maybe we could see something we didn’t before. And we did.
My husband really wanted a view. That really limited our choices. It is pretty hard to find a place that has a beautiful and unobstructed view. But as we drove around the development, we could see the city lights, the mountains, and the lake. It wasn’t completely unobstructed, but it had everything we wanted in a lot–the size, the direction it faced, and the slope. We suddenly got very excited–could this be the one?
I could barely sleep that night, telling myself that the lot was probably already sold and that we wouldn’t get it. I woke up at like 6 am, searching for old homes on my phone and waiting for it to be late enough that my sales guy would return my email about the lot. At 8:30, I checked my email and there was his reply–the lot was available! What?! This was amazing. We got everyone ready and headed out the door to drive by the lot again. It was finally a clear day and when we saw the lot again during the day, I still loved it. The neighbor came out and we chatted with him about the area. He loves the area–there are tons of kids. It’s grown in leaps and bounds over the last two years. And he had a cool New Zealand accent (who doesn’t want a neighbor with a cool accent, right?)
We headed off to meet with our sales guy and purchase the lot with the house. He submitted the offer and it was approved. We sent in our contract. And now we are trying to ignore our anxieties about the massive amount of money we just committed ourselves to. It’s like I went on a date with an amazing guy and then married him the next day. But sometimes things just happen quickly and you have to jump at the chance. I knew that if we waited and lost the lot, we would regret it. We would be back to the endless searching and fretting. And I can’t believe that we really did get everything we wanted.
We already chose the house plan we like and I am in love with it. The lot is large–a 1/3 acre and sloped so we can have a walkout basement. We met with the architect today to discuss custom options and now it’s on to the designs. I am so excited for this house I could pee my pants. But that means I will be peeing my pants for several months…