Friday, February 19, 2016

Home Is Wherever I'm With You

Our house build is officially underway and we couldn't be more excited!

Wanted a before picture, pulled into the neighborhood and our lot was already cleared, haha! 

After the craziness of planning a wedding was over, we decided to start slowly beginning the house hunting process. We both looked online daily, sometimes multiple times. We texted different options back and fourth constantly. Our nightly conversations were centered around houses, neighborhoods, school districts (ya know, for the future) and budgets. We debated between this neighborhood and that one. We met with a lender and were pre-approved. And then we finally contacted a realtor when we had it narrowed down to a few houses we wanted to see. But then we also decided to contact a builder in an up and coming neighborhood that we both adored. We weren't sure if it would be doable, but you never know unless you try. We met with them on New Year's Eve and that was it for us, we wanted nothing else. Funny thing is, we never actually went and looked at any of the other houses. We drove by several (more than once) and discussed the neighborhoods and the things we'd want to change based off of the pictures online. And then we decided that we could spend less on a house initially, then have to turn around and put money into it to make it ours. Or, we could spend a little more now and make it exactly what we wanted. We're big enough to admit that we're very picky when it comes to houses and we hated the idea of buying something that we didn't absolutely love in a neighborhood we didn't absolutely love. We struggled with the idea that, if we bought something we didn't love, we'd want to move again in a few years. Purchasing a home is a HUGE investment, and the upfront costs are daunting, especially for first time home owners, and that's something we didn't want the burden or stress of again in a few years.

So, after a few weeks of discussions and negotiations with the builders, we officially signed our contract on January 23rd! I'd love to say that it was a huge, momentous occasion (and I guess it still was), but we actually signed electronically (sitting on our mattress on the living room floor) as it was a cold, nasty morning in Georgia where it had "snowed" the night before so we all decided we didn't want to leave the warmth of our homes.

So what happens until the house is done? Well, we sold our living room furniture, moved everything else into storage, and moved in with my parents the same weekend we signed the contract! With our lease ending, they offered to let us move in until the house was done to prevent having to sign a new lease. Obviously not the most ideal situation, especially for newlyweds, but my parents are great and on the plus side, we're able to save up a lot of money over the next few months. They're only requirement? We go on a date once a week, just the two of us. That's definitely a rule we can get behind ;)

Thanks for the memories, B8. Zach proposed to me here on Christmas morning 2014, so it's definitely a little bittersweet. And I'm realizing now that all of our big life decisions have been made in the living room. 

Last Friday we had a 3.5 hour meeting to pick out paint, floors, counters, cabinets, lights, drawer pulls, door knobs, the roof (we weren't prepared for this one!)...literally everything down to the door hinges. We had an idea of everything we wanted, but once it's all in front of you, it's definitely a little overwhelming. And we've already changed our minds on the interior paint colors we want, ha! I've been told I have to stop watching Fixer Upper now that everything is decided so that I don't change my mind a million times between now and the house being finished. But nothing can keep me from Chip and Joanna! Plus, I still need to decide how to decorate the whole house, right?! Right. 

We were told to look at a July complete date, at the earliest. With all of the rain we've had recently, their framers are really behind, so while our lot is cleared and leveled and ready for the foundation, they have to get caught up on all the other projects they have going. Of course, that July finish date all depends on how the weather cooperates over the next few months. Meanwhile, our Phoenix is loving every minute of living with my parents. He has a lot more freedom and another cat and dog to play with chase and lock out of "his" room. Seriously, he won't leave my mom's cat alone and he eats all her food. And going from a 2-bedroom apartment to a 5-bedroom house means he has a lot to explore destroy. And most nights, we'll bring him to our room to give the rest of the animals a break lol, and he will crash hard and fast because I really don't think he sleeps at all during the day anymore. 

Also loving being allowed on the bed...which was never allowed before. 

We are so excited and can't wait for our house to be done! I'm going to try to update as the house building progresses, more for myself than anything else. It'll be fun to look back on years down the road. So if anyone has any tips or advice, I'm all ears! And of course, everyone is invited to the house warming party we're already planning ;) 


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