Thursday, May 05, 2011

Home Sweet New Home?!

We found a new house!!!

Our current house has been on the market since July of last year and is just not going to sell for the price we need. Because of current market conditions, we would have to take a pretty significant loss, and we are not in the position financially to be able to do that. Recently, the opportunity to lease our house to a family who would like to rent for a couple of years, with the hope that they will then be in a better position to purchase, presented itself. Doing so would allow us to go ahead and purchase a new house that would be more suited to our needs before the girls start first grade.

I am not 100% comfortable with this...the idea of two mortgages is pretty daunting, particularly when thinking about all of the "what ifs." What if the renters don't make their payment, or leave us in a lurch??? Yikes. We really can't afford two houses.

When the offer first came up, I told them we needed some time to think about it. Then, just a couple of days later, we had a showing scheduled for our house. In the meantime, I had a house bookmarked online that I kept going back to. It had "disability features" listed as one of it's selling points, and I was intrigued as to what that meant. I had driven by the house a few time, and had driven John and my mom past. It looked good from the outside.

Somehow, the stars aligned...a new possible opportunity for leasing our house was on the table...a showing was scheduled on our house...we decided that we should go take a look at this other house. I told myself that I just wanted to an idea of what was out there. I was thinking along the lines of "what if someone made an offer on our house?" We didn't have any prospects in mind. I had been to look at several houses and hadn't really seen anything that would meet our needs. Even houses that looked to have good potential online would have numerous little *things* that wouldn't work for us. Mostly, the houses I was looking at were either too small, not laid out well, or had at least one or several *steps* making them less accessible. There were also issues with me (or John) not liking the neighborhood, not liking the yard, too much work needing to be put into it, etc, etc... I really hadn't had any luck finding something that I really felt would be *the one* so I wasn't too worried that our house wasn't selling.

So we went to look at this house. It was a Sunday, and we had to be out of our house for a showing, so John and the girls came with me for the first time. We knew shortly after entering that this was IT. It was the first house that I had been in that really felt like it could be our home.

It is 4 miles from our current home, in the same school district (good), but at a different elementary school (also good). We love the layout...all one floor with no steps at all. There is a ramp in the garage, and another to the back doorwall, making it wheelchair accessible. The doors and hallways are extra-wide, with pocket doors to the bedrooms and bathrooms. One of the bathrooms has a barrier free shower, with a built in bench seat, hand-rails, and two shower high and one low. All of that work already done!!! Almost too good to be true. On top of that, the kitchen was recently redone with all new cabinets and counter tops. I'm sold. I have to have it. This kind of house doesn't come along everyday.

We made an offer, and it was accepted. We met the family interested in leasing our current house, and they signed a 2-year lease. We are well into the process of obtaining a second mortgage. We are hoping to close by the end of May, spend the month of June packing and moving, and be completely moved out and moved in by July 1st.

This is such a huge, life-altering commitment and change. We can't help but be completely freaked out, stressed, and apprehensive. But at the same time we are also feeling really excited and hopeful. I have visions of Eden being able to go anywhere in the house, whenever she wants, independently. Being able to play with her toys in the playroom, go get in her bed at night, and never having to worry about the other kids running upstairs to play without her. As she gets older, I have visions of her using a walker to go to the bathroom and learning to transfer herself, independently. I see her as a teenager and young adult, being able to use the bench and rails in the shower to bathe herself, independently. This house will help us achieve those goals.

I feel sentimental about our current home. This is our first house and we have lived here for 10 years. It is our home. We have been through SO much here, having babies and raising them for almost 7 years. I will definitely be sad to leave. But I have such huge hopes and dreams for the new house. I feel like it is a place where we can watch our girls turn into big kids, then pre-teens, teenagers, and young adults, while we grow old together. These past 10 years have gone by so fast. In another 10 Holland and Eden will be high school, at the same age John and I were when we started dating. Another 10 years, and I am sure I will feel as sentimental about the new house and I do now about the old.

So here we go!!! Wish us luck as we make our way on a new adventure, a new house, a new home, and a new journey toward independence for Holland and Eden!