Radio-silence here on the blog lately has been caused by a PLETHORA of home improvement projects. Sadly, none of it is all that exciting. Why? Because we weren't doing anything to our house. Well, technically, it's our house, but not the one we're currently living in!
Back in 2010, when Brian was hired by his current company and we were planning our move from MI to FL, we had to decide what to do with our home. The simple answer would be to put it on the market, but that wasn't an option for us. We bought our home in October 2006, when home prices had dropped a bit and everyone was all "Buy now! Before the market increases again! Get in while the gettins' good!". ::sigh:: We were young, about to get married, and had no crystal ball. So we found a sweet little house nestled on about 2.5 acres in the country. It was the perfectly in-between our jobs, giving us each a 45 minute commute in the opposite direction. Built in 1930, it was full of old-house charm, but needed LOTS of updates. The house was just perfect for us.
We bought it for what was a steal at the time, and proceeded to fix it up and make it our own over the next 4 years ... while the market kept dropping. We weren't worried at first, because we planned to be there for 10 years or so. Eventually the market would rise and our family would grow out of the space and all would even out in the end.
A new job and a cross-country move were not on our radar, and certainly threw a wrench into our plans. So, after speaking with a Realtor and learning that we could probably only sell our home for $30-40K less than we owed, we opted to lease it out.
(Fun Fact: This room was a deep, dark red. I chose that color because I'd always wanted a red dining room! But we didn't feel like the red was very market-friendly, so we painted over the red with the same color as the Family Room. I was so sad to see that red go, even though I would never paint my current dining room red. Funny!)
While Brian went to Florida to begin his new job, I stayed in Michigan and met with potential renters, packed the house, and made all of the necessary preparations. We leased it to a family who ultimately stayed for 4 years before moving on to purchase a home of their own. Now that it's empty, we decided that it was time for us to sell. The market has improved and there is somewhat of a housing shortage in that little farming community, which will hopefully work in our favor.
So the last few weeks have been full of cleaning, painting, and repairs to our old home. Brian and I both agreed that it was odd to be back in it after 4 years. In many ways, it feels much more like "home" than our current home. But I think that is because we spent 4 years in that house. It's where we started our married life together and brought home our first baby. We sunk a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into making that house "ours". And we simply haven't had time to do many things to our current home yet. I have no doubt that in another few years, this house will hold just as many sweet memories for us as our old home does.
One thing that was definitely not lost on us is how different
my our my style is now than it was all those years ago. Back then, I loved deep, cozy jewel tones. The original 1930s wood trim that is scattered throughout the house just looked better when surrounded by the warm paint colors we chose. Now, in our current home, I cannot get enough light blues, greens, and grays -- cool, fresh, airy colors. And they fit perfectly with the bright white trim of our 1990s home. Funny how tastes change and certain colors and tones fit better with the age of a home.
We're so sad to say goodbye to our first home, but also glad that we were able to have the last few weeks to work on it together again. While it was definitely a lot of work, it was also really good closure for us. Now we're excited to sell it to someone who can make some great memories in it for themselves! (And to be without 2 mortgage payments! Because .... yikes.)
Once it's sold, we can continue our mission to start making our current home feel as much like "home" as our first!