On March 9, 2012 – one year ago this Saturday! – my husband and I signed the papers to buy our first house. I remember the day so clearly. It was an unusually warm March day. That morning, we handed over probably the biggest check we will ever write and our realtor gave us the keys to our new house! We quickly drove to our new empty house to celebrate!
…if you think that’s champagne, you’d be wrong. We fill our champagne glasses with Belgium Wit beer in our house. We’re classy like that.
Anyways, we started saving for our house long before we even got married actually. We had paid off all our debt + student loans about a year or two before we got engaged. After that, we just started putting away every spare dime we had. When we got married and combined our finances, we put all our savings into one joint account.
We were adamant about putting 20% down on a house and saving another good chunk of change on top of that for decorating + furnishing our new house. (If you’ve followed my writing for any amount of time, you’ve heard this story!) In January 2012 (about 6 months after we got married), we started our home search!
I probably looked at 200 hundred houses online, and together we looked at about 30 in person. This house, the house we bought, was the FIRST house we looked at! Crazy, huh? We both knew it was perfect, but wanted to look around just to make sure.
The yard + lot + location were the biggest draws for us. The house sits on a third of an acre of fenced land with no houses behind it or directly on either side of it – this was hugely important for us! How many suburban houses do you see where the backyard cozies up right next to your next door neighbors and the person behind you? We weren’t looking for that – we wanted lots of privacy and space. So, when we stumbled on this huge, private yard in suburbia, we were pretty much sold. Check it out (but, please excuse the unruly landscaping – we’re workin’ on it):
As it gets warmer and we’re outside more, I’ll snag some better pictures of our yard. But, the point is that we loved the privacy and size. It feels like we’re way out in the country even though we’re in suburban Kansas City. In the summer, you can hear frogs and crickets all night long and see every star in the sky. It’s so peaceful and private. More than worth it.
Of course, we loved the house itself, too. It had all my requirements of a large kitchen with an oversized island, an open concept layout, a large master suite, 3-car garage, and a basement (albeit, unfinished, but we hope to finish it someday). Here are some more pics of the getting-the-house-ready-to-move-in process.
Leaving our apartment was sad – we had practically grown up together there! We spent our year of engagement and our first months of marriage in our apartment. Even though we were moving to a beautiful new house, I struggled to say goodbye to our apartment for months. I really missed it (I think this is a total girl thing because my husband couldn’t get out of there fast enough!).
For weeks, it was filled with moving boxes and packing supplies…
And being the wine enthusiasts that we are, we couldn’t go long without an evening glass of vino. Too bad our wine opener was packed during the moving process. One night, Adam resorted to using a knife instead of a corkscrew which is something I do not recommend at all. Wine ended up EVERYWHERE.
After weeks of cleaning and packing, moving day finally came! Here we are right after cleaning our apartment to the bone. Tired, sweaty and ready to move in to our new house!
Our dining room in our new house looked like this after we finally got everything moved over…
Crazy! But it was actually pretty fun organizing everything in our new place and not trying to cram it all into a too-small apartment. I spent the next week taking care of this disaster. After one day, it looked like this … lots of progress!
Of course, there were a ton of random boxes in the mix, like this awesome one that my husband packed. A box full of men’s shoes … and one tennis ball. Priorities, right?
One thing we were super excited about in our new house was GRILLING! We love grilling and, sadly, weren’t allowed to grill in our apartment. I think a grill was one of the first things we bought! Here is my grillmaster cooking us something delicious. How cool is this guy?
We settled in quickly. We got into a nice groove of grilling regularly and working on our house in the evenings and on weekends. We were quick to start our first painting project, too – the living room!
I can’t believe it’s been one year since we signed the papers to become homeowners. It’s still so exciting! Becoming a homeowner is such a major life-changing experience – one I hope everyone gets to experience. We love our house more and more every day and I can’t wait to see what the next 10, 20, or 30 years hold in our lovely house.
What are some things you remember from your house-buying experience? I love hearing everyone’s stories!