I've always loved looking at real estate. I don't know why, it's just always been something I've been interested in. I even thought about becoming a real estate agent and have even finished all the pre-license education. I just never went through the rest of the steps to get my license. As a kid, I would look at the real estate section in the newspaper and calculate how much I needed to save to buy a piece of land. I was a weird kid, I guess.
After a while, my real estate interest subsided but got renewed when I casually came across a listing for the most amazing little house I had ever seen. It was love at first sight. It was an approximately 1,280 sq ft custom built wooden house with ladders instead of stairs and a third level loft that couldn't exactly be counted as a floor, but it looked so fun! It also had a wraparound porch looking over 5 acres and an adorable, tiny guest house. The problem was that this house was priced at over $350,000 and I was fresh out of college. I ended up showing the house to Jordan and he fell in love with it as fast as I did. It was this property that made us decide to start saving for a house. In the back of our minds, we secretly hoped that in the time it took to save for a house, the seller would realize that a house that small would never sell for that and drop the price by about $150,000... not likely. The house did eventually sell for the $350,000.
Once we had saved up enough, we decided to do something a little unconventional and buy a house together before we got married. The plan was for me to live there with roommates to help cover the mortgage for a year or so before we got married and then Jordan would move in after that, but that plan didn't last long, and we ended up not finding our house until after we were engaged.
We shopped for more than a year to find our house. More than a year! For anyone who has ever house shopped, you know that's a long time and that looking at so many houses can be very frustrating. And it was frustrating. Part of this long process was because, at first, we really didn't know what we wanted. As we looked at houses, we kept changing our minds about what we were looking for. First we wanted land, then we wanted something in the city and back and forth, we even considered building. Of course, by the end of it I was ready to buy just about anything, and I'm now glad that Jordan kept his standards high because, just in the nick of time, we found what we quickly referred to as the perfect house. A log cabin on over an acre, far enough away that it feels like the country but close enough that it's a short drive to the city. In a lot of ways, this house had a lot on our wishlist that I never actually thought we'd get. I wanted a nice porch with a swing, and we have 3 porches to choose from, one of them having a swing. We wanted a fireplace, and this house has 2. I always wanted a clawfoot tub and now we have one. Jordan wanted high ceilings and our ceilings are about 15 feet at the peak. And the list goes on. Our perfect house ended up being very similar in style and category to the house we first fell in love with.
Our perfect house has proved to be far from perfect in condition. The previous owners didn't take care of it very well and both the house and property need a lot of work, but we love our house. All the hard, frustrating work is well worth it. I'm honestly really enjoying the process and the opportunity to make our house exactly what we want. It feels a little like a big art project. I can't wait to see what it will become over the next few years!
P.S. - The pictures above, with the exception of the first one, are from the listing online and show the house how it looked before we moved in. I'll be adding updated pictures as we make improvements.