Well, Chris and I moved into this house 6 1/2 years ago. At the time we didn't know if we'd ever have kids, we intended on only being in the house maybe 5-8 years (we knew it was a project, it wasn't the forever house) and it just felt like an adventure. I certainly felt like this place was my home when we moved in. Something made me feel warm and fuzzy inside. I think a lot of it had to do with the fact that this was the first place Chris and I picked together. When we were together in Davis when we first met I practically lived at his place, then I moved to TX and he came many months later and moved to the place I had picked, then we went on our road trip, had some other adventures and I settled in Oakland and he again came to a place I had picked while he was working other jobs. This was the first place we looked for and found together. It feels like OUR home.
Then we had Zoe. And my office became her room. It feels like her room, but I also very much remember it as my office. And now that we have Merrit she doesn't even have a room. That's not to say she couldn't - Chris and I could merge our offices and one of them could be hers. But Zoe's room is off of my office (one room leads to the other) and Chris' office has 3 doors off of it (the hallway, big room and laundry room). Neither are ideal. Sure, they could totally work, but something about having them work feels like a complete after though.
We've now been looking for the next house for just about a year. It's been a while. At first it was because we were running out of room, but now I really feel it inside of me that I want a house that is OURS. I don't want the house that we made work for our girls - I want to move into a place that is just as newly and freshly theirs as it is ours. And by new and fresh let's remember I mean a new and fresh adventure, not some new build devoid of any personality. I want to create a housing adventure with them. I want to make THEIR rooms. I want to think about how I want a kitchen to work with them hanging out with us in it. I want to remodel a bathroom for our girls to take baths and get ready for school in. When we took this house on I never thought about any of those things. Eventually selling to a family was certainly in the back of my mind, but this house feels like an afterthought for MY family.
Then of course there is the need of work space. It would be wonderful to give up living space (we have 1600 sq ft now and that's plenty for us) in order to get work space. We hoard materials for people and we need space to build things for people (for instance, right now we're working on building a dog ramp for someone)
Life is about moving and shifting, but I do feel bad for Chris that there is a constant move and shift for him in terms of trying to work on and complete projects for people. We really need storage and work space.
It's weird, lately there has been slim pickings for us in our price range and project range (as in, we're specifically looking for pieces of shit). So we haven't had much to look at. But there was this one about a month ago
Yup, just the plywood sheathing on the outside and down to the studs on the inside. Chris and I were so excited about the house at first. But, after having looked at it again with my dad and then running a realistic budget of what it would take to complete it (we were looking at about $200k including permits, and that's not taking into account a hefty miscellaneous or "oh shit" fund). The lot was a decent size though, so we liked that (about double what we're currently one). But the garage was a question mark. It was up a steep hill and Chris' truck wouldn't be able to fit in the driveway and every morning and night he loads and unloads materials to/from his truck and the garage. That means every morning and night he'd have to drive up the hill to transfer stuff around, then drive back down to the other side of the property when he was done to park. Not a huge deal, but when you're talking about a forever house, you really want things to work, not try to MAKE them work. Also, the supplemental storage for client materials was below the garage, however there wasn't easy access from the garage to that room. You would have to go out the garage, down the hill, into the front door, through the rest of the house and into the utility room. Again, not a huge deal for most people, but Chris needs access to that secondary storage pretty often when he's in his work space.
With a $200k reno budget asking price just didn't make sense. And, well, this market is bananas so we didn't even bother to make an offer. I thought it would go $100k over asking, and it just closed a couple weeks ago at $60k over. Still out of our range though. It's amazing being SURPRISED in this market that something ONLY went $60k over asking. FML.
That was a house I could imagine us in however. I thought about making it our home, where the girls would play, how we'd help them on homework, where our office would be set up...it definitely made the urge stronger. It's not like I'm not already on every house listing service every day, but now I SCOUR it. That itchy itch itch has taken over. And add into the fold that my brother and sister-in-law bought their family house last month and Chris' aunt did as well, and well, I'm definitely house jealous.
So will you all send us some good house hunting and finding juju?