Thursday, August 8, 2013

Home Sweet Home

As is fairly well-known, Jon and I have been planning on moving on from our first home and settling into a new place.
After a lot of ups and downs, and way too many months of the same song and dance with offers falling through on our house, and having to go back to square one, I got to thinking maybe this just isn't supposed to happen right now. I do believe everything happens for a reason, and especially when really crappy things keep happening I have to trust that there is some bigger plan that I just don't understand, and have faith that it will all work out for the best. Of course I get to that point AFTER wishing all manner of awful, terrible things on whomever I feel is to blame for said crappy things at the time, but at least I do get to that point.
The whole house selling process was just getting way too stressful for me. Jon is a trooper, but I am so intently focused on wanting to prepare for this baby, and feeling like my house isn't even mine anymore wasn't helping. I have furniture that needs to be set up, cloth diapers to be prepped and put away, supplies to organize... and having my hands tied on all of that was so frustrating. So, I got to thinking: worst case scenario is the house doesn't even sell until super close to my due date. It was a real possibility at this rate. I don't want to give up the 19 or so weeks I have left to prepare and plan while hanging on to some notion that we will be moving when reality is I had no idea if or when that would happen. I told Jon I think it's time we start thinking about how we can make this house work for our family for a while longer, and move at a time that I'm not so overwhelmed. Then we started talking about all the reasons we bought the house in the first place. I mean, there was a time we loved this place. Why?
I remember sitting on my grandpa's couch and him asking us why we wanted THIS house. We loved the potential. The bare bones it has, and what can be done with it. The problem is: we moved in and didn't really DO anything with it. We put projects off and settled because like many, we were quickly overwhelmed by the work involved. So of course we grew unhappy with the house, we never fell in love with the house as is, we fell in love with the potential and what we planned on turning the house into. We started talking about all those projects and how they might change our feelings on our property, and how we can utilize the land we have in a way that will work for us.
We ended up getting a plan approved by City of Orem that will change our fence line dramatically, making the front yard smaller and give more space in the back for dogs and kids. Our yard is the #1 thing that doesn't work for us because we don't use our massive front yard for anything (an unfenced, non private yard is useless as far as I'm concerned...) and don't maintain it the way we really should because Jon is so busy and we just lack the motivation and discipline to put so much time into what we see as useless, unused space. SO, here's the approved plan:
On the left is how it currently is. Our back yard is small, and just dirt because the dogs have long since destroyed any signs of life out there. We have an annoyingly big front yard, that we do absolutely nothing with other than begrudgingly mow ever week (or two....) and spend a fortune watering.

The first thing happening is the new fence going up. Jon is tackling this project himself to help save labor costs. He's never done a fence before, but I'm confident he can do it, he can do anything he sets his mind to. It will be a BIG project, and only the west side is getting done immediately. The east and north sides will get done Spring 2014 because we have to prioritize budget AND time right now. 
Unfortunately to get the permit to change the fence, we have to remove 15feet of our roundabout driveway, but will still have enough of it to park in the driveway without blocking each other so it's not a HUGE loss anyway. We were going to lay sod in the area, but are actually thinking of just laying mulch and putting in a fruit tree- probably cherries or apricots- since lawns and fruit trees don't have the same watering needs. Since that side of the back yard will be where the dogs will run and play, we are turning off the sprinkler system, the lawn stands no chance anyway, and possibly putting a fruit tree in the triangle of space that will be left out front. Of course the fruit trees all depend on if grandpa tells me they will or won't be able to thrive in those spots. Plan B is just grass there and we will unfortunately have to reconfigure some sprinklers, but it would be nice to just be able to shut that entire section off. 
The other outside project is building a shed. Again, no idea how to do that, but we'll figure it out. Our garage is too crowded, we need somewhere to put "yard stuff" that is out of the elements. 
We hope to get a grill-finally- and some patio furniture now that there will be a people side and a dog side to the yard, and actually start enjoying our outdoor space again. And, of course, I can't wait to have a porch swing. I loved having one before a certain Dane kinda destroyed ours. That will all have to come in time though. We also have projects inside the house to tackle, and one at a time we will save up, and get them done. 
I'm excited actually. At one point I felt like staying here after Chase is born was the absolute worst thing that could possibly happen and now, planning and talking about these projects with Jon I feel like we are falling in love with our house all over again. Yes it's old. Yes it needs updating. Yes the kitchen blows (that's the first indoor project... and I'm oh so excited for it!) and makes me hate even trying to cook anything but one pot meals. But this is our house, and it's about time we make it our home. It won't happen overnight, and it will happen one project at a time, but really just getting the yard squared away before winter sets in will make it so much more manageable with our pack. 
I'm not sure why we felt like selling this place was the right decision. I'm not sure what we were supposed to learn from all of this, and I'm not sure what the "greater plan" holds. What I do know is our baby was conceived the night we listed the house.. so... there's that. (How's THAT for over sharing?!) And if Chase Albert  is what comes out of this nightmare experience, then... well, it is so much more than worth it. 

1 comment:

  1. Love it! I just keep thinking about how the market is going up and how fixing up the yard and house will improve the sale-ability (and possibly value, depending on what you do). So staying longer just improves your chances of selling at an even better price later on when it really truly IS the right time to sell. Good luck!