We’ve lived in our current house for 14 years. We moved in approximately a year and a half after we got married, in September of 2006. We love this house and we love this neighborhood, but always knew we’d be opening our minds to “the next chapter” in the years after our two babies were born.
In 2017, we purchased some land in a rural county a little less than an hour west of our city. It was a beautiful lot, totally flat and with a peek-a-boo view of the lake. My parents bought the adjacent lot – so that we’d have adjoining backyards – and we planned to build custom homes. My husband’s parents live just down the road from the properties, meaning we’d have tons of family nearby.
A few months after purchasing, we learned that there was absolutely no high speed Internet access in the development, despite active lines running along the main street on which the entrance to the neighborhood sat. Since Matt works a remote full-time job and I conduct all of my freelancing online, this was a huge dealbreaker. We also realized that property values in the rural area would mean we’d put way more money into building a home than we’d ever get back out of it.
We halted our building plans and sat on the lots for a couple of years, knowing we’d likely never build on them but not quite ready to put them up for sale. We were also back to square one with knowing where we were going to end up in future years.
In Spring of 2020 – as we are all too aware – COVID-19 turned the world upside down. Being avid RV travelers, we had a full spring and summer schedule packed with exciting and ambitious trips. All of those plans got smashed. As a way of licking our wounds, we started casually browsing the local home listings on Zillow.
We looked at farms with acres and acres of land, thinking my parents could build a lil’ guest house on the property. But we’re not really into farm animals, gardens, and tending to massive amounts of land. Well, I actually would take a farm animal or two. Chickens and goats, perhaps.
We looked at homes that were quickly discarded due to major dealbreakers (not the right layout, no storage, built on steep hills, not enough shade, etc). I was being brutal with discarding possible homes, because I knew that if we did decide to pack up our life and move, it had to be worth it.
One night, another evening spent poring over listings, my parents texted a link to a home.
“I have to show you this house. It’s so weird, and you’ll probably hate it, but just look at it.” My mom said.
I looked at it. And man, it was weird indeed. But I didn’t hate it.
In fact, I kinda loved it.
I didn’t even show it to Matt, because I figured that it was a little too weird for him.
Later that same evening, after the kids were in bed, we were sitting on the couch lazily staring at our phones.
“Hey, you gotta see this house.” Matt said. “It’s so weird.”
I took his phone, glanced at the screen, and laughed. It was the same crazy house that my mom had sent me a few hours earlier.
“I think I should probably hate it, but I don’t.” He said.
“Oh, my God! I said the exact same thing! Okay, we have to take a closer look at this thing.”
We spent the next two hours looking at the listing, going over every single photo multiple times. We realized that the house ticked most of our must-haves (some that would be realized after a few renovations).
And on top of that, it was SO unique. No one would have a house like it. We could spend a few years updating it, making it our own, and it would be home.
We were so excited about the house that we didn’t notice at first that it is located in one of the most beautiful, desirable neighborhoods in our city. We know the neighborhood well, having photographed several weddings in the clubhouse back in our pro photographer days.
That settled it. We had to see it in person.
By then we were working with an incredible agent, Annie Turner. She met us at the house with our kids and my dad.
It was love at first sight as soon as we arrived, despite realizing that the house needed a lot more work than we first thought. Annie was incredibly observant, pointing out things that we wouldn’t have even noticed. Despite the work needed to make the house move-in ready, we knew we had to go for it.
The next step was a second showing at the house with a general contractor so that we could get a real world estimate on how much money we’d have to throw at this place to turn it into our dream home, and determine if it was even something we could do.
Annie was an amazing ally as she expertly guided us through the process of making an offer on the house, while at the same time fast-tracking getting our current house show-ready and on the market. She was incredibly responsive to calls and messages, was there to answer questions whenever we needed her, kept the stress low, and has been a rock star throughout this entire process. We couldn’t have done it without her!
Things moved very quickly once our offer was accepted on Myrtle. Our own house went under contract after not even 4 days on the market, and now we’re sittin’ pretty until our closing date, which is only 2 weeks away.
We’ll be moving into our RV for a month (post on that coming soon, ha) to stay out of the work crews’ way during the dirtier parts of the remodel. Things are about to get really interesting around here as we dive head first into a contemporary home remodel, and I can’t wait!!
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