Back in 2004, Aaron and I scoffed at the idea of a “starter home.” After all, if we didn’t want to live in a house until it was paid off and we owned it outright, why not just rent? Why take that risk?
And so it was that we purchased our first home together.
We’d been living together in a duplex apartment for a couple of years, since before we were married (but after we were engaged for about a year). Aaron had moved from part-time to full-time at work, and we just felt like it was time to stop putting money in someone else’s pocket. We could own our own home for the same amount as we were paying in rent every month — why not put that money to good use for ourselves, instead of paying someone else’s mortgage?
Back then, we had a list of requirements: three bedrooms (or two plus a den), attached garage (preferably two-car), dishwasher, central air, and a pleasant neighborhood (where we could safely take walks). In the end, we got the three bedrooms, an attached one-car garage, and a walkable neighborhood. As it turns out, our house stays fairly cool in the summer, so the lack of central air wasn’t disastrous… but the dishwasher’s absence has been keenly felt over the years, as has the two-car garage.
Like I said, we didn’t expect to move. Ever.
We also didn’t expect to have Connor, or receive an inheritance. We didn’t expect to have the reason or the means to buy another home.
But here we are.
Our new requirements were a little steeper and less negotiable: attached two-car garage, four bedrooms (or three plus a den), central air, dishwasher, quiet neighborhood (preferably on a cul-de-sac), close to the highway, and close to either the bike trail or a park. Oh, and most importantly: in a different school district.
We went out house-hunting about three times, looking at about half a dozen homes each time, and we finally settled on a house that met most of our requirements. Super close to the highway, spacious, with all the amenities we need. It’s not on a cul-de-sac, but it’s set back from the road enough that it’s still quiet.
Today, we closed on that house, almost nine years to the day from when we closed on our current house. We’ll be moving in a few weeks — just one day short of nine years after moving here.
These next couple of weeks will be spent frantically packing and cleaning, running small things over to the new place, hauling trunkloads of clutter to Goodwill, measuring existing furniture and new rooms, and looking into a new daycare for Connor. And did I mention packing? Lots of packing.
Unlike that last move, though, we’re planning to hire movers — no worries that we’ll be pressing our friends into service! 😉