Leaving our First Home for a New One – An Official Update

Whew. It’s been a whirlwind couple of months! I always love summer time because as a former teacher married to a teacher, we love our summer vacation. Little did we know how busy our summer was going to be this year.

As I’ve talked about here on the blog and on my weekly newsletter, we made a rather unexpected but good decision to sell our house. It’s why I haven’t been writing much this summer because we’ve been busy moving! But we closed on our new house last Friday so it is officially time for a long overdue update.

Are you ready? Let’s recap a bit, shall we? Here’s a timeline of how this all came about.

May 11 – Andy and I talk seriously about selling our house. We always loved our quaint little Amish town, right outside the city. In the 8 years we lived in our house, we had done A LOT of updates. You see, our house was built in 1945 and we were only the second owners. We repainted every room, refinished hardwood floors, finished the basement, built up the backyard, put a new roof on, built a shed, and so on and so on. Yet, when Andy’s parents decided they were ready to sell their house and move out to the country, we knew we wouldn’t have an opportunity to buy a house like theirs again – a well maintained, solidly built house with more space at a reasonable price. Plus, the new house would save my husband over a half hour of driving time every single day he goes to school…and that really adds up! It was an emotional time with lots of back and forth and prayer, but we ultimately decided this was the best move for our family.

May 20 – We decide to list our house to see if it sells so we can buy my in-law’s house.

May 21 – We make a list of projects and proceed to quickly check them off so we can list the house. Thankfully, the new roof was scheduled to go on this very week and our Amish builders tackled it all in a couple days. They also helped with some odd jobs around the house, and we had electricians out to fix some lighting issues. Wouldn’t you know that it takes moving to get working kitchen lights for the first time in 5 years? Ha. Andy and I also painted one of our bathrooms, touched up more paint and packed up quite a few toys and clutter things.

May 31 – While Andy was finishing up the school year, I meet with three different realtors. They all had different perspectives and prices on our house, even though they shared the same comparables. I did a lot of lot of research on comparable houses in our area too, and we were very pleased with the realtor we went with.

June 4 – We sign papers with our chosen realtor, take pictures and house goes on the market that Sunday night.

June 5 – We have our first house showings on Monday morning and end up with 18 total showings over the next 2 weeks. The kids and I got very good at only playing with one thing at a time so we could leave the house at a moment’s notice.

June 18 – We reject a very low offer on our house. Even though we were definitely willing to negotiate, this offer was almost insulting, especially since they listed off all the things they still needed to do to make the house “liveable.” Needless to say, we did not accept that offer.

June 19 – The very next day, we receive a full price offer for our house, as well as two more competing offers. After all our worries that the house wouldn’t sell, we were thrilled to see that others loved our house as much as we did!

June 21 – We accept the full price offer and go under contract, almost a month exactly from when we decided to sell.

June 27 – The buyers waived their inspection but do a walk through of the house. This was an amazing blessing as we did not have to fix anything in our house!

June 29 – Appraisal finally happens. The housing market in Grabill varies quite a bit and so this made us a bit nervous appraisal wise, particularly since all our offers were through a new 100% USDA loan. Not a problem except if the appraisal came back low. Our house was built in 1945 but had a walk out finished basement with a large lot, things that very few new houses could claim. I ended up leaving our appraiser a list of all the comparable houses we used, listing address, square footage, bedrooms, baths, price sold and why we used it as a comparable. Then, I typed out a list of all the improvements we had done to our house as well as how much we had spent on them. Thanks to our self-employed church worker tax records, it was easy to gather this information. We left the information for him and hoped for the best!

June 30 – We begin packing as much as we can in between living life with our little ones.

July 4 – Andy helps his parents move many of their things into storage and we start bringing small trailer loads over of some of our things.

July 7 – After much anxiety and a lot of prayers, we finally hear that our appraisal came back at full asking price! We finish packing in earnest.

July 11 – We leave on a family vacation. We drove to Wisconsin to spend 4 days with college friends. There were 10 adults and 8 kids (under the age of 4) in a big barn house we rented in the middle of no where. We had a great time together, as we always do. Then, we drove to Southern Indiana to Camp Lakeview for a family reunion with my Mom’s extended family.

July 16 – We return from vacation with my parents and finish packing the kitchen and basement late that Sunday night. We spend our last night in our first house.

July 17 – Andy picks up our 26 foot Uhaul and we move that day to our new house. I walked 42,000 steps on Monday as we filled our Uhaul twice. We were so thankful for the help of my parents (especially my master packer, Dad) and Andy’s parents (who watched the kids) as well as the 5 guys who showed up at various times of the day to help us pack and unload. It was a very long day but we managed to move almost everything that one day. We sleep in our new house that night.

July 18 – We spend the day cleaning our old house, with the help of my parents. My parents live in Texas (where I grew up) and it is too many miles away from Indiana. Our time together is always too brief so we were excited earlier this year when they made plans to stay with us for 5 whole days this summer. Little did any of us know that they would be helping us move! They were amazing and worked so hard to help us. We couldn’t have done it without their help!

July 19 – We finish the last bit of cleaning and close up the house.

July 20 – Take our kids to their first (empty) house one last time.

July 21 – We close on our old house, give the keys to the new owners, and turn right around to close on our new house! 

My thoughts? It’s been an emotional couple months. Our old house was our first house. It was the house Andy and I bought together when we were engaged and spent our early days of marriage making it a home. It’s where we brought Nathan and Emma home, and watched them take their first steps. And honestly? They probably won’t remember it much. But our new house is our home now because I know a house is really just walls and a roof. It’s our home because of my family who lives there with me. 

I’m still adjusting to the fact that we moved 10 miles away. In my family, if you moved, you moved to a new state! This moving across town was new to me but Andy assured me it’s common for people who live their whole lives in one area.

Some more details? Are you still reading? The new house is more square footage with an extra bedroom than our old house. It is the house that Andy’s parents built when Andy was in 4th grade. And honestly, Andy’s Dad built it so we know the ins and outs of this house. Once again, we’re the second owners and are ready to put our touch on the place.

We’re doing that slowly because Andy’s parents are still living in the house with us for the next 6-9 months as they build their new house outside of Fort Wayne. They moved a lot of their things into storage for the time being, and we are sharing the house for the next couple months. My in-laws are wonderful people and it’s already nice to have extra babysitting help with the kids, even when it means running to the grocery store by myself! Still, we’re trying to blend two houses without stepping on anyone’s toes so prayers for a smooth transition time would be appreciated.

This house has a basement (like our previous house) but it is unfinished. We’ve finished a basement before and have plans to do it again here. We are committed to doing things slowly, as we have the money, especially since we know this will be our house for the future. We want to do projects that we are really ready to do and that will last. Slowly! We’re making lists and really thinking things through first.

It’s been the first time I’ve bought and sold a house as an adult and I gained a whole new appreciation for those who do this on a regular basis. Hats off to all of you who move regularly! Whew.

We still have lots of boxes to unpack but we are slowly making progress. The kitchen and kid’s rooms were the first to get organized. Now that those rooms are done, I’m not in a hurry to get the other rooms done. We purged a lot of things already but have plenty more to go through as we unpack. I’m trying to be intentional about what we have in our new home.

There you have it. That’s the official update on our transition to our new house. If you want to see more house pictures and updates as I share them, be sure to follow me on Instagram where I share those every day moments! Thanks for all your prayers and support in this busy time for me and my family. Now it’s time to go tackle another box or two…

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  1. Oh how exciting for you and your family! I love this blog and think you are such a wonderful person. Looking forward to many more posts:)

    1. Aw, thank you, Jackie! This is one of the reasons I truly love writing this blog because I get to connect with so many lovely people like yourself! Here’s to many more posts coming…soon, I hope, to get back in the regular swing of things!

  2. So happy for you all! Remember that it takes a woman’s body 18 months to RECOVER a move! (My young family 3 yr old and 1 yr old moved THREE times in 11 months as you did within 10 miles!) I’ll be praying for your 2 million boxes to unpack and organize!!

    1. 18 months? Well, that does explain some of my exhaustion then. If you can do it 3 times (wow!) than I know I can do it once. Only 1.9 million boxes to go! 🙂

  3. Congratulations! Wow! What a journey this summer and living with extended family can be such a blessing! I will pray for you and yours for a smooth transition and hope many blessings for this coming year!

    1. Thank you, Christina, for the prayers! We greatly appreciate them. We are already enjoying the help with free baby-sitting from the grandparents and plan to enjoy that while we can! 🙂

    1. Thank you, Rebecca! We are very excited to be moved in and ready to start creating our own memories here.

    1. Thanks, Kate! I am praying for you as you move to your new home! It’s a lot of work to move with little ones, so I’m praying for extra endurance, energy and patience in the days and weeks ahead.

  4. Congratulations on your new home! You will always have sweet memories of your first house, but you’ll be making lots more memories in this house! Hopefully having two families in the house will work well (we did that ourselves not too long ago) but I know you will enjoy when you can have just your family in your new home! Keep us posted.

    1. Thanks, Addy! It’s nice to hear from other families who have done the same as house. Sharing a house certainly has its challenges but also it’s blessings. I will certainly keep everyone posted, and yes, we look forward to the memories too!

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