Hey, guys! I just wanted to share something personal that is going on in my life right now. Hope that's cool. So, Trey and I have been house shopping for a little under six months now. Why? Good question. I sometimes ask myself this too when I'm feeling discouraged about our options (more on that in a minute).
I've been living in my current house for four years this month. And man has life changed in those past four years! You can read about when I bought my first home (the one I live in now) here. At the time I was single. Elsie and I worked in a local vintage shop that we owned. My brother and niece were my roommates for a little over a year back then. And I only had one dog. Man, how times have changed. I still had ombre hair though—guess not everything changes. 🙂 And one thing that hasn't changed at all since I moved in is that I LOVE my house. It was (and is) the perfect first home for me and all the changes that have happened in my life over the past four years.
But, with Elsie and Laura moving to Nashville, we are also moving the ABM office. I'll be the only one left in town who needs space to craft and cook and all that. So, a more traditional office space for the rest of the team made a lot more sense than the studio house. Therefore, we're working toward selling the studio house and moving the office to the space above our future bar. It's a great spot in our downtown commercial area, so I think it will make an awesome little office. But with this move, all the food styling items, craft supplies that aren't going to Nashville, and everything else that has accumulated at the studio house over the past couple of years needs to move somewhere. And my current home feels a little small for the job. That coupled with the idea that Trey and I have been thinking about trying to invest in a rental house in our hometown made us think heavily about moving. Our thought was, move to a new house that would work better for me working mostly from home, and we could rent out our current house. It's been exciting too because this time around I get to home shop WITH someone! Getting to bounce properties off Trey and see his opinion has been awesome.
So after some time searching, we finally found a house that felt like us. It needed quite a bit of work, and wasn't all that much bigger than our current house, but the layout made it more ideal for our lifestyle. So we put in a bid. We went back and forth with the seller until we finally found a price that worked for both parties. Then we had our inspection, which wasn't all that surprising because we already knew about some of the issues the house had because we could easily see them as we walked through it. Like, all the floors needed to be redone except the kitchen (which had tile). There was even some leftover asbestos tile in the bedroom (it's an older house and, like I said, needs some updates).
I got a couple bids on the work and got a contractor and a concrete company set to work just a few days after we close on the house. The concrete was for the floors, we planned to pour concrete through most of the house. We also had a lot of painting to do the first week after we closed, so we had our evenings planned out for us there. :)
Everything with the bank was set. Our loan was ready to go and we had our closing check ready. The night before our closing around 9pm we got a call from our realtor, which was odd because he never calls that late at night. So we knew something was up. He let us know that the seller had just discovered that he owed $5K more on the house than he had realized, and given our offer, it meant he would be upside down on his loan. He didn't have that amount in cash to make the deal happen, so everything fell through. And just like that we didn't have a house anymore. It was a shock to say the least.
The next day I got in touch with the contractors and our bank to let everyone know what had happened and cancel everything that needed to be canceled. Instead of spending our evenings painting our new house that week, I wondered if I should start building some kind of extra shelving for all the stuff that seemed would have to move from the studio house into our current home now that we were no longer moving. Honestly, I really wasn't sure what to do and I felt sort of paralyzed by the situation. After a few days, I decided to keep looking. I knew that if we were going to move this year, I'd rather move in the summer/autumn season than the winter. So I better just keep going and see if we found something we really loved or if we should stay put and I should get to work on those extra shelves. :)
So we kept looking. I think I've seen about EVERY property listed in Springfield on Zillow. I've made my realtor take me to just about everything in our price range that seemed like it might be us. And I felt so much relief when we found another house that we both really loved. I was rereading my first house buying story (linked above), and it's funny that I mentioned wanting a house that had wood ceilings. The house that we are currently under contract for (!!!!!!!) has wood ceilings. Ha! I guess my tastes really don't change all that much.
Because of our recent experience with that house that fell through the night before our closing, I have been really hesitant to tell friends or family all that much about the house. I'm really quick to say things like, "We MIGHT get it, but who knows!?" because I just don't think we'll feel like it's real until we have the keys in our hand. And Elsie keeps asking me what I plan to DO in the house, like how will I paint it and what changes I plan to make. It feels like she just about has her entire house planned out and nearly completed. But I just shrug my shoulders and mumble something about how I'm not even sure we'll move. It's pretty pathetic, but it's just where I'm at right now. I've felt sort of in limbo since the first house fell through because it just changed everything about our plans and timeline.
Even though that whole experience has made me feel a little bit off and unsure about things this past month, please don't think I'm complaining. How could I! I am so incredibly blessed, and whatever happens I know it's meant to be. But I did just want to share this experience with you all, because, well, we're friends and it's something that's been a big part of my life recently.
And yes, when we do actually move, I'll be sure to give you all a tour! There's nothing I'd like more. 🙂 xo. Emma
P.S. If you want to "picture" my current home better, check out this (ramble-y) video tour I did.
Just reading this now…a few weeks late! We’ve been through a sorta simular story…we were trying to buy a short sale and the bank that held the mortgage wasn’t playing nice. We really really thought that house was where we were going to live. Didn’t happen. Every time we drive by it, I say out loud I thought that was where we were going to live. Turns out, we were meant to build a home…it all fell into place like it was supposed to. Chin up buttercup!! It will work out how it’s destined to be. xoxo
This sounds like a really awesome new adventure! I can’t wait to hear how things go after (fingers crossed!) everything closes with the bank. I’m very interested in renting out our condo once we start having kids and need a bigger space, it just seems like a great way to have some locked in income.
Kindness is the best accessory,
Rebecca Kelsey Sampson
I love your personal posts Emma 🙂 You write so friendly and nice 🙂 I`m glad you and Trey found a new house that you like! Hopefully you can soon have the keys in your hands 🙂
I remember when I was buying my first (and only) house (as a short-sale), my realtor kept saying, “I’m shocked that anyone ever gets a house with everything that can go wrong…” and I remember feeling a little anxious but overall glad that she was keeping it real because I was really prepared for anything to fall through at the last minute. Fortunately it all went through as planned. It’s hard when you think it’s a done deal, but one way or another, it will all work out in the end. Good luck to you guys, whatever happens!
I know what you mean about feeling paralyzed with uncertainty. We’re planning a move to Scotland from Honolulu. We’ve bought my husband’s plane ticket, but we can’t get mine until my visa comes through. I keep talking like I’m going with him at the same time, but there’s just no way to know for sure. It’s so frustrating when your future depends on other people. I hope it all works out this time!
I can’t imagine what it is like for a place you have offered on to fall through, I hope you guys find something soon, I know it seems a bit fly away to say but things do happen for a reason so your perfect house is just around the corner!xx
i love all the posts here on abm, but i especially enjoy the ones you write, emma! you have such a genuine, engaging writing style. i’ve never even bought a house and i’m not sure if i ever will, but i still loved reading this. good luck on your new home! <3
Yikes! That seems like a ton of home buying and selling that you all are juggling! So stressful. I am sure you’ve thought of this and there must be a good reason (or many) that you’re not doing it, but did you and Trey consider moving into the studio house? Everything is renovated and customized already, and the crafts are already there, so it seems like it would at least be a good temporary solution. At any rate, best of luck, and try not to stress too much! I’m sure things will fall into place. 🙂
Most fun plan ever putting the ABM office above your new bar!!!! #dreamlife
I love how real this post was! I love love love your blog, but it’s nice to see a more “real life story” post every once in a while. And it’s super interesting! My husband and I have been renters our entire marriage (both students) and we are now in the process of buying. Good tips to know when we go through with the whole process.
Yes! I second this idea 🙂
Move into the studio!
That sucks but it’s great of you to share the story so people with less experience are ready to expect such things to happen (because it happens sooo often, it’s not even funny). The first property I bought was my current condo. I was 24 years old at the time and my mother who had bought a lot of houses in the past helped me out a lot with the whole process. There’s definetly less to worry about with a condo but the process is similar. I looked and looked and finally found the perfect place and made an offer that was accepted and at the very last minute, the seller decided not to sell 🙁 I was sooo sad and focused on the perfectness of that place that I could not imagine finding somewhere better. But of course I ended up doing just that. It’s been 5 years since and although I’m happy with my place I was getting just about ready to buy myself a proper house. So last year I started looking for houses in neighbourhoods I fancied but quickly realised the market is terrible right now in my part of the world. Houses are way over priced and people in this region have a tandency to live above their means (that’s what happens when you live in a government town where you’re sure to have a pretty secure job). So they move into houses that are way to pricey for their family (because they get accepted at the bank) and then have no money to update or renovate the place…..then they decide to move and the market has gone up so they put their house up for sale following the market prices and you end up with a 30 year old house which has never been renovated and/or updated but is still up for sale at an outrageous price (it’s not unfrequent to see a house that needs 25 to 30,000$ worth of work done and is already listed at 400,000+). Bottom line is….sometime the market is just not good enough when you’re ready to move and it’s best to be patient than to ruin your financial health.
I feel you! Two springs ago we were all set to close on a home and the day our P&S was due my husband got laid off and we had to back out. WORST FEELING EVER. We had already told everyone and then had to go back and explain everything to everyone. So, when we bought a home just 6 weeks ago (YAY!) we barely told anyone because we were afraid we might jinx it. And it didn’t feel totally real until we were in the lawyer’s office and signed a million papers and got the keys. Best of luck to you and Trey! While home shopping can be really romantic, it is also maybe one of the most stressful things I’ve done in my life. xxxx
Ditto. We’ve been on the hunt for a while and just yesterday had an inspection. Results not so great. So here’s the hoping that we are able to get the seller to come down to cover the repairs… 🙁
I’m just ready to be “home”.
Emma! That apron! Where is it from??
I’m sorry that the first home fell through for you guys. I hope everything works out with this one!
We were buying a house before we got married years ago and part of the deal was we fix a couple things to pass the city inspection so we had a contractor in and found out the basement had a major problem. So we backed out of the deal. We got sued by the realtor and lost our good faith money. What a mess. We had to move into another house which was for sale and keep looking. We made an offer on a house and didn’t use a realtor and had a private inspection done.We ended up in a better neighborhood and school district. I’m sure you will find the right house for you guys.
I know you how you feel — we just closed on our first home a week ago. We didn’t have any troubles in the closing process, but we looked for over 18 months — I thought we’d never find something we loved! Wishing you luck!
It’s perfectly fine that you aren’t shouting it from the rooftops and have a whole house renovation planned already! I think that it can be wise to approach a big transition with a calm and flexible attitude. It will make moving day that much more fun and surreal feeling.
It’s sorta like how some people tell everyone and start buying stuff for a nursery the second they see the lines on the pee stick and some people wait till the second trimester. Either is fine. It’s about what you are comfortable with.