Hey everyone, we are joining up with some blog friends today to chat about why we chose our homes. Why chose our split level house story is actually interesting, because I think like a lot of people, our home wasn’t actually our “dream” house.
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Back when everyone thought the computers would crash in Y2K, Nick and I were a few years into our marriage, and had been living in an apartment., and were ready to get out and buy our own home. This was the days before Zillow, and Redfin, and you actually had to wait for a real estate agent to pull listings for you. Most of the time, you didn’t get to see what the inside looked like until you walked in for the first showing. I can’t tell you how many homes we went into that were nightmares, and how many houses we looked at that smelled, or that we walked right in and then right out.
Our plan was to buy a starter home, and be able to buy it on one salary. I had left the fire department a year or so before and was working with a healthcare company doing medical screenings (and I had started my creative journey of doing craft shows.). We knew we wanted to start a family, and that we wanted to keep a lower mortgage so I could stay at home when a baby came along.
It was a seller’s market when we were looking. Every house we looked at was either already under contract the minute we went to make an offer, or we would get into bidding wars, and not be able to out bid the other people. Our lease was running out, and we were starting to get a little panicked when the house we live in now popped up. In fact, our agent didn’t even recommend the town we live in now, we kept looking at every town around us. We asked him to pull up listings here, and three came up. One, we still call the “cat pee house”, another was right next to the tollway and the noise was deafening, and then we saw our house. It seemed like the perfect little “starter house” that We put an offer in right away, and two days later, it was accepted.
That was when we bought our “starter home” almost 20 year ago… that we still live in. It was definitely a blank slate for us. At the time, it was plenty of room for the two of us, but after a few kids, we definitely feel the squeeze While living in a smaller home has it’s own challenges. You have to be creative with space and storage, but I do love everything we’ve done to it over the last 20 years. I have a few fun before and afters to show you from the original real estate listing since our home has changed quite a bit.
Here’s a peek at our living room… before
The master bedroom has had a huge update too.
The biggest change has been in our kitchen and dining room areas.
How about that 1980’s oak?
The built in bookshelves really helped upgrade the space, and make it so much more usable! Our bathrooms have also gotten cosmetic upgrades. You can see our main bathroom makeover here, and our guest bathroom here.
Even our exterior has come along way. I’ll share how our landscaping has changed in another post, the yard has really grown in and evolved over time!
I will admit, I love everything we have done to our house…but I’m still holding out for my historic old home with 9-foot ceilings , original wood work , staircase, and fireplace some day. I would love to find something that’s 1940’s, or ever earlier. People have told me they would never want that because when you get an old house, all you do is fix it up. From my experience, once your house is past a certain age, that’s all you do anyway, so you might as well have the house you want. Our home is from 1960’s and we’ve replaced everything from top to bottom. If we ever did move, the next owners would be getting almost everything updated and like new!
Make sure you visit the other homes on the “Why I chose my house tour”.