family of 3 closing on second home

Goodbye, First Home

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This day last week we officially closed on our first home and bought a new home! Call us crazy, but this week we’ve already been knee-deep in home projects. Like T going to bed at 1:30 am and me waking up at 4:30 am type of crazy.

Our thinking behind this was to take advantage of T’s week off and go super hard in one week and then take a good chunk of time off! And you know, just celebrate Christmas and live life!

Will that happen? Who knows. Well, I do know. Probably not. But at least we’ll just do work because we want to and when we feel like it.

Though talking about the new house is a post on its own, I thought it’d be fun to document this whole house journey and share it with you!

This is when I said we sold our house, this is when I said we got a new one, and now I’m saying that we are officially out of our first home!

Now I can’t wait to share my vision for the new home, but this post will be a reflection and sappy memory time of our first place!

I’m not even trying to tease you or anything by keeping the new house to myself. I just need my posts to follow a certain order, ya know? 😉 Please don’t go expecting a mansion since I’m waiting so long to reveal…it’s really just a modest brick ranch that has a green shower haha!

But here’s a question I never really answered that I said I’d get to…

Why the move? When we bought our first place we knew it wasn’t a house we wanted to live in forever. We were just two young kiddos (20 &21) taking on a fixer-upper! Though we didn’t love the layout (and it was very pricey to change), it was a great first time home and despite not having it be “perfect”, we overall enjoyed our time in it! But it was time for us to move on.

Our lifestyle changed (kid, busier with blog, etc) and we wanted a layout and home that worked better for us (I’m dreaming of a studio space…). We wanted something we could see ourselves in long-term without any pricey layout changes. And I’ll admit, we had done about as much as we could have/wanted to in the first home and we were kinda itching for a new project haha!

We had talked about flipping/selling the house for a couple of years and never really acted on it. But the thought/feeling never went away and since the housing market was good, we decided to act.

We decided late summer to finally pull the trigger so this means we worked our butts off day and night to hurry up and get it ready for market before winter. It was about a solid 2 months of pretty much nonstop work to finally list it end of October.

We were very grateful for the help we got from family, but I won’t lie, it was very hard. We did the majority of the work ourselves and it felt like one long horror movie that wouldn’t end at times haha. No wonder people say moving is stressful! 😉

clonked out
Will wasn’t sleeping well during this time and Titus & I were staying up late to get things done…I fell asleep on the couch and woke up to find them clonked out together

It wasn’t just as easy as deciding we wanted to move, clean the house, and list it. We were in the middle of some projects we had to finish up, as well as fix some major things yet. There were some rooms we didn’t even touch in the 4 years we were there and ones I’m pretty sure haven’t been touched since the 70’s that needed our attention.

We had many late nights, early mornings, long days, and stressful moments, but we kept telling ourselves, “the only way out is through.” We were set on selling so quitting wasn’t an option for us!

Will wanted to help a ton too! He’s available for hire. But just so you know he’s slow, doesn’t do the job that well, complains a lot, and is pretty demanding. 😉 😉

So would you do a fixer-upper again? Well, we said no, but here we are haha! The reason we said no originally was that we were feeling pretty beat in the midst of all the work we had to do. But once the fatigue of house projects wore off we were ready to get at it again! I don’t think we’ll ever tackle something that’s as bad as to need gutting (we did look at one), but I’m all for cosmetic updates. You usually get a more affordable house, you get to pick the finishes you want, and you can add a lot of resale value to the home!

If it were between the outdated house and the updated house with “nice” finishes, I would take the outdated house. We love the freedom to put our own stamp on a home that can truly feel like ours!

If you have any other questions let me know and I’ll do my best to answer them, but I thought it’d be fun to do a side by side comparison and show you some before & afters of this place!

I won’t say all the “afters” are my final vision. If I had more time and money (and desire) I would have done more and done some things a little differently. And I definitely wouldn’t call ourselves flippers by any means. We were just two people with limited time and moolah that wanted to improve the house we lived in and add our own personal stamp.

Though I will say, we definitely improved the place and our hard work paid off. I really hope the buyers go on to improve it even more and add their own personal touches.

Kitchen

Will’s room/nursery
Living Room
Master Bedroom
Master Bathroom
Guest Bathroom
Basement
Dining Room
Guest Room

I don’t recommend a fixer-upper for everyone, but what we learned is just priceless. Not only did we learn very practical skills like woodworking, plumbing, electrical, etc, but we also learned what we’re good at and what we won’t attempt again haha. We learned patience, hard work, contentment, budgeting, and how to keep a happy relationship during stressful times.

Our first home. The place where we brought our first kid home to. This home has a special place in my heart, but I won’t lie, I’m already loving this next one!

I’ll leave you with one more fun comparison. Here’s us (looking like babies) 4 years ago closing on our first house and here’s us now!

Wow, I did lots of talking!! Let me know if there’s any certain house content you want to see. I’ve had a request for moving tips and house goals and I’ve already got those posts sitting in my drafts!

I will also try not to switch over to home content completely, but I’ll admit, it’s what’s on my brain right now haha! But I’ll make sure to still have some fashion content too.

Stay tuned for more posts!

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Carolyn Arentson
Carolyn is the founder and creator behind My Chic Obsession. When she's not dreaming up new content, you can find her watching a funny tv show with her husband, raising her two boys, or planning her next trip to Paris.