I have been receiving some flack from people for not posting pictures of our new home yet. I have really good reasons, but will not bore you with them on here.
Because it’s what I do, because I explain things until the horse is dead, I feel compelled to explain the whole “move” so it all makes sense first. Just scroll down if you’re only interested in the pictures 🙂
As many of you know we have been house/state hopping lately. Lover Boy and I grew up in St. Charles, IL. From there we moved to Toledo, OH for College. Before graduating College, he received word that a company in GA wanted to interview him. Because this was a 1,000 mile move and because we were getting married he got permission for me to come along on the trip to “check out the area”. So back in 2006 we both flew down to GA and decided that we could live there.
When it came to buying a house there it was no different than any other home hunt we’ve had up to date. We search for several months. Look at every.single.thing on the market in person, multiple times and then finally make our decision. Now, I will tell you, with the home we bought in GA, I had picked it out, was sold up and down, left and right. However, Lover Boy wasn’t. But, for Valentine’s Day he surprised me with an accepted offer!
The house wasn’t huge but it literally is the house I desire every time we have moved since.
It had two acres, an awesomely huge front porch and a back deck…my biggest selling points (we had torn off the railing by the point the picture was taken above because we added that 3 pane window in the family room). The house definitely wasn’t the way we dreamed it to look on the inside when we first bought it. It was 14 years old so there were gold fixtures, a dated kitchen, dated carpet, etc but we went in there and ripped up every single floor, replaced them all on our own, repainted every single wall, stripped the kitchen cabinets, moved them around, built enclosures and had granite put it. I loved every square inch of that house, probably because we did all of the hard work ourselves and really appreciated it. It was tailored just to us.
We lived here for 3 years. Both of our kids came home to this house after they were born. So, it will forever hold a very special place in my heart.
Then we accepted a transfer to SC and we knew that this would be short term (ha, even shorter than the 3 years in GA). So our home search didn’t involve looking for the “dream” house. It was more of what can you get a good deal on and have a quick return on that will yield a profit?
So our search was in one area, in one school zone specifically. The house we chose was 2.5 years old and made Lover Boy excited…just not so much me. Now don’t get me wrong, I ended up liking the house but as we lived there longer and longer I literally hated going outside. Going from 2 acres to .25 acres (with only half of that being usable) was torture for myself and the dogs. 98% of our neighborhood were beyond terrified of dogs, plus the fact that our yard was like 2’x2′ I never let the dogs outside. This really just built up a lot of problems, especially with Harley. He is mister nosey (and let me remind you, he does have a diagnosis of “separation fear”) and wants to be involved in every aspect of our lives and so me treating him like he was in trouble or not allowed to go outside created a barking monster! Ohhh the dog barked nonstop, which then caused Bella and Lovie to bark a lot too. Such fun.
Anyway, we were talking about the house, not the dogs.
It was a nice, huge house with a huge entertaining kitchen in a really great location. I loved that we could walk to every store I ever used (Publix, Wal-Mart, Kohls, Tutti Frutti) 🙂 But I was really relieved when it sold on the first showing and I got to start looking for a yard again!
OK so with all of that said I’m sure that you probably have a good idea of what is the most important to me. A yard. Outdoor living space. We love being outside and love running around, throwing balls to the dogs, and having campfires. I was hellbent on finding a house with a yard again.
Since we actually got our transfer notice right after we unpacked our last box at the SC house right after Christmas 2011 we had quite a bit of time to start our home search (way before we even listed the house on the market). At first we were really excited about the things we were seeing online. But then once spring hit and we started coming up and looking at houses we grew really discouraged. We had figured out what “area” we wanted to live in, north of Charlotte near Lake Norman. We primarily looked on the east side of the lake and just kept finding stuff just like our SC house that was only older and in my opinion gross or really outdated. Plus the traffic was beyond the most ridiculous thing I had ever experienced. It was like a joke. After months of searching our friends, some co-workers of Lover Boy who took a transfer from GA to NC when we were transferred to SC bought on the west side of the lake in Denver. Denver at this point is less developed and is more “country”. It offers all of the primary/necessary stores and restaurants but is growing daily. It’s definitely a lake town that makes a good bit of it money due to the boating industry.
To make a really really long story short, our friends were talking with some of their neighbors and said that they had some friends (us) who liked the neighborhood and were looking at houses in it (which there were only 2 listed and were not in our price range). By a serious miracle, the other neighbor knew of a family who was getting divorced and were moving out. We got their phone number and asked if we could come see it. We did and I liked the yard but the house was definitely not my style, and it was a good bit smaller than our SC house. We saw the house a billion times but still were not sold on it. But after looking at a ton more houses on our own, all arrows just kept pointing to this house as being the best option.
The fact that the neighborhood has it’s own private beach and boat ramp on Lake Norman was just a plus. I seriously did not consider this in my decision. I was only concerned about the yard, the drive for Lover Boy and the potential to make the house the way we wanted it (well and of course the school district…which is really good here!) (This house was the most expensive one we have bought, needed the most work but has the greatest potential to yield the biggest return…which is the important part).
Because we were closing on our house back in SC before we could close on the new house, I really didn’t want to have to move into temporary living provided by the company and then move again into the house. So since it was vacant we were luckily able to rent the house from the owners. Due to reasons way out of our control and the banking system today, we finally closed on Tuesday, 46 days past our original closing date. Fun stuff, huh?
Now that we’ve been here for almost 2 months I love it. Lover Boy loves it and admits that it was the best choice we could have made. He loves his 25 mile (one way) drive to work (which is the shortest he’s ever had…in both GA and SC he drove 50 miles one way). It’s perfect for on his Harley. We have the most amazing neighborhood we have ever lived in…and we are having SO MUCH FUN dreaming up and planning all of our upcoming projects.
Harley is a happy camper here…and Bella is in the backyard 🙂
Here is my car parked alongside our driveway. If you look down the street you see Lake Norman (sorry it’s not very clear, my cell phone camera is horrible).
The beach. Our neighborhood is located on one of the coves of the lake.
So there ya have it. House #3 in 5.5 years. We are looking forward to this being a long term house!
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