Our Journey to Homeownership

IMG_1502You are looking at the newest (probably) homeowners in the fine city of Stephens City, VA.  That’s right! We bought a house!  And it was one of the most exhilarating and exhausting days of my life.  It ranks right up there with my wedding day and the births of both of my children, and I’m sure it’s going to have the same kind of lasting impact in my life.  We’re still a few weeks from actually calling our new house home, but Andrew and I are both so excited to start making memories with our children there.

We came to Stephens City by accident, when an apartment became available just a few weeks before I was due to give birth to Felicity and Andrew was supposed to start his new job.  It wasn’t in the city we’d hoped for, but with time ticking away and limited availability for housing, we agreed to lease an apartment that ended up being conveniently located near our church, parks, pool, mall, job, and the friends we would make in the coming year.  When we decided to start looking for a house, we knew that we wouldn’t find a location as convenient as Stephens City.  We knew what town we wanted to live in; it just remained to find the right house.

IMG_1501.JPGIt took about three weeks, but we found it.  Located on a quiet cul-de-sac in a neighborhood that was part of my regular jogging route, it was perfect.  The house was a walk-able distance from our current apartment, meaning that commutes wouldn’t change at all.  Our new home is a split-level with three upstairs bedrooms, as well as a fourth bedroom on the lower level.  The house needs some work, but everything we’ll need upon moving in is already ready to go.  In the long-term, we can add an additional bedroom and bathroom on the bottom floor, which will be wonderful as our family expands in the future.  There’s a deck that comes off the dining area, which overlooks a decently-sized backyard with space for a future play gym.  The house has everything we need right now, as well as potential for more in the future.

We’re still a few weeks away from moving in, but slowly our belongings are making their way home.  I know more about loans, financing, and down payments than I ever wanted to, and though I’m definitely not fluent in real estate lingo, I know more than I did before beginning this process.  And looking for houses with two children?  Difficult, but not impossible.  John considered house hunting to be an adventure, and I think he was just as excited about visiting a new house as he was for an afternoon spent at the playground.  He was even more excited when we were able to tell him that one of those houses was ours. 

IMG_1515Andrew and I have been married for just over four years, and we’ve lived in three apartments already.  We’ve moved twice, called three places home, and this will be our fourth time going through the packing and unpacking process as a couple.  The only comfort is that this will be the last time for a very long time.  We will finally have a home that is really ours.  John has lived in three homes at this point, but this house will be the home that he most remembers.  This will be the only home that Felicity will have any memory of.  This will be their childhood home, the place where so many memories will be made.  And we just can’t wait to get started.

Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!