Monday, September 02, 2013

Happy Housivarsary!

Four years ago today, I closed on my house. It's changed a lot since that day when I put the key in the lock for the first time and walked in to my home. The first thing Momma said was, "you have no idea what you've gotten yourself into." And she was very right. Owning a home means mortgage payments, lawn mowing, bills, cleaning, and all kinds of grown-up things, but I love my house and I am so thankful for it.
When I first bought the house
Since then we've painted it, removed bushes, and added porch furniture.
I started looking at houses in February of 2009. Between February and August I looked at over 60 houses, put an offer on 7, and ended up with the best one. The first time I saw my house online, I called my realtor immediately and told her I wanted to see it mainly because I loved the street it was on. We went to see it the next day.
The kitchen with original stove and scallops
My kitchen remodel might be my favorite -- all for $1200!!
When I first walked in, I was overwhelmed with the amount of stuff in it. The house was well loved, but was in desperate need of updating. Everything in the house was still original from 1951 from the stove to the wallpaper. The family that built the house had lived there for nearly 60 years without changing much. I mentally began painting the walls, relaying the floors, and changing the kitchen. I knew it could be adorable.
My bedroom before - carpet and old drapes
Now -- although I need to get a better photo of it during the day. It's not as dark as it seems.
The next night I took my mom and grandma to see the house with me. We walked through talking about how big the rooms were, what walls could be removed in the kitchen, and how to update the bathrooms. As we were leaving, my realtor called the selling agent to ask a question. It turned out to be an owner/agent meaning that the selling agent was also the owner of the home. In this case, she was the daughter-in-law of the woman who had lived there. My grandmother recognized the name as a family who had adopted a baby from the ministry my grandpa had been part of for years. Grandma told my realtor to ask the agent if she remembered them, and the agent did.
The mudroom before
This is probably the most drastic change. I love the stripes!
I decided that evening to put an offer on the house for $12,000 below the asking price. The next day, my realtor called and said she talked with the family selling the home, and they had received an offer from a contractor for $10,000 over the asking price. This had happened to me multiple times during the house-hunting process, so I was prepared to let go of this house and keep searching.
My living room before - I loved the built in bookshelf, but it didn't get to stay.
New floors, lots of paint, and all new insulation.
This time ended up different though. The family selling the house wanted me to have it after learning that the man who placed their daughter into their family was my grandpa. They said if I could go $4,000 under the asking price, it would be mine. I immediately agreed and started dreaming up ways to decorate and remodel my new home. The sellers gave up $14,000 so that I could have this home.
The office before - that green chair came with the house
That desk is one of my favorite garage sale finds ever!
A month later I was signing papers, getting keys, and becoming the second owner of my house. It's crazy to think that in 62 years, only 2 people have owned 1 home. God's hand is so evident in all of it. I've fed dozens of people within these walls, hosted multiple Bible studies, housed a few youth students, missionaries, and friends who just needed a place to stay. My brother and sister-in-law lived here for 3 weeks, and my other brother lived here for nearly a year. Just about every Wednesday my entire family gathers here for family dinner while my nephews ring the bell on top of the house and build forts in the living room. It is still well loved and I am so thankful for it.
P.S. Today is also my parent's wedding anniversary. 35 years. They are an incredible inspiration of love and faithfulness. God has blessed me beyond measure with the 2 of them.
This is their engagement photo from 1978.
And this is what they look like now. :)


  1. Jennie! Maddy and I loved the tour -- thanks! You've done a wonderful job!

  2. Love, love, love this! You are so incredibly talented!! Glad I can call you friend :)

  3. Awesome job on the renovation, Jenny! Also, you look just like your mom in her engagement picture!

  4. love love LOVE this! Totally forgot that yesterday was our housiversary too! crazy! So thankful to have been a part of so many meals, parties, random game nights, Launch studies, Pilates, and girls nights within your walls.

    Thank you for being such an amazing hostess. You inspire me.

    love you, friend!


Thanks for stopping by my blog and taking the time to comment! I really appreciate your kind words. If you have any questions, feel free to post them here and check back for an answer!