I’ll admit it, I’m a house junky. I love shopping for them, enjoying beautiful ones my friends own, designing them, really anything having to do with hearth and home. I’m obsessed.
My husband and I were lucky enough to be able to take this super funky little house in a dream neighborhood and make it our own, including built-in coffee maker for him and heated bathroom carrara floors for me. It just felt like “us” and we regularly pinched ourselves that we got to come home to that everyday.
Then came the time for my husband to look for a permanent position after being in school and training forever! My husband studies metastatic breast cancer and has worked his butt off to be able to run his own lab. He was offered a perfect opportunity in Seattle to work for Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, and we had to jump at the chance.
By jump, I mean I had to question, cry, get excited, feel sad, look forward to, and generally get used to idea of moving to an entirely new part of the country (while 8 months pregnant with our 2nd) after living in California all of my life!
One weekend in October 2013 we flew up to Seattle with a long list of houses to look at, with the goal of finding our dream one. Well… it didn’t quite go as planned. By the time we met with our realtor 3 of my favorite houses were already in escrow, and many of the others were just too much work to take on given how far i was in my pregnancy. The Seattle market is out of control and at the end of the weekend, we had one house left on the list. It had a good floor plan, an attached garage (a rarity even in rainy Seattle), and while everything was “done,” I didn’t really like it.
When you’re moving to a new state, are about to have a baby, and have two large dogs that make finding a rental nearly impossible, you take what you can get.
So we got our new house, had our beautiful baby, and started to settle into this new life of ours, which now also involved me expanding my design business to Seattle and growing my office in California as well.
As I’m typing, all of this sounds like a lot, but really we’ve created this beautiful little life, our children are happy, we’ve made lots of wonderful friends, my husband is doing important work and my business is thriving!
Just one thing continued to nag on me and that was our new home. I believe that 99% of people would be thrilled to live here, but doing what I do means that I want my home to feel like an extension of myself and my family. It’s really, really important to me and feeds my happiness and contentment.
About three months ago my husband and I decided to start “passively” looking for a new home. Which meant that I began obsessively scouring Redfin, asking our real estate agents if they knew of anything coming on the market, and driving to the neighborhoods we had decided we wanted to live in to check commute times, see how many people waved as I drove down the street, etc.
Then one day, we found it…
It was in the perfect neighborhood, had a flat large lot (virtually impossible to find in Seattle), needed a ton of work so I didn’t have to feel guilty about ripping it apart, and was going to have a lot of interest.
We’re from California, we know about a competitive market, but this even took us by surprise. We put our best foot forward, made an offer well above ask, with very few contingencies… and still didn’t get it! It ended up selling for 40% over asking with 12 offers!
We were heartbroken. But for me, heartbreak has always been a call to action. The next day (a Thursday), at the suggestion of our realtor, I was back on the same street driving up and down to see if there were any houses that looked interesting. We were going to cold call owners to see if anyone was interested in selling. And then I saw it, a tiny for rent sign, on a tiny bungalow, on the same street (two blocks down) as the one that got away.
I immediately called the number and asked if they’d be interested in selling, and they said they would be “for the right price”. Thankfully, that price was well below what we’d just lost out on, and we were in escrow by Monday!
And now, here we are, about to embark on a new project: building our dream home where we hope to create special new memories with our children, friends and family. Again we feel lucky and are pinching ourselves that we get to create something that feels like “us,” this time in Seattle.
This blog will be a chronicle of our story, my designs, the building process and anything else that comes along.
Follow me on this journey!