I’m beyond happy that I can actually share this news with you because it’s finally happening!!! It’s been a looong time coming and we’re so, so excited! I’m seriously still pinching myself because I can’t believe that this new house is ours and we get to live here!
We began this house-hunting journey in 2020 while I was pregnant and the housing market had gone absolutely INSANE. It was a time of record high home prices, and not just in already expensive cities like Seattle, but all over the country! People had gone absolutely batshit crazy, buying homes sight unseen, waiving inspections(!), and paying far beyond the already insanely inflated prices without negotiations (all of which are feral buying behaviors that I do NOT condone engaging in — ever). The housing market situation was absolutely wild, so we decided to sit it out and wait a while… which felt incredibly discouraging, but it was the right thing for us to do. Almost two years later (as the housing market is finally cooling off a bit) we decided to try again. After months and months of scouring our local housing market we finally managed to secure our dream home!
We’re remaining in the Greater Seattle Area, but as our family has grown and our lifestyle has changed we’ve come to the realization that we prefer the slower pace of suburban living to bustling city life. We aren’t going too far; we’ll be relocating to the region of what is referred to in Seattle as “the Eastside”. For obvious safety reasons I won’t be revealing any specific details beyond that in regards our new location — I hope you understand. 💗
However, I will tell you:
… We’re buying a new construction home
Our first home is a modest Victorian house that was built in the very early 1900’s and while we have adored it and all of its vintage charms over the past ten years, we’re ready for more space and all-modern amenities. We’re excited about having things like stronger water pressure / volume (our first house’s plumbing can only handle a single appliance / shower / flush at a time) and all modern electrical wiring (our first house still has half knob and tube wiring which limits the amount of available power in the house). These aspects weren’t impossible to deal with in our first house, but certainly made life a bit more challenging. Having all modern conveniences is going to be a very welcome change for us after almost ten years of “making it work”, Tim Gunn style. 😜
We were not involved in the design / build process so I can’t take credit for the surface choices, fits and finishes, etc. that you’ll see in the new house (at least to start! we may make swaps eventually). That said, we did make one request as part of our offer: to replace all of the carpeting upstairs with the same wood flooring as the main level, but everything else was determined by the builder and their design team. I love how all of their choices work together in the home — the design feels very Modern Classic (or Modern / New Traditional?) with a hint of Modern Farmhouse so I’ll definitely be leaning into that aesthetic with our furniture and decor choices. I want to note that “Modern Farmhouse” decor can often lean rustic, but our space will absolutely err more on the traditional side of things; more Studio McGee vibes than anything. I’m sure I’ll be filling my Pinterest with inspiration if you want to follow along!
… ABOUT OUR HOME Furnishings
Speaking of furniture and decor, we brought all of our current furniture with us to start out and we decided to do this for a few reasons:
(1) this home was a LARGE purchase for us, so we’re going to be taking it easy on the bigger ticket items for a bit while we rebuild our savings 😅,
(2) we want to see how we actually live in this house because we may discover that different furniture options will serve us better in this new space so we want to take our time making those decisions, and
(3) supply chain delays are still very real, particularly when it comes to furniture, so we didn’t want to purge our existing furniture and then be left high and dry while waiting months for all of the ordered pieces to arrive.
Of course I’ll be sharing the furniture and decor that we do end up purchasing, but just be advised that it will be a slow process and the house is definitely not going to be fully furnished and decorated the way we ultimately want it to be at the get-go. To be honest, that expectation is pretty unrealistic in most moving circumstances anyway… it takes time to curate your furnishings — don’t rush it!
… The Spaces We Are Most Excited About
With Sophie’s arrival we had definitely been feeling more cramped in our 2200 sq ft Victorian home (who knew babies would need so much stuff!?) and will thankfully be doubling that amount of space in the new house, for which I am so, so grateful. I’d like to take a moment to say that I am beyond appreciative of our first home. It was so good to us and we’ve learned a lot about being homeowners while living there… we’re just simply outgrowing it and have the incredible privilege of moving onward and upward. I hope that whoever buys it loves it as much as we have; it’s the perfect starter home!
Of course, I am excited about everything in the new house, but I think the thing that I am most excited about is having a driveway and a garage. Haha — I know that must seem like a crazy thing to be excited for, but after living in the city for so long without a designated spot to park near our house the convenience factor is going to be HUGE for us. Since we didn’t have any off-street parking at our first house, our vehicle was exposed to the elements and was often damaged by other drivers. I’ve lost count of how many repairs we’ve had to pay for. 😩
I also can’t wait to be able to unload groceries in an easier way… in our first house it was an enormous hassle. If I took Sophie grocery shopping with me and there were no open parking spots on our street when we returned home I would have to park temporarily in an alley nearby with my hazards on, take Sophie inside and secure her in her high chair, rush to unload the trunk (as I’m illegally blocking the alley), toss all frozen / refrigerated things into the fridge, remove Sophie from her high chair, buckle her back up into her car seat, and drive around the neighborhood until I could find a spot (which could be many blocks away), parallel park (NOT my favorite), and then walk back all the way back to the house with Sophie… and imagine all of that with the addition of inclement weather. Fun, huh? 😜 Anyway, I’m really, really, really excited for the luxury of a driveway and garage.
Since my husband is working from home more often than not these days I know that he is definitely looking forward to having a dedicated office space (that isn’t our dining room table 🙃). He deserves to be able to make uninterrupted calls and focus on his work, just as Sophie and I should be able to move freely about the house without being worried about disturbing him. Thankfully, if he does have to go into his company’s office location in downtown Seattle, the commute shouldn’t be too bad which was a very welcome bonus to the new house’s location.
As far as excitement for Sophie goes, we plan to utilize our new “bonus room” as a playroom so that Sophie’s bedroom doesn’t feel so cluttered by her toys like it did in our first house. We’re going to continue with the Montessori method and do our best not to collect too much stuff, but even the little that we do have can feel like a LOT in such a small space so I definitely want to be smart about storage and rotation. I’m really excited for her to have more room to play that isn’t so cramped.
In addition, having a larger back yard is going to be so great for Sophie to be able to run around and get some fresh air. The space isn’t huge by any means, but it is significantly larger than most of the yards we have seen in the majority of new construction properties in the area because builders are creating communities jammed full of zero lot line houses so that they can maximize their profits. I’m so grateful that we found a home with a decent sized property and truly appreciate that the builders took having a yard into consideration for their buyers.
Finally, we’ll be able to create a proper home gym for our Peloton (which previously lived in our first home’s basement media room) and we’ll have two guest rooms (one of which will be earmarked as a future nursery, but we have no immediate plans to use it as such 😅). We’re looking forward to hosting friends and family in our home again so having the additional space is very exciting!
It still feels pretty surreal to finally be making the plans for these spaces after what has felt like an eternity of waiting to find just the right home for our family.
… HOW WE GOT HERE
Last, but absolutely not least, I want to add that we have the most phenomenal real estate agent. We used Cortney Greene to buy our first home almost ten years ago and she’s been an integral part of this new home purchase. Not only has she had a successful career in the real estate realm for more than a decade, she also has an impressive background in design and is super hands-on when it comes to home projects so she’s really knowledgeable about what’s involved in those processes. All of these facets contribute to her super well-rounded perspective when it comes to the many aspects of home buying and selling. She’s very down-to-earth, actually listens to you (which is HUGE when it comes to finding a real estate agent!!!), and really knows how to negotiate to get you the most optimal outcome. If you’re in the Seattle area and looking for an incredible real estate agent recommendation, I absolutely can not say enough dazzling things about Cortney — if you reach out to her, let her know that Natalie in the Northwest sent you!
It feels embarrassingly self-important to even bring this up, but it also feels weird not to address it: you may have noticed (more than likely you didn’t — haha) that my blog posting frequency took a major hit this year. This house hunting / home purchase / move has consumed my thoughts, energy, and attention for a while (especially as we prep our 1900’s Victorian house to be sold) so there are a lot of moving parts over here that have been occupying all of my [minimal] spare time. I say this not to complain, but to finally be able to explain where I’ve been and why the blog definitely had to take a spot on the back burner during all of the chaos.
I’m sure I’ll be feeling super inspired in our new space to share both my usual content as well as our experiences regarding the new home, such as the moving process, how we’re using the new space, detailing any changes / upgrades we make, etc. All of this means the content will start ramping back up in the new year and I’m so excited about it all.
Thanks so much for being on this journey with us!
Sending hugs —