Today I’m sharing the details about why we sold our previous home and why we chose our new home.
If you’ve been following along for any length of time then you probably know that this year has been a huge transition year for us. It’s been one of those journeys that began one way and really ended up taking us in a completely different direction. Since I’ve had a lot of questions on social media about “why would we ever have sold our lake house??” I figured it was about time to share the whole story.
In April of 2018 we learned of a beautiful building lot that was coming up on the lake on which we lived. We’ve always wanted to build a house and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity. We made an offer to buy the building lot that was eventually accepted, but that was conditional on the sale of our home. We flew into high gear to finish up all of those little projects needed in order to list the house and got it on the market within a few weeks time. Interest was high right from the beginning and we settled on a strong offer early in our listing. Unfortunately that offer collapsed early in the summer so we began to rethink our plans. When the house hadn’t sold within our 90 day conditional time for purchasing the lot, we decided to let that offer go and pass on our original dream of building a new lakefront home. Over the summer we had enjoyed our house greatly and decided we were comfortable and happy to stay put after all. Our house had 30 days left in its listing so we opted to ride it out with no plans to renew after the 30 days. Then on the last week of our listing we had two very interested potential buyers show up and offers were made by both.
Whew. We were at a bit of a loss. But with two offers in one week (and in the last week of our listing) we began to consider our options once again. We had decided against building on the lake as we were concerned that it was going to take us far outside of our comfort zone financially, but by the time the additional offers were made on our home in September, someone else had purchased the building property anyhow.
So, what to do?! Turn down the offers? Sell? Where would we go?
For a long time we had been playing around with the idea of living in town during the school year and finding a smaller home or cabin to enjoy during the summer months. With our boys both in several sports and activities we found we spent a good deal of our time driving back and forth. It was also difficult to stay organized enough when we had school followed by back-to-back activities that didn’t leave enough time to go home in between. With the boys getting older we wanted to be more central so that they could more easily play with their friends and have friends over for play dates. And as they approach the teenage years (which is still a little way off), we wanted to be located centrally so they can have friends over to our house instead of wanting to stay in town at their friends’ houses all the time.
So we made the leap. We accepted the strongest of the competing offers and sold the lake house, with the thought that we would find something in town to renovate and live in and then hold on to the rest of the proceeds of our sale until something came up at the lake that we could enjoy for summers and as a bit of a getaway home during the winter months. Tomorrow I’m going to be sharing all about the new cabin that we recently closed on at the lake; but today I want to share with you how we settled on our new “forest house” in town to be our main residence…
Truth be told, the whole thing happened in such a whirlwind that we only had a few viable options to select from that would work within our timeline. In fact, the house that we ended up buying didn’t even come on the market until we had already made an initial offer of a different house in the same neighbourhood. Which brings me to the first reason we chose our house:
We really wanted a central location, near my husband’s work and the sports fields and the high school, so we narrowed our search down first based on location. Our new home is very central, set just above the rest of town, and is in an older established neighbourhood located near several new subdivisions. It just 1-2 minutes from shopping but feels quiet and almost a bit country since it backs onto a fantastic forest area full of walking trails. Which brings me to our second reason for choosing this house:
After living at the lake with our backyard the lake and with trees all around, it seemed like moving into a neighbourhood in town would require some getting used to. Our new house backs onto a beautiful green belt and I absolutely love the privacy it affords from our deck. It also has a swimming pool!
While we are still working on some updates to the backyard (fence, landscaping etc.), it has definitely been a place of enjoyment for the kids this year. Which brings me to our next reason for purchasing this home:
Family Friendly Layout
Our new home is a classic cathedral entrance style or front split. It’s a very common style of home in B.C. and we have several large neighbourhoods full of homes with an identical or similar design. The difference in our home is that an addition was added to the back of it at some point which expanded both the basement and the upper floors to include about an extra 550 square feet of living space. The area that is now our kitchen and dining room (spread across the back of the house) was added on, and two additional bedrooms were added to the basement at the same time. In the pictures below, you can see how the house stretches from a main living room at the front through a TV area right back to the dining room area. The large kitchen is open to the dining room area and there is also an eating nook/bar area in the room directly behind our tv area sofa wall.
This means that we have a large amount of family living space on the main floor in addition to three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Downstairs we have two more bedrooms, a bathroom, laundry area, home office/craft room, and a large rec room. Tons of space for our family to enjoy! Which brings me to our next reason for purchasing this home:
Our house was very well maintained and cared for by the previous owners and is a well built and solid home. Many key updates had been completed already (the furnace, windows, wood floors etc.) which meant more money left to tackle those renovations we wanted to do in order to increase it’s function for our family. If you’ve been following along for a while then you know that since moving in last November we have been living through several major renovations. Some of these I’ve shared already, and some I will be sharing very shortly. Stay tuned for the kitchen details later this week!
Since November, we have…
We’ve painted almost every room on the main floor and added new baseboards and window/door trim.
We’ve added new tile and paneling as well as a new front door to our foyer.
Now (the panelled wall and light fixture viewed from the living room)…
This is a glimpse at the paneling and lighting we’ve added. I’ll be sharing the details on the foyer makeover soon – I still need to stain and paint the new front door!
We’ve reworked the bathrooms and some closets to create a larger main bathroom as well as an ensuite with a shower.
We’ve redone our master bedroom to remove a valance, smooth the ceilings, and install a PAX wardrobe system as a closet. We did this in order to replace the closet we lost to create space for a shower in the ensuite.
We’ve removed a wall and door in the kitchen and opened up the entry between the kitchen and living area.
Here is a sneak peak at the dining room. I’ll be sharing more about the kitchen renovation later this week and then ongoing – it was a huge project!!
I’ll also be sharing soon about:
- the foyer/entry makeover with new paneling and tile
- the front yard makeover (new concrete driveway, retaining wall, walkway, grass and landscaping) – see the BEFORE here
- our oldest son’s room makeover
- my new craft room/office
We still plan to tackle the following projects over the next several months:
- paint and decorate our youngest son’s room
- replace the fence and update the landscaping in the backyard
- paint the area around the pool deck
- paint the exterior of the house
- paint the basement hallway and rooms
- replace the flooring in the basement
- setup an guest room and home gym in the basement bedrooms
- update the basement rec room to suit the needs of our growing boys
I’m also planning to tackle my 10 week organizing challenge again soon in order to get our new home into the functionally organized state that our previous home was in.
All of these renovations bring me to our final reason for purchasing this home:
As I mentioned, although we’ve done major renovations to our new home, it had a great feel to it right from the start. The previous owners had obviously taken great care of it and it had the “feel” of a loved home full of wonderful family memories. Good vibes, should I say?
The light that pours in through the huge living room windows was a big selling feature for me, as were all the tress visible through the many large windows.
It’s kind of a running family joke that I could never move into a home without changing things, but that doesn’t mean there was anything “wrong” with it to begin with! It’s just how I roll… our very first home had faux wood paneling and I had ripped it off the living room wall after being in the house for approximately 3 minutes. We were removing upper cabinets and repainting solid wood kitchen cabinets from our next house within the first day of owning it. And when we lived in a rental home for three years while my husband was posted in Tofino, I replaced all the cabinet hardware and lighting, hung curtains, and decorated it fully even though we knew it was a fairly short term posting.
All this to say, it’s really the FEEL of a home that matters most and we knew as soon as we walked into this one that it would be the great next place for our family to enjoy together.
And, this week some of my blogging friends are also sharing the “stories” behind their homes and why they chose them! Such a fun topic to write about!