Moving on Up

Starting Over

I bought my first house when I was 23 years old. It was a small 720 Square foot home in the city. It needed a little work, but the mortgage payment was cheaper than renting. The neighborhood was certainly safer than the most affordable apartments we’d found as well. After a bit of negotiation and a bunch of paperwork, we were homeowners.

We stayed in that small house for 13 years. We only decided to move when my oldest was getting ready to start Kindergarten. City schools where we lived were not rated well. It was just the excuse I needed to convince the ex to upgrade to a bigger house.

We built a new home that was over double the size and thought it would be plenty large enough. I suppose it probably was. I admit I was content until the divorce. Then I made the mistake of looking at a house that sat on an acre of land. That house needed a lot of work and wasn’t ideal for a single mom. It did get me thinking about a fresh start and somewhere free of the memories of the ex.

I worried about the girls having a sense of continuity. I didn’t want too much change for them all at once. Once I talked to my oldest daughter, she seemed pretty excited about a new house with a larger yard and bigger room. If she was on board, that meant her sister would follow. They both jumped in feet first, and the hunt for the new house was on.

Even in the fall of 2019, the housing market was tight. A good listing could be gone before we even looked at it. We put in three bids on houses and were too late or outbid each time. One place kept popping up on my search. Although the size of the lot and house were great, the pictures were awful.  After looking at a similar home to “awful picture house,” we decided to give it a shot.

The whole house needed paint, the upstairs needed new carpet, the master bath needed a reno, and the kitchen, ugh. We loved it, though. My boyfriend and I both saw the potential. Then there was the fact that the girls had their own space separate from us. It turned out to be a great house.

We moved in November 1, 2019. We have 1/3 of an acre and 2700 Square feet. The girls have their own rooms and a loft that will eventually have a tv area for them. For now, they play up there. My boyfriend and I have the master that’s on the main floor. When the girls are gone, we usually don’t even venture up the stairs.

Most of the renos we want to do have been on hold until the court case with my ex is resolved. Had I known that it would take so long, moving probably would have waited, although no one can predict the future. The house will get fixed. It will just take a little longer.

In the meantime, I will fill you in on the hiccups of homeownership along the way.

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