Do you ever think one thing is going to happen and then it totally doesn’t?
That’s basically how this whole house shopping experience has gone for us. It’s been a little bit crazy and our realtor, Andrea Davis, is a rock star for sticking with us through not one, not two, but three house contracts, inspections, etc.
When Nick brought up the idea of selling our house this summer, I was originally totally opposed to the idea. But, after discussing the idea more, I started to warm up to it. Our home had appreciated a nice amount and Nick realized that we could probably purchase a less expensive home in other areas of Grand Rapids. More space + a lower monthly mortgage payment sounded too good to not consider.
I was pretty emotional at first about the idea of leaving our wonderful Ottawa Hills home. It has so much charm and character and we live on a block with tons of awesome families (including my brother’s family!). I had pictured Nick and I growing old together in our cute, little brick Tudor-revival style home, so it took some time to picture a different vision for our future.
However, our house gets a bit cramped with our very active (emphasis on the very) boys, especially in the colder months. (Ummm…and we live in Michigan, so that makes up the majority of the year.) We don’t have a very open floor plan and the finished space in our basement is mostly filled up with couches. There isn’t much space to allow our boys to burn energy and run around.
We not only were hoping to get some additional square footage, but we also wanted to move to an even more walkable area of Grand Rapids. If you’re from this area, you know that Eastown is a great neighborhood for walkability. The Logan house we were under contract for (literally only last week!) was a couple blocks away from tons of our favorite restaurants and shops. The home was right across from a recently re-done neighborhood park and we met some neighbors and soon realized Logan was a street full of friendly families with young kids. It seemed perfect and we were excited to move into the Eastown area! (I wrote about some of that here).
However, last Tuesday we went to the inspection at the Logan house and everything seemed to shift for us. The inspection actually went quite well. Our realtor and inspector said it was a “clean” inspection, especially for a 100+ year old home. I mean, there were definitely some things we didn’t love seeing on the inspection report, but it wasn’t anything critical like a problem with the foundation.
But, Nick and I both started feeling cold feet for some reason… While the inspection was okay, there were some more things that would be needed to update the house to our liking and we were just feeling uncertain about whether this Eastown house really was the place for us. We extended the inspection window to line up a few quotes from contractors and, in the meantime, we decided to start looking again at homes for sale in Grand Rapids.
We had tossed around the idea of an Alger Heights home earlier in the home search process, but we nixed the idea because that area of GR is about 10 minutes further from our current community and Everson’s school. We had wanted to stay close to our current neighborhood/school, but then we kept finding ourselves going back to looking at Alger Heights homes.
The houses there are a great value, it’s a family-friendly area, it’s still not a far drive from school and work and there is still a decent number of restaurants and shops to walk to in that community. I told Nick I was ready to really explore the idea of living in Alger Heights after I saw this beautiful home for sale (below) at a great price (about 1,000 more square footage than the Logan house and listed at a lower price point). The interior needs a ton of updating and we also will want to update some of the exterior, but I can see SO MUCH potential in this home. Plus, it’s at the end of a quiet cul-de-sac (a dream for me!), but yet it’s only a few minute walk to restaurants, a grocery store, coffee shop and (soon) a brewery.
We walked through the home on Friday and made an offer right away. We knew this was (at last) the perfect home for our family! I’ve learned now to know that maybe we won’t be there forever, but I can definitely picture raising our family in this house and even hosting family holidays here! There is a double-sided fire place, which is one of my FAVORITE things about the house. I cannot wait to celebrate Christmas by this fireplace.
Our first renovation project will be updating the kitchen, so I’ll be sharing a blog post soon with our remodeling plans. We have a limited budget, so I’ve been spending hours on Pinterest searching for thrifty ideas to make every dollar stretch. Check out our kitchen “before” photos below. Eeeek! I already can’t wait for the day I’ll reveal our “after” photos, but I’m reminding myself patience is going to be key in this process.
I can’t wait to share our adventures as we make this house our home. Thank you for following along!