how it all began
No one believes us, but we were not planning to move until the summer of 2017. We loved our townhouse in the U Street neighborhood of Washington, DC. Over the last few years, we had developed strong ties to the community, made many close friends, and watched our children learn to crawl, walk, and talk in that house.
But we knew our time was limited. As a family of four with only two bedrooms, as a household with a baby and a toddler and too many stairs, and as pragmatic planners thinking about the long-term education plan in a neighborhood with an elementary school struggling to excel past kindergarten age, our house hunting antennae were up.
At this point I should also mention that my husband and I work in Real Estate, running a small team of Real Estate agents within Long & Foster, my husband as the associate broker and myself as the head of business operations. So whether looking for a new home or not, we see houses all the time.
We knew that when we finally did start looking, we’d be handicapped in a way by the hundreds (thousands?) of homes we’ve seen. With so many comparisons so easily called upon, it can be difficult to commit to something. We were prone to not only recall specific details we had loved in other homes, but also subject to the “what if something better comes along” mentality. But on the other side of that same coin, we also had the advantage of knowing when to jump on a rare opportunity.
And that’s what happened when we walked into a 1970’s rambler in Chevy Chase, DC. A large entryway, with a library off to the left, an expansive living room ahead, and a screened in porch we had been keeping on our “really really nice to have list” lured us in.
An expansive kitchen, marked by seriously dated appliances (think Thermador) filled us with visions of knocked down walls, islands, and open concept living spaces. With three bedrooms on the main level, two bathrooms washed in pastel tiles reminding me of visiting my grandparents as a child, and a partially finished basement perfect for guests, and toys, and late nights of binge-watching tv without worrying our laughter would wake up sleeping kids, we were hooked.
With an offer deadline looming, we sprinted through an offer, all while explaining to ourselves that we would take a few weeks to complete basic renovations and then rent the house out until next summer when we would finally pack up and leave U Street.
We weren't planning to buy a house. But as is common in life, many of the biggest changes you encounter come in ways you don’t expect, when you aren’t looking for them, and when you may not think you’re ready for them.
There ended up being 7 offers on that house, and ours was not the winning one. But in life's funny way of working, that house ended up introducing us to another, more perfect opportunity. The one that became our new home, and the one that inspired house: redesigned, my home on the internet.
*images courtesy of matrix.mris.com and automaticwasher.org