Actually, we moved .57 miles away from our old house. You know, the one that we renovated from the top down, and moved into a new (old, fixer upper) house. A new horizon. In fact, this new house will also be renovated from the top down too, but more on that later. Why? Because the story of how we got here is much more interesting.
So…our new house.
We have loved this house since we moved to New Hampshire in 2001. It’s one of those houses that presents itself so well, and it’s hard not to fall in love with it. In fact, we always thought that it would be out of our reach. Built in the mid-1950s, renovated in the 60s, the original owners took meticulous care of the place, managed the grounds impeccably, until it became too much. While we don’t know exactly what happened to the original owners, but we do know that this house must have been their opus.. It is amazing.
The first time it went on the market was in 2012. We were curious, but did not make an offer. It needed so much work. Character was there, however it was totally dated. So, we just watched the house, watched it get a new owner, and followed its progress. Thankfully the new owners kept the grounds gorg (it was easy to keep a watchful eye on it because we drove past it everyday). And because we loved it.
Then, it went back on the market.
Two years later.
It was under contract instantly, but then…it fell through. We saw it, called the realtor and set up an appointment to check it out. Seriously, we all walked through it with our mouths open, and not a word. This house was exactly what we wanted: full of character, open layout, and a designers dream. So much so, we found out that the owner was another interior designer in town. We saw what the house looked like before she bought it, and after? Well, you could definitely tell the work she did: new paint, hardwood floors throughout, renovated bathrooms and a new lighting plan took this house to the next level.
We looked at the house THREE TIMES before we got the gumption to make an offer. But, at the same time, another family was looking at it too. Well, our offer was accepted, however just at the last hour the other family outbid us. That was it. We just didn’t feel comfortable competing. So we let our dream house get away.
That is what led us to reconsider our home. We decided to embark on the great renovation of 2016-2018: new kitchen, bathrooms, painting and floor refinishing. A serious assessment of what we wanted our house to be, and where we wanted to take it. For more on our renovation, check out this post. We wallpapered, we tiled, painted, shiplapped. You name it, we did it. And we did it all for ourselves. We weren’t really intending on moving, rather creating a house that WE wanted.
But wait! The story doesn’t end there!
Even though we weren’t *planning* on selling, we are always looking at houses. Real estate is basically a hobby of ours, and it’s not uncommon to find us trolling open houses in our area on weekends. Well, wouldn’t you know it, we ran into the realtor that tried to broker the last deal for us. She was touring this open house with, you are never going to believe it, the homeowners that outbid us on our dream house! They were looking for something smaller for themselves, but like us, just looking to see what was out there. As we were exiting the open house, the realtor caught up with us and asked if we were still interested in “that house”?
What! Wait…what were we hearing?
Our dream house was going to be available again?
You know what they say, opportunity doesn’t knock twice…and here it was knocking twice! We jumped at the chance to get a sneak peek that same day. Yup, it was exactly as we left it two years ago, but only one problem remained. And it was kind of a huge problem. We were not in a position to sell our house. We just wrapped up our kitchen renovation and started gutting the bathrooms. There was NO WAY would we be able to sell with the house in such chaos.
Do you believe in fate?
The conversation basically ended with, “this is just crazy, how can we possibly do this?” Heck, the holidays were fast approaching, so we just put the whole idea on the back burner. Fast forward to January, and we got a call saying “they want to make a deal.” They would wait to put their house on the market until we finished our renovations. At this point we needed to do the renovations so that we could get top dollar to buy this home. Not gonna lie, it was kinda weird knowing that they would wait for us before even putting their home up for sale. It was a lot of pressure to hold them up…seriously. In fact, we didn’t breathe a word to anyone. It almost didn’t feel real: Was this house really meant for us? What should we do?
Design hubby said: “Let’s do it. Finish the house. Buy Horizon.”
And that’s what we did.
We renovated and designed our dream kitchen, we renovated three bathrooms including a master…we even finished some ceiling details and bookcases we had long meant to complete. We went after these projects, not to just sell, but rather we wanted to do each project as if it was our beloved dream house. We used finishes we had longed to use, and gave this home all the attention we had always wanted to do. Besides, if the deal fell through, we wanted it to be our home.
By April, we were ready to put our house on the market. We hosted our first and only open house. You might want to sit down at this point, because you are not going to believe what happened at this open house. The owners of the house we were working hard to buy came to see what we had done. And you know what? Are you sitting down? They wanted to work out a deal.
A deal to swap houses!
Yup! We couldn’t believe it either. Our house was their dream house. They would get a home with everything newly renovated. And we would get a home that we had long dreamed of and were excited about the necessary renovations it still needed. Pinch us, is this a dream?
Here is the house we sold (after renovations).
Here is the house we moved to (before any renovations).
After a 30 day close, packing up our entire house in 2 weeks, moving into the new house, dealing with issues you run into moving to a new home, a designer showhouse, a restaurant renovation, Building on Hope project renovations, and 3 kids, we’ve kept this all from you. Now we are sharing. Stay tuned to the blog where we will share all the nitty gritty details of a renovation, and our #anewhorizon. We are also detailing this on our instagram…so follow along!
Moral of the story. For all of those skeptics about asking the universe, it just doesn’t stop with asking…you have to listen and act.
We were asking and asking the universe for this new adventure and we almost didn’t listen and more importantly we almost were too scared to act.
How many things have you’ve been asking for and have been too afraid to make a move on your dream?
We've got kitchens on the brain...a Nancy Meyers Kitchen. With our new house still not organized and holidays creeping up on us, all we can think about is planning our kitchen renovation. We've been hit (hard) with major kitchen envy. Our #currendesignsitch just ain't cutting it and its kinda making us dread entertaining this…
OK we have one last countertop option. For all of you that just don't have the funds to renovate with new countertops. Or maybe you just don't know what you want quite yet. Here is what you can do while you save up for your dream kitchen countertop. PAINT. Yep paint. maybe even chalkboard paint!…
So now that the kitchen has been completely gutted....now the fun begins. Here is our design board for our fixer upper kitchen. It is clean white and totally rocks the Mid-Century vibe of the house. We think it will be so cool. That's impeccable.