Closing Time

Well… It’s official.

October is the best month out of the year. Hands down.

In addition to meeting Ryan this month four years ago (10/23/08) and adopting Happy two years ago (10/12/10), we’re adding another reason why October ranks so high…

10/11/12: the day we become HOMEOWNERS!!!!!

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Taking the “final walk through” (10/10/12)

How this came about is a crazy story.

Ryan and I weren’t even planning on looking for a new house until after I graduated this December from graduate school. But…I’ve always had buying a house in the back of my mind, especially since we got engaged at the beginning of the year.

My mom has been big into real estate ever since the early 90s so I’ve seen all of the craziness that goes down during the home buying (and selling) process. It’s quite time consuming, and all of the negotiations and potential for deals to fall through can take a toll. And then, of course, there is the upkeep that goes along with owning a home. Needless to say, Ryan and I weren’t ready to start looking yet. With our lease ending January 31st, 2013, we figured we’d start looking in December once I was done with school and go from there, hoping to find something during the spring/summer of 2013.

Well, this whole year I’ve been keeping my eyes out on homes as I go out on runs around the neighborhood. As I said before, I’ve seen my mom do her thing with homes for over two decades. Whenever I saw a home that striked my interest, I picked up the little flyer and took it home with me to look up online later. Usually, the homes were ridiculously out of our price range (even though the square footage isn’t that big) but due to the location of this area (we’re talking a historic district, 5 minutes from uptown, a view of the city skyline, and a great school system), property is prime.  You know what they say…location, location, location.

Nevertheless, I’ve always dreamed of having a home in this neighborhood one day. Not only is the location incredible, but the public school system is very, very good. Both Ryan and I grew up in public schools and we want the same for our kids some day (because, well, private school is WAY too expensive and we still want our kids to go to a great school). So, our plan was to buy a starter home somewhere in Charlotte and work our way towards moving into this school system in the (far away) future.

Welp, the universe had other plans for us. We stumbled across a house in the historic Dilworth area on Monday, September 10th… and as it turns out, we are buying that home… TODAY!

Closing is late this afternoon, and I could not be more excited Smile

This home is our dream home. It’s got a HUGE fenced-in back yard (we’ve taken Happy to see it already and she *loves* it), a large deck out back with a cozy patio underneath, and room for expansion if we decide to add an addition later on. Our new home has 4 bedrooms, 3 (full) baths, a bright and fresh kitchen, and a fully renovated lower level. It’s located in a historic district in Charlotte and literally a block away from Freedom Park. In fact, it’s only 2 blocks away from where we are currently renting our apartment. And! It has a man-cave for Ryan. Well, a bedroom-turned mancave :)Things have fallen into place so seamlessly.The gal who showed us our apartment 3 years ago when Ryan and I were apartment hunting for the place we are currently in now is actually involved with the whole house process (she changed jobs in those years and just happened to be connected to the seller’s side). She’s an incredible woman and I’ve kept in touch with her over the years. Coming full-circle in this way really made the decision feel “right.”

In fact, circumstances with our lease have turned out in our favor as well. Instead of having to pay rent until the end of January, we are able to break our lease as our complex has a waiting list of people who are wanting to rent. There is more “full-circle-ness” to this piece of the puzzle as well, but I don’t want to divulge too much. Let’s just say I am very sad to be leaving our apartment (our first place together! we got engaged here!) but I am excited for who will be moving into it next :)

Our realtor is an incredible woman as well (she reminds me SO much of my mom). For those of you in Charlotte, her name is Debe Maxwell — she’s with Savvy & Co. and is AMAZING at what she does and has been such a pleasure to work with. Truly. She also has incredible connections in Charlotte, too. It’s amazing all that goes on during the moving process… we’ve learned quite a bit!

Ryan and I are starting to pack things up tonight and start moving tomorrow! We have a moving company to help us with our big pieces of furniture late next week, and next weekend we will officially be all set up in our new house — just in time to host some visitors, as BOTH sets of our parents (well, the moms) are coming to town (both visits were planned WAY before buying a house was even on our radar, so this makes their visits even extra exciting!).

Ryan’s mom, Rhonda, and stepdad, Marty, have come to celebrate Thanksgiving with us for the past three years –with a Christmas celebration thrown in there at the same time. We call it “ChrisGiving” –it’s a tradition we all absolutely adore. This year is a little different, though, as Ryan’s mom is unable to come for the actual Thanksgiving holiday. Because she can’t come this year, she has been planning on visiting us in late October, instead, and turning that visit into an early ChrisGiving feast. My parent’s venture down to Florida was postponed due to some health issues, so instead of early October, they are now driving to Florida the same weekend Ryan’s mom is coming into town. My mom and Ryan’s mom have never met each other in person before (although they’ve chatted on the phone and Skyped throughout the years, ha!). I am SO EXCITED they finally get to meet for the first time! And on top of that? We all get to have a Thanksgiving feast together! I haven’t had a Thanksgiving feast with my mom and Gerry since my senior year of college – 5 years ago. Needless to say, I am SO EXCITED!

Now we just need to figure out where to seat everyone. I don’t think our two queen sized beds or rocking chairs are going to cut it…

Looks like Ryan and I might take a break from packing this weekend to venture out and look for dining room furniture! We will see :)

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Homeowners!!!!

And now… some more pictures.

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The (old) Deck (it’s currently being redone by the seller – all new wood!)

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Lower level leading out to the patio through the double French doors

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Kitchen (with all new appliances, our seller is awesome…)

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I <3 the blue backsplash

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Back of the house

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View of firepit area and backyard from the deck

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<3 the architecture!

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Ryan in deep thought over whether or not we want to move forward with putting in an offer

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Bar in the lower level? Yes, please.

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Secret doorway (in the form of a bookcase) leading into the spacious laundry room

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porch swing!

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Happy’s heaven (!!!)

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22 Comments

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22 responses to “Closing Time

  1. LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! It is absolutely too adorable! The kitchen is gorgeous, the backyard is amazing and that secret doorway is amazing! Plus the arched doors! WOW!! So happy for you both!!

  2. omg how exciting girl- my favorite is the secret doorway to the laundry room! how fun!! i def need to make one of those for my house hehe. SO HAPPY FOR YOU xoxo

  3. Congratulations Allison! Your new pad looks awesome. I’m available for housewarming parties if you guys have one :)

  4. congratulations Allison!!! Welcome to being homeowners ;)
    your house is adorable!!!

  5. Allison and Ryan..I just walked thru your pics and the house is just plain adorable, homey, wonderful and a whole bunch of more fun things I could come up with..congrats and hope you have many many happy years there..<3

  6. Allison!! It is SO cute!! I’m so excited for you guys, congratulations!

  7. Allison! I absolutely loved reading your blog! You have such a way with words, and it was an absolute pleasure to read. Congratulations on your new home! The pictures are absolutely beautiful, and I’m sure the house will become even more beautiful once you guys get settled in :) I’m sure you, Ryan, and Happy will feel very much at home, and have countless amounts of special memories made there. I look forward to seeing more blogs and pictures as time goes on. I’m so excited for y’all! What a great step to take! Have fun getting moved in :)

  8. damnnnnn this house is beautiful!! congratulations!!

  9. Kim

    OH MY GOSH! IT IS SOOOO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!! What an amazing home!! I would have fallen in love with it if I had walked through it as well. What an exciting step in your life – congratulations!!!

  10. Suzy

    Beautiful!!! Can’t wait to visit ;)

  11. oh wow! congrats!! I really like the deck/balcony/porch things!! I wish my home has one … hoping to have one in the future whenever I get my own place.

  12. Congrats on your first home together:) It looks like a fantastic house, and I can’t wait to see what you do with it!

  13. Allison this house is GORGEOUS! Perfect for the two of you. Congratulations. What a fun and exciting step. Can’t wait to take that one someday myself :)

  14. Congratulations! That house is lovely.

  15. Ahh, congrats! The house looks SO cozy! What an adorable first home. Have fun furniture shopping :)

  16. Hi Allison! I’m Kerry- one of the former homeowners- I’m not even sure HOW we heard through the grapevine that you had blogged about your new home- but just wanted to tell you how tickled I am at your excitement. We were lucky that Steve was able to find a job in Alabama when the economy crashed, our girls were 3 and 18 months, we had just found out we were pregnant with our 3rd- we moved in such a hurry- it still seems like a blur. And with the market in downturn and Charlotte in upheaval- we really were unable to sell it the past 4 years. What had once been my dream cottage had become such a burden as we waited to be able to sell it without renters. Your post has just tickled me to bits and given me back so much of the joy in that sweet house that I thought I had lost. When I laid eyes on it in 2001 I was EXACTLY the same. Steve and I were engaged- and it was just the most darling, dreamiest home I could imagine. I HAD TO have it. The house was tan at the time- and the basement was downright scary- I had to do laundry down there and I would RUN so that the bogey man wouldn’t get me :) The kitechen was all dark wood with laminate counters!! So many memories in every corner. It’s just the perfect neighborhood to raise a family. I’m so excited for you both and your journey ahead. Thanks for the peek into your happiness. I’m not going to lie- I may have cried tears of joy for you :) All our best- Kerry and Steve Leasure

    • !!!!!!!!!! oh my goodness. This comment has made my entire week! I just emailed you :) Thank you so much for reaching out to me, Kerry!

      • I’m a friend of Kerry’s and have been to some of the best parties and play dates at her house. It was always filled with love and laughter–may you have the same! Congratulations. I know you’ll be very happy there, the house has good karma…..

  17. Wow! Congrats! The house is just gorgeous!

  18. Pingback: Grad School = DONE! Time to Decompress. | Happy Tales

  19. raspberryink

    what a super cute little home! i love the “secret” laundry room.

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