The Story of How We Found Our House

Before I get too far into the changes we’ve already made to our house and things that we still want to change, I’d love to share the story of how we found our house. It was a very exciting time in our lives.

My husband was working for the National Guard in Houston and his job was less than awesome I guess you could say. He learned of a position at Randolph AFB in San Antonio that was basically made for him so we began thinking of applying for it and moving. I grew up in San Antonio and even though I love the city, we both wanted a smaller town to live in and have always loved New Braunfels. It’s a great small town, with rich German history and has two beautiful rivers that connect right in the middle.

source

It was right at the end of the school year and I was busy with my son getting him set up with High School band. We basically had to pretend he was going to that high school even though we were probably moving just in case it fell through. Because I was needed in Houston, I sent James by himself to New Braunfels for the weekend because he was driving me crazy about houses. We weren’t exactly sure what area we wanted to live in, so he checked out the houses on our list and the areas they were in before even setting up something with a realtor. He stayed with our good friends Cortney and Amanda that had just moved to New Braunfels as well, and had a nice visit and got a lot of ideas. He had his favorites, but I kept going back to our house online. It looked like the front of a children’s story book and I couldn’t let it go. Amanda who is a designer and artist, told James that if I wanted to see the house he better go and see it! 🙂 Secretly, I think she wanted to see it too because she is a lover of old houses too and has remodeled a couple of them herself in Houston. They got James hooked up with their Realtor and went and saw the house the next day. She was able to walk through it with her getting advice on updates and remodels.

picture from listing

James FaceTimed me through it and after not seeing much else we liked in NB, we made an offer that day! I have no idea what we were thinking. We just knew that we didn’t want to lose it because it would probably go fast. I had stared at the pictures online so many times and knew it would need some work but everything looked liveable and doable. The one full bathroom didn’t scare us and no master suite wasn’t a big deal because I wanted to be closer to my kids (I was wrong on this one by the way!)

I spent the next couple of months dreaming of what I could do with each room as I looked at the pictures and downsizing our stuff to move into a smaller house. I was also homeschooling my daughter at the time because things had gotten worse with her private school and I just couldn’t have her finish out the school year there. She learned all about buying a house with us 🙂

I’ll leave you with more pictures of the house from the listing (sorry they’re not great quality) and next up I will spill all the beans about what we did to the house when we first moved in and all of the suprises, DIY difficulties and exciting things that happened in a later post.

As always, thanks for reading along!

Should We Stay or Go?

This is what I posted on Facebook 4 years ago:

Our house in Pearland for 8 years

Well, it’s time to make it Facebook official! Our house is on the market and we are moving to New Braunfels this summer! God’s timing has been so evident throughout this process and although we are so sad to leave friends here, we are excited for our next adventure. And it will definitely be a change. We are buying a fixer upper that we can stay in for as long as we want. In our 17 years of marriage, we have always been on someone else’s timeline. It’s a freedom that we don’t even know what to do with but we are so thankful.

I’ll be honest and tell you that we still don’t know what to do with the freedom of never having to move. And while the thought of buying a fixer upper sounded so FUN, it has been stressful! So we are constantly asking ourselves if we want to move again. I’ve struggled to start this blog so many times because of the risk of being judged. Believe me, I hear, “what did you expect buying a house that was built in 1925, Kristen!?” in my own head most days. But what we are feeling about this house are real feelings and we’re trying our best with the decision that we made.

So, I’m hoping that writing this post and getting things out of my head will help with some clarity. The best way I know how to explain things is with a good ole pros and cons list.

Pros:

  1. Definitely the neighbors!
  2. Being downtown and so close to all of the activities that go on in this town
  3. Easy access to most shops and places that I need to get to
  4. I really do feel a sense of pride when we’ve been out on a walk and return to see our house around the corner
  5. The work we’ve already put into it (back deck, kitchen, paint job)
  6. It’s not a cookie cutter house
  7. The yard

Cons:

  1. No garage
  2. No master bedroom suite
  3. Laundry in the basement
  4. Too close to I-35 and the noise/crime that it brings
  5. Still so much work
  6. No insulation! It gets SO hot in the summer
  7. No spaces and areas for specific activities like crafting, gear storage,
  8. Church lights
  9. The house constantly moves so the doors don’t close properly-very annoying on a daily basis

I’m sure that I’m missing something but basically it comes down to the fact that we want more in a house but wish we could have it right here because the location is pretty awesome. It’s great for the downtown activities but also for resale value. It’s hard to justify moving to a different area and not having the same return on our investment. We’re pretty sure that whatever money we put in this house we will get back and probably more but that’s not the same in other areas of our town. And it would sell quickly!

So it sounds like and easy fix on paper, right? Put the money into it and enjoy it and then get it back when it is time to move again. I wish it was that simple. I’ve researched about putting an addition onto the house for a master suite + laundry room and the zoning records show that it wouldn’t be possible. I have no idea how to even start getting a variance and if I filed for one, we’d be out some money if it didn’t get approved. I’m thinking thousands, but again I have no idea. Also, do I even have the energy for this?! The list is LONG my friends of things that we need to do to this house to make it less stressful.

I’ll share more on that list later and how we even came upon this house. It wasn’t your typical house buying experience. I’ll also be sharing more about what we’ve already had to get done with this house and why it zapped my energy AND our pocketbooks.

Thanks for reading along. Now that I’ve written this, I think I know some next steps that I need to take. Step one is researching about a variance 😉

I Need a Hobby

I’m pretty sure that during this time of self-isolation and quarantine due to the Corona Virus, I’m not the only one looking for something to work on. Now more than ever, I need something that is just mine and that stretches me to do something creative because I know that is what gives me life. I love to organize, decorate, craft, and share what works for me in my daily life in hopes to motivate and inspire you to do the same in your home. .

I hope that you come along with me during the ups and downs of owning this 90 yr old house, while raising teenagers (one off to Texas A&M soon!), and being married to a busy pilot.