Today marks the one year anniversary of our family moving into our current house. I can't believe it has already been one year. If you read my most read post, Buying and Selling: A Real Estate Story, you know that I was hesitant to leave our townhouse and wanted to wait until right about now to start house hunting. I'm glad Christine pushed me into going to look at new houses. It's not just because we wouldn't have been able to buy this one, more importantly, it's because it helped set us up to be in the best financial spot we've ever been in as a couple. By buying a house that had a space for my Dad to move in, he was able to step in and provide daycare for us. That opened up most of my net salary and allows him to be in our kids' lives everyday (despite them driving everyone mad).
Living in a new home comes with its ups and downs, but it's mostly been a blessing to have this new space. We have had a few minor home repairs that have come up just due to the age of things. Our house is now 12 years old and it's about that time when some things start to breakdown or need replacing. Thankfully, I've been able to do most of those things myself. It's rewarding to figure out how to repair something like a leaking dishwasher or a toilet that's slowly running nonstop. Then there are other things like a new sewage pump for the basement toilet that we left to a professional to handle. I also have a lot more yard work to do compared to our old postage stamp sized yard, but I've really come to enjoy doing the landscaping. We even started a small garden in the corner of the backyard where a dead tree once stood. I broke the tree down with pruners, a hand saw, and sheer brute strength (seriously, I broke whole branches off with these guns for arms).
The good stuff has far outweighed the very few issues we've had to deal with. Having a yard for the kids was far more essential than I had realized before, especially with this COVID-19 business. Being able to just walk out the back door to a fenced yard for them to play in is so convenient. Before, we'd have to drive them to a park or just go for a walk because even our old backyard wasn't conducive for kids to play. Now they have a space to burn off their energy and get some fresh air every single day. Not having access to a pool like we had in our old development has been a bummer, but the kids are content with running through a sprinkler or sliding on their new slip and slide. When we're not playing with the kids, Christine and I like to sit on the covered patio and listen to music while they run around.
One of the things I really liked about the location of this house was the road that ends just past our yard. Nobody can be build behind us because there's a tiny development there already, so now we basically have a small road all to ourselves for extra parking and for the kids to ride their bikes. Being nestled into a quiet corner lot with a large retention pond across the street really makes you feel like you're in the middle of the nowhere and not in a traditional housing development. It helps that we're literally in farm country as well. There are corn fields that we can see from our front door that run the length of the road where our neighborhood sits. Despite all of that, we're still very close to most things and we're actually closer to the schools and many of the businesses we frequent than we were when we lived in the adjoining town.
Something that Christine and I are constantly bringing up to one another is the "grown up" feeling our house has. We rented three apartments and owned two houses together, previous to this house, and none of them felt anything like this one does. Some had painted walls, others didn't, but they were all just places with our stuff in them. Even the townhouse we just lived in for 7 years didn't feel very homey. When I walk through our house now, the decor and set up just screams "grown ups live here". Maybe it's because we're both nearing middle age (oh lord...not something I was thinking about when I started writing this) that it feels that way. We are grown ups with a family and a really nice home, I just don't know why it took us this long to get that feeling from a place where we've lived together.
Now that one year has passed, I can't wait to see what the next year and the years that follow will bring. We've already had some great memories and milestones in this house and I'm so happy that we're here.