Couple and dog with Christmas Decor

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I am so excited to finally share some big news with you all! I’ve been waiting a few weeks until it was all official and now that it is, I can’t wait to tell you all about it. If you follow me on Instagram and watch my stories, then you probably saw me talking about looking for a house here in Dallas for a long time. Many of you reached out and shared your advice, encouragement, or even shared some home listings! I am so grateful for each of you who took time to help. It means so much! After months of house hunting, it’s official– we’re moving!

BACKGROUND

The area we were looking in is very popular because it’s still IN Dallas so it seemed like we had looked at countless homes. Most of the homes are older (or the new ones in that neighborhood are rebuilds after tearing down old ones) so we knew there was most likely going to need to be work to be done. We’ve been totally open minded with spaces and felt excited to make something our own. I am pretty picky when it comes to interiors, so I figured it’s better to put the work in ourselves to get what we want, rather than changing up a remodel that someone else had already done. While we didn’t want a complete down to the studs gut, we were approaching the home buying process with an open mind and willingness to do some updates on our own.

WE’RE MOVING!

We had been looking for months online and probably gone to see over 12 homes in person. A few weeks ago we went to see one a few hours after it got listed and saw a lot of potential, so we put in an offer a few  hours later. Fast forward to this week and we officially closed on a home! I’m so excited that we’re moving out of an apartment finally and transitioning from being renters to owners. We are so incredibly excited!

Our sellers needed a lease back until the beginning of January, so we won’t take possession until the second week of the new year. From there, we have some work or updates we want to do before moving in, so we’ll be doing that and then moving in at the end of January or first of February. We’ll be painting the entire exterior, getting new doors, painting the entire interior, taking a dated texture off the ceilings, adding recessed lighting, adding hardwood in a room that doesn’t have it, and taking some wood panels off some of the walls. We also need to redo our bathrooms, but haven’t decided if we’ll do both at the same time and if we’ll redo it before moving in or wait a bit.

Couple with dog and Christmas Decor

MORE DETAILS

Our home is not too far from where we live now, which is great so we aren’t adding more than a few minutes to our drives for work. We were able to find one in the neighborhood we wanted so we are still in Dallas and close to everything.  Plus, we have some friends from college who live on the next street over! The home is four bedrooms and two bathrooms with a great size yard. One of the bedrooms is off of the kitchen and while it’s technically a bedroom because it has a closet, it will be used as an office. I’ll be turning it into a ‘Cloffice’ or my closet and office in one. While many of these older homes don’t have larger walk in closets, ours at least has good closet space in the hallways for storage and I’ll be able to utilize our fourth bedroom as my main closet. I am so excited to have a work space for the blog! The room that is probably our favorite feature is a large extra living space that was a garage add on years ago. We have quite a bit of work to do in that room to make it what we want, so we’ll be kinda ignoring it until hopefully this summer when we can do everything.

Couple with dog and Christmas Decor

EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER

Everyone says that the home buying process can be a bit of an emotional roller coaster and they are right. There were feelings of frustration, disappointment, hopelessness, excitement, and worry. We had put in one other offer and lost a house before. You can’t help but start to imagine your family in a space if you are putting in an offer and losing it is tough. It’s also tough going to see so many homes and not feeling like you’re going to find one that would work for your family. For us, we don’t expect our first home to be our forever home, so it doesn’t need to have everything we would want. We will make it a wonderful space for as long as we live in it and will learn more about our wants and needs when it comes to a home over time. All we know now is that we want and need more space. The backyard for our sweet pup is going to be amazing!

TIME TO REFLECT & GET PERSONAL

Looking back on everything leading up to this point definitely makes me reflect. After my parents split up, my brother and I lived with my Mom who was truly a single mom doing every thing on her own. We moved from the house we grew up in and the three of us lived in a two bedroom apartment/condo for years. I didn’t have my own room and recall a lot of times of hardship. My brother eventually moved out and I finally had my own room, which was so exciting at the time. My mom still calls the same place home while since then I have lived in a dorm room, a sorority house, rented homes with multiple roommates or apartments.

I’ve worked since I was about fourteen years old, often having two jobs including working more than full time and/or having two jobs during college and graduate school. I paid for my own school including my housing and have worked for every single thing I have. I can recall times getting made fun of growing up for where I lived, being judged for not having come from a family with money, or for having to have a job to support myself in college or graduate school. Overall, I’ve taken pride in where I’ve lived. Even when it meant cramming three of us in a small two bedroom apartment growing up, it meant something because it was my mom setting a wonderful example that being a hardworking and independent woman was important. It wasn’t about what we had. It was about what we were doing and who we were becoming.

To be at the point with my husband now where we are buying a home to turn into our own really lets me see the fruits of all of my labor. It also represents how hard our families have worked to support us– not just financially, but in becoming hard working and driven. I’ve had times where I’ve struggled to get my basic needs met and have tried to stay positive knowing that if I kept working hard, things would start to turn around and change for the better.  I’ve truly believed that and to look back on where I may have been this time ten+ years ago to now, I’m proud.

Both my husband and I have worked tirelessly to achieve the goal of home ownership. We are so excited and are counting the days until we get to move in! To some, having a house or buying a home may not seem like a such a monumental moment or goal. Some people may have always had one and took it for granted. Some may have had the money needed for a down payment handed over to them. Perhaps owning a home isn’t even in some people’s plans. I know some places, like my beloved NYC, it’s calling an apartment home rather than a house. Whether it’s an apartment, a town home, or a house.. owning something you can call yours is a really big accomplishment and I think it should be celebrated and not taken for granted. For me, and for us, it’s a big deal and we are celebrating all that it represents and all the excitement it brings for our future! Where you live may not always be a house, and it may not truly be yours to own, but I truly believe that you make where you live a home by filling it with love and by taking pride in it.

Couple with dog and Christmas Decor

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WHAT’S TO COME

I am so excited to share our home with you all along the way. You’ll find updates here on the blog as things get finished and you’ll find day to day info and behind the scenes over on Instagram stories. I can’t wait to update, decorate, and settle in! I’m going to start a weekly home series on the blog answering all of your questions, tips for first time home buyers after what we’ve learned, mood and inspo boards, inspiration sources, before and afters, and room reveals. I think home decor and fashion go hand in hand so I am so excited to share more with you all! I have such an interest in home design and decor and I am so glad I have a bigger space to finally work with. In the mean time, you can catch up on my previous home decor posts here. Since I can’t quite order furniture until we actually have possession of the house for it to be delivered to, I am shopping for tons of cute home accessories. I am a coffee table book addict and love tons of little pieces to decorate with!

Thank you again to all of you who offered advice, encouragement or help along the way. It means so very much! I can’t wait to share this process with you all. If you have any tips for renovating, home ownership, furniture shopping, and for anything else home related– please reach out. XO

I want to thank our realtor, Maria Rincon, who I have known since I was in middle school for helping us buy our first home! Maria is extremely hard working and is a single mom of the two most adorable twin boys, so it was a no brainer for us to use her. She was available at all hours to answer questions, show houses, and put in offers.  Also, thank you so much to Will Bush at Benchmark Title. Thank you to Will for answering so many questions and making the process as easy as possible. If you or someone you know in Dallas is buying or selling a home I cannot recommend them enough! You can reach Maria through e-mail at: mariarincon@kw.com or at: 214-228-2167. You can reach Will through e-mail at: will.bush@benchmark.us.

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