Boy, has it been a while! So much has gone on since my last update. I’ll try to update life stuff soon but this is specific to our house hunting adventure we’ve been on.
Bo and I decided about a year ago that we wanted to move. There were a variety of reasons why but #1 on the list is that we want our 4 boys to have a larger yard to play outside. We started looking on Zillow everyday to find a place that would suit our needs and one that we agreed on. After a couple months of searching, we agreed to push hard to move to Enumclaw. It’s a place I’ve always wanted to live, I just love the town, it’s closer to Bo’s family, it’s got a country feel, there is a lot to love about Enumclaw. But we had a hard time finding a place with around an acre of property with a decent house for our family of 6 that was affordable for us. After a few months of searching, to the point of each of us spending a lot of time on Zillow each and every day, we were nearly ready to throw in the towel.
We had originally reached out to our agent who helped us buy the house we are currently in, back in 2008 (pic above). We were planning our wedding and picking out things for our new house that was to be built brand new we would get to move into after we got married. We picked this lot, this location, the design of the house and everything inside from the color of the walls, floors, counters & paint to the structure, lighting, ,fixtures, carpet & appliances. We were so excited to purchase our “starter home” and planned to be here for maybe 5 years. That was nearly 13 years ago. I remember these pictures above and below. I remember walking the development and picking out our exact lot, the home type, everything. I remember that sweatshirt I was wearing, I loved it so much, I remember the hair Bo used to have, hahaha.
Our agent was phenomenal and amazing, she worked her tail off for us day in and day out attending meetings and appointments we weren’t even able to be at as we were both working for 911 at the time and there were a lot of things going on with our new construction house. She blessed us immensely with how hard she worked and all that she did for us throughout the entire buying process and what a sweet housewarming gift we had to come home to when we closed. We have kept in touch via social media for all these years since our first purchase.
Of course, we went back to her first when considering a move last year. She came to the house a couple of times to help get us set up for success with a new home transition and we got the ball rolling with her. Again, we started off to a great experience. Yet, this time, I had what I would call ‘Holy Spirit hesitation.’ I never know exactly why, but I have learned to trust myself during these times and really step back and listen. Bo and I talked about it and agreed that I would ask a new acquaintance for some advice about what our plans were. She was a gal I had met through our homeschool co-op and I didn’t even really know yet, I had met her a couple of times and really wanted to get to know her better. She just seemed to be this super sweet lady who I was really drawn to and had intended to get to know better at co-op, until 2020 & Covid hit and I lost that opportunity. I reached out to her anyway. I told her we had an agent we were working with but we had some concerns and wanted an educated, outside opinion with our plan moving forward. I knew she had a background in real estate as well as organization and decoration and she was just a sweet, Jesus loving gal who I really just wanted to spend more time with and this seemed like a great way to start that relationship.
She came over and discussed our plans with us. Bo and I knew immediately we were supposed to switch to her, but we both love and respect our first agent we were working with and didn’t want to show her any disrespect. We parted ways from our initial meeting agreeing to pray about it and she was going to discuss us with her husband as they are a team who work together and need to be on the same page. Bo and I prayed and felt led to work with our ‘new gal’ but we didn’t want to offend the agent we were working with. I called her to see what her and her husband had decided and lucky for us, they agreed to take us on (they had NO idea what they were getting themselves into). Bo called our previous agent to let her know we were going with someone else which was an excruciating call to make because she is amazing at what she does and we love and respect her for over a decade since we’ve known her.
We scheduled a meeting with the 4 of us to discuss plans and what needed to be done in order for us to move. We scheduled a work party where they came over and worked with us for an entire night painting with me to finish up the last minute touches on the house after Bos friend graciously sprayed our house, and her husband taught Bo how to install new flooring for us downstairs. We had such a blast, they stayed well beyond their scheduled time because we were just having fun together working, talking, eating pizza & doritos and getting to know each other. What a sweet blessing for all the help they provided and the friendships that started to form. They recommended a carpet guy who came and ripped out our old carpet and installed new carpet for us.
They helped us get the house ‘show ready’, she staged the house for us and hired a photographer to come out and make it look amazing. I know, I have the video and all the pictures, it’s shocking to see our home look so beautiful. A complete transformation.
We continued to search on Zillow & Redfin, We got desperate. Our agent headed a letter that we wrote and mailed out letters to homes I had driven by and picked out as favorites in Enumclaw including our family picture & story. I’m not even sure how many we sent out but we got 1 response from our letters we sent. 1 guy replied who had searched my personal FB page and offered us his home for about $300k over what our budget was.
I gave up. After about 9 months of searching constantly & driving by dozens and dozens of homes, going to open houses, scheduling showings & even making offers, I was ready to be done, admit defeat & plan to stay here.
I asked Bo to pray with me one night, to earnestly seek the Lord and His guidance and direction for our family for a move for us because we hadn’t done that yet. So we prayed. It was so sweet. Then I threw my hands up and decided to invest where we were at. The next day I bought starts for my garden and started planting fruits & vegetables. That night, I found a home on Zillow. But it was in Bonney Lake, the ONE town I said I didn’t want to live in.
God has such a sense of humor, doesn’t He? That was a Friday night.
On Saturday morning, we went to the open house. On Saturday afternoon, we made an offer on the house. Our offer was countered. We accepted. We got a video call late Saturday night that our offer was accepted and we were officially pending on the new house! SHOCKING! Less than 24 hours after finding the house, it was unofficially ours!
Even later on Saturday night, we were advised of a potential off market buyer for our home. Yay, exciting news! We went to bed. Got up and went to church on Sunday morning. After church, we were told the potential buyer was going to be there at 4pm to view our home. We were not show ready anymore. We were about 9 months ago, but not now! So we spent the day cleaning up and getting it ready for the potential buyer.
She showed up Sunday afternoon and our agent made her agent an offer on our home to sell. Our offer was only valid until 8pm to sell our home or we were going to list on market the next morning. She countered Sunday night and we accepted her counter. We were now pending on the new home and the sale of our home!
Wow! That happened fast! Pray Thursday, found the home Friday, saw it Saturday and went pending, showed our home Sunday and went pending on that too! After nearly a year of searching, I’m not quite sure how we found, bought AND sold a home all in less than 48 hours! This market is crazy.
We closed on the sale of our current home on 5/28. We got a rentback for a couple weeks so we could get financing in order for the new home and have some time to get the new (older) house cleaned up a bit, paint & get carpet installed. We closed on the new home yesterday, 6/4.
We were able to meet the selling agents and our agent team (and their sweet kiddos) at the new home last night to get the keys. We were showered with gifts from our lending team (a husband and wife), Thank you to Walter & Emily with https://www.walterhowardloans.com/ . We received such generous gifts from the selling agent team as well, thank you to Allen Gomez Homesmart Real Estate. To our agent, our new friends, Jaelynn & Kory with https://www.iconrealestategroup.com/agents/208276-Jaelynn-Hagen/, we can’t thank you enough. We have had so much fun working together, chatting and getting to know you 2 and your kiddos, we are a bit more of a drive now but we can’t wait to have you guys over to celebrate the success of a years worth of work and just hang out together, relax, watch the kids play and enjoy company and fellowship with you. I pray our new home feels welcome and comfortable for guests to come share life with us. It might be on a blanket on the back porch for a while, but the hugs are the same!
We will be on just over 1/2 acre of land, in a double cul de sac on a private residential street backed up to a greenbelt with neighbors and large lots. Exactly what we need for our family during this stage of life. The home is a bit older and a little smaller but we plan to live outdoors for the most part and the yard is just fantastic. There is a large area of grass for the kids to kick the ball, throw the football, play badminton, tag, hide & seek & whatever else. There are mature trees & even a camping area smack in the middle of the back yard with a fire pit, wooded areas, natural vegetation, flowers and plenty of room for gardens, a rope swing, tree house, ninja course & more for us and our boys. We are SO excited. I found what I believe to be a baby apple tree, I’ve got Hydrangeas, daffodils, tulips, and a PEONY plant! I’m SO excited! I can’t wait to see what blooms and clean the front are up a bit and plant some bulbs for next year! I’ve never had flower beds before and I’m going to here! I’ll get an vegetable garden as well and have 2 strawberry plants as well but I can see there is some wildlife in the back yard eating a lot already so I’ll need to figure out how to protect it.
Change is hard for me. While I’m over the top excited for this new yard for my boys, I’m struggling to leave our ‘starter home’ we planned to be in for only a couple of years that we have had our entire lives in together. We have had 4 (+) babies in this house, we love our neighbors who are our friends, the kids love the neighbor kids and awesome neighborhood parks we walk to everyday to play at. Our neighbors have supported us so much with having baby after baby and Gideon’s heart surgeries, our neighbors are not just neighbors, we love them so. I pray for our new neighbors, that we are blessed with an awesome cul de sac again with a safe place for the kids to ride their bikes & blades, play basketball and football out front with new friends for both them and us. I am thankful we get to stay with our current Classical Conversations co-op community, but I’m so sad to likely be leaving the church where I was baptized 18 years ago, who have loved on all 4 of my boys and helped turn their hearts toward Jesus, marry us and do life with us, the church is our family.
If you have a church recommendation in the South Bonney Lake / Prairie Ridge area, please let me know. I’m on the hunt and haven’t found one online yet that I would like to try but I certainly want to be close to home so the kids can hopefully attend church with neighborhood friends and attend regular events to build relationships locally.
What a wild ride in this crazy market! We will be working at the new house over the next week to get it cleaned up and painted inside and get the carpets installed by the same gentleman that did our carpet here! Moving day is officially next weekend!
Thanks to all of you for praying along this journey with us! I believe God is leading and I am so excited for where we will go and what He will do!