It feels completely surreal to be typing these words, but WE OFFICIALLY BOUGHT A HOUSE! As many of you already know, we’ve been house hunting for nearly 3 years! I seriously had no idea if I would ever see the light at the end of the tunnel as the architect we were specifically looking for was like looking for a needle in a haystack! ;)
Here we go…house hunting in a nutshell (we’re sort of pros now – lol)! There were SO many emotions, stresses, and such excitement during this process. There were times where I wanted to throw in the towel and stop house hunting all together as it felt like we’d never find the right house. It even started to feel straining on our marriage. Andy and I are both passionate about design and each had our own lists of expectations. Yup, we’re one of “those couples”! ;) As much as it felt like it would never happen, IT finally did!!! Still so crazy to write!
Spoiler alert: more details on this below, but the house purchase was actually a private sale and NEVER hit the market. You won’t believe the details on how this all went down! ;) I truly believe this home was 100% meant to be ours! I cannot thank our real-estate agent, Paloma Begin, enough. We NEVER could have done this without her!
So I know you guys will have A LOT of questions, so our Operations Director, Alexandria, started out by putting together a list of questions she thought you may have. If we left anything out or if you have any other questions, please let me know. I’m an open book! ;) I cannot wait to take on our biggest DIY project together with you guys!
What kind of house did you buy? We bought a Mid-Century Modern Streng, which was EXACTLY what Andy and I were looking for. There aren’t a ton in Sacramento, and a small amount in the neighborhood we live in (South Land Park), so that is why the hunt took forever and a day! ;)
How did you find your house? You’re not going to believe this, but the house we found was not listed!!! We bought the house completely off the market. This is a great story! So we’ve had our eye on this house for years. When no one lives at a house, it’s usually really obvious, and the signs were there. A few months back we got the owner’s phone number from a neighbor and had our agent call. He said he was interested in selling, but not at that time. We tried following up but couldn’t get ahold of him. And then we put an offer in on a house that we didn’t get a few weeks back and were totally bummed. Andy was seriously depressed for a couple days and suddenly felt inspired to call the owner of this same house I had mentioned. Andy called the owner directly, and by then he said he was interested in selling the house. I remember it like it was yesterday. We were smack in the middle of our team party at my parent’s Air BnB when Andy called to tell me the news!! So long story short, we had our agent call the guy who owned the vacant house directly and set up a date for us to privately tour it. The next day, we put a strong offer in, and within a matter of days, he signed the contract!!! It took us 40 days to close! Literally the day we shot our House Hunting Journey video, we put an offer in and had NO idea if it was accepted. I guess that whole crossing you hair and braiding it thing REALLY works! ;)
I didn’t even know a private sale was possible. Where do you even begin? We were determined to find a needle in a haystack, so we did all kinds of marketing efforts. We were in full on “Make it Happen” mode! Our agent really went above and beyond to support us in this process. She designed post cards and mailed them to every single Mid-Century Modern Home in South Land Park and Greenhaven. I posted on Nextdoor asking if anyone knew a family who was looking to sell. Andy and I even knocked on some doors with our post cards and talked to neighbors. We met some really great people! Over the years, we did get a couple bites!! These houses are so rare that over the past (almost) 3 years of looking, only 4 in South Land Park (our ideal house buying location) came up for sale, but they were either out of our price range or not exactly what we were looking for. We even got so desperate that we put an offer on one 30 minutes from where we live and were going to move from my office and Charlie’s school (which we love)! The funny thing is that the house we bought was vacant the entire time and just sitting under our noses the whole time. We did send the owner a post card too at first, but it got lost with all the other years worth of mail that wasn’t checked at the house.
Where is the house? You won’t believe this, but the house is in the exact same neighborhood we’ve lived in the past 10 years. It’s literally a 2-3 minute drive from where we currently live. I add the 3 minutes just in case the light across the road takes a hair longer to change. ;) This means we can stay at our Greenhaven office location and Charlie gets to stay at his school! This also means that we’ll be living even closer to my parents house – now within walking distance. It’s about a 60 second drive or 5 minute walk to their house! I AM SO HAPPY!!!!!
What was it like behind the scenes receiving this news? Was it as magical as pictures online make it look? NO! The day we OFFICIALLY became home owners and received the keys was one of the saddest / most random / hardest days of my life. I couldn’t believe how many things happened on this day – both good and devastating. We unexpectedly found out that Andy’s grandpa had less than 24 hours to live, so we rushed to the hospital as fast as we could to be with him. It was so hard for him to talk, but he was able to tell Andy and I “Congratulations”. It meant so much to have his blessing. I am crying as I type this. I miss him so much. When I was in the parking lot at the hospital, my agent texted me “Congratulations!!!! Got the keys – it’s all yours!” This very same day, we had multiple photoshoots scheduled, it was my niece’s 1st birthday, my Editor, Molly, flew in from Washington and completely surprised me (my Operations Director Alexandria coordinated this weeks ago), and we had a team party scheduled. At first I wanted to cancel ALL of these things because I was afraid I would cry all my makeup off and part of me just wanted to go in bed and NOT do anything!!!! But I realized that staying busy while processing this information MIGHT just be the best thing for me after all. It’s very fresh news, so I am still processing it all. One minute I am completely fine as if nothing has happened, and the next minute I am looking at pictures or a memory pops in my head and I am crying. I believe our minds protect us, and if we processed everything right off the bat, it would knock us flat on our “you know what’s”. So, it’s just a process. One day at a time…but we’re so thankful to have shared the good news with Grandpa Mel! This has been the ultimate lesson to me that just because you see a snapshot into someone else’s life doesn’t mean that everything is perfect! Behind the scenes, I was falling apart, but you would never know that from the photos we took!
Did you buy this house with the income from your blog? I know I’ve been pretty transparent about money with you guys. I started BFFF full time in 2010, and it’s been our 100% sole-family income for the past 4 years!!! It’s funny because it NEVER felt like we made money because we would either invest money back into our business or put it in savings towards our future house. I still drive a 2000 used Toyota Avalon and Andy has a 1998 Volvo! ;) All those late nights, the hard work, and not getting a maternity leave are FINALLY paying off for us over here. ;) We bought this house 100% from the income generated from this blog and did not receive any financial help from family. Crazy, right?! I say this to inspire others that the internet is a true gold mine, and I encourage you to pursue the online industry if it’s a dream of yours too! I also tell you this to let you know how 100% I am committed to you and this brand that I LOVE so much! I have so many fun ideas around continuing to grow over the many years to come, and I am so thankful you’re apart of it!
What’s next?! Get ready guys for TONS of DIY home renovation projects coming to this blog. This house is 100% a fixer upper, which was exactly what Andy and I wanted. Nothing made us cringe more on our house hunt than when we would find these types of homes with alterations that felt mitchmatched to the integrity of the home. Because we’re both so passionate about this, and it’s going to be such a big part of our life for the next 2 years, we’re turning this into a series on BFFF. I want you guys to live this right through us. We’ll be sharing tips, resources, how tos, and SO much more! I know a lot of you are currently in this season of life as well, so I am just thrilled we’ll get to experience this together!
I am sure I missed a thing or two or three or maybe 100! ;) If I missed any of your questions, please drop me a comment below and I’ll be sure to answer it. I feel so passionate and inspired to kick off this new chapter! I can’t wait to write more and more and more about the process and what the future holds. But in the mean time, pinch me! The house hunt is over. We officially bought a house!!! We have bought cars, got married, and had kids, but I feel like buying a house was one of the last biggest milestones we could experience and it has FINALLY happened!! Sending you all big bear hugs from Sunny Sacramento! =) I’m SO happy!
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Photography for Best Friends For Frosting by Two Twenty Photos