We Moved…To The Country!
Surprised? Ha, I kind of am too!
I have been keeping a secret about what’s happened in our life this spring, but now that everything is final I thought it was time to share. Over the last few weeks, while Christy has been covering our posting schedule, our family has been transitioning into a new home. I know that our regular and long-time readers might be surprised by this; up until just recently I found myself referring to the home we just moved from as our “new” house which I suppose no longer applies! Today I wanted to share the story behind our move and since many of you have been around here for awhile, share answers to the questions you may have about why we made the move. I set the post up question and answer style but feel free to leave anything else you are wondering about in the comments. We’re still getting settled so I don’t have many pictures to share yet, but I’ll have much more house content to come.
Were you planning on moving again already?
Yes and no. When we built our last home we projected staying in it for about five years, or when our boys were finished with high school. We made that move four years ago to make our lives easier and let our kids live near friends and their school. Now that we have one son away at college and our other son driving himself, where we could live suddenly became a much wider area. Our daughter is in private school, and she could not be happier living out where horses are our neighbors!
Like many people, the pandemic changed much of our situation. My husband now has even more flexibility with his job than he did previously. So we started having ‘those’ conversations, ones that I think were common over the last few years, like if we could live anywhere where would it be, and where do we want to be in a few years when we are truly empty nesters? We made several trips to both Florida and South Carolina thinking that we’d make a big move next year when our son graduated looking for more sunshine and shorter winters.
We liked that idea but we also had to consider we’d be leaving family and friends, as well as our church which we are foundationally involved in. Plus, our boys would be coming home from college to an area where they had no friends, which made me sad, so we started rethinking our plan. It seemed like a better fit to instead purchase a second home somewhere warm to use during the winter months down the road (something we’re also sort of working on too). This all led us back to looking around our area in Virginia.
What We’re We Looking For That Our Last Home Didn’t Have?
Land. Land. No HOA. Land.
In a nutshell, we bought a house on acreage this time. It’s going to be big a very big change for a city girl like me, but it’s always been my husband’s dream to have land. I am grateful that for all these years he has accepted living in suburban neighborhoods where my children and I could socialize. We’ve made some wonderful friends, but as we get older the appeal of peaceful country living was calling out to us. I want him to still be young enough to do all the things he wants to do, so this felt like time to make the change. We’re excited that we will have so much more space for our family, with older kids that is an advantage—space for lots of cars to park, space for bonfires, camp outs and plenty of friends and guests— we’re so excited about all that.
How did you find this house and were we looking?
I had been keeping an eye on the real estate listings around us, especially with home values rising rapidly in the greater DC area. Every so often we’d walk through an open house but the good ones all had multiple offers. At the same time, we knew our neighborhood was desirable and that we’d be able to sell quickly if we found something we wanted. We looked at an older home we considered taking on as a fixer upper in January but it sold before we made up our minds. After that, we just sort of kept our eyes open.
I happened to see our new home pop up on realtor.com and it immediately caught my eye, our agent showed it to us that day and we knew right away we’d make an offer. We stood outside of it and I found myself thinking that the house itself really was almost insignificant, all that mattered was the views from the property which are pretty good, don’t you think?
How far in the country is it?
Actually it’s not far at all. I can be back into the commercial area in our town in less than 10 minutes (and there also is a winery next door, how cool is that?). While it’s a little farther from the city of DC than we had been living, it’s closer to some other small towns we enjoy and very convenient to the highway making it easy to get anywhere we need to go. The property is surrounded by large lots so it feels private, and all the lots are in a conservation trust so we won’t ever have development around us.
The other piece of this is that I’ve been dreaming for a long time of having a home where we can host big family events at, be it a weddings or rehearsal dinners for our children or the children of friends and family, and this home would be ideal for that. Our long term plan may include offering it while we’re away during the winter months as a short-term rental but only time will tell if that dream is in our plan. It’s all fun to think about, and this just feels like it fits us better than the small suburban lot we had as we move into our next stages of life. My husband is already dreaming about having chickens, a tractor and is consumed by watching the wildlife. I am dreaming more of rose gardens and hosting sunset dinners, we have much to look forward to.
What Is The House Like?
The home is a custom built, all brick traditional home that was built a little less than 20 years ago. The overall style of the home is very much inline with my taste, it just needs some updating so yes—PLENTY OF PROJECTS TO COME! The other nice thing about the home, and what immediately appealed to us, is that it has several primary suites with attached full baths, so we have room for guests or family members who may want or need to stay with us for an extended period of time. I feel comfortable going back to more traditional decorating, the craftsman style of our last home maybe wasn’t 100% my taste; this feels more like me.
What Updating Do We Plan To Do?
We’ve already had the peachy/beige interior painted to my preferred white/gray/neutral background. We’re working on getting the main living area in the basement fully drywalled in for more space for our kids, that is our top priority, so they have their own space for their friends to hang out when they come visit. We’re also planning on putting in a large patio to take advantage of the view as soon as we can. After we catch our breath from that, we’re hoping to do a full kitchen renovation though I am finding that contractors are so busy right now it all may take much longer than we thought. The other long-term dream is to eventually put in a pool, something that was not possible in our last home and a minor factor in our moving decision. Our kids are thrilled by this!
Is It Crazy To Move Right Now?
Yes, absolutely. There are advantages, like the strong market that made selling our home (for over asking price and no contingencies) really simple and fast. However, finding tradesman to do the work is a challenge. The actually moving cost was higher than it was previously, which was a bit of a surprise but I am sure with all the activity this spring we should have expected that. In the end though this transition went incredibly smoothly. Moving is always a bit of a challenge but this time everything fell almost perfectly into place, which gives us peace.
Will You Show The House on The Blog?
Yes, though with the world feeling so crazy to be honest these last few years it’s been hard to feel comfortable with going and and on about home decor. I have been less inspired to talk about things like pillow combinations and acquiring more decor for the sake of a few seasonal photos. I do however, feel that we’re fortunate to be moving into a home that will allow us to extend so much hospitality and as a friend once told me, blogging is, in many ways, the ultimate form of hospitality, after all, we are inviting the entire world into our homes! I am still hearing what God’s plan is for the property and for our family here but I do feel like he wants me to continue to engage on this platform. It may look different (more gardening and renovation) and less seasonal (spring/fall/summer decor) so I’ll just see where it goes! It’s His platform in the end not ours anyway.
Phew—what did I miss? Any other questions? So thank you for indulging me with all of this. I’ll be back with new posts with more about the paint colors, more specifics on the updates we plan to make and maybe even a post about the quirks in this home (it has some interesting things, like an elevator shaft) over the next few weeks, but for now I have to go unpack boxes!