Our little house--The Backstory

Just as my husband and I have a backstory, so does our house.  But, we should probably go back  several years.  When I decided to move to Ohio, hubby went out and bought a double.  He thought it would be a good investment.  He had renters in the bottom and we lived on the top level.  We lived there for a little over 2 years.  It was a tiny little place on our level.  How tiny?  The refrigerator was in the hallway.  This was the house we lived in when we got married.
When we got back from our honeymoon, my father in law picked us up from the airport.  On that car ride, he told us that they were planning on selling their house (to us) and move into something smaller and more manageable.  We thought about it and decided that it would be a good idea.  It was in a nice neighborhood with sidewalks and lots of kids.  The city had a good school system.  It fit at the time.
So, we ended up getting married in July 2002 and moved into "their" house in November 2002.  Their house was straight out of the '70s.  It still had the gold/brown vinyl wallpaper in the kitchen and both baths.  The carpet downstairs was gold sculptured shaggy type stuff.  With dark brown paneling.  The carpet on the middle level was a lovely rust colored plush.  It was great carpet, but, oh my, the color.  Everything that wasn't wallpapered or paneled, was white walls.
I started ripping wall paper down almost immediately.  I took the doors off the kitchen cabinets (which incidentally became a catalyst 5 years later for an entire remodel)   We were able to slowly make the house "ours".  But, hubby always still felt like it would never be his dream house. 

Although we did still try.  Every time we wanted to change something, I packed up the kid(s) and we went to Florida for 2 -3 weeks while hubby worked on the house.  We started with the downstairs.  The house was a an "L" shaped split level.  So, he tore down the paneling, put up new drywall and painted a lovely pale sky blue.  He ripped down the paper in the downstairs bath and painted it an even lovelier color called "stillness".  We had new carpet installed downstairs and in all the bedrooms, hallways and stairways.  It was a wonderful start to making it ours.
Then, in 2007, right after Future Fashionista was born, my husband decided he couldn't live without kitchen doors on the kitchen cabinets any longer.  So, he went to a warehouse that has all kinds of overstock cabinets and building supplies to see if he could find something (anything) to put on the cabinets.  We ended up with a whole garage full of natural maple "blind" cabinets.  The man who sold them to hubby, said "You'll never be able to do anything with these".  Good sales technique!  My husband ended up cutting them down and made the most gorgeous kitchen full of maple cabinets you've ever seen.  Literally.
I told you we had a split level.  On the main level was the kitchen and the "L" shaped living room and dining room.  We tore down the walls between the kitchen and the living room and the walls between the kitchen and the dining room.  In essence, we created a 900 square foot, one room mega-kitchen.  We thought we were planning on staying in this house forever.  It was worth the investment to us and actually didn't cost us that much money since my husband did all the work.
Once we had the cabinets, I decided on a dark gray color for the walls.  My husband wasn't on board with the color in the beginning, but he usually trusts me when it comes to color.  We found an absolutely gorgeous dark gray bisque 15" floor tile.  It was everything I wanted.  It was flat--no little grooves or holes for dirt to settle in.  It was matte--no shine to see smudges on.  And it had little streaks of the maple color.  It was meant to be!
The kids and I packed up, went to Florida and hubby did the whole remodel in three weeks.  He sent pictures via email to Florida and I cried.  It was everything that I thought it would be.  We ended up having wonderful times in that kitchen.  It was a workhorse for entertaining.
This is going to sound like it has absolutely nothing to do with anything, but at the time, my husband had a trailer that he used for everything.  I balked when he bought it.  What do we need a trailer for!?!  But, being a man, he "needed" it.  He used to own a vending business and he would put vending machines on it.  And everything else under the sun that he could think of.  Anyway!!  About a year after our remodel, the people across the street were trying to sell their house.  And it wasn't selling.  And to their minds, they weren't selling their house(which was entirely decorated in the 70's colors from above, complete with wallpaper in every room) because of our trailer in the driveway.  Since we lived in a neighborhood with a homeowner's association we got letters from the president of the HA.  Move the trailer!  I jokingly told hubby that we were going to have to move.  And so it began.
We put our house up for sale through one of those sites to sell it "By owner".  We looked for houses to buy.  My husband had a long list of requirements for our new house.  It couldn't be on a main road, it couldn't be more than our "set" price, it couldn't be in the flight path for the airport, it couldn't be near a railroad or too close to the interstate, it had to be a ranch that we could add to out the back.  It had to be set off the road.  I added in, it had to be close to my church still and have a good school district.  Oh! And the kicker, we wanted at least one acre.   We weren't asking for much!  But, we found one that fit the bill almost perfectly.  I remember praying to God and saying "God, if it is your will for us to have this house, please, please help us get this house".
But, trying to sell a house "By Owner" is not the way to go.  We couldn't put a real offer on the house we wanted because we couldn't afford to buy it without selling our house first.  So, we wrote an offer contingent on selling ours.  A couple months went by and the house we wanted ended up being put under contract to someone else.  We gave up on selling our house.  The house we really wanted was gone, so there was no reason to keep trying to sell ours.  

Well, the guy ended up backing out of the contract!!  It was meant to be!  We dropped our "By Owner" contract, told the agent that was selling the house we wanted to sell our house and the rest is history.  She sold our house within 1 month of really listing it.  I'm sure the kitchen remodel is what sold it.  And just so that you know, I never want to go through selling and buying a house at the same time again.

 But, in the end, we ended up with the house and we've been here two years now.  The kids love having a huge backyard.  We still haven't done our addition.  We're living in 40% less space than we had at our last house.  We honestly didn't think we were going to live with it this small for so long, but we're fine for now.  My husband is in the process of drawing up plans to submit to the city and when we are able to, we'll make this our "dream" house. 
We haven't done our addition, but my husband did build this great front porch last year.  Little by little it's becoming ours!

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