So, you know, we moved to Indiana this time last year. You remember “From the Mountains to the City.” In many ways, this was such a good thing. It gave us the chance to get to know Not the Mama’s family a lot more, we had some fabulous adventures, hello Children’s Museum and State Fair!… as if living in the 6th largest city in the US isn’t an adventure in itself.
But, the fact is, we moved to Indy out of desperation. Not the Mama had lost his job and our rent had doubled. We debated and cried and talked and then we were offered free housing for a “year or two” by a family member who has an empty second house. In Indiana. We could live with them for a month or two at most and then move into that house.
It wasn’t until we were on the way that we realized that the house wasn’t “livable”…in fact, so much so, we were never even shown the house once we got there. The point is, our whole goal has been to own a house for so many years. Living somewhere free for a year or two would allow us to save money so we could have a down payment. After being denied financing in 2013, homeownership had almost become The Thing everything rotated around. The whole decision to move to Indiana hinged on that house. So, we moved to IN to live in a free house that couldn’t be lived in and ended up living with family for many moons. Until someone in TN offered us a house rent free for six months and the kids and I returned. You know the rest of that part of the story. (Cows! Generosity! Blessing! Back to Tennessee!)
Well, we knew our time on the farm was coming to a close and so we reached out to a realtor: we wanted to try again. Six months of no rent didn’t get us to a down payment but that and some other circumstances found us with So.Much.Less.Debt. We started searching houses…and in March, with only weeks to go before we had to move out of the little house on the farm, our realtor-turned-friend took us to see a house we loved in downtown Johnson City (not my ideal location) and her grandmother’s house she and her family had been remodeling (perfect location). We fell in love with her grandmother’s house and I guess the rest is history.
Fortunately, they let us take early occupancy of the house (I didn’t even know that was a thing) and we ACTUALLY CLOSED on May 6. I still can’t believe it’s true. It’s doubly special when they gave me a part of a yo-yo quilt Ms Hazel (whose house this once was) was making as her last quilt project. It’s in my kitchen now.
Our adorable house is right in the middle of all three major towns around us. We are 20 minutes to ballet, 18 minutes to our favorite two restaurants, ten minutes from Greg’s job and just right here, so close to where most of our people reside. It’s not a big house, it’s a regular people house- we are regular people, in case you didn’t know. It has a huge beautiful yard that backs up to farmland (thank God for cows in my kitchen window view once more) and even a great front yard the kids love to play in and are safe in. They can climb trees and I can sit under trees. We are nestled in an older neighborhood where my neighbors invited us to a get together complete with gluten-free desserts and coffee (this is my love language) and kids ride their bikes down the streets and folks are out digging in their yards. There are flowers sprouting up in my own flower bed. The den is a fantastic room with a 10 foot brick wall and fireplace and rough-hewn barnwood walls. (Perfect for me and gives this cute place amazing character). Also did I mention a completely remodeled kitchen? Sigh.
But best of all, our time as renters is over. This is OUR house. Our home. (And I’m never moving again, y’all.)
-never have to ask permission to paint the walls
-don’t have to worry about old ladies who don’t want their flower beds touched
-don’t have to worry about old ladies who want you to do crazy yard work (and still not touch certain flower beds)
-don’t have to keep up mini-blinds
-don’t have to stress when the kids scratch the floor (it’s already happened, y’all)
-can put as many holes in the walls as they want to
-get the chance to be stretched in whole new areas of responsibility
-don’t have to leave behind swingsets or things that wont’ fit in the moving truck (this is how we lost our grill, filing cabinet and several chairs and bookshelves)
-don’t have to move every year or have the worry of moving over their heads
-don’t dread the changes in leases or rent amounts
-get the chance to grow food (and flowers)
-never have to change their address or school zone again
-can say ‘this is my home’