Wednesday, May 06, 2015

From Starter to Forever...

Home.  Most people when they think of what “home” is they get warm inside, nostalgia may set in, memories flood your mind.  You might think of mom’s cooking, your bedroom where your walls were plastered with Nsync posters, the place that you spent your childhood, the place you grew up.  Then as you get older you create your own home, whether it be an apartment, a rental house, a home you purchase, a home you build, whatever the case may be.  You make a space that is YOURS, it’s a sacred space where you can lose your inhibitions, you can really be yourself, you will do things in your home you wouldn't do anywhere else.  It’s where you feel most comfortable and relaxed.  It’s where you can’t wait to get to after a long day at work or even after a vacation.  Nothing is quite like home.

When Compassa new real estate service that helps people find the perfect neighborhood to call home, reached out to me to share a story about my starter home, I actually kind of brushed it off.  I mean we are well past our starter home and right smack dab in the middle of building our forever home.  I really didn't want to talk about our starter homes because I am just too excited about the home I plan to live the rest of my life in and start my family in.  They reached out to me a second time and when I explained my current situation they were all for a story about our forever home! 

I thought I would talk briefly about the home that Joe and I first lived in together.  It was a rental (his parents own it) and it is located just a few houses behind his parents.  It’s what they called a “Sears Home”, you literally picked these houses out of a catalog and they brought them in in pieces.  We called this house the Bomb Shelter because the walls inside were made of metal.  Seriously in our bedrooms and bathroom and closets you could stick magnets on the walls!  It was a cute little home, it has a big yard, we planted a garden, we had tons of bon fires and parties, we recovered from our motorcycle accident, we spent our first night as a married couple, we struggled and we thrived in this home.  It was kind of where we started our lives together and it will always have a special place in my heart.

Then one day, we found a deal on a house that we just couldn't pass up.  A 1000 sq. foot brick bungalow in a neighboring town (the town I grew up in) was for sale.  It had sat empty for 3 years and was in foreclosure so it was a STEAL.  We put a cash offer on it and got the house!  We did some fixing up and called it our home for a year & a half.  Then we decided it was time to start building our forever home. We sold the brick bungalow and moved in with my parents and are still living with them while the house is being built.

we did a lot of work to it, this was the day we bought it!

much cuter!

We bought the land that we would eventually build on back in 2010.  It’s in a subdivision in the country that never really took off.  There is only one other house that was ever built there.  The subdivision is called the Rapid River Estates and it sits on the Vermilion River, a small river that is popular for kayaking and river rafting.  It’s quiet, quaint, and everything that we wanted.  We hardly get cell phone service and it can’t be found on Google maps.  Until we started building, we would camp there often.  Every year we’d have a big camp out on Memorial Day weekend and throughout the year we would have smaller gatherings & bon fires.  It is the perfect spot.

the day we bought the lot.

one of the campouts, my leg was broke from the motorcycle accident, see my crutches?

we held this sign for our engagement pictures and included this in our wedding invites.  We asked for money towards our forever home rather than gifts from a registry.

In June of 2015, we finally broke ground!  Now, almost a year later we are just weekends away from being completed and inspected for occupancy and can start moving in.  It is truly an amazing thing to watch your dreams be built right in front of your eyes.  The best and most rewarding part about the whole thing is that my husband drew the plans himself on paper 5 years ago and now they have been brought to life.  We had the shell of the house built, the HVAC and the plumbing done by contractors, but the rest of the work we have done ourselves, mostly my husband!  He’s done the wiring, the drywall, the painting, the flooring, all the intricate tile work and more!  It has been amazing watching him and his dad literally build almost the entire house.  

Of course building a home does not come without challenges.  Since we are in the county and not in town, every stage of the building process has to be inspected and we have very specific codes we have to follow.  It was a lot of really long days for my husband, it definitely can put a strain on a relationship because we don’t see each other as often and there can be headaches that can cause frustration, but when you look at the bigger picture of the situation, you know there is an end in sight and that end is making our dream come true.  There were too many challenges to name them all, but we knew going into it that there would be and I don’t think you could build a house without something going wrong or being wrong! 

As we draw nearer to completion of our home I can’t help but reflect back on what this process has been like, the time it has taken, the commitment it has taken, the effort, the dedication, determination, all positive things that in the end when we look at what we've created we can say that WE did this.  Although there have been moments of distance and frustration, there have been more moments of accomplishment and pride in what we have done, in what my husband has done for us.  We are beyond blessed to have been able to build our forever home.  It has been a true testament to the saying “dreams don’t work unless you do” because if we wouldn't have put the effort into it that we did, we wouldn't be where we are today and we wouldn't be able to say that we did this.  It can certainly be a daunting task, but in the end it is worth everything that you put into it. 

I'd like to thank Compass for the opportunity to share my story.  I love that their mission is to help people find the right neighborhood for them rather than just trying to sell a property.  A home should be an amazing place, an amazing thing, and finding one should be pleasant experience and it is their mission to make sure that that happens for anyone who is searching for their perfect home.


  1. I just want to say that I don't think my husband and I could handle building a house, but what a gorgeous house that will be!! Can't wait to see the full pictures.

    Liz → {sundays with sophie}

  2. Yes, y'all did THIS! And your forever home will be filled with wonderful memories. I can't wait to see it unfold.

  3. Your little bungalow was adorable and the perfect starter home! But your forever home... wow. You already know how much I love it and can't wait to see it completely finished!

    <3, Pamela
    Sequins & Sea Breezes

  4. I LOVE this story. I love that you guys bought the lot years ago with a goal in mind. It's so awesome that you were able to keep your eyes on the end goal.

    And I totally love your back patio. We are going to extend our back patio this summer (it currently has like a 2' roof over the back door. So stupid), but ours won't look as nice as yours.

  5. Its truly amazing what u two have done together to get to this point. Now that is what u call a beautiful relationship. U both set a goal and work together to get there.

  6. how cute is that little house? i cannot imagine how stressful it is to build a home, it was stressful enough just buying one ;)

  7. Your house is absolutely beautiful. Almost as beautiful as the love that has gone in it and that you and your husband share. Can't wait for move-in day!!!

  8. I am so in awe and jealous of your forever home. The seclusion <3 <3 I hope we can do something similar when husband finishes grad school and we know where on earth our next home is going to be. I can't wait to see move in day!


Thank you for commenting on my blog! I read & try to reply to every comment via e-mail so if you don't get a reply from me you might be a no-reply blogger!

Blog Design by Imagination Designs
Graphic by OctopusArtis