Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Paint Colors Again!

Today I've been picking out theoretical paint colors for the house I'm going to look at this weekend in case the builder is crazy enough to re-paint the interior for us. So far I really like Benjamin Moore Sparrow for the great room. It's a lot darker than what I would normally go for but the house has a lot of beautiful, chunky, crisp, white molding (which we lack here) and it's a large space so I think it can handle it. 

The color is on the walls here and I think it looks gorgeous!

I also love it here.

I'm also thinking about Valspar's Filtered Shade for a toned down nursery color...or maybe something slightly more khaki. 

I absolutely love this nursery!

Monday, August 15, 2011

New Baby

We just found out today that we are having a boy! Now I have to get nursery plans together for the new house (once we settle on it) times!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Up All Night

I have to say I've been a little stressed lately thinking about our housing options as we plan to move back to Alabama. When we last lived there, we had a house about 30 minutes outside of town and commuted to work, church, friends, everything,... However, our mortgage was under $600 a month which made it really nice when we moved to SC and bought a new house without selling our AL house. Dave's income had gone up from the time we bought our first house and, though it wouldn't be easy, we could technically carry two mortgages for a time even though our new mortgage was more than twice as much as the old one (we opted for a 20 year this time around). Luckily our house sold just in time and we never had to make a double mortgage payment.

This move is a little different. We are moving back to AL but we are actually moving into town. This time renting is going to cost us almost as much as our current mortgage payment (craziness but...the area is just more expensive). The best scenario would be that our house here would sell before we make our move and we could transition to renting/other housing without double paying. The more likely scenario is that we are going to be doubling our housing cost for an unknown number of months.

Most nights I stay up thinking about how our precious emergency fund that Dave worked so hard for (55 hour weeks in Seattle for 7 months to pay off the car and save up the fund) is going to be eaten away into nothingness. Last night Dave and I had a great talk about ways to prevent that from happening. He figured that with the money from his raise and working an extra hour a day and a Saturday here and there (still less than he worked in Seattle), we could minimize any emergency fund dipping.

Another "unknown" we face is where exactly we are going to rent. There is an apartment complex near our church that we have thought about for a while but for "only" $150 more a month we could rent a house (plus added utilities and house-related costs). I was more of a fan of saving anything we can and going for the (2 bedroom) apartment but Dave was thinking that, with the new baby coming and family wanting to visit, we should go for the house and get an extra bedroom. Overall we just weren't sure enough about the options to make a firm decision and commit to either. We now have four weeks to secure housing before we "land" in Alabama with all of our stuff.

Tonight I was talking to our Real Estate agent Joanie (who is great) and she told us that she had already talked to the builder of the neighborhood we have been thinking about eventually buying in and that she could negotiate a lease/buy on the house we have been drooling over online. We would essentially sign a contract saying that we would lease the house until our current house sold and then we would buy that house. She even thought they would put some of our lease money towards the price of the house so that we wouldn't be completely throwing our money away in the months that we had to rent.

We will be getting more details tomorrow but it sounds like a great plan. We could move once instead of moving into a rental and then whatever house we bought when we were able. With the new baby coming in January that certainly sounds great. It's two houses down from some of our friends and near everything that we do. The only major problem is that we haven't actually been in the house and we are not big fans of making that kind of commitment without seeing it and making sure that's where we want to be long term. So, I may be biting the bullet and making a house hunting trip soon. It would be great for my stress level if we could get settled into a good situation, have peace about the decision, and ultimately sell our house. We appreciate any prayers we can get!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Leaving the Lowcountry

We have enjoyed living in the Lowcountry. The Charleston area is wonderful and is filled with good food, lots of history, and interesting activities. However, we underestimated how much North Alabama had become home in the 3+ years that we lived there. We moved to Alabama right after graduating from college and getting married. Neither of us had ever been there, and we thought it would be a temporary location for us until Dave got some work experience and we could move closer to home. We got involved in a wonderful church, made great friends, and really enjoyed the area. Though we loved our life there, we felt like we needed to get closer to our families in North Carolina after we had our first child. We got that opportunity when jobs started opening up in Charleston a little over a year ago. 

We enjoyed weekend visits to see our families and the times when people came to our house to visit and spend a little time in Charleston. However, it was still a four hour drive and our families weren't around the corner. We we optimistic going in, thinking that we had moved before and re-established ourselves just fine. As the months went by, both of us were working on making friends and getting involved in activities but we really missed our friends and our church back in Alabama. When we found out we were going to have our second child we both really started thinking about home. I had multiple friends who were pregnant and due within a month of me in Alabama. I kept thinking about how wonderful it would be to go through our pregnancies together and have our children grow up as friends. Our daughter was also getting to the age where she remembered the kids at our parents church and other kids she had played with and didn't understand why she couldn't play with them more often. Our lack of close friendships and really getting plugged into a community meant that she didn't have a consistent group of playmates. When we thought about the kind of community we wanted our children to grow up in we realized that we had left exactly what we wanted. 

Dave talked to his old boss in Alabama and mentioned that he might be interested in coming back. Not long after, Dave applied for a job at the site there. We decided to take a Fourth of July trip to see our friends in AL and get a feel for the area again. The trip was wonderful and our daughter had a blast playing with all the kids. It was so nice to see our friends again and feel like a part of a community. We knew at the end of the weekend that, given the opportunity, we would return. 

A few weeks later Dave was offered the job and we started planning. We finished up our last minute house projects and put our house on the market. Now we are waiting for a buyer and planning to move in a little over a month. I thought I would give a little tour of our sparsely decorated house since we are at the end of the projects we plan to do here. I'll do some more before and after posts in the next few weeks and talk more in depth about some of the projects we haven't posted on yet...but for now here is the house:

Great Room


Dining Room

Downstairs Hall Bath


Master Bedroom

Master Bath

Guest Room 1

Guest Room 2