New Beginnings – Return from Dormancy

My little slice of heaven

My little slice of heaven

I have to apologize to the people who do come by occasionally and read this blog – I have been quiet for months because life was so very busy. It’s not that I had nothing to say –  just no time to say it…

As some of you may know, after the big cross country relocation, we rented for two and a half years waiting for the right time and place to buy a new home. The search for a house finally kicked into high gear at the end of last year and after looking at what seemed like a million houses we finally bought our 5 acres of paradise.

So much has changed in the past few years of economic meltdown that despite buying and selling many homes over the years, the process this time around seemed much more daunting and difficult.  Luckily we had a great realtor who moved mountains in helping us find the perfect house – I can’t thank him enough!

Making it all more challenging was the fact that we wanted a horse property – that is a niche market – fewer properties out there to choose from – many more issues you need to consider before taking the plunge.

We put offers on two other properties before finally buying the one – I am so glad those other deals fell through, despite the disappointment at the time because the one we bought is absolutely perfect for us. Amazingly enough it was the house I wanted to see from the beginning, but it was in the middle of a short sale and under contract with another buyer so we had never been able to visit it.

Horse properties are tough – we saw some that had great barn facilities but the house was tiny and outdated – or houses that were pretty nice, but that had no barns, fencing and the land still needed to be cleared. We were getting pretty discouraged and thinking about putting the search on hold for a few months when our realtor was suddenly able to get us in to view the house I had wanted to see months ago.

I was prepared to be disappointed – I figured it would be too far a drive, the area or neighbors would be sketchy – the house would probably suck, the barn would be falling down – something…

But instead the drive wasn’t that bad – not nearly as far as I thought, the neighboring homes looked nice and well kept and as we drove up to the house I started to smile – this actually looked really promising. The architectural style of the home was a perfect fit for my taste – the barn looked to be in great shape, everything was fenced and the gates even had a horse on it! (Gotta enjoy the little things)

My Gate :)

My Gate

We checked out the fenced pastures and barn before going up to the house and the smile got a little bigger – but would the house work on the inside? This house had been on the market for over three years and was pretty beaten up on the surface – little to no maintenance all that time meant a lot of repairs were needed.

Fortunately, I can see beyond the cosmetic issues and neither one of us are afraid of taking on a project.

Once inside the main space I was sure this was the house for me – big, open plan living dining and kitchen –  perfect for entertaining family and guests. High ceilings, lots of light, good indoor/outdoor living space. It was as if someone had built it especially for me – I was head over heels in love!

But could we get it?  Still under contract with another buyer, still in negotiations with two banks that held the first and second mortgages – we couldn’t even make an offer till the paperwork was released…. We had a tense few weeks waiting to make our offer and then waiting for it to be accepted by not only the buyer and her lawyer but the two banks had to approve it also. Then the inspections began and the list of broken things mounted by the minute.

We went into it with our eyes wide open – we knew the AC system, the pool pump and windows needed to be replaced or repaired – we knew both the exterior and the interior needed a lot of work. But we knew it was the right house and it was worth the work it was going to take.

Despite all the obstacles, crisis and last minute panics – the day finally came and the paperwork was finally signed – the deal was done! We moved in Feb 15th and then the real work began because you don’t really own a horse property – it owns you…

So for the foreseeable future this blog is going to be about fixing up our new home, making it ours, painting, decorating, home improvement projects and the trials and tribulations of land management.

This city girl now has a well and a septic system – we have two horses, 4 dogs and are in the process of building a chicken coop.

Its a brave new world and we are loving every minute of it 🙂