April 18, 2016

To All The Rentals I've Loved Before

My first apartment was a dump. I don't count all the spaces I moved in and out of while in college, though some of those were dumps too. My first living-by-myself-post-college apartment was kinda a shit hole but I loved it. It was a spacious (by then standards) one bedroom in the Avenues neighborhood outside downtown Salt lake City and it was $400 a month! I thought I had hit the jackpot. I could get past the obvious flaws: small kitchen, old appliances, NO air conditioning, a lack of storage space and ratty old carpet. It was mine. I learned to adult there. I grew up there. Now some would argue that "growing up" happens in those formidable years of childhood where you learn "wrong from right" (or at least you should have, can't speak for everyone), you picked your friends, navigated through Junior and Senior Highs and hopefully came out the other side a well balanced and productive adult. I don't disagree that those years are important but I don't think you truly "grow up" until you have cut the apron strings,  join the adult world and move out on your own. (Note: I'm not saying that if you are "adulting" and still live at home you are still a child, but there is wisdom and knowledge that comes with paying your own cable bill).

That was me there smack in the middle Long Live Apt #5
I found this little slice of heaven through a then boyfriend (funny thing I think we broke up a few weeks later). At the time the deciding factor was that it was cheap. Overtime it was about location, and covered parking, and the ability to have pets and it was cheap and it was for me. Just me. A lot of adult firsts happened in that place. I got my first post college "real job" living there, I bought my first set of matching couches to the fill the space (my first adult furniture purchase I might add), I brought my sweet little dog Dede home there when she was just 8 weeks old (or so) and I watched the first movie with the love of my life there. I spent seven years there. The memories are endless and precious but when the time came to bid adieu I knew it was for bigger and better things, and to start a life with my love. I had finally grown up.

My attempt at landscaping with out actually planting anything in the ground
We lived in Logan, UT for 6 months before the decision was made to move back to SLC. Timing was short and I scoured the listings and quickly found us a cute little house to call home. It was outside downtown about 15 minutes or so, small and quaint in a great east side neighborhood. I quickly grew to love the area and didn't mind the house so much. I thought we could be there a few years. That house holds a special place in my heart. That was the house we returned to after getting married. We added 2 more furry members to our family there and I gained a greater appreciation for yard work and the realization that those great big beautiful trees might provide shade from the sweltering heat of the summer, but they are trash trees. They drop something year round needles, pinecones, smaller pinecones, none stop ALL.THE.TIME. Although they were the bane of my existence. I learned to take pride in cleaning a yard up and probably put more time, effort and sweat into a rental yard than most would. That little house served us well. We had created a nice little home together there.

The front patio went on for days
Two years in and assuming we'd be there maybe two more, the opportunity came to move a few blocks away into a updated rambler for not much more than we were paying. It was a no brainer. Granite countertops for days, double ovens, a garage and a patio to spend the summers on oh, and we could finally bring back our king sized bed!  So in the hottest month of the year we packed up our little home and exploded into double the square footage. Prior to moving in I was able to hone my painting skills... and by that I mean I painted what felt like the WHOLE THING. More time, effort and sweat put into a rental but it made it our own. It was a rental, but I was going to take care of it and treat it like it was more, since it was, it was our home. The most amazing thing happened here. This is the house we brought our band new baby girl home to. I walked endless laps around the kitchen island hoping to soothe her in the wee hours of the night. We rock her to sleep in the recliner in her nursery that I spent weeks obsessing over and couldn't be happier with how it turned out. I became a mom in this house. That is something special.

Enjoying one of the first nice days of Spring
This post isn't just to serve as a little walk down memory lane it is to remind me and document all the places that have served their purpose during the course of my adult life. To look back at where I started and see how far I've come. From a dumpy one bedroom-living-the-single-life-hole-in-the-wall to a rambler for a family of 3. Things sure have changed, and change is in the the air, because this post is also to share the news that we have made the ultimate leap in adulting and we are currently under contract to buy a house! I really thought we'd be in the current house a few more years, but once again an opportunity came up and it was too good to pass by. Were we looking? no- not really, though I look all the time just to get a feel for what's out there, prices in areas etc. We had talked about wanting to get into our own place sooner than later but the plan was to wait and save while we finished paying off some debt. I was content.

I saw this house online on a Tuesday was intrigued and arranged for us to have a walk through. I really thought I'd find something wrong with it. I had no idea we'd like it so much. It needs some work- the kitchen and bathrooms need work, but cosmetic stuff  (the fun stuff) mostly, the rest is nice. It's not our dream home or our forever home but it's a great starter home for us and our little family. As I was walking through I was already imagining the layout of Tilly's new nursery. We were ready to put in an offer. The problem was we hadn't even gone to the bank about a loan. We weren't so worried about being approved but knowing this house was such a good deal in a good area needing little work I knew it wouldn't last long. We had our realtor friend that arranged the walk through call the sellers agent and let them know we wanted to put in an offer once we had pre-approval from the bank and she let him know they were expecting two other offers that night. Dang. We still woke up at the crack of dawn ran to our local loan officer (shout out to America First Credit Union) and was able to get pre-approved fairly quick so with that we were able to put in an offer, hearing they had received one other already. We waited. Our offer expired at 5 pm on the Thursday so it was a long 24 hours. Waiting is not my forte but I just assumed if it was meant to be it would work out. Though not gonna lie, I started a Pinterest Board for the renovations I would do; I thought for sure I'd jinxed it. They say you should never imagine yourself in a house till the papers are signed. I was already planning out the next 5-10 years of our life there. At 4:15 pm on Thursday we got the word that the offer was accepted. It's still a shock as to how fast it all happened. The house was on the market for 4 days and it took us 2 more to go under contract.

getting the good news
So now I guess you can all follow along as we navigate the process of buying a house (so many things already). It's exciting and scary but was time for us to put our big kid pants on and make this final leap into the adult world.

*** I didn't want to post this until we knew our loan was finalized and we were in the clear for closing, we're about there.. and should be closing in a little over 2 weeks!!!***