Nov. 15 - Yesterday, I was thankful for...
It's certainly nothing fancy, and paying mortgage sucks, but I am so thankful for our house. When Hubby and I moved in together (early 2008), the apartment we shared never felt much like home. It was the first place I lived aside from my childhood home, school, or camp, so it was kind of a big deal for me. And while the apartment was nice and we were glad to be living together, it just never really clicked.
In 2009, Hubby started talking about wanting a house, and how it was a good time to buy. I wasn't sure I was ready for all of that, and had to do a lot of thinking. While on a trip with my sisters in August of that year, I decided that we should give it a shot. I bought Hubby a sign for the garage our house would have and gave that to him to show I was ready.
We found probably 60 houses online that were contenders. Research got rid of some and others were off the market before we could blink. Of those left, we drove past at least half, which whittled the list down some more. We visited probably 10-15 houses and had it narrowed down to two. The other one we were considering was a lot like the house I grew up in; ranch style, 3-4 bedrooms, hallways, a big yard... It really was a great house, and I hope whoever bought it is just as thankful for it as we are for this house.
This house won out for a whole lot of reasons (and also fell short for a few reasons, too; 1 tiny bathroom without an exhaust fan... 'nuff said), but there are 3 reasons I know pushed it over the top.
First, the garage. Hubby works on cars, and having a garage was a big reason for buying a house. Our garage is 2.5 cars and has all sorts of room for stuff. There's even this crazy attic thing! We don't use it, but it's kind of cool.
Next, the kitchen. Like most apartments, ours had a galley kitchen; it was small and narrow and hard to maneuver. Our kitchen in the house is really open, with lots of space to move around and store things (though, I can always use more storage space). There wasn't a dishwasher, but my parents got us a portable one that works just fine. And my dad installed a garbage disposal for us, which is awesome.
The third reason is two floors (plus a basement). The upstairs is small, since it's just an attic space that got converted into bedrooms, but that's enough. I knew that if I was going to be studying and working at home, I would need to be able to send Hubby somewhere in the house where he wasn't a distraction. So, my workspace is here on the main floor, and his computer room is upstairs where he can game and drool over cars without me having to give him an evil glare. It works out best for us both.
I love a lot of other things about the house, too. I mean, without it, we couldn't have gotten Maxine (our apartment didn't allow dogs). And though it's split into two parts, we have a long backyard with a couple spots for gardens. And I love our big, open living room (which is also my workspace and our dining area).
We closed on the house on Oct. 2, 2009 and have been living here since mid-October of that year. It's hard to believe we've been here for 3 years, but we always agree that it's also hard to remember a time before this. The apartment feels like a distant memory, and forget about when we both used to live at home! This is where Hubby proposed to me, and where our married life began; it's where we became a family, just us and Maxi. It's our home. And for that, I'm thankful.