We have officially purchased our new home in Northville and sold our home here in Grosse Pointe Farms so now that the technical stuff is out of the way, I can finally announce and discuss all of our moving plans!
I asked last week on my instagram stories what questions people had regarding our move so I will lay out all the deets here!
It's no surprise that I absolutely adore our current home. We have renovated every inch in the near three years that we have lived here. There hasn't been a day where this house hasn't served it's purpose (okay, maybe the day our basement had water in it... twice) which was being a comfortable, safe, and a happy place to raise our babies in. I love these four walls and the community that we were fortunate to call home.
So... Why move?
Well, no matter how much I adored this house, there are certain things about it that no amount of renovations could change (like parking in a garage!). With real estate being my career, I know what our home was worth and I was happy with the equity and profit we would make if we were to sell in todays market. There is no predicting the future and knowing that this wasn't a forever home, it made financial sense to sell. We also realize our kids are young and know that the older they get the harder it would be for them to adapt.
How did you decide on what houses to look at and why Northville?
First things first, we listed our wish lists out. When it comes to house hunting, Dan and I couldn't be any more different:
We took these two lists and merged them. Any of the items that we both had on our wish list became our 'must have' list. The rest of the items were things we would have to compromise on if the right house came along.
The majority of our house hunting was in Grosse Pointe. Unfortunately after a year of looking, there wasn't one house we saw in Grosse Pointe that excited us enough to pursue within our budget. We would have to spend a lot more per square foot to get our must haves which meant we would have to hold off on any cosmetic renovations for a while. This isn't necessarily a bad option, but unfortunately the homes that made our short list had costly repairs that would have had to be done quickly (like a new roof, adding air conditioning, windows, etc). So, we were left with two decisions - A) Keep looking in Grosse Pointe and be ready to pounce on the perfect house that may (or may not) come up, or B) broaden our search to other areas.
I felt a bit defeated and paid attention to the real estate trends and the lack of inventory in Grosse Pointe and realized that I was going to have to sacrifice our current community. We started broadening our search out to other communities with great school districts that would have been close to family (specifically we put Northville and Bloomfield on our radar). Unfortunately, broadening our search outside of our current community meant sacrificing the old house charm that I love, leaving some great amenities our community offers, and making Dan's commute to work a bit longer.
We looked at only one house in Bloomfield and one house in Northville before deciding on pursing the Northville house. We personally are not 'serial house shoppers'. Being in the industry, I know a good deal when I see it, and I only physically look at house that I know check enough boxes to make it worth it. This isn't our first rodeo so I do a lot of investigating and back-end work (checking taxes, sale history, comparable homes, the area, bedroom sizes, reading disclosures, etc) before deciding to physically look at a house.
Immediately when we saw the house, Dan lit up. It's the look I see in many of my clients when I know before they even utter the words that they want to write an offer. I tried to keep him level-headed, while I looked around to try and find deal breakers (I was secretly hoping there would be foundation issues, a leaky basement, etc). It didn't help that our son was OBSESSED with the house, running around like crazy and claiming which room was his.
This house is everything I said I would never buy. It wasn't the vision I had for our family and life. But, as I kept trying to figure out why I didn't like it, the only reasons coming up were impractical ones. I wanted charm. I wanted old. I wanted character. I wanted our community. However, as great as those things are, they don't impact our daily life as a family. They don't matter to our kids or my husband. They matter to me, and at the end of the day, it's a family decision and I had to sacrifice my own personal thoughts for the greater good of our practical life.
What this house DOES offer is proximity to my sister (10 minutes!). For the past seven years, we have lived 45 minutes from our closest family member. This pandemic has taught me that family truly is everything and being close to them is definitely what we're most looking forward to.
It offers room for our family to grow (I can see teenagers in this house!). It offers brand new mechanicals and no high-ticket expenses we have to budget for anytime soon. It offers a community with a ton of families, amenities like a community pool, playground and walking paths. And, it offers a great school district with the elementary school just down the walking path.
Truthfully, it's everything I never knew I wanted in a home.
Do you regret spending money on renovations on your current house only to move so quickly?
Nope. Not one bit. First and foremost, I think it's important to understand that I love renovating. It's my therapy. It doesn't feel stressful or cause me anxiety. It's my outlet and escape. If renovating isn't your jam, then I could see how this may not be a good fit to spend money on a house that you may be moving from.
Home is haven. It's that simple to me. Walking through my home and feeling like each room was designed specifically for my family makes me happy. I do not regret renovating a home that feels like 'us', even if it was only ours for a few short years.
Lastly, renovating not only makes me happy, but it makes me money. Without doing the renovations, we would have made significantly less. We sold our home for almost 30% more than we purchased it for (the average increase in home value for our city is 9%, to put that number in perspective). We had our first offer within five hours of it being on the market and sold it for $11,000 more than we asked. So, no. The numbers speak volumes and I don't regret any renovations.
Are there things I'm going to miss? Of course. Am I sacrificing a lot? You betcha. It's definitely going to be require flexing some design muscles to make a builder grade house feel like home, but I have some fun ideas and can't wait to share them with you!
We officially get the keys next week and I am so excited to start this next journey for our family - even if it looks a little different than I imagined :)