Where to begin? Maybe it all started with an ongoing joke about winning the lottery and building a "cabin" with an expansive outdoor kitchen, a sleeping porch for all the kids that would come to visit and a basement!
That talk turned to a serious discussion about our marital financial goals, plans and what we would do with "all the extra" money after our mortgage was paid off. Ideas included a vacation home, traveling the world, digging out the crawl space in our house one pocketful at a time to create the most amazing wine cellar ala Shawshank Redemption Style, or building up our savings and sitting at home night after night.
We then started talking about a more realistic project, using our current equity and purchasing a home that meets our long term life goals now. The obvious question is, "gee, your house was already so nice, how could it not work for you long term?" Good question, our house was lovely and had MANY things going for it that made me proud to call it home, but it was missing a few things that we knew we need/want. Namely, a main floor full bath and a sleeping space on the main level. We won't always be spry and being able to accommodate an elderly roommate is important. The new house has a basement, a place to stow things like racks of DVDs and a tv the size of Guam, as well as a guest room and bath to double as a private space for visitors. We are gaining a larger, and more private back yard. It will still be a TINY yard, but we are doubling our useable grass space and because of the walkout basement getting a large deck on the main level to entertain. We also back up next to a protected green space, so no one will be building behind us. It will be quiet and wonderful. Lastly, a different and better rated school district.
We looked in all of King County and found what we were looking for less than a mile from our current house, and it wasn't built yet so we are able to customize it to our hearts & pocketbooks content. During the week after the Peanut's fourth birthday we put in an offer that was accepted. Within three weeks our house was on the market, and after a long and emotionally draining weekend where a realtor called at 9pm on Saturday night asking to come and look at the house we received a full price offer that in a strange bit of real estate folk lore went through on time without issues.
We have moved into an apartment on a temporary basis until the house is ready for us to occupy. As it stands today it is a foundation that has been filled with dirt. They say the house will be done around the end of December. I have hope that we'll be in by the 15th so we can put our world together before Santa tries to shove himself down the gas fireplace insert.
For your (my own) enjoyment here are a couple photos of the hard surfaces we've selected.