You’ve been warned. This is a long and juicy post. Yay!
When we finally made the decision that a move from our current home to a *new* home, somewhere, was what we needed, we hit the ground running. Once we make up our mind on something, there is no stopping us (and for the most part, this has been a really good strategy for us!). We knew we wanted to move and it was time to start looking for a new home. Fortunately, since I do this as my job, we had an upper hand 🙂
Our current home came to us at such a great time. To make a REALLY long story short. Here we go. Steve and I both grew up in north Denver. Lived in north Denver ever since we graduated high school. Steve even works in north Denver. Our whole lives are in north Denver. We had spent so much time living in north Denver, and so we decided we wanted a change. We wanted to experience what living in south Denver was like (want to read more about that adventure of why we moved, read my blog post here).
Everything just kind of fell into place for us when we had finally made the decision to move to south Denver. We had a home we already owned, that we purchased as an investment home to fix and flip and sell. It just so happened to be my grandparents house of 40+ years. We thought it was the perfect opportunity for us to live in south Denver and experience a whole new part of town. While we KNEW this wasn’t going to be our forever home, we had an opportunity in front us and we wanted to take advantage and try it out. Soooo, off to south Denver we went.
Fast forward 3 years. We have LOVED living in south Denver. I love the older, established neighborhoods, big mature trees, new parts of town to explore. I love being so close to Platt Park and Wash Park and getting to experience so many local (and really good!) restaurants. Kinley and Ryker landed in two really amazing schools, and we couldn’t be happier with where they are at. We’ve met a few new friends and are so thankful for them, and for all the friends our kids made and to be welcomed into this new part of town (to us at least!). BUT, we decided we were ready for a change from our current home. We’ve loved living in our home, but we knew we were ready for our next adventure. Our current home has had so many blood, sweat and tears put into it, and the fact our home was my grandparents home for 40+ years is truly so special, but we’re ready for what’s next and SO excited! (To see some highlights of what we’ve done, click here for our kitchen/dining remodel, click here for our living room remodel, click here for our dining room accent wall, and we’re hoping to share a few more “behind the scenes” of other projects we’ve completed).
Our first goal was to stay in south Denver. My sister and her family are here, my very first best friend that I met when my family moved to Colorado, she and her family are here, other friends are here. We looked for awhile in Centennial, Littleton, even Highlands Ranch. Most homes that we found, and loved, were in older neighborhoods and all needed so much work, like a full Chip and Joanna Gaines remodel. Since Steve literally spent an entire year of his life renovating our current home just three years ago, we decided we weren’t quite ready to tackle another project like that…not yet at least. Plus, considering how much time we spend driving north to our friends homes, events, my parents house, Steve’s work, my sisters from other misters, we knew we needed to expand our search to back up north again. As in true Watne form, when things happen for us, THEY HAPPEN!
Since my true dream of moving to the south (think Georgia, Nashville, South Carolina….you get the idea) is out for now (a girl can dream, and maybe that’ll be apart of our 20 year plan!), we headed up north. I was up in Erie one weekend visiting our best friends, and we just “happened” to stumble into a sales office for Meritage Homes, in the same neighborhood our best friends live in. Most lots were sold, but they were getting ready to release three more (the last three in this phase), that weekend. One of the lots was PERFECT–exactly what we had pictured (corner lot, cul-de-sac, huge yard…even in suburbia). I called Steve (he was at the fire station, naturally) and told him all about it. We decided to sleep on it, and the next morning we both decided this is exactly what we were searching for. Close to friends, closer to my parents, a new home we could put our personal touch on, and that small-town feel I’d been searching for (more on that later!). Our kids can grow up with their best friends. We are a short scooter ride, golf cart ride, quick jog, however you want to look at, from our best friends. We signed the contract and put things into motion! Construction on our new home will start February 2020, with a completion date of late summer (hopefully right before school starts!). Here are a few pictures of our lot. I mean, for a suburban neighborhood, this lot is HUGE! One of the biggest lots in the neighborhood. We jokingly at first referred to our new home as the “Watne Farm”, but now, I feel like it’s so funny because it’s true!
Since we’re becoming pros at buying new homes (call it a “flaw” of my job as a realtor, I call it a BONUS!) we decided we wanted to be very picky in a new home, get as much as we wanted from that “must-have” list. We are so spoiled by our home now because of our large yard and separate detached garage where Steve has set up his wood workshop. Steve’s criteria for a new home included space for a workshop, big yard, NOT a fixer upper, space for the kids to run and a cul-de-sac. As you can imagine, my list was a bit more extensive (sorry, not sorry). I know how Steve and I are, and that we always like to put our personal stamp on our homes (cue project man!), so I wanted to find a home we could do that to (but not necessarily an entire home renovation). We really wanted a two-story home (we are currently in a ranch, while I love a one level home, I miss a two-story), a separate space for the kids to enjoy, a large dining room, vaulted ceilings, office on main level, big yard, cul-de-sac, space to finish a basement if we wanted, a room off the garage to drop our stuff when we come home, a walk-in pantry, OK, I’ll stop….you get the idea (again, some may call this a *flaw* to my job, but I DO see so many homes when I’m showing clients, that I DO have a rather lengthy list of what I wanted in a home–ooops!).
Our new home hits almost all these marks (which, as a realtor for the past 10 years, I’ve realized how truly rare this is!). To be on a cul-de-sac is my DREAM and I can already picture the kids running around on those summer nights. As you can imagine, I’ve been so excited to decorate and design our new home. Each of our homes as had their own style, and I feel like with each one, I hone in more and more into what my true style is. While our current home is a lot of gray and white and a very “cool” palette, our new home will be more of a “warm” palette. Still a lot of neutrals, but on a softer level.
We’ve already been to the design center (my all time favorite part!) and were able to pick out the major design features we wanted. I’ve been helping clients purchase new construction homes for the past 10 years, and have a pretty good idea of where best to spend your money when building new, and where to save and do things on your own. We decided we’d go for the cabinets we wanted, hardwood floors and tile in bathrooms, then update everything else ourselves once we move in (blinds, light fixtures, paint, plumbing fixtures, accent walls, etc.). My theme for this home is “classic” with a hint of fun (whatever the hell that means). Here are a couple of our selections from the design center:
I first went into the design center thinking “all white kitchen”, but we decided on a really light gray cabinet (to add some contrast). We are going with an updated subway tile for the backsplash, white quartz countertops and a really light colored wood floor (we’ve always had really dark wood floors, so this is new territory for us!). We are so excited to see how this all comes together. Here are some inspiration pictures I had in mind when going into the design center:
Source: thecottagejournal (IG)
Source: cardinalcresthomes (IG)
Source: cafeappliances (IG)
Source: westelm (IG)
Source: krystine_edwards (IG)
We are so excited for this chapter. Our feelings are bittersweet for sure, as we’ve loved the life we’ve built in south Denver, but we are so excited to get “back home” by heading north again. Excited this home may FINALLY be our home we stay in for awhile, at least longer than 3 years (since that seems to be our track record for how long we can stay in a home!). I’m excited to share this journey with y’all, and take you step by step into how we make our new house a home (all of Steve’s projects and all!).
And, it wouldn’t be right if I didn’t add a plug! Living in both north Denver AND south Denver has really added to my “realtor bag of tricks” of knowing the ins and outs of neighborhoods spanning the entire front range. You’re talking to someone who commutes over 20,000 miles a year showing homes for clients. If you’re looking to buy or sell your home in north OR south Denver–I’m your girl!