I’m in the business of selling homes. Typically, most people think “the bigger, the better”. More space to grow, more room for the kids to play, more room to yourself. We thought that, too. We sold our first home back in 2012, and pursued our dream of building a new construction home. We picked a lot, went to the design center, then waited. 14 months to be exact. Then, we moved in. Our new home was over 5,000 square feet! That’s a lot of house. I was intimidated. So much room! So much space to decorate. We started making it our own. But then, life happened. My husband was offered a chance to go to Paramedic School through his fire department. They would pay for schooling, he wouldn’t have to work at the fire station, but still get paid his full salary (winning!) and he would get a pay raise at the end of it all. We thought we would be dumb NOT to take advantage of this incredible opportunity. Plus, Steve has always been drawn to the medical side of his job as a firefighter. With this incredible opportunity, came a huge shift in our family dynamics. Steve was gone 5 days a week at school, sometimes 6-7. When he wasn’t at school, he was studying and doing practicals at the local hospital. I was still working full-time as a realtor (and my business was picking up like crazy!), AND we had just had our son. A lot was thrown at us, and of course, home projects went to the wayside. We made it through that year, then another opportunity kind of fell into our laps. We had been discussing wanting to buy a home to flip (I hate that word. More like, buy, fix-up, renovate, then sell!). My grandmother passed away, and we were given the opportunity to buy her home from my family–old brick ranch, corner lot, up and coming part of Denver, good price and a detached garage/work space Steve only dreamed about. Too many factors we couldn’t give up. So, we bought the home, and started digging in. Our first home renovation! Our first flip! So many fun things. Of course, being our first time doing this, we had zero clue what we were doing. Zero. Well, that’s not fair. Flipping homes has always been a dream of mine. Seriously, 10 years ago, I started researching this. I bought books, I read online blogs, I asked questions to seasoned flippers, we did our research. We probably knew a heckuva a lot more than what most flippers know on their first flip project. But, what we soon learned, was that we were in way over our heads. Steve, being the perfectionist in construction that he is, decided he wanted to take on this project and be the lead contractor. He would do most of the work, hire out work where needed, and we could chalk this up to a learning experience. Steve was incredible and did amazing work. Of course, this meant, though, he was not home very much. We had just finished a year of paramedic school, then jumped into this house flipping project. There were nights Steve slept at the flip house. He had been working all day, and decided it made more sense to just stay the night, and start working again in the morning. It was another hard year, but we knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. We knew this would all work out and make sense at the end. What we also realized is that we craved that time together as a family. We needed that time together, even with our crazy busy schedules. A few times, we would joke and say we should just move into the flip home. The fact that it was my grandparents home for so many years, we obviously had that emotional connection. But, we would always talk ourselves out of it. It was so much smaller than our current home, it was “so far away” (OK, like 30 minutes) and it was in a completely different part of town than where we had ever lived. No, we can’t do it.
Jump ahead 6 months. We started realizing we wanted a smaller home. While we loved our big, suburban home, it never felt like home to us. We had great neighbors, we were close to family, had a beautiful home, but it never felt right. After two years of Steve being gone so much, we realized we wanted to spend more time together. Go on more trips. Explore our state more. Be out and about and not tied to our big home. The bigger the home, the bigger the expenses. High utility bills, lots of maintenance, lots of money to furnish the dang thing and to do all those projects (because, duh, that’s what we love!). We realized we wanted something more. And by more, we wanted less. Less home to take care of, less home to pay for, less home to furnish. We wanted more outdoor space, smaller interior spaces to really spruce up and make our own. We started our search in our local community, because that was where we were most comfortable. But, we just weren’t finding what we wanted. We knew we wanted to buy a “fixer upper”, but nothing was speaking to us. One night, after being at the flip house all day working with Steve, I came home and said we should move into the flip house. Steve thought I was joking (again!), but I told him I was serious. This home is exactly what we’ve been searching for. This home was almost done, and we wouldn’t have to wait another long few months for the project to be done. We could finish it, and move in. We could do this. We slept on it that night, and the next morning we both knew this is what we wanted to do! We knew this was right for our family. We started to put our plan into motion and it’s amazing how things started to work out. Everything started to fall into place. This was the light at the end of the tunnel and things were all starting to work out.
We put our big, suburban home on the market, and got a contract almost right away (did I mention I sell real estate as my job?!), and things started moving. Some wonderful people are buying our home–that always make it a little easier. We’ve started moving to our new home, and as of mid March, we’ll be closed with one chapter, and onto our next home adventure. We couldn’t feel more blessed with how this is all working out. I never thought I’d be as excited as I am for a smaller home. Almost half the size of our big, suburban home. While the actual renovation of the home is complete (yay, Steve!), now starts the fun part of truly making it our own. We are ready for a smaller home. Smaller, more intimate rooms to hang out in as a family. Our kids both had their own bathroom and rooms at our old home, and in the new home, they are sharing a room–bunk beds and all. It makes my heart so happy. While they are still young and love each other so much (that will never change, right?), I think they’ll have so much fun sharing a room.
The actual process of moving has been quite daunting. We’re trying to cram 5,000 square feet of stuff, into 2,500 square feet. We’ve cleaned out, decluttered, sold lots of things, and are making room for this new phase of life. We are so excited to be spending more time together in our new home. We are excited for new trips we have planned. We are excited for all the outdoor space at the new home. So many fun things coming up for us. We’re ready to start spending our money better–instead of a big, suburban home we dump all of our money into, we’re going to get more into renovating homes, buying more rental properties, maybe a vacation home or two (take advantage of that short-term rental market!), really make our money work for us. I’m so excited to put our personal stamp on this new home and see where this new adventure takes us. This blog is the jumping off point for us. Here we go!