Home Sweet Home: We are Finally Homeowners!

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Home Sweet Home

This past weekend – Friday, actually – my husband and I finally became homeowners!!!

It was a long road to get to this point. Most of our friends already own their homes – those that choose to, at least. Some of our friends have owned multiple homes, and I have envied all of them. Part of the reason we didn’t buy before now is because we just couldn’t find that perfect community. We talked about moving to Evanston for years but were never completely sold on the city. It was perfect in every way, except the main one – cost. The entire Chicagoland area is fairly expensive and Evanston, thanks in large part to its close proximity to the city, is especially so. My husband and I have been searching for a similar sense of community and neighborhood enthusiasm that we found in Evanston, but we also didn’t want to be house poor.

Our plan had been to move this upcoming summer. (Of course, we had the same plan last summer. And the summer before that…) I wasn’t seriously looking at anything but had been keeping tabs on an area that was of interest to us. My husband went out of town for the Super Bowl to watch the game with some of his high school buddies, and during those two days he was gone I noticed that the price had dropped on a house in our preferred city, so I called a realtor I found in a Facebook group and asked her if she knew why the price had dropped – it was actually the second time it had dropped after sitting on the market for five months. She didn’t know, but my instincts told me that at this new low price – a good $50,000-$70,000 cheaper than anything else in the neighborhood – the house wouldn’t last for long.

Without telling my husband, the next day I spoke to a loan officer. Neither of us had ever purchased a house before and so I wanted to know what, exactly, we needed to do to get a mortgage. The loan officer was kind enough to talk to me at 2 p.m. on a Sunday – while my son was napping! – and also got us preapproved during the course of that conversation.

Finally, I called my husband. He was just about to head to the Super Bowl party when I told him that I’d found a house, we were looking at it the next day, and we were pre-approved for a mortgage.


The next morning my husband returned from Michigan and we went out to take a look at the house. We fell in love and put in an offer that night.

The rest, they say, is history.

We went from having no plans to immediately move to closing on a house in the span of 35 days. Of course, there were some special circumstances that allowed us to do that, including the house already being empty and us having a month-to-month lease and no property we needed to sell before we could purchase.

As much as I love our new house, it is in many ways a fixer-upper that is in need of desperate updating. The house was built in the 70s and many parts of the house appear to have never been updated.

For instance:

Kitchen in New House

The kitchen in our new house has a brand new dishwasher, refrigerator, and oven, but lime green countertops and some crazy flooring.

bathroom in new house

The main bathroom in the new house features a sink that my friend called “avocado green,” and a beige bathtub. And no, despite how it looks in the photo, that’s definitely not a granite countertop.

Family Room in new house

I absolutely love our new family room, though the wood paneling is definitely dated!

Ultimately, we bought a wonderful house that has been well-loved by one family for the past 45 years, but that we can’t wait to make our own.

I will, of course, bring you all along for as much of the ride as possible. While we could hire contractors to do much of the work – and probably will in some instances – we are also excited about tackling as many projects as we can on our own.

I’ve been dreaming about how to update the wood paneled room and researching how to paint a bathtub because I just can’t live with a beige bathtub but purchasing a new tub would also be a silly expense at this point. Years ago I bought a book about woodworking because even though it’s not something I’ve ever discussed here, it’s something I can’t wait to try out. First up, I’m going to make some garden planters and then we’ll see how my interest evolves (or fizzles out). Every single room of our new house needs work, and I am so excited to start making this house ours.

As has been the theme of this site this year, it’s going to be pretty quiet the next couple of weeks as we move into our new abode and, oh yeah, have a baby next week!! I have lofty goals to start the DIY projects ASAP – as well as some general house shopping – and I can’t wait to share the process with you all as we get settled into our new lives.

BTW: The cupcake at the top of this post was both to celebrate our new home purchase AND to celebrate eight years of blogging!

About Lisa Koivu

Lisa Koivu is the founder and editor of ShopGirlDaily.com. She also shares writing and monetization tips for bloggers at OhSheBlogs.com.

3 thoughts on “Home Sweet Home: We are Finally Homeowners!

  1. Congratulations on your new house and on 8 years of blogging!

    For the least expensive method of dealing with paneling, I recommend just painting it. My sister has done that in a couple houses that she’s owned and it does an amazing job of brightening the room. You probably have to sand the paneling a bit and prime the walls, but it’s a low-cost, easy fix. As to the bathtub…well, you’re probably better off living with beige until you are ready to redo the whole bathroom.

  2. I’m SO excited for you!! I picked out our very first house together 15 years ago.. I was lucky in that it is absolutely picture perfect for us as sold. ( The second owners had upgraded, updated, and finished all the bonus rooms upstairs, then the main source of income was lost, as the owner was a pilot who lost his job post 9/11).
    Our house was priced at $65 per sq. ft.. and had a pending sales contract in effect, our realtor told us.

    Something led me to that house, and I told her ” I’m not looking at any other houses until you find out how strong this pending contract is, because I believe this is the house we are meant to buy and live in”. Sure enough, same realtor’s office was handling both sides of the transaction, and the ” sales contract” was a joke. It totally depended upon another couple selling THEIR house first. And their house wasn’t even on the market.

    We got our house, no, our home, and I will fight until I have no blood nor breath to stay here for all my life. Our house was built for a family with 5 children. We have none, sadly, but it is a huge house. Private community, gated, guarded, a river, a lake, country clubs, golf courses, and all the wildlife you can imagine. Bald eagles are nesting a few hundred yards from our house, and deer walk through our front yard almost every AM on their way to the pecan orchards.

    I hope you will be as happy in your Chicago- land HOME, not house, but home, as I am in the one here in Texas that I was finally able to choose for my family of 2 humans and several Bichons and Maltese. 🙂

    I truly believe that everything happens when it’s supposed to and as it’s supposed to. ALWAYS trust your ” inner voice”, your instincts. Women have very good, very strong instincts. I am so very happy for you!!

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