“When we got engaged, we were living in an 800 sq ft rowhome and it was wonderful but moving in together and trying to blend our family, it was pretty tough because it was super tight. We’re trying to create a retirement plan for ourselves through real estate. The first property we got, I really didn’t even want to go see it. I was not excited about it at all. But then when you walked into it, it had such a great energy and it was so quaint and so cute and not much bigger than our row home but just enough space that we knew it would make a great rental property and also first home for us as a newly engaged couple. It was wonderful. It was 2 bedrooms, a loft and a bathroom. We had a huge yard which was really important to us so we had a huge garden. Then when we had her, it was really great for the first several months of life because her nursery shared a wall with our room so we never really felt like she was very far away. But when she got into the crawling phase of life, our home again began to feel pretty small and tight.
I was up late nursing one night nursing and one of the joys of being up late was that I found this home on the market. It came online at midnight and I was the first one to see it. I put it on the list and he said ‘no, we’re not gonna go see that home since it’s out of our price range.’ At times, he drives me crazy but he’s really smart with money. He tries to stick within our budget. I called it “research”. I said, ‘let’s go take a look and see if there’s any components that we could create in another home.’ Even with our second home, what we’re trying to create are rental properties. He had a certain price point but I convinced him to take it up. Our conversations were that if you go up into a certain price point, the quality and the space goes up exponentially.
We walked into this place and said ‘oh shit.’ Our research became real, we put an offer in the next day. I picked some flowers out of our garden and wrote a letter about why we loved the property and how we were already in the neighborhood, only three blocks away from our first home. We sat on it for a while but then we countered our own offer before the sellers even looked at it. We thought that if we got bid out by a thousand or two thousands dollars we’d cry. We figured let’s just go for it up to our max, but if we didn’t get it we wouldn’t feel bad about it because we gave it our all.
There were 8 other offers. The reaction when we got the offer accepted was fear and excitement all in one. We never thought we were gonna get it because we thought that was just how it works. We really felt super proud to have met our mark since we made a goal to be in our first house for 2 years and then get onto the next property. It was 2 years and 4 months. It felt good to be on pace.
I walk into this home and can’t believe we live in it. I feel like I live in my parents house. I feel like I’m not even mature enough to even live in a house like this. The longer we live in it, the less it feels like a future rental. Our next timeframe is 5 years until we move into another house. The other home will always feel so special because it’s the home where I became a mom. I feel like this is the home where I could see us having another kid and walking them to school from this house. I’m really proud. We don’t even have furniture in our living room yet and that’s okay. I think it feels good that we can grow into this space. We don’t have to rush our next venture. The only reason we can live here comfortably is because we can offset our current mortgage with the rental income. I’d have a hard time renting this house out. The next home would have to be that much more special. It’d have to be a total knockout.”