It has been a long time since I posted to the blog and for good reason. We made a cross-country move from Indiana to Raleigh, North Carolina. If you follow me on Instagram @homewithandreasims then you already know this. Our decision to move surprised everyone and especially with how fast we decided and then made the move (March 10th and then arriving April 15th!!).
While it came as a surprise to anyone on the outside; it was a thing gradually developing in our hearts (hubby and I)for a long time. We moved to Indiana for land, country life and snow. We always knew though that we could NOT go full on rural or small town. We always knew we preferred the city but thought a few acres for the kids would be wonderful. And it was wonderful! We loved our home so very much and made so many memories there. However, this was also our 10th year in the Midwest and Indiana was MORE grey and had LESS snow than we did in Ohio. It was the worst sort of winter to us: absolutely freezing, grey, barren and no snow. We also missed being close to a larger city not realizing that 70 miles would be a lot harder to do frequently with our sweet little surprise baby!
We had done so much to the house that I thought there was just no way to move. I didn’t want to say anything to my husband and I secretly prayed to The Lord that if this was His will we could come to the same conclusion independently. One day my husband asked if I really wanted to stay in Indiana because he didn’t! I was so surprised (and thankful!) and from there we just started talking, dreaming, thinking and praying.
There were so many things to consider! The land, the kids, the selling, the money we had put in, and of course the logistics of it all. We both just thought Raleigh immediately because it had been the runner up city when we were looking to move several years ago. In the end, the NO SNOW thing and the similarity of size to our area in Ohio-felt like a lateral move so we chose something completely different but still in the familiar territory of the Midwest.
This move has been a tale of God: His signal graces, His blessings, and His guidance!! There were also many things that had to fall into place for this to work. I was worried about the children and to my delight they were thrilled when we told them we were going to visit Raleigh to see about moving there. They wanted to move so badly because they wanted to be close to the beach and mountains and they had just visited family in a city that had all the amenities and they loved it! We had driven to Florida through South Carolina and Georgia in a 16 day vacation last year also and they loved sunshine, the ocean, and the big cities. They were excited and so were we. Of course we knew that a couple acres would be hard to find unless we were far from the city again but we did want to get at least an acre. We learned the kids really just needed some areas to explore, pretend and hang out-so more than just a blank lawn but it didnt need to be a huge forest. Being so close to the mountains we’d like to do a small cabin as a getaway some day. It would be that slice of rural country life but as a retreat rather than a day to day.
The Second Most Asked Question: Why Move So Fast?!
We moved out to NC in record time! We packed, listed our home, sold our home and moved all within 5 weeks. It was incredible. It was exhausting. It was exciting. We knew that we wanted to be extra picky with our home choice yet again. It took us 7 months and 7 trips to Indiana from Ohio (driving back and forth) before we found THE ONE. North Carolina was too far away to do that again. Even flying back and forth wasn’t realistic especially because I had a nursing baby. My husband cannot for the life of him see past someone else’s furniture and paint and has no idea how to envision how our family would use a home. The market was still moving so fast that homes sold within days. We didn’t want to buy site unseen (like we did when we moved from New Mexico because we were buying a much larger home than our starter home. This meant that we needed to be in North Carolina to house hunt and we needed to be there BEFORE the busy season started.
Prepping, Listing, and Selling
We had hoped this would be our forever home. But you know what they say-never say never. We weren’t sure how much we’d loose on this house since we had not even lived there two years yet (would have been two in July). We called our relator over and she loved the renovations. She informed us that the market was still hot especially for higher end homes and the renovations were so well done that the pricing would ensure we recouped all of our investment and then some. Praise the Lord! First obstable was passed. We were prepared to loose some money since we were still certain this was a move that needed to happen but God surpassed our expectations.
Next we had to prepare the house as soon as possible. I had a few DIY projects in the works and they needed to be completed: fireplace, laundry room and then touching up everywhere. I will be blogging about the beautiful fireplace makeover that turned it from orange stone to cottage classic. We also had to stage our home and especially the downstairs to look like a second family room and not like quilting/crafting central! Most people can’t see past other’s use of the home so it was important to set it up how most people would use it. It was also necessary to pack most of the downstairs to keep it clean-ahem five children don’t do showings well on a moment’s notice.
We listed the house late on Monday evening and the next day, we had 25 showings!! We had several offers within the first day and many more showings the second day. We accepted an offer by the end of the second day and were able to pick the closing date so just 10 days later we CLOSED on the house! By far, that was the biggest source of stress to me. What IF the sale drags on. Of course, we planned to carry the house for many months if we needed to but it sure would be nice to sell right away. Once again, The LORD came through in ways unimaginable!!! I never never would have expected to sell in ONE DAY and then to close just TEN days later. But it happened. We had moved out and had just arrived in NC when we were no longer the owners of our home in Indiana. It could not have happened better.
Where Are You Living Now?
Funny you should ask because we planned to rent a large home so our things would not need to be stored. If we found a home, we planned on breaking the lease with a fee and if we didn’t find a home soon-then we would be comfortable for however long it took. It was the perfect plan. Except that the best laid plans can change. In North Carolina, even the rental market is busy! There aren’t any lease breaking terms. If you rent for 12 months and try to leave before-then you must pay the remaining months. So we tried finding shorter term houses and those didn’t exist either. Then we started looking at apartments with short term leases and that proved to be challenging as well! We had fewer than three weeks remaining before the movers would come and we had nowhere to go. My husband and I called about five different apartment complexes looking for the largest three bedroom we could find with a short term lease. We finally found one but it was available two weeks before we needed it; however, we decided it was best to take it right away. Now that the apartment was squared away-we had to find a place to store our things. After calling around to quite a few storage places, I found one with climate controlled units. We reserved two of their largest units on the second floor (we ended up with three smaller units on the first floor but together they were even larger than the original two larger ones).
The apartment is a three bedroom 1600 sq ft home on the third floor. We have the two older kids sharing a room, the two younger kids sharing a room and the baby is sharing the Master bedroom. My husband works from the Master bedroom during the day and we move the playpen into the kids’ rooms during the day for the baby’s naps. The kitchen has a 9ft island and an apartment sized fridge. The best part is the balcony patio is large enough to fit our outdoor dining table and chairs so we have been able to eat outside most days. Of course all of this is an adjustment but we have absolutely LOVED living here in Raleigh. I can’t even express our happiness. It has been so much fun eating out, shopping, exploring, parks, bakeries, and so much more. We have met a few families from the homeschool group and have discovered some great cafes! We live next to an amazing outdoor shopping area with theatres, restaurants, coffee, Target and a grocery store. Everything is so convenient that I smile with every errand. The kids have loved living next to the Lego Store, toy shops, museums and the Wake county Library system has 22 library branches. We signed up for library cards this week and they feel right at home now.
What is Next?
We are house hunting. It is a crazy fast market and I am prepared to hold out UNTIL we find what WE want. Realtors can encourage you to settle because its such a difficult and fast market but I am not one to settle. Ha! We had a beautiful home in Indiana that I thoroughly enjoyed decorating and we knew we wanted a beautiful home here in North Carolina. While I loved our previous home, my favorite kind of home is a Colonial! Let’s just say I am on cloud nine looking at all the beautiful homes here. This brings me to my letter campaign. I can be patient but I am also proactive. I have been leaving letters in the mailboxes of homes we love in neighborhoods we like. Its just a short introduction explaining who we are and that we love their home in this neighborhood. I say if you are thinking of selling, here is my contact information. I have sent about 15 letters so far and we have had one response. I am pretty happy with that. In fact, I had been emailing the owner (who sent us pictures and a house floor plan) for the last month. They had not been in town until this weekend when we will get to SEE the house. I have loved this home from the moment I drove by and the pictures and the house floor plan is perfect. But you never know until you see something and in particular the yard/ property lines. So we shall see! Even if it doesn’t work out, we shall continue to put more letters and just wait.
In the meantime we are enjoying our apartment very much. We have a three month lease and then month to month so it really is a fantastic set up for us. In my next blog post, I will show the style of homes that I love and a few that we have seen thus far. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments.