Do you love the place you live?
I Have Learned To Love My Current House, One Project At A Time, But It Wasn’t Always This Way.
I’ve not shared my homeownership journey with many people, but let’s just say it hasn’t been a straight line. My hope is that my story will help encourage you, no matter what your current housing circumstances are.
Our First Home
Call me crazy, but I felt driven to own real estate instead of rent when I was in my early 20s.
It could have been from the fact that I grew up in the back of a real estate school and was raised knowing the value of homeownership but regardless of the reason I really just wanted to own real estate because I knew the financial benefits, and I’m naturally a driven person. When I was a 19-year-old newlywed and found out we were expecting our first baby, things got real!
We hunted for what felt like forever and finally settled on a great little condo in Milton, WA. We were officially homeowners!
That 2-bedroom townhouse felt so right at the beginning. Then baby #2 and the 2008 recession surprised us. Our perfect 2-bedroom became too small and quickly turned into a drowning investment. Since I worked in property management I could quickly see that the best choice for us was to move into a rental home that fit our current needs and rent out our condo until the market changed. We hoped that the market would turn and that we would be able to sell for at least what we owed but things weren’t looking good.
When the identical property next to ours sold for $180,000 LESS than we owed, we knew we were in too deep. We reluctantly let our condo go back to the bank and we were officially no longer homeowners…
Back To Renters
As hard as it was to allow that to happen, the empowering truth settled into my heart during that difficult season of life was that
IT’S NOT A SIN TO BE A RENTER!
After a few years, the internal chatter about owning v. renting finally silenced, and I was in a really peaceful place. We were in a perfect location for our growing family. The rental house was big enough for our needs, but still small enough to clean quickly. The loveable landlord handled the yard maintenance and the rent was so reasonable that our savings was growing quickly.
A few years into our leasing journey and with all of that forclosure chaos behind us Josh, my husband, started to get the buyer’s itch and was window shopping for a house. I, however, was not ready to go down that road again. I had seen and learned so much since our 2008 experience and I was content where we were so I really didn’t understand why he wanted to open us back up to the unknown. The repelling conflict between us spurred on a lot of conversations that eventually inspired my Top 5 Needs & Wants which helped us, and hundreds since, to find common ground that helped us see what actually mattered.
For the first time in my life, I was happy with where I was physically positioned in the world. I had learned to be okay with the uncertainty of renting. My two babies were growing by the day and the Trace Adkins song “You’re Gonna Miss This” was constantly playing in my head. I knew we were in a precious season of life and I just did not want to do anything to upset it, including moving!
One morning I got a text message from Josh with a picture of a green-on-green house down the street. Even though Josh couldn’t make it to the showing, he insisted that I go check it out with my mom. He kept saying “It checks 4 of our top 5 priorities! Please go with an open mind.”
We pulled up and it was offical. I did NOT love this green-on-green house unaffectionately nicknamed “Minty”!
While we went through the house I gave him a call. I let him know that it needed A LOT of work to bring it to a place we would enjoy living. Although it had four of our five needs and wants, I did not think this was the place for us.
Let’s just say that I was less than thrilled, but according to Josh’s numbers he knew exactly what we were willing to pay. And because of my housing background, I knew exactly what the property was actually worth. We ended up buying the place, dubbed “Minty,” and we have been working on it ever since. Some projects have been more enjoyable than others, but all in all I am learning how to love this place, too.
Minty house is no longer green!
Here is a template I created to help me find motivation for Minty renovation projects:
The first thing I want to feel when I get home is RELAXED. Every time I see NEUTRAL and CALMBING colors I instantly smile.
My prefered design style is MODERN INDUSTRIAL.
If I had to name my home, I would call it MINTY. Knick-knacks make me feel OVERWHELMED. CLUTTER makes me so anxious. Dedicating a few hours each week to organizing and cleaning sounds AMAZING.
The vibe I want others to feel when in our home is AT PEACE. In order to achieve that vibe I’m going to BE INTENTIONAL WITH MY DECOR.
Here are some of the limiting beliefs I’ve wrestled with over the years–and learned to turn into empowering truths–while both renting and settling into a house I didn’t think I wanted:
- Limiting belief #1: I don’t deserve a space that sparks joy.
- Empowering truth: I can create a space full of joy wherever I am and I’m grateful for the space I reside in at this exact moment.
- Limiting belief #2: I’m stuck in a rut and can’t get out.
- Empowering truth: My current circumstances do not define me.
- Limiting belief #3: I can’t share my excitement because others will think I’m boastful.
- Empowering truth: The people that care about me will rejoice alongside me.
- Limiting belief #4: There are just not enough hours in the day.
- Empowering truth: Being intentional with my time and resources will help me achieve my goals.
- Limiting belief #5: We’ll never be in our dream home.
- Empowering truth: There are areas of joy in our home, and I am going to replicate them.
Looking for some inspiration on where to start making your home uniquely yours? Learning to love the place I live, even with its imperfections, will be a lifelong journey for me, but I created this fun fill-in-the-blank to help us narrow down what brings us joy.
I encourage you to give it a try and let me know what you think!