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My House Buying Story

Updated: Dec 8, 2023

Buying a house is as rewarding and intimidating as it sounds. I honestly never knew if I would do it, but here I am 14 months later, living my life in a 100-year-old house that I feel extremely fortunate to own.

I thought I would give you a little backstory about the whole thing.

girl sitting in front of rock house

Before I bought my house, my living situation was pretty ideal. My uncle bought a house back in 2013 and asked if I wanted to rent it from him until he moved back to Springfield from California.

I had been living in an apartment for years, so the idea of living in a house (and not just any house) felt like a dream come true.

My uncle moved to Santa Barbara in 1983 (the year I was born, thanks a lot!) so I wasn't sure when or if he would actually move back to Springfield. It was kind of a unique situation. But we both figured it would be about 3 years.

I ended up living in the house for NINE years. lol.

Those nine years were pretty great. I mean, a lot of good and bad things can happen in your life within a long time span like that, but being able to live in a big, incredible historic house on Walnut Street was something I never thought I would be able to do. Like I said, it was a unique situation.

It was truly, in my mind, my dream home. The obvious catch was that it wasn't mine. But I didn't care. It felt like home.

Fast forward to 2022, a year that was filled with change and heartbreak. My grandma passed away that January, and I was grieving the loss of my dog Kennedy (who suddenly passed the December before) at the same time.

And then a few months later, I found out I needed to find a new place to live because my uncle was moving back. Bad timing indeed.

I was given a heads up and had about 6 months until I needed to move out. But my brain went into major freakout mode. When it rains, it downpours. But it all worked out in the end. It always does!

I felt like I was finally in a place where I could afford to buy a house. But it was still scary and intimating to think about. Especially with everything else going on in my head.

I started looking at Zillow multiple times a day and soon realized why people get so obsessed with it. It was my main focus other than my job. It took about 4 months of looking to find "the one."

It was also a crazy time to buy a house. Not that it isn't now, but houses were being sold left and right, and most of them were only on the market for a few days. It was nuts.

Basically, if I saw a house I liked, I needed to put an offer down that day to get it. And I couldn't compete with people who could afford to offer more money and all the things. Yada, yada, yada.

Looking back, the houses I thought I wanted to buy wouldn't have been right for me AT ALL. I didn't want to settle, but I also wanted to make sure I wasn't rushing to find something right before I needed to move out.

My goal was to find something that was built between 1920 and 1960 with lots of historic charm. There were a lot of boxes to check ... and a conservative budget.

I even looked at a big historic house (that needed a ton of work) in a neighborhood that I've always loved. I really thought it was the house for me and considered buying it. I realize now how much of a massive disaster that would have been. I needed a house that didn't need a lot of work.

One evening, a Zillow alert popped up for a house that appeared to check all the boxes— a fieldstone craftsman bungalow built in 1923. It was also in a great neighborhood with lots of charm.

I sent my relator a text and she made an appointment for us to see it first thing the next morning. I was so nervous and excited!

Turns out, I knew the realtor (and local historian) Richard Crabtree, who was selling the home. I figured that was a good sign. I looked through the house for about 15 minutes and decided to go for it. I nervously put an offer down.

I forgot to mention that I qualified for a grant with UMB bank. It was a huge blessing. The requirements weren't hard to meet— things like being a first-time homeowner and making less than 100k a year.

There was a lot of paperwork involved, but I couldn't believe how great of a deal it was. The grant covered my down payment and closing costs. Sold!

I put my offer down on the house on a Friday morning and figured I wouldn't hear back until Monday. I received a phone call from Richard the same evening— the seller accepted my offer! It was a done deal.

And the crazy thing is that after I put the offer down that Friday, nobody else looked at the house. I was the only one!

Maybe it was because I knew the realtor or maybe it was a universe thing. Either way, I was elated. It truly felt meant to be. It still does.

Moving is extremely stressful, and I think starting over is more difficult for some people than others. I guess you could say I'm one of those people. It took me about 5 months for my new house to feel even remotely close to "home."

Now that I've been living here for over a year, I'm so glad I did something that felt impossible and out of my comfort zone. And I did it by myself! That makes me proud to say.

I would still be living in my uncle's house if I wasn't forced to move. I would have stayed there forever. And even though starting over felt bad at the time, it needed to happen for me to move forward.

Oh, and by the way, if I decide to live in my house until it's paid off, I'll be 70. Grandma Jacki, indeed. xoxo

P.S. Here are a few room tours from my house. A lot of friends have told me that it reminds them of my old house— but it feels more like me. I like that.


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