UncategorizedHome is Wherever I’m with You April 2, 2015Lately, I’ve been talking about a Big Secret Project that was taking a good chunk of my time. You guys had some amazing guesses! The most common guess was that a magazine was coming to feature our home. I’m so happy and honored to say that you guys were right! A favorite magazine of mine will be here in a month or so to photograph some of our home. It’s a dream come true… …but it’s not the Big Secret Project. A few of you guessed that I was writing a book. That is not the case, though, it’s a dream of mine to one day write one! Happy to know there are a few of you out there who would buy it 🙂 And one of you guessed that we were adding onto our house. Well, that’s not it, but it’s definitely the closest to the truth. Well today, friends, I’m going to tell you a little story. We’ll call it “The Big Secret Project” Part I. For those of you that have been around this blog for several years, you’ll remember when we sold our first house and bought this home. That feels like ages ago, though it was only two years! I wasn’t even The White Buffalo yet and it’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t live here. You can read the entire story about why we sold that first house here, but I’ll recap it very briefly for you. We bought our first home three months after being married before either of us had discovered our love for design, renovating, and blogging for me. That home was so special because it revealed all of those things to us. And after a few years there, we realized we had turned our foreclosure (which used to be a frat house – craziness) into an investment and that by selling it, we could pay off some of our huge college debt. We sold it, made a profit, and bought our current home in a downtown Greenville neighborhood where we had friends and that we had grown to love. There are several reasons we chose this neighborhood, but our goal first and foremost was to live in an investment area where we could be on mission with those around us. This neighborhood fit that bill. We love this house. I know a lot of you are new around here with the recent BHG feature, so if you’ve missed our projects, you can see all the befores and afters on this house and get all the renovation details by reading through Our Renovation Story. We knew when we bought this house that it would not be a forever house. Not because we didn’t love it or love the neighborhood, but because we had discovered a family vision and adventure to use our gifts and love of designing and renovating to move us toward living completely debt free. For the first year or so of living here, we were focused on renovating and knew we would one day sell, but didn’t have a deadline on it. We really thought we would be here longer than the two years we spent in our first house. But this vision of financial freedom for our family included me being at home to raise babies, while doing something I love with The White Buffalo. Last spring, we had babies on the brain and my blog was taking WAY more time than I had to give it being a full-time teacher. We decided it was time for me to step away from teaching and blog full-time. We knew then that unless something drastically changed with my blog income, the house would need to be sold this spring. We moved forward with that plan. In the meantime, a few other things happened. We found out little Rosie was on the way, which immediately told us we WERE NOT selling this spring. We were not moving with a newborn. But the blog also has grown and my opportunities with it have grown. We are so grateful. Those new opportunities meant that we didn’t have to sell as quickly, though it would help when we did. Well, obviously you guys have figured out that we are selling…so how do we get from BEING TOTALLY AGAINST selling with a newborn to moving? When Rosie was three days old, we got an e-mail from a real estate agent who goes to our church. She knew of our plans to sell at some point and said she had buyers desperate to live in our neighborhood. They looked at the house on the blog, loved it and wanted to come see it. Chris immediately told them that we wouldn’t move out before June 1st because we HAD A THREE DAY OLD BABY! They said that was fine and when Rosie was six days old, we showed them the house. Within a day, they made us a full-price offer with the contingent that we would close March 31st and rent the house back until June 1st. We were stunned. God brought us sellers when the house wasn’t even listed. And they were willing to close, but let us rent back which gave us the money to purchase and do the bulk of renovations on the next place without being displaced. So, God wanted us to the sell the house – He made that extremely obvious. It’s been pretty comical to tell people we sold the house when we’re holding this tiny baby. We get looks like, “Are you insane?!” And we’ve gotten plenty of questions about how we could sell when we put this much work into a place. The last house taught us several really important lessons that we’re carrying with us now. Will I miss this house? Absolutely. But, I would rather have the financial freedom that this journey is affording us. We had a vision for me to be home and do something I loved. This renovating/flipping journey is affording that and I am so grateful. We have long-term visions for our family that continuing along this road will give us. Plus, homes are special. I obviously believe that or I wouldn’t write this blog. But, what truly makes them special is who you share it with. Yes, that sounds super cheesy, but it’s true. Leaving our first home was initially sad, but everything that truly mattered came with me to this home. And it’ll go with me to the next. We officially closed on our house on Tuesday of this week. We didn’t feel comfortable putting any of this out publicly until it was a done deal, so I hope y’all will forgive me for keeping you in the dark. Now the big question…WHAT COMES NEXT? I know you probably assume that the Big Secret Project is our next house and you would be right! Finding the next place has been extremely difficult with a lot of ups and downs and we STILL don’t have all of the answers, but I’ll share all I know right now. Big Secret Project Part II is up tomorrow…. Stay tuned!