In 2010 right at the same time I started dating my husband I bought my first house. It was a cute little brick house that had been built in the 50’s. It was just under 2000 sq ft and it sat on half an acre lot. I actually hadn’t been even looking at houses, but mainly town houses because I hate yard work. Plus that’s what was in my price range. My mom told me that I would regret not having a yard but I didn’t want to hear any of that.
So how did I end up with half an acre? Well, it just kind of fell into my lap because on of my Dad’s clients parents had passed away over a year ago and left the house to their 3 daughters, who didn’t get along and two of them just wanted the money out of the house and sued the estate to sell it. One of the sisters asked if my parent’s knew anyone looking for a house and that’s where I came into the equation. When I went to look at it the first time it still had all their stuff in it and I just couldn’t envision myself there at that time. It was hard for me to see past the yellow exterior, the yellowing inside walls and all the old furniture.
It was also in an area I wasn’t familiar with and I felt like it was so out of the way of everything. After talking to a few people who knew the area better and doing some research I felt much better with the area and my Mom talked me into having to see the potential of the house and not what is there now. It was a great deal for the price they were selling it for. That’s how I ended up with my cute little block home in Oviedo. Here’s what it looked like when I first bought it.
I immediately went to work fixing up the front flower bed, after all you want good curb appeal. the outside. In negations to buy the house we got the sellers to put on a new roof. Huge savings right there! I had the outside repainted, replaced the shutters, and painted the front door. We also painted every square inch of the inside and it transformed into the perfect little starter home for us. Here’s what it looked like after all that hard work.
We lived there for 5 years until 2015 when my Grandparents decided to move to a retirement apartment and sell their house. The area around their house is being developed at a rapid rate in recent years. Based on that we decided it would be a good investment to buy their house as an investment property and rent it out. They had lived there for close to 40 years and had not updated at thing in those 40 years. In the middle of doing the renovations we decided that it was too nice to rent out. Our plan changed to moving to the new house and renting out the house in Oviedo.
We loved my Grandparents house, it was on one acre and we didn’t have neighbors on either side of us or behind us. Lots of beautiful wildlife, occasionally a bear or two would wander through the backyard. We knew obviously that there would be some building going on around it, due to the state extending a toll road behind the house. We were ok with that because it was going to be far enough back we’d be ok.
The wood siding on the outside was never my favorite feature of the house but everything else about it was great!
So why did we move?
Fast forward about 2 years to December 1st, 2016. It was a beautiful sunny Thursday at about 1:00 pm in the afternoon. I was getting things ready and planning with some friends for a bachelorette party we were having that weekend. I was sitting at my desk in the office and someone knocked on the door. The dogs started barking like crazy and jumping at the door. I didn’t think too much of it, just figured it was a delivery and I never answer the door for people I don’t know. When I checked I saw a man walking away from the door back towards the drive way. I waited a min to see him pull out and drive off, that never happened.
Next thing I know I heard a noise on our back porch. I turned around realizing there were two men on the back porch. Next thing I knew our sliding glass door shattered right in front of me. You always think about what you will do in these type of situations. Will you run out the front door, will you hide in a closet or under the bed. Non of that happened, instead I froze while thinking in my head “This is really happening!”
My dogs were barking like crazy, the man who broke the window realized someone was home when he saw me standing across the room. He yelled “oh shit!” and they both took off running. I started yelling as loud as I could “GO! GO! Get outta here! Go Away!” I don’t know what difference that made, as I was yelling my dogs took off running out the dog door toward the back yard, where I knew they just left the gate open. I grabbed dog treats and took off after them. Luckily one of them didn’t run out of the gate, he was in the back corner of the yard barking towards the woods behind the house. Our other pup did run out the gate and I found him frozen with fear in the driveway. The men had a car in the driveway and they peeled out so fast to get away and all the noise scared our pup.
I got him back in the yard and called 911. About 15 police cars showed up about 2 min later. They tried to drive around and find the men. No luck. They came back, asked question, and processed the scene. I didn’t see it when it was happening, but they broke the window by throwing a huge garden block at it. It landed half way across the living room and just missed our glass coffee table by inches. You can see in the picture how far into the room it landed.
After the police left we we stuck with the task of boarding up the sliding glass door to cover the huge hole we now had. We later found out they had also broken into a house down the street and two others nearby. None of them were home, thankfully, but that means they actually got in and rummaged through every inch of those houses.
In the months to follow I was so stressed out when home alone. I jumped at every sound, we even put up cameras, but it was just too much. We debated whether it was worth moving over this one incident. We weighed the pros and cons of selling a house we got such a great deal on (and loved) against taking the profit and buying a new house. I tried to be ok with staying there because I really loved the house and it had so much family history attached to it. I also knew the likelihood of it happening again is slim. I was on the fence.
Then I found out that the road project was buying out our closest neighbor which would leave us the only house on our extremely dark end of the road. Then they started building a new FDOT office around the corner and there’s a proposal for a hospital around the other corner. While building is inevitable we decided it was either try to sell and move now or be stuck for another 10 years once all the construction started. We decided to list it and “see what happens.”
It took about 30 days of pretty frequent showings (that was not fun!) before we finally got an offer. We got everything from “We’re worried about the construction”, to “I don’t like the step down to the living room”, to one person who said they love the lot and location but they didn’t think our upgrades looked Professional. Then we finally had one guy who sent in an offer and after all the fun of inspection and financing almost falling thought we sold the house.
We then bought our current house which was a process in and of itself. The sellers were less then helpful in that process. That’s a story for another time! However in August we finally moved into our new house in a nice neighborhood on a cul-de-sac, walking distance to the train station (my husband rides the train to work every day).
So those are the reasons why it seems lately like we like to move every 2 years! We love the house we’re in now and will hopefully be here awhile. I don’t know if I would call it our “forever home” though. I feel like that’s not a thing anymore these days, people like change more often it seems. Never say never though, so we shall see!
Til next time!