- All of the main living spaces to be on one level. (We would consider a two-story if the master bedroom and bathroom were on the ground floor, but we preferred one level.)
- More than one bathroom.
- One area large enough to gather with our extended family. This large area could be a living room or a great room or a large country kitchen like we had in The Farmhouse. We just knew we needed some kind of space for Sunday afternoons and holiday dinners and birthday celebrations.
- Small-ish yard.
- A garage or shop or barn for Ron.
Okay, so maybe charm was not a requirement, but after living in an older home with pretty moldings and quirky spaces and pine floors for thirty-five years, we were hoping to have a wee bit of charm in our new abode.
I began to explore online real estate listings: Realtor.com, Zillow, Trulia. One of the first houses I saw had this beautiful fireplace wall,
and I was drawn in!
The house actually met most of our criteria. It was all on one level. There were two full bathrooms and a half bathroom. There was a two-and-a-half car garage. It oozed charm!
But...there were no pictures of the kitchen (did that mean that it was tiny, or in disrepair?) and no mention of a dining room. A space for a table was a must! Was there any large gathering place in this house?
For weeks, we looked at house after house after house online. Every time we'd go out for appointments
(which was often!), we'd drive by one or more of the houses that were for sale. None of them seemed just right
. We drove by the one with the lovely fireplace wall and tried to figure out how in the world there could be a gathering space based on what we knew about the other rooms via the online photos. We finally decided that we'd never know whether it would meet our needs unless we simply went to see it for ourselves, so we called and made an appointment with the listed realtor.
On New Year's Eve, we went to see the house. We walked in the back door and there it was...the kitchen, which was not
tiny and not
in disrepair! And it had charm
, including large casement windows that opened into the sun room!
Then we walked into the room we didn't know was there. Not only was there a dining room, but it was large and
it opened into a large living room (the one with that wonderful fireplace wall)! There was our gathering space
than adequate, and also beautiful, with hardwood floors and crown molding and lots of charm!
While Ron chatted with the realtor team about heating and nuts-and-bolts and everything else, we girls took a self-guided tour of the bedrooms, dreaming about which room could be whose.
Then we peeked into one of the bathrooms and my jaw dropped because there on the wall was a wooden pineapple that Ron had made
when we were making folk art back in the '80's!
A sign? Perhaps!
Although we did look at some other homes after this, our hearts were captured by this one, and it is the one that we now call home!
Not only does it has every single thing on our search list, it has so much more!
- It is a very solid, well-built and well-loved home. (We have met the former owners and they have shared details of the thoughtful planning of their father when he remade the bungalow into a rancher to accommodate their growing family.)
- It has that lovely fireplace that drew me in.
- The house has lots of natural light, including sidelights (which I love) on either side of the front door.
- There is crown molding in every room.
- I adore a multi-pane picture window...and there is a lovely one in the new living room! ~swoon~
- Ron and I have a cozy little suite that is separate from the other bedroom area.
- There is fourth bedroom that we are going to use as a school room/office.
- There is a sun room.
- There is a finished basement (which the grands are very excited about).
Our first Sunday afternoon gathering in the new house...
I had to take two photos to get everyone in! (And I'm still not sure that I did...)
Looking through the picture window...the kids playing a game in the sun room.
When my friend Jill learned that we were leaving The Farmhouse, she told me that she was praying that we'd find a house that we would love as much, and that we would have peace about the transition. We think that those prayers were answered.
We are so grateful for this gift that is beyond our dreams! We pray that the Lord's name might always be glorified here!