Leaving our current home is going to be hard. (That’s another post for another time, though.) Jeremy and I knew that if we could find a new home in Providence that we loved and were excited about, it would make leaving our beloved home that much easier. Of course, that meant we had to find the house that was going to excite us. Who knew that would be such a challenge.
Let’s step back a minute. We own our current home. We knew that trying to sell and buy at the same time would be a logistical challenge. We also weren’t entirely convinced on the area in which we would settle. Therefore we decided to rent for the first year or two in Providence. There are many reasons…
1. It eases the logistics of buying and selling.
2. It gives us time to save for another down payment since we’re not making much money on the sale of our current home.
3. It allows us to explore the area more and zone in on the neighborhood in which we would want to settle more long-term.
4. It gives us a financial break for a little bit, especially not knowing when I will find a job.
5. It gives us a “project-free” year to focus on family, exploring and getting settled. (Knowing that buying a house would most likely mean we would want to dive in and make it ours.)
We haven’t rented in over 8 years so we were unsure of the process. We got referred to a Realtor in Providence who tried to help us but no one wanted to work with him because they didn’t want to pay him a commission. So the day we were leaving to go house hunting with the kids, I scrambled to get appointments at potential homes for the next day. Fortunately I got 6 home visits scheduled. (Trying to get the timing right not understanding drive time between each was a challenge!) But we got to Providence ready to find a rental. The kids were excited too, although they were disappointed we were not going to be on TV. (I guess we watch too much House Hunters!) Let’s dive into what we saw…
House #1 – Small single-family home in Bristol with tiny rooms, a wet basement, an almost non-existent kitchen and beautiful landscaped yard.
Decision: Not for us. While we LOVE Bristol (even more after finding the perfect bagel shop!), it is a long commute to the city, and the house didn’t make up for that kind of sacrifice.
House #2 – One-floor flat in East Side near Brown University with lots of “college-type” trash and “squatters” sleeping on air mattresses. I was closed to this place the minute we drove up, so I didn’t pay much attention to any positives inside.
Decision: Despite being a fun area with urban amenities, it’s an H-E-double-hockey-sticks NO!
House #3 – Adorable single-family home in Pawtuxet Village. It had an updated kitchen, 2 baths (Hallelujah!), a big basement for storage, and was in a family friendly neighborhood near the water.
Decision – LOVED this house! The style fit us very well, and the area was where we were hoping to be. It has a relationship to the water yet is still close to the city.
House #4 – Two-story flat just outside of Pawtuxet Village. It was on a busier street, but within walking distance to many amenities. This place had so much space, which was awesome. But the kitchen left a lot to be desired, and we were unsure how the kids would do without any sort of green space nearby.
Decision: While we loved the space (and 2 baths), it didn’t quite seem to fit us. Unfortunately the family living there was just starting to clean and pack up so that didn’t help matters. And I’m still scared of the dark laundry room!
House #5 – Large single-family home north of the city in Oak Hill/Pawtucket. The house was on a busy road, and we were very unfamiliar with the area and not getting good vies. Inside the place was disgusting! I think even the Realtor was trying to talk us out of it.
Decision: Um… No thanks!
House #6 – Single-family home in west Cranston. The Realtor did not want to waste our time (or hers) with a viewing because we have 2 cars. The house has a one-car garage with a tiny driveway and no overnight parking on the street. We still drove by and thought it looked nice from the outside with a cute enclosed backyard. We even stopped at a lemonade stand a few blocks away and felt good with the neighborhood.
Decision: We later talked to the Realtor and decided it might be possible to fit 2 cars if you leave the garage door open and pull the cars all the way in. Not ideal, especially since we still haven’t even seen inside, but might be worth keeping as an option.
So there you have it. Our 6 options. Any guesses for which one we picked?
If you guessed #3, you were right! After several stressful days of waiting after we turned in our application, the owner let us know that we had the house. We are so excited! The house is adorable and really fits the way we live. Now that we have a place to live up there, and our house is under contract in Maryland (more on that in the next post), it’s time to start packing and preparing for the big move. Please send me strength to get through it all.