How did a couple of Midwestern kids like us end up here among the palm trees?
For several years now we have been contemplating making a purchase somewhere warmer and in a state with friendlier tax laws. This wasn't a decision we made lightly. We still have kids and parents living up north. Consequently, we will not be giving up our old rambling family home any time soon but we are thinking of eventually downsizing.
So why Florida? I always thought we would end up in Texas. Then earlier this year we came down to the sunshine state with our son and his new bride.
I was immediately smitten with this area.
We came down again in the heat of the summer and began looking at homes with a realtor. Yes, it was warm but in August it is warm almost everywhere.
We had seen our future home on Zillow and made a point to add it to our list of "must see" homes. We loved so many things about this home but we aren't quite as impulsive as we were in our twenties and we took a few weeks to think about it before making an offer. When we finally did decide to take the plunge we were every realtor's nightmare.
The market up north is drastically different from Florida and we received a quick and brutal education when we made a low ball offer. The seller didn't even bother to respond. We were disappointed but resolved to not let it get us down. Undaunted we planned another trip down to Florida and dragged our realtor through another dozen homes.
We saw some gorgeous properties and I was continually inspired by the myriad of design looks , decorating ideas and architectural styles.
My head was swimming with ideas and homes but it was time to make a decision.
We made an offer on our second choice home. We made a realistic offer this time. This home was already at the upper end of our budget so we really didn't have a lot of room to move. Immediately after we signed off on the offer we both had a sinking feeling that we were in over our heads. Fortunately for us, another offer came in right behind ours. Not wanting to get into any kind of a bidding war we decided to bow out.
We returned home yet again with out making a purchase. Scouring Zillow every night we kept thinking about the coral house covered in ivy. That was our house and we knew it. It was time to get real, swallow our pride and make a legitimate offer.
There was the usual back and forth this time and it took more than a week to put the deal together but to our realtor's relief and ours we were finally able to agree on a price and make a deal.
The house closed in early December and we couldn't be happier.
I'm so glad I thought to capture this moment when we turned the corner onto our street and got that first glimpse of our new home. We were finally able to say for the first time," There it is, our home".
I also loved it that our Amazon orders had beat us home and were already there waiting for us.
Let the adventure begin!