Home.

We’ve taken to referring to our residence as a “miracle house.” And it is. Time continues to reveal our ownership of this house home a crazy fluke of life circumstances that can only really be classified as “meant to be.”

  • The down payment came from a settlement–the result of a life circumstance you’d never hope to happen. And yet…
  • The loan qualification went through exactly two years after Tony had been salaried at his current job (for those unfamiliar one typically needs two years at a place of employment to qualify for a home loan) and was adjusted to the raise he received that month. This increased income qualified us for a significantly higher loan than we would have otherwise, especially on one income. (Both raise and salary did not last long, making the window for us to get this house very small).
  • The current economy made it a “time to buy” (or so we thought) and we closed in time for that handy-dandy $8k home buyers tax credit. Our house had also been on the market for awhile and sold for 100k less than it’s original asking price.

Everything came together and we got into a beautiful, spacious, newish house in a nice neighborhood with wonderful schools. It was everything we wanted.

And since then we’ve learned a few lessons.

Homeowner’s Associations can be a pain in the ass. Where you live does say a lot about who you are. Even if it’s not accurate. Owning a home is so much more responsibility ($$) than I was even capable of conceiving. It’s kind of like we’ve entered the not-so-secret club of refunds and tax deductions (and it became clear how excluded we’d been before). Security is priceless. Hanging picture frames on the wall makes a house a home. Painting a bedroom bright pink makes a [my] three-year-old very happy. Bringing a newborn home to your own home is a pinch-me moment. (Next time, if there is a next time, it’ll be birthing at home.)

Last Thanksgiving, beyond measure, we were grateful for this house. So grateful, so happy, so blessed. This Thanksgiving most of the new has worn off and some of the weight has set in. Our mortgage is high. We’re not home all day like we used to be. Are these “good” schools the environment where we want our girls to grow up?

Nothing is perfect. Least of all a life-altering, rather bizarre (seriously, spending a couple decades salary on a purchase you don’t even get to spend a night in first?!), home purchase. But imperfections deserve thanks too. And we are blessed to even complain 🙂

I’m thankful for this house. I’m thankful we can have people over. I’m thankful for a backyard (especially in the summer) and a garage for our cars (especially in the winter). I’m thankful for an inviting kitchen. I’m very thankful for 2.5 bathrooms. I’m thankful for my walk-in closet. I’m thankful for space to spare. I’m thankful for salt-and-pepper carpet (so smart!) with unbelievably thick padding. I’m thankful for insulation and windows that bring in the natural light. I’m thankful for a garden we actually got to harvest.

I’m thankful for this house. I’m thankful we’ve made it a home. I’m thankful for the memories it already holds, the moments it’s harbored, the security it provides. I’m thankful to feel settled. I’m thankful we are safe. I’m thankful we can imagine next Thanksgiving and the Thanksgiving after that. I’m thankful for all our address gives us access to, within ourselves, as a family and in society as a whole.

home house househunting nuclear family sold portland oregon housing market mortgage sale pending approved moved moving first newThis post is part of a month-long series detailing 25 Things I’m Thankful For.

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