House-Hunting In Absentia

"So when are you going house hunting?"

Ummm, JB already went. Yeah. This last Sunday. :-O

Now all you ladies pick your jaws up off the floor at the ridiculous notion that I would blindly let him choose the abode in which I'll be the family inhabitant spending the most time. :-D

JB's new company would only pay to fly him in to find a place so he could then spend Monday meeting everyone in their company. If school were out & our myriad of obligations (dance, baseball, Zumba) disappeared, we would've bought a ticket for me & tried to get my mom (in NC) to keep the kids. But honestly, that would've been a logistical nightmare for essentially the 2 or 3 hours I'd have been involved Sunday morning; so we agreed to let him go it alone with my ultimate input.

I'd been keeping tabs on the rental market there for about four weeks, just in case. [No, we're not buying! We're never buying another house until we know we'll be somewhere at least 3-5 years.] The turn-over is CRAZY! I found good options with every search: I'd save my top 6-8 each time; when I checked again for curiosity's sake each week later, fully HALF were ALWAYS already gone, and I'd start a new search. Not a single home I was interested in that first search was still available this week!

It was an easy hunt. [It usually is for us. Both of my parents are Realtors; I grew up in this world. I know what I want, and I do NOT waste time. If a house has one deal breaker when there are other options, I walk out. We even found the first two homes we bought in one day each, so choosing a rental is even less pressure, esp. when there are options to choose from.]

I made my list of acceptable elementary schools first, [only 10's on GreatSchools & must have a 2011 TEA (Texas Education Agency) Accountability Rating of "exemplary" - not just "recognized".] The kids' school was our #1 choice factor. Other criteria: 2 car garage, open floor plan esp. b/t kitchen & family room, fenced yard (praise! they are very *standard* in the area = finally for sweet Bonnie Blue Beagle!), will ALLOW Bonnie, neighborhood pool, angles in the layout (not boxy), & built in last 5 (maybe 10) years.

Like every new locale, once you start actually digging in, you discover the area's quirks and "normals" for homes there. In ATL 10 years ago, it wasn't standard to measure square feet to tell the house size. In MI, it was impossible to find a fenced yard or a neighborhood that would allow it, (b/c it's too cold to leave your dog outside nine months of the year. ;-)) In Naperville (outside Chicago), there wasn't any new construction. Here in our tiny south GA area, we had exactly three homes to choose from. Now we've found outside Houston that the houses are just plain smaller; if we wanted to go up over $1000 *MORE* per month (shhhhhyeah, right!!!) we could get much bigger; but any less than that, the standard range is about 600 sq ft less than we've had in our last four homes - since we've had two children. So it's a concession we'll make to get in a quality, safe neighborhood - obviously worth it. (But we may be checking out storage units...;-)) I'm thinking of it as: at least we don't have to get a tiny city apartment downtown! :-D

I whittled down & approved our set of listings, and JB texted me pics from every single one on Sunday. We talked it out, decided on our top two, put in applications, & waited...

Our 1st choice was 150 sq ft smaller than our 2nd, but also $400 less per month - the best value for the size by far! It got another offer WHILE JB was seeing it :-( so we did also submit paperwork for the 2nd choice... but we found out Monday night we got the first one! :-D I gave it up to God, knowing that He'd put us in the best place for us; but I was surprised at how relieved I felt - I love that it will be less monthly than our last two homes!

Now, I'm sure *I* would take more flattering pics [esp. of the front!!!] myself ;-) but a la the internet:

Now y'all have seen as much as I have!!! :-D

JB's going in two weeks, our movers here will come mid-June, the kids & I will go home to NC for a couple weeks, and then we'll fly from CLT to our new Houston home the beginning of July! WELCOME TO OUR NEXT ADVENTURE!!!

See also: how this happened, my pros & cons list, how bittersweet, & info begging...


  1. I'm just getting caught up. Wow! Congratulations!! We've heard great things about Houston and the house looks amazing! I'm glad you are finding positives in the move, even though it sounds like it's going to be hard to leave the community you've established there.

  2. Wow, so many changes! Like you said, you guys are now pros at this. I was hoping for you that you'd get to stay in small-town Georgia longer (or long-term), because it sounded like such a perfect fit. Where is this house located? I know a few people in Houston, and I can help get some lowdown too. What info are you still looking for at this point?

  3. WE are long lost twins!!! DH bought (BOUGHT) our current house without me seeing it. I only saw dark grainy photos! But, after all the moves and houses we have had he knows what would work as well as I do...though this house has more DIY projects than I expected LOL but I love it. It was exactly in the neighborhood we desired and it felt like home almost immediately! I am so happy things are falling into place.

  4. I don't know how you do it! That is so much change, and this time, it's so far away...but not in snowy weather! :) I was secretly hoping it was Charleston... one day! I've heard a lot of great things about Houston, and you are so good at moving and finding new friends, doctors, schools, etc, that I am sure this will be a piece of cake again for your family. I am happy for you guys! I hope JB loves his new job and is home with his family lots! :)

  5. Looks like a nice place for the family!

    When we moved into our current home, my husband also put a contract on it without my having seen it in person. We had looked in this neighborhood, just not at this particular house - and the pictures on the Internet were pretty good. After several moves, he knows my main qualifications - LOTS of windows, a two-car garage, and a gas fireplace.

    Hoping the transition goes smoothly!!

  6. House looks beautiful i am sure u will all be really happy there xx

  7. Thank you ALL *sooo much*!!! I am really excited! :-)


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