Hello, long lost friends! I know it’s been forever since I’ve posted. I had planned to take a week off posting and here we are 18 months later lol! I’ve had lots of exciting things happen, so let me catch you up.
I got pregnant last Spring and we now have a sweet baby girl, Emory! I had terrible morning (read 24/7) sickness for the first half of my pregnancy, and then when I was ready to tackle some new projects, I focused a lot of my energy on getting our house ready for baby. Bad news–that left no time for posting. Good news–I have lots of projects to catch you all up on!
Emory arrived last December, and while on maternity leave from the hospital, COVID-19 started. Like everyone else, our lives turned on their sides. My husband now worked from home full time, and that made our little duplex feel oh so much smaller. So, we decided we needed to find a bigger home for our growing family, so we started house hunting during the pandemic (and we weren’t the only ones!). We looked at a dozen houses, but they were either not quite right, or they were under contract before we were ready to make an offer.
We started to get a little frustrated that we couldn’t find a home in our price range, in an area between our two jobs, and in a home that was at least 1 room larger than our duplex. So, I tossed out the idea of moving out of the DC area for a few years. Both Steve and I have lived in the DC area our whole lives, and now seemed like our last chance to make a big move before we had to worry about school for Emory. Unsurprisingly, Steve was 100% onboard with a new adventure.
We spent some time coming up with our criteria for moving, and after that, it only took us a few hours to narrow down where we wanted to live. Our criteria was:
- Cheaper cost of living, so we could save money for our next home and I could have the option to stay at home with Emory
- South from where we currently lived (I hate the cold)
- Within 30 minutes of the ocean (we both love the beach)
- Less than a day’s drive from DC, so we could still drive home if needed
- Near a city with a good restaurant scene (Steve’s a big foodie)
With those five criteria, we easily focused our search in Charleston, South Carolina. It seemed like the perfect fit, and Steve has friends there and I have cousins there, so we would have a small support network from day 1 (which was super comforting for me).
In July we drove down and looked at bunch of resale homes in the West Ashley neighborhood of Charleston and a new construction community in Johns Island. I think we both surprised ourselves in how quickly we fell in love with Johns Island and the new community and put a deposit on a lot down before we drove home. We were under contract in August, went through the design center in September, and are well into construction now and hoping to move in in February!
What about our duplex, you ask? We decided to rent it out and keep it as an investment. So, August was filled with moving out half our belongings, finishing up some DIY projects to make it a safer rental (more on those projects in future posts), and putting the house on the rental market. We expected it to take a few months. Our goal was to rent it out before the holidays, since rentals are typically hard to move between Thanksgiving and New Years. Makes sense, right? Who wants to think about packing up and moving during that time? Definitely not me.
To our surprise, we rented our house in less than 48 hours! We had an amazing property manager and real estate agent, who helped with the marketing and showings, and all our DIY projects definitely helped us have an edge over the 3 other houses for rent in our neighborhood.
So in September, I said goodbye to my colleagues and my job, and goodbye to the DC area, and we moved into my parents’ rental property in Bethany Beach, Delaware. For those of you not familiar with it, Bethany is a super small town beach community on the southern coast of Delaware. Bethany has a special place in my heart, as I grew up going there for summer vacation and Steve proposed to me here. So, it’s a little bit of dream to come live down here while we’re waiting for our house to be ready.
New A Girl’s Guide to Home DIY?
So, back to A Girl’s Guide–how will our new adventure change my content?
I’m super excited about to reveal a few other topics we’ll cover on A Girl’s Guide, thanks to these life changes! I’ll be sharing tips and tricks on owning and managing a rental, with and without a property manager (I rented my condo out for a year and a half before selling it last year without a real estate agent or property manager). I’ll detail our process of new construction with a community builder and all the ups and downs that come with that process. And, once the house is done, I’ll be documenting all the projects that come with it.
But you’re building a new house–what projects could there be?
I thought the same thing when we went under contract–how many projects could I possibly have if we’re building a house the way we want it?
Turns out–a lot. We’ll need to install a backsplash, ceiling fans, a storm door, blinds, replace the builder grade light fixtures, install smart outlets. . . the list goes on and on and on and. . . I hope you’re ready for a lot more exciting content coming your way!
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