Five years ago I wasn’t sure we would ever own our own home. Jay and I both run our own businesses and have a penchant for travel- even when we can BARELY (i.e. cannot) afford it. I didn’t think we would ever be able to save up enough money for a down payment – especially for a place in Boulder County. Amazing things happened though when I got unapologetically crystal clear about what I wanted AND when I gave myself permission to want simply what I wanted without having to be more or do more.
I am a third-generation Boulderite and I wanted to live in here but not in the city. It’s become too congested, college-student-infested, and hoighty-toighty for a girl who remembers what Boulder was like in the 70’s. (Yes, I’m literally old enough to remember that.)
For me, the hardest and most important thing to making dreams come true is to believe it is possible in the first place. And that somehow I don’t MAKE the dream come true, I ALLOW the dream to come true. The trick is to get CLEAR about what I NEED and to QUIET the voices that tell me that it’s not possible– for whatever myriad of reasons they offer. Those voices shout at me all day long. I practice turning to those voices, looking them in the eye, and saying, “I hear you saying, “(insert dis-empowering though here)“. Thank you for wanting to protect me. I am taking your advise into consideration. Please relax now. I can take it from here.”
I practice writing down my heart-desires and reading them as if my niece was telling me her dreams. I tell her that the universe is overflowing with good things for her; that she has a right to beauty in her life; that her dreams matter. Dream it up, sweet girl. Believe it is all possible and at the same time be willing to let it all go and know that you are safe, loved, and enough.
Here was my Dream House Non-Negotiable List:
(the list that didn’t seem possible in our price range and yet I opened myself up to the possibility):
- A white kitchen with soft-close cabinet doors, deep drawers, space for my vintage dishes, crystal glasses, and a tea drawer.
- Rustic barn-wood floors throughout the entirety of an open floor plan so a Roomba could clean thoroughly and uninhibited.
- Vaulted ceilings and big windows so my 6’8″ husband didn’t feel squashed and crammed into a dollhouse (again).
- A yard for our cattle dogs.
- The potential for a garden.
- Established pine trees for lots of birds’ nests.
- A QUIET location still accessible to Jay’s main clients, Target, and my yoga studio.
- Space for us both to have our own office.
- A basement for a little movie theater.
- Space for storage and staging. (NOT a crawl space!!)
- Two-car garage, that we keep both our cars inside. (i.e. NOT so full of stuff we couldn’t get our cars in)
We looked at probably 50 houses over the course of a year. Each time we got more clear on what our priorities were. Through that process we realized that we were not move-in-ready material– we would definitely be moving some walls around since Jay and I both look for potential instead of perfect.
It is quite the saga of how we ended up acquiring our first home. Here is a snippet of obstacles we maneuvered, some gracefully, some choppy.
- House was only shown for one day with both basement + garage were locked up.
- Our first offer wasn’t accepted but it came back on the market 3 months later.
- The “owner” was VERY high the few times we stopped by for measurements, forgot we were coming over, and I seem to be VERY allergic to all forms of grass so I started sneezing uncontrollably 2 blocks away.
- The owner vacated the house in the middle of a cold snap without winterizing the house so pipes froze.
- The roof was original and potentially un-insurable. (State Farm totally came through!!!)
- Owner hadn’t paid electric bill for months so Xcel Energy wouldn’t turn electric on for the home inspection.
- By the time the bank approved our offer (which took 3 months) we had 2 business days to close when neither the inspection or __ had been done before it went into foreclosure.
- They left SO much crap in the house that at the closing everyone joked that we could just move right in. Not funny actually.
Weirdly at the exactly same time I believed 300 London Avenue was our home AND I wasn’t sure we would actually get it. I held that tension through the entire process until we closed on December 20th. Then began the renovation work which was another set of miracles in one of the coldest seasons we have ever had. We knocked out 90% of the interior work in 2 months, finishing touches over the next few months- primarily thanks to Jay’s big brother, Eliah, who flew out from LA to be the general contractor and just frickin’ made it happen, no holds bar (whatever that phrase means).
We gutted the entire yard the following summer after I found snakes mating on a dead Christmas tree in the backyard and created a mountain cabin-esque backyard and pretty cottage garden wanna be space in the front. Still and always tweaking the plantings as a garden is a living piece of art with a will of its own and every season brings unexpected changes.
If there is anything else you are curious about related to all this just let me know! Happy to regale you!