end of an era

I first saw the farmhouse when it was covered in snow, and it’s always the most magical scene.

It’s official: This little farmhouse will soon be someone else’s to love. In a few days, I’ll be handing over the keys to its new owners, and I’ll be moving on to a house that could not be more opposite of this one. It’s been a lot of work and stops and starts, but I’m so excited for the new adventure!

Want to see all the before/after photos from 2010 to today? You’re in luck — I updated the room-by-room page with photos taken after staging.

I’m writing this from my usual spot in the corner of the couch, gazing longingly out the picture window. It’s such a lovely view.

How it all came together: I started prepping for a “someday” move in 2018, including investing in new windows and siding repairs. Boyfriend and I had been talking about finding our own place in 2020, and then coronavirus put a wrench in almost everything. I had met with my realtor a while back to do a walk-through of the house and yard so that I’d know what needed to be done, and spent this summer working on those projects. When we were ready to start looking for a place this fall, we met with the realtor again and decided that instead of selling both our houses and moving into a new one, the best move in the market right now would be to sell mine as quickly as possible and then spend a few months making more updates to his house. So, we hit the gas pedal and got mine ready to list in just under 5 weeks. It went on the market Nov. 13th, accepted an offer Nov. 14th, first buyer backed out Nov. 20th, accepted a second offer on Nov. 21st, and now we’re in the final stretch before closing!

One of the biggest pre-listing changes my realtor recommended was painting the kitchen gray (Agreeable Gray, Sherwin-Williams). Farewell, cherry red!

What’s next: We’re consolidating households at the house my boyfriend has owned for a number of years, and taking on some DIY interior renovations this winter. When the weather warms up again, we’ll tackle the exterior. We plan to sell it in a year or two, but we have built flexibility into the plan so that we’re not locked into anything too overwhelming while the world is still feeling a bit chaotic!

It’s definitely bittersweet to leave this house and this neighborhood. Both have been so good to me the last decade. I’ll miss walking in the park every day and being able to ride my bike to the office downtown (I miss going to the office, too.)

This front porch has been a dream. I may never have one as amazing again! I just love it.

The new house will be different in so many ways. Instead of a 120-year-old farmhouse in the middle of the city, it’s a midcentury ranch-style house in a first-ring suburb. Our street doesn’t have a sidewalk (which I find bizarre), but I can walk to Target and Hy-Vee, so in those ways it’s even more walkable than my current neighborhood. The house itself is only one level with a basement, so there will be a lot less running up and down stairs. It’s completely different in its design and layout and amount of natural light (ahem, virtually none), not to mention we’ll be living through a remodel for at least six months. But: we’ll be together, and I love a design project! I’m going to learn a lot more DIY remodel skills than I did on the farmhouse, and I won’t be doing it alone.

I’m spending these last weeks in the farmhouse feeling incredibly grateful for all it has given me — independence, shelter, a chance to learn new things — and for all the incredible memories made here. It’s the longest I’ve ever lived anywhere. I’m sure there will be days when I miss it very much. And, I’ve moved before and survived it, and I know the new place will be great too.

I’m not decorating for the holidays this year because the move falls right before Christmas, but I loved decorating for the photos and seeing these bright berries out my window the last month.

Thanks to all of you who have spent time making memories here with me. I wish we could give her the send-off she deserves! Cheers to the little farmhouse, and onward. xoxo

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