Life changes. Couples fall in love.. get married.. buy a house.. have a baby.. get promotions and look for a bigger house. It’s the American dream. That is.. if you make the right decisions like my friend Deana.
I chose a path that landed me in a one bedroom condo.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been happier. However, if I could do it all over, I’d do it like Deana.
She’s the most level-headed friend I have, so I asked her to share the journey from her first home to her recent (and much bigger) purchase.
I wanted to pick her brain. What did she want for the first home? We begin right after her engagement to Carson.
“At that time we entertained a lot and had a lot of people over.”
The newlyweds had a lot of friends. The focus was on having a good time and working hard.
“For our first house we kind of just wanted the bigger living room with an open floor plan. I didn’t think much about the size of our bedroom or the closets.”
I have to admit… I had a great time in that house. Here’s Deana and I turning her living room into a dance floor. I made quite an entrance that night.
I shattered the mirror hanging in her entryway as she greeted me at the front door. The sound was loud and embarrassing. It was silence… then, “Oh April has arrived everyone!” Deana said don’t worry about it as she went to grab the broom.
Deana used her first home to host everything from birthdays to baby showers. On my birthday one year, I brought back fresh catfish from Mississippi. I happily sauteed fish in her kitchen as a line of people stood waiting.
Of course, the neighbors were all invited too.
“We wanted a nice neighborhood that had other younger families.”
They were also looking for a move in ready home. Deana and her husband didn’t want to try and take on huge remodeling projects. They did tackle some upgrades.
“We changed the kitchen counter tops to granite tiles. And we went the granite tile route instead of the granite slab because it’s a lot cheaper.”
She says the key to granite tile is thinner grout lines and matching the grout color to the tile so it is camouflaged.
“Honestly a person couldn’t even really tell the difference between the granite tile and the slab unless you just really looked.”
When they put the house on the market, it sold in one week. One reason was the brand new carpet.
Plus, they built a floating deck in the backyard… definitely an eye-catching landscaping element for other young couples wanting to entertain.
The deck was beautiful, but the yard was small.
Click play to hear about the deck and how it added to entertaining.
The search for their second home was different. A big yard was more important so the kids had a place to play.
The bathrooms were another focus.
“One thing that we were looking for was a better master bath. In our old house, the master bathroom… there was not a door from the vanity area to the bedroom.”
At the time, Deana was getting up for her morning news anchor shift at 3am. Disturbing her husband was an issue and the other bathroom was next to the baby’s room.
Closets were another interest with their second home, although they got way more than they wanted.
“You walk down into this huge room. And at first I’m like… is this really the master closet?”
“What I love is that I don’t have to switch closets.”
Deana lives in a state with four seasons and her wardrobe varies… a lot.
On to the dining room. Deana didn’t have a dining room in the first home. A new baby, and a renewed focus on family, changed her thinking.
“I know that it’s kind of old-fashioned and a lot of people don’t use dining rooms anymore, but for some reason that was on my list that I wasn’t really willing to budge on it.”
She HAS used it for the baby’s first birthday party and other family get-togethers.
More rooms and bigger rooms means more furniture.
“That’s another thing to think about when you do house hunt and upgrade to a bigger home is furnishing it. You have to factor in that extra cost too because it adds up.”
Not just the extra furniture and bigger mortgage, but the cost of bigger utility bills.
I’d love to hear your story. Are you upgrading or downsizing? Leave a comment!