It's been an interesting couple of weeks.
Sean and I put money down on a spec home a few weeks ago. It is in the neighborhood we love and being built by a builder we really like. Our original plan was to build on the opposite side of the street, but then this spec home popped up and we decided to go for it instead. The house was already framed and our plan was to move in at the end of June. We have spent the last few weeks working on things like the roof color, kitchen appliances, paint colors, lighting, etc. It was stressful. I have a really hard time picturing how things will turn out. I felt like there was added pressure to make decisions quickly because this was a spec home and the builder had a timeline he was trying to stick to.
I felt uneasy about this house the entire time. I loved the house… how it looked, the style, the floor plan, the location, etc. But for some reason I couldn't quite get behind it. I attributed my anxiousness to nerves. I thought it was probably just normal feelings associated with change and the pressure I was feeling to make correct decisions. I confided in Sean and told him about this feeling I couldn't shake. We prayed for guidance and continued to make decisions on the house as if it were ours. I never felt like I was getting a clear answer on whether this house was where our family was meant to be. We both felt kind of up in the air.
our good friend Sam (who we were hoping to use for our cabinets) showed us a 3D computer rendering of the kitchen. When he showed us the rendering, we about died. The kitchen was SO small. So much smaller than it appears to be on the house plans. House plans are misleading! We thought we had done our homework and had even measured the other rooms, but somehow we overlooked the kitchen. Here's the funny thing-- what we have said from the beginning is we need a house with a decent kitchen and garage. The kitchen in this house was so small, it was questionable whether an island would even fit in the center. The layout wouldn't work with the appliances we wanted, and overall, it just was not a functional space.
We were sick about it. It felt like the rug was being pulled out from under us and we were losing the house we thought was going to be our home. I felt guilty somehow for wanting a bigger kitchen. Sean was convinced fairly quickly that this kitchen was a deal-breaker.
We thought of every possible way we could try to make the space work. Moving walls, losing the island, switching appliances, etc. The bottom line was that it was simply just too small.
I did a lot of thinking about why I needed a bigger space. I need space because I enjoy cooking and cook for our family at least 5 days a week. I feel the constraints of our small kitchen now. I need space because I have a three-year-old who loves to pull up a chair and help me make cookies and Jello Jigglers (in this kitchen, the space was so tight, stools were not possible with the island). I need space because I don't want to be the only person who can fit in the kitchen-- I want it to be welcoming to family and friends and the hearth of our home. I want the space to make sense and be functional.
I am lucky I have a husband who sees the bigger picture. I told him we could make it work and he immediately replied 'no.' He told me it is important to him that we have a kitchen where all of the things I listed were possible. We are not looking for anything grandiose by any means. Overall, we just want our future home to be a place where our family can spend time together and be happy.
So, it was not our house.
It took awhile to get the answer to our prayers, but we did get it. And we learned a heck of a lot in the process. Luckily, we are able to get our deposit back. While I was very sad the day we made the decision, I feel like a weight has been lifted and know it was correct.
As I said, our original plan was to build on the opposite side of the street. My sister and I walked over to those lots the other day, and I felt so much better-- like that is where we should have focused our attention in the first place. For now, we're reserving a lot on that side of the street and taking a small break before diving back in.
Though many days I feel like we are at capacity with our town home, I know I have much to be grateful for. Even if it is small, we have a roof over our heads and a safe place for our family to reside. Even though our current kitchen is cramped, our pantry is full and we have food to eat. Even though we are outgrowing our townhouse and each closet and drawer seems to be overflowing, I am grateful to have a family big enough to fill the space. And though we live in close quarters with many other families, we are lucky to be able to call many of them friends.
It's all about perspective. We'll have our house in time, but we are lucky to have a place to call home.