7 years ago we had been living in GR for about 6 months and it was becoming clear we were going to be here a while. So we decided to buy ourselves a little condo. It was nearing the peak of the housing bubble and prices were only going up (ha!). So we bought a new build condo and about 6 months after moving in, POP went the bubble!
We love our little condo, we really do. It feels spacious for it's size and I like my open great room floor plan. And it allowed us to transition from a family of 2 to a family of 4 (of course we're counting Cooper). We've gotten to know some of the other dog owners around us, but it's never really felt like a community to us, and although we live on an end unit with a yard, I've never really felt like it was my yard. Now that Graham is a little kid (and no longer a baby), we really want a place where he can run. We've pretty well filled up our little space and are feeling a bit cramped. And there is NO space for any visitors.
We are incredibly lucky people. I am reminded almost daily how amazingly fortunate I am; I'm healthy, I'm smart, I'm educated, I'm white. All of this matters. I work hard every day but there are certain things that I haven't "earned" (namely being born white and middle class) that have afforded me opportunities which I've chosen to take. I have a beautiful, smart, healthy little boy who I love so much. I have an amazing, supportive husband. I live in an affordable community. I have awesome parents and in-laws. Seriously. I'm a lucky woman.
I say this because it has all put us in a situation that is allowing us to refinance our condo, rent it (hopefully to some punctual and clean person) and buy a new house. As much as we'd love to sell our place, that bursting housing bubble means we still owe too much to even break even on a sale. But, we've been pretty fastidious about our finances which means we can refinance our mortgage at a lower interest rate for less time for a smaller monthly payment. We found a great realtor who has worked with us to find a house that has a TON of space to grow and plenty of room for visitors. We're feeling so fortunate (and a tad overwhelmed). We're almost done with all the bank paperwork and will hopefully be closing on the house in March and moving in April.
Here are a few pics of our place-to-be: