I’m popping-in today to share some important news that I’ve been withholding. I hinted at it in my last post, and now I can finally share that my husband and I have bought our first house. We moved-in just over a month ago and it’s really starting to feel like our home.
As you can imagine with my line of work, home and house are very important to me. Thankfully my husband shares my passion/obsession for houses, and owning a home has been our biggest dream since before we were married. However, it has also been one of our most challenging hurdles.
As you may or may not know, purchasing a house and qualifying for a mortgage through traditional methods is extraordinarily challenging for small business owners. If you yourself are in the middle of this right now, I feel your pain! Thankfully for us, this was not the end of our story. With some creative problem solving, a bit of help from family, and several miracles along our path, we were able to qualify for, and eventually purchase a home. And not just any home…
The Selection Criteria
My husband and I began causally looking at homes pretty soon after our move to Atlanta, but our ideas on what we both wanted were a gulf apart. I was looking for small and old, and my husband wanted big and new. After several months of browsing we were able to narrow-in on a list of qualifying factors, which lead to where we are now:
Having grown up renovating old houses with my Mom, I have had a longstanding love of old houses. My #1 requirement in looking for a home was that it be 100+ years old.
After having lived in New York City for about a decade, we wanted some land and space to breathe and to create a garden. Finding a house with over an acre of land was our second priority.
#1 and #2 meant that we had to consider homes outside of the Atlanta area. But it was important for both my husband and I that we stay within a 1 hour radius of Atlanta (without traffic…).
I mentioned before that my husband wanted a big house, which was less important to me, but that meant that we were focused on a house over 2000 square feet. This has become especially significant since we both have studios and businesses from home.
My final condition was that the house had to be in original condition with all of the charm and original details that you would expect in a house of this era.
Our Queen Anne Victorian
Enter onto the scene, our 1863 Queen Anne Victorian. It is every bit the home that we dreamed of, and much more. With well over 2000 square feet, close to 3 acres of land with beautiful old pecan trees, and set in a gorgeous small town about an hour south of Atlanta, this home ticks all of our boxes, and then some! We’re still learning about the history of our home and we’ve already discovered a few neat things. The house was built by a prominent family, and the father of the house was the Baptist preacher in town. In our entry stairwell, a church pew was built into the staircase, which we think may have come from his church. We also found out that a later owner of the home was the mayor, so I’m sure the house hosted many swinging parties and political soirees. If these walls could talk.
Blogging about our Victorian House Renovation
As you can imagine with a house of this era, there is a lot of work to be done. We have begun the process of restoring the home to its former grandeur. We are doing the bulk of the work ourselves and I’ll be sharing updates from our restoration work including before and afters and home tours, so watch this space!
Do you have any personal experiences with renovating a historic home, or advice you’d like to share? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.