We’ve been quiet here on the blog for the past few weeks – and it’s time to share why!! On March 16, after a roller coaster ride filled with good luck & excitement, our family closed on our sweet little Plantation Park dream home!!
I’m writing this from my backyard – staring at the orange sky, watching the wind dance on the lake, listening to my kids run around collecting mangos, while Javy casts his fishing pole for the hundredth time… Paradise. I’ve had trouble the last two and a half years, living in a spacious, hideously decorated rental home where our neighbors also happened to be the landlord. We never really unpacked, our furniture never matched and while I’m grateful we had somewhere to live in my favorite neighborhood in South Florida – it just never really felt like home.
And now, right now, while I’m sitting here in my backyard, I feel home. This is where our babies will grow up, where we will grow older and where hopefully I’ll get a killer tan from laying by the pool.
If you follow us on social media, you’ve seen us sharing photos of the renovation. The mold situation, choosing paint colors, laying in our new floors – but we didn’t really share much about HOW this ended up being our house.
By day, Javy and I work really hard at The Real Estate Shoppe – our boutique real estate brokerage out in Fort Lauderdale. Every day we move families into their homes and this time, it was finally our turn. We knew this year we were going to start trying to find a home again, but had no idea that it would happen so fast and the stars would align up so perfectly.
If you have a threenager like I do, you know that nap time is a hard time. These days the only way Milena will fall asleep is if we’re in the car for longer than 15 minutes, so, I’m guilty of taking the long way home here and there. Since the beginning of the year, when we spoke to Scott, our mortgage guru sent from heaven, every time a house comes up on the market I would do a drive-by. I would watch families clearing out their garage and text Javy to keep the address on the radar because it was going up for sale soon. I’d spot moving trucks or a big bulk trash day pile and add the address to my list of homes to ‘keep an eye’ on. Homes would come up for sale, and they’d go under contract within days and I’d grow more and more discouraged. Until, the day I happened to drive down the right street, at the right time, to watch a “For Sale” sign being installed into what I knew was my dream house.
Nestled right in the middle of Halloween Row – the area where everyone takes Halloween pretty seriously, aka my dream street, backed up to the only lake in the neighborhood, with light beaming out of the clouds like they do in the movies – was my house. I knew this was my house, I FELT it!
I stalked this Realtor, ya’ll. I know the game, I know you put your sign up a few days before your listing hits market to try to sidestep another agent bringing a buyer… and knowing how quickly homes sell in our neighborhood, I knew I couldn’t let this house go up or we’d lose it to a cash buyer. I called the agent, text the agent – pretty much nonstop – to be sure we were able to get in and see it before anyone else. Here is where it’s important for your realtor to understand how the Real Estate world works. I explained clearly that we were a young family, looking for our family house and that I would love the opportunity to put a competitive offer on the house without him having to do all of the work of putting the home on the market. The very next Saturday, I was walking through my future forever home.
When looking for a home, we had three priorities – house with a pool, at least 3 bedrooms – and something updated that we wouldn’t have to do a lot of work. With this house, we hit 2 out of those three – but the work we needed to do didn’t really seem so overwhelming.
We immediately got on the phone with our friend & mortgage expert Scott Lushing at Fairway Mortgage. We met Scott 5 years ago when we bought our first house and we became friends. He encouraged Javy to pursue his Real Estate goals and was always there to cheer us on when we had something exciting happening. When we opened The Real Estate Shoppe, Scott was there to support us, promote us and be an expert to turn to when we needed advice. So in true Scott form, he was there for us to help make this dream home come true for us. In a few days we had our preapproval, and our journey BACK to homeownership began!
During our showing, the listing agent shared with us that the home was being sold by original owners – a family who had raised their children and grew old together here. He explained that the Matriarch of the home was in ill health & didn’t have much time left and that was the family’s reason for selling the home. Cue the waterworks – immediately. I imagined what it might feel like for her to have to sell the home she raised her children in and what it must feel like as a child about to lose their mother and have to sell their childhood home. My mommy senses were tingling and during this difficult time I wanted to make sure they knew that our family would cherish this home as they had, should we make it ours. So I did what I knew, I wrote a letter to accompany our offer, to express our feelings of love towards this home and be sure the sellers felt it, too.
With that, they accepted our offer and we boarded the Rollercoaster ride that is the homebuying process!
I read this letter today and I still get emotional because I meant EVERY SINGLE WORD. We’d drive over to the park and feed the ducks, look for turtles – play on the playground & picnic under the huge oak tree… and to be sitting here right now, watching the sun setting just across the lake, living what we’ve dreamed of is incredibly surreal.
So now -YAY WE CLOSED!!! Time to get to work on renovations! If you want to follow along – head on over to our Instagram Profile and watch the “Renovations” highlights. We’ve got lots planned for the little lake house and we can’t wait to make it our forever home sweet home!