How To Build a House, Remodel, or Move While Building Your Family
Tips For Surviving This Transition Period
I know so many friends and family members who embark on the crazy wild decision to move, build a new house, or undergo a massive remodel while also growing their family. It's practically a right of passage to be packing moving boxes while 9 months pregnant or with a newborn tucked close in a baby sling.
Why do we choose to make these decisions at a stage of our lives where it would be ideal to have some consistency, control, and calmness? The desire to nest is clearly real and strong! I think that many of us make these major life decisions while growing our families because we have our eye on the end prize. More space, better schools, closer to family or friends, new job opportunities to provide for your family - these reasons and more are why people like ourselves and others often choose to change their living situation while expecting or having babies.
Got My Mahabis House Slippers Ready! Just Need A House!
While the end goal for building, remodeling, or moving is comfort and stability, the road to getting there can be bumpy and full of delays or unforeseen obstacles. With moving, you risk not getting the home that you put an offer in on, or issues with inspections and future remodels that you may want to do prior to moving in. With remodeling or building, you will often run into unexpected costs and construction delays. I have found from our experience and have heard from others that it is rare when things are seamless through these transitions.
But there is hope! We are smack in the middle of a transition as we build a home. We sold our small ranch house, moved in with my parents, started construction, and we are now expecting our second child as we are in the middle of construction. In a perfect world, the house would be ready for move-in prior to having our second baby. In a real world, it most likely will not. Here are my tips for surviving the transition while you buy, sell, remodel, build, or move.
1) Keep Your Eye On The Shiny Things
Right now, our "house" is nothing more than a hole in the ground with two walls put up. In order to distract myself from the general construction, I like to think about how the finishes will look in our house. I work around the corner from a design studio, and have made a few visits at lunch for inspiration. Stop into design stores when you pass them or if they are in your area - they will give you the warm and fuzzies about creating a finished home for you and your loved ones.
2) Spend Some Time On Pinterest
In addition to visiting brick and mortar stores, build your vision virtually on Pinterest. Seeing photos of well-lit kitchens, bathrooms, and family rooms are just what I need every once in a while. Pinterest is another great way to help keep your focus on what your finished space can potentially look like and how it can function to serve your family best.
While you may not be able to create exact replicas of what you see, it is fun and entertaining to pin pin and pin. Subconsciously, you are gathering ideas so that when your contractor says "it's go-time on kitchen cabinets and countertops", you have an idea of what type of direction you want to go in.
3) Embrace and Celebrate Milestones, Big And Small
Did a pallet of lumber just get delivered to your lot that you have long been waiting for? Did you get approved for your loan or did the house you are looking to buy pass inspection? These are all pieces of the puzzle that need to come together in order for you to reach your goal of living with your family in a new space. Embrace and celebrate the big and small!
Took Many Months To Get To This Phase!
4) Stay Strong When Asked, "When Will You Move In?"
As you move along, you might feel like the answer is a solid "never". We have been building this house for two years now. The process of finding an architect took 10 months, and then working with the bank and finding a builder took several months. I know first hand that these things do not move quickly.
I am so very guilty of wearing disappointment and frustration all over my face when it comes to project speed and progression, but when asked I now smile and say "hopefully before the end of the year, or soon after". I give my best answer, and then in private, text pest my husband to seek details and follow up on our project.
5) Take Help When And Where You Can
My husband and I are bonified professionals at this. Heck, we live in my parent's basement! While you are displaced, if you have an option for accepting help from your family who live in the area, take it! This is a temporary situation that will allow for you to save a little more while you transition into your new space.
We have been with my folks for almost a year now. We are doing this because we didn't want to risk having a house that we couldn't sell when our new house was ready for move-in, so we sold our house when the market was good in order to ensure we wouldn't be tied to the financial burden.
If you are buying a home and have several DIY projects to tackle prior to moving in, take up family and friends who offer to watch your kids so that you can quickly get these projects completed. You will benefit greatly from the help, and your Mother-In-Law will love the extra time with her grandkids. If people are offering help, assume that they genuinely want to give it.
If you are in the middle of a new build, remodel, or move, and are feeling a bit stressed over your whole initiative, sit back and reflect on why you guys are doing this. Look long down the road and keep focused on your ultimate goals. Remember that one day you will be settled in and that normalcy will soon restore (well, maybe a new normal, but at least you'll have a place to live and call home!)