We have been throwing around the idea of eventually moving closer to home for a few years now. We have loved our lives in Florida and it really has seemed like a permanent vacation by times. So much to do that I'm sure we've barely touched on all there is to do in Florida. We have visited all the major theme parks multiple times. We have been to the beaches and Disney World, Busch Gardens, Universal Studios and Lego land. We have visited historical sites like St Augustine and Tarpon Springs. Most recently we celebrated two of our girls high school graduations in a private dining room at Bern's Steakhouse, where we toured the kitchen & wine cellar and finished the evening in the Harry Waugh Dessert Room. Memorable to say the least.
Aside from the tourist traps we have built a life here that centers around church, friends, work and our children's awesome schools. The youth program at our church has been absolutely the best for our kiddos. The friendships we have made will follow us wherever we move. We have made friends through church and through adoption that we will cherish forever. With our two oldest children graduating high school this year it just seems like the right time to make the move. The younger two have been home schooled this past year and will be returning to public school (grades 5 & 8) in North Carolina. Michael's job offers him the flexibility to leave the Tampa office and work out of the Charlotte office.
So we took the opportunity to travel to the Charlotte, NC area over Spring Break in March to go house hunting. We are taking this opportunity to maintain the Dave Ramsey life style we have embraced. We looked for a home in foreclosure that would obviously need cosmetic work but we could pay off in 10-12 years max. Enter our 1979 foreclosed fixer-upper. We LOVE the house. We looked at about 13 different properties and this was the only one that the kids all said "this feels like home" they also made comments about how much Grammy Susan and Grampy Terry would like the house. Michael & I walked around with dollar signs in our eyes for each and every room - cha-ching!!!
We officially closed on our house a couple of weeks ago. We will be making the permanent move mid-June. Immediately after closing we were able to stay (camped-out on air mattresses) in our new home. This was our third time in the house and our first really close up look at the things we need/want to change. We scrubbed down the bathrooms and got to work painting closets. We painted 5 of 8 closets in the house, all three girls closets are ready to fill when we move. Two hallway closets are ready to store whatever we deem storable. The master closet & the son's closet along with 1 more hallway closet (which will be a special project) remain to be completed when we return in June.
I'd like to say this will be a total DIY (do-it-yourself) renovation but seriously who'd believe that? My mother gave me the suggestion of DDIY (don't-do-it-yourself) I'm hoping for a good combination of these two approaches. Painting closets definitely fell into DIY territory and I'm very proud to say each of the girls painted the majority of their own closets - including the prep work of cleaning and filling in holes. Here are their before and after photos. We used Benjamin Moore Aura in Decorator's White eggshell finish.