We took a mental break from house hunting over spring break, we knew that trip was coming and we weren't in a place to handle putting offers on houses or keeping up with what was on the market (everything was moving so fast) We did keep up with what was coming on, and the Saturday we got back from New Mexico we did two FaceTime walk throughs with our agents. One was a no, the other we really liked but not so much the area. Kyle had a nudge even before we left on our spring break trip that I should take a flight up there the weekend after our trip. We had kept an eye on ticket prices and new was was good and what was high. The weekend flight (Friday leaving Wichita at noon and coming home Sunday at 10) was the one we had our eye on. If not to find a house, the main goal was to narrow down our search cuz we had started to branch WAY out west into areas we'd never even been before. Out past the Minnesota Arboretum where we used to take day trips to. Wednesday we had made a list of homes we'd like to see and that was about 7 or 8 which was enough to justify a worthy trip. One we were REALLY into was one of those out west houses and we were excited since it was coming on the market Friday, we could see it on day 1. We spent a good hour or more organizing our thoughts and reading through disclosures on Wednesday night, our agents made a schedule for Friday evening showings and all day Saturday. We woke up Thursday to learn that our number 1 house had become unavailable because osmose submitted an offer site unseen and the seller accepted! SERIOUSLY!?! That's what we've come to! This market is so crazy! The two that we had facetimed were already pending... so it was rather discouraging.
Anyway we had our plan and continued to modify it as we felt led. We have spent a LOT of time in prayer about this whole house hunt, not so much praying for something specific but praying that God place us where we need to be, give us direction and clarity to act when we needed to or be patient when we needed to. I fully trusted that God had everything under control, as He always does and I was just praying that His will be done and for help in following that.
So even on my way up we adjusted our showing scheduled and decided to starch the far west houses, saving time. But that my plan was to drive around those areas and get a feel for it. We added in some houses back in the city, around where our old house was actually. See every step of the way God has used each excitement phase to incrementally get us where He wanted us. We had ruled out our old 'hood because of schools. I was kinda anti-private school if you will (Kyle wasn't) and we were mainly looking in three really good districts. Well a house came up a couple months ago that really got us excited, out of our price range (and already pending) but reminded us what we love about Minneapolis. It was at that time we researched private schools and got warm to the idea that could be in our future TIMES FOUR, lol. God getting us (me) closer where we needed to be with that. There were many other cases similar where he used some quirk on a house that caused us to learn or research more, leading us up to where we needed to be.
Okay on with the trip, sorry had some back story to get into (and spoiler alert I have the post about THE house already written but I don't plan to post that until we have securely closed on the house in June). I had a scheduled hair cut Friday morning that I went to, then we picked up Thomas early from preschool so he could ride with us to the airport. In Wichita you basically walk into, walk through security and to your gate, 15-20 minutes top, HA! So I didn't need to be there much time before. I had my notes about each house, what Kyle liked about it, what I liked about it and a few disclosures I still needed to read. But got on the plane and headed north. I love traveling and it felt so great to be in an airport alone :-) Mom break <3
Oh I was also a week into a new nutrition program I'm doing, I had planned the timing to be finished before our Easter weekend trip to Minnesota to house hunt... wasn't too excited to have to be on it while traveling because it just makes things a little more mindful, but I knew I was fully capable. I packed lots of my food, had my notes as to what to eat (and not eat) and was set up to be successful. It's a gut cleanse so no gluten, dairy, soy and specific things allowed. Enjoying my tea on the plane.
Hello frozen waters, we have arrived in Minnesota.
And hello Minneapolis, I've missed you.
I landed, made my way to the car rental counter and picked up may 'mystery car', lol nothing fancy just cheapest option was mystery - ended up being a Rav4 hybrid.
I decided to use this time to drive and explore, I had a couple hours before my first showing with my agent. I was to see two house Friday night with our agent Brent, then we had a lot more the next day with Michelle. First I drove about thirty minutes west (from the airport) to the house that we had really liked a few days prior. It didn't take but 20 minutes to realize it was TOO far out. It didn't even feel like Minnesota out there, so I knew this wasn't where we belonged. Sure the houses were bigger, fancier, newer, shinier, but it didn't have that Minneapolis charm we love and what we miss about living here. I continued to go by a few houses we'd gotten to know via photos from a far. (And had a lovely chat with a friend throughout the entire drive)
Time to head back into town fro a 5:15 showing at 5800 Oaklawn in Edina, followed by 5629 Woodcrest. First I went by a house that was coming soon but wouldn't be listed until after I had left. It sat on a little pond and was in an area I had somewhat been by, but the roads were pretty curvy and that didn't leave a good feeling for when it was time to go for a run.
The first house sat on a somewhat busy street, it was really small, but a lower price so our thought was we could put some money into it to remodel and make it bigger. It was a cute little thing, reminded me of our first home and would have been a fine AirBnB to stay at for a couple days... but not something to live it and not really something to remodel.
Next we went to one that sits right on Minnehaha Creek. It was in need of a lot of work, but it could get us in the area and something to build equity on. It was at the top of our price range so repairs would have to be spread out over time... I liked it, the size was great, it did set RIGHT on the river so there could be a potential to flood. It didn't get an x right away, so kept it in. mind. This was it's neighbor who had a gorgeous remodel:
After those two showings I drove around the houses I was going to see the next day near Lake of the Isles. I had plans to grab dinner at Whole Foods and then meet my friend Michelle to chat for a bit. Spoiler alert: this is the house we're under contract with.
Attempt to capture the gorgeous view, but I was too late.
This was another one I looked at the following day on the east side of Isles. Really liked this house, but not digging being on the East of Isles.
Had dinner and made it back to my sweet friend Lisa's house. She was letting me crash in her guest room for the two nights I was there. So grateful for the family I made in Minnesota <3
Saturday we had eight houses on the schedule (added two in later). We started at 3508 Leroy St in Minnetonka, mainly to get a feel for the. neighborhood. When I turned into the neighborhood it honestly made me feel like I was in Clinton, Missouri. The house was a newer build, but everything around it wasn't (probably will get built up over time so not a concern) but it just didn't feel right to me. It was a lovely home and checked all our boxes but really cookie cutter, which isn't what we like. Next up was 5045 Green Farms Road in 'Edina' but it was Hopkins schools with an Edina school price tag. It was also a lovely home and surprised the front yard wasn't as big as it looked in the photos. It was a BIG house and had a lot of space we just wouldn't utilize, but would still have to pay to heat and cool.
Next we trekked out to the farthest west houses but ones I wanted to see just to know if Eden Prairie was for us or not. I couldn't believe we were STILL driving, lol. It wasn't this house but this was just down the street, they'd put a hockey rink in their FRONT yard, lol. I know many people do this in their back yards, but ya gotta love Hockey more than your lawn to kill your grass every year. :-P
This first EP house was gorgeous as well, 8591 Big Woods Ln., huge ceilings, but it set on a dead end road and just over the culdasac was the highway, which you could hear from outside and probably on the north side of the home had the windows been open. It did have a great wooded backyard.
The next one was Kyle and Isaac's favorite for reasons you'll see in a second. 9530 Sky Lane, it was also in Eden Praire and WAY out there. Oh wait this one had the nice wooded backyard as I envisioned deer trampling through. LOVED the front door, had to snap a photo for inspiration someday if we wanted to add it to our future home.
This one had a SPORT COURT! How cool is that?!? Totally not needed, but would def get used, lol. It was in the basement and sat under the garage.
As I left I saw a plane go overhead and remembered it was also by a small airport. But at this point we knew we wanted to be closer into the city and got the assurance we'd be narrowing our search to Minneapolis and Edina. Which brought us to a house my friend pointed out the night before. I hadn't seen it because it was just over our price point and I tried to avoid looking at those :-P for fear it'd just give me house envy. But this wasn't too bad and if it had everything we wanted we could make it work. It had just come on the market that day and was having an open house, but my agent got us in for a private showing just before it started. It was at 6601 W Shore Drive and sat on Lake Corneilia in Edina (good schools). I was VERY excited about this house, it gave me hope because it had all the bells and whistles of a suburb home but was closer into the city. Granted it was south of hwy 62 which wasn't what we ideally wanted, but doable. I faceted with Kyle and shared all the amazing things it had to offer. It had been redone but an architect who built skyscrapers downtown. It had enough bedrooms however two were really small and aside from the master, there were three main one each with their own bathrooms attached. I wasn't fond of that since we have four kids and they were all the same size so even if the girls shared it kinda stunk they couldn't all have their own.
Oh and the other kicker was it was right on this busy-ish road. Although it did have a designated crosswalk with flashing/changing light so that was a plus.
Loved the woodwork in this house.
Next we had lunch. Which was AMAZING! Agent Michelle took me to this little spot she loved just down from her house that had the options I needed for my current gut cleanse. The menu was so clear as to what was gluten free, dairy free, vegan, etc. I so miss having good places to eat! I had the Asian Plate.
So at this point I'd seen seven homes, onto the next five. We made our way to the 3 in Minneapolis around the lake 1938 Kenwood Parkway, 2409 W 22nd St, and 2855 James Ave. We did add on 1778 Irving at about 7:30pm. But first this one, it was so cute, it had this fun third story level that was just an open room surrounded by windows. I loved the gate, had an attached garage but the kitchen was secluded. However there could be plans to expand the kitchen out the back, add an attached family room and maybe redo the garage from being a tandem two car to a side by side two car.
However first thing I noticed was all the sidewalk that would need to be shoveled, lol. It was on a triangular lot so you had long sidewalks running down both sides of the house.
Back in the car, the phone charger I brought was a USB-C cord (thinking I'd bring that one to charge faster... BUT it didn't work in the car, doh!) My friend loaned me hers and to my surprise when I plugged my phone in my map came up! I was so amazed and could have REALLY used that the day before when I was exploring out west and to continually look in my lap at my map.
I didn't get any photos of the other two, my phone was dead and I was FaceTiming with Kyle on my agent's phone. But at 3:30 we drove a little out west to this area I have always loved. It's in Hopkins and pretty close to Kyle's work. 3547 Orchard Ln had just come on the market that day and what we liked about it was the price. For this price we could buy a lake house, so when comparing with what we'd be seeing we needed to think that this house was a package with another house and didn't necessarily need to be uber fancy. And that's what it was, basic and hit all our boxes of what we'd want. Although the backyard was RIGHT IN YOUR neighbors backyard. The paperwork had mentioned something about the front yard and it didn't make any sense until I saw it, that there's a ditch but you have to keep the ditch for drainage. When we arrived we knew there was already an offer put in on this house and they would be collecting all offers the following day. We decided they can have it, we weren't interested in fighting for it.
I did have to capture this cool pulley system in the garage! Taking note to maybe use that for storage.
My agent had dinner reservations with her husband so we took a break there with plans to go back to one of the Minneapolis houses for a second viewing. I took that time to take a drive and look at another house that was coming soon, but not available for showings while I was there. This was another Edina home, in a separate area. Cute house, but the backyard was open to the culdasac neighbors behind.
I went back to Lisa's to charge my phone, research houses, and chill for a bit before planning to meet my agent at 7:30. She snapped this photos of me :-P
I wanted to head over before dark to send Kyle a photo of the stage of work on the light rail that runs between Isles and Cedar lake. This is our old neighborhood so we are very familiar with where things are since we'd drive this road to Isaac's school.
I did an alley drive by of the house we were seeing for a second time. Taking note of things.
This is the train stop from the other side of the station. This road takes you over to Cedar Lake, where it's a gorgeous wooded walk to the beach.
There was ONE more we wanted to squeeze in so we pushed back our second showing (the house was empty so not a big deal) and saw the Irving one before it got dark. It was in Lowry Hill, so just north east of Isles, a little farther from the lake, but a cute neighborhood. A friend had pointed this one out to us and said how there were SO many kids on the block. It had a long driveway, it did have 5 bedrooms all on the second level, the third level was unfinished with potential to make into a master suite. The crazy thing about the 5 bedrooms on the second level was that they were all attached (except for two smaller ones) So you could walk ONE big circle through the office and master to get to each of all the rooms. Kyle was not a fan of the idea of being THAT close to all the children :-D haha. It also had a small basement, laundry was down there. The main level was gorgeous and had a super cool stovetop with charcoal grill built in.
After that house we headed back over for the second showing. By this point we were EXHAUSTED, it was dark out and honestly as we entered I felt the strong desire just to go to bed, so that's a good thing, felt like I was home. Main thing was to show Kyle how the second level had a shorter ceiling height in the hallway and two of the bedrooms. It's technically a story and a half house, but they bumped up the back to bedrooms (master and girls room). The things we loved about this house was that it was SO close to Isles (and later realized equal distance to Cedar lake) I could see Isles from our bedroom window! So location was the biggest thing, the house is an older home, which we seem to love the character of, it did have a kitchen that opened up to a family space, laundry is upstairs, the basement is AMAZING, they finished it and added in not one egress but a wall of windows so there is so much light down there, the ceilings are also high in the basement which is not common for these older Minneapolis homes. It does have enough bedrooms for everyone, however one upstairs is pretty large (larger than the master) so we'll have the girls share. There is a nice size bedroom in the basement and we originally planned to put Isaac down there but I think we'll have him stay upstairs in his own room for a few more years and when he's older he can move downstairs, it just seems so far right now and it'll be nice to have everyone on the same level as we adjust to the move. Thomas would get his own little room. All the bathrooms have been updated, I'd finally get my soaking tub back in my own bathroom instead of having to use the kids. The backyard was nice and flat and had great access off the family room. Those are the main things. Of course there are some not so good things and inspection revealed a few more, but that's all workable and this ended up being the perfect house for us. Although we weren't entirely sure at this point, but sharing this story a month later so you get the bigger picture :-)
Went back to Lisa's and crashed, next morning had to get up and hit the airport. Her cat, Loki was a fan of me, tried to capture him here but he kept rubbing into me making it hard to capture a photo, LOL.
At this point we were for sure we wanted to change our search area. This map showed our favorite area, and we added in Edina schools as well. Because this area would mean private school for the kiddos come High School and if we were in Edina schools we wouldn't need to pay that - it could roll into the price of a house.
Snapped this photo to show Kyle, the car I had rented was a hybrid, we'd been thinking of getting a hybrid and it was a good, unplanned chance to drive one. Will have to get used to the sound it makes, which isn't a big deal if the radio is one but most of the drive I was on the phone and could hear the acceleration and it sounded like a very faint siren in the far off distance.
Back at the airport and so proud of myself for sticking to my plan 100% I rewarded myself with a coffee! Which I hadn't had up tot his point, it's allowed but only a couple times a week, I'd been drinking tea daily.
Got on the plane and me and a guy were in the VERY last seat. The airline assistant was actually eating in my seat as I approached. She was kind, but not happy that we were sat there. She kept saying "why do they do this?" "It's not even a full flight." "I'm gonna get you guys moved when everyone is loaded." "I need my space" :-) fine by us... cuz we got to go up into comfort class, no one next to me (the guy sitting next to me took the row in front of me) more leg room AND complimentary drinks which I politely declined.
Time to take off, quick trip but jam packed.
goodbye frozen waters
Hello fields of Kansas.
I got home just before noon, Kyle picked me up with the kids. We went home and chatted about the houses and ended up submitting an offer for that one later that evening. Super excited to not having to drive up there TOMORROW. Because the other plan was to house hunt Easter weekend when the kids had a longer break from school. Now we can relax and prepare to move/pack. <3