Wonderful Things Happen When You Least Expect Them – On Buying a New House and Selling Ours

Sometimes, great things happen when you’re looking the other way and wonderful things happen when you least expect them. 


I’m sitting here not quite sure how to begin this blog post. You see, I adore our home. For a multitude of reasons, the home I share with Dean and our kids is incredibly important to me.

our-house-front

I’ve tried really hard to practice an attitude of gratitude for whatever house or apartment we’ve lived in over the last twenty years. Whether big or small, pretty or not. I’ve always made the most of each space, which often means I become quite attached to it …and have a hard time being convinced when it’s time to move on.

So when we started to realize that this home – this beautiful home of ours – was growing too small for us, it was hard for me to fully accept. Like I was being ungrateful for what we had already been blessed with.

our-house-hello

Dean and I actually started to casually look at other houses about a year ago. Mainly we were looking at new builds and model homes. We were looking for one more bedroom, one more bathroom and a more open concept living space in which we could more easily host our family and friends. Hospitality is very important to us as well.

After a little while though we decided we’d stay put and just work on making this house function better for us. The cost of moving to a larger home was just too much for our budget. So we swapped the living and dining rooms here, added a bedroom in the basement for our son and started planning a large kitchen renovation, with hopes of adding another bathroom at some point too.

 our-house-dining-room

But then a funny thing happened this year. Our kids just kept growing. And we found ourselves with two teenagers and another child who will soon be a teen. They began asking for their friends to come over more often. Our extended family kept growing too (in size and in numbers). Waiting in line to use the only bathroom with nine to eleven people in the house on holidays got a little tougher. Sleeping arrangements were a little harder to figure out.

At the same time the housing market sort of boomed even more in Toronto and the surrounding suburbs in which we live. Which meant the value of our house grew quite a bit. And moving to a larger house – especially if we moved a tiny bit further out of the city – suddenly became an actual possibility.
our-house-living-room

So we started to look again in earnest.

At first we were seriously looking at one particular large century home with outbuildings and a larger property. But there was a LOT of work that still needed to be done. We offered what we considered to be a fair price (given the work that needed to be done and that it needed rezoning to do what we wanted with it), but the owners turned it down. So we moved on. (That property was still for sale the last time I looked – for just about what we originally offered.) That house made me think that I wanted a century home because of all the character, so we looked at several. I didn’t love them. Especially the basements. Yuck! We also thought we wanted a country lot. But quickly realized we’re happiest in the suburbs. Then I fell in love with a century home that had been moved onto a brand new foundation and basement in a newer residential neighborhood. We almost put an offer on it, but at the last minute I panicked because it would have been a tremendous stretch on our finances. I cried a lot. In the end it sold for even higher. Which made me stop crying because I knew it wasn’t the one for us. God has a funny way of letting us know when things are right for us or not.

That house caused us to pivot in our search though.

our-house-kitchen

We started looking at new builds like we had last fall. We visited models and oohed and ahhed at the possibilities and the potential. We narrowed down and really honed in on what we wanted and were looking for in a new house. I had a very specific kitchen and living space idea in my head. We had a model and a lot all picked out. We were working on finishing up a few projects here so we could list our house for sale, in order to sell it and have the down payment we’d need for the new build. I was dreading living in an apartment while the new house was built. But I was happy we would avoid a bidding war and lose out on house after house like so many of our friends had recently.

our-house-stairs-and-coffee-wall

And then…

Aren’t those the best two little words in a story?

our-house-bathroom

AND THEN.

our-house-master-bedroom

Even while we were looking at the new build and dreaming about the new neighborhood, I didn’t feel entirely settled in that decision. So I kept looking at MLS for older homes.

And then we found it.

THE House.

It wasn’t even officially out there yet. It was listed, but hadn’t been shared to MLS yet. I found it on some random realty site and asked our own realtor (who is a saint by the way, for putting up with me!) about it. She dug around and found it and sent over the details.

It was the house.

The house with a layout and floor plan almost identical to the one we were going to have built. The house with four bedrooms, four bathrooms (um, what?!), and the open concept main floor I wanted so very much. There was also a main floor laundry room, a fully finished basement, a guest room in the basement, a larger garage than our current garage, a fully fenced yard. AND AN IN-GROUND POOL.

I didn’t know how badly I wanted an in-ground pool until I saw this house. I mean I knew I wanted one, but I had no idea how much.

This house was exactly what we were looking for, but even more. And for less than the new build would have cost us. Like a lot less. Like $100,000 less.

So we bought it. Well you know, the bank bought it. And in a little less than two months we will move into it and make it our own.

I can only give you a sneak peek because I only have what realtor photos were posted online. I can’t wait to show you more soon though! Wanna see?

new-house-grid

Dean and I cannot wait to paint and decorate and DIY a few little projects to make this new home our own!

A lovely family bought our house and I pray they will love it as much as we did. And that our neighbors will love on them and welcome them with open arms.

We didn’t expect to be in a new house when we host Christmas this year. We didn’t expect to have so many of our growing (in size, not numbers) family’s needs answered. We really didn’t expect to be blessed by so many extras that we thought were so far off or not even options.

Selling your house soon? Check out my Quick Staging Guide!

But good things happen when you least expect them. And when you have a good good Father God who knows the desires of your heart even better than you do.

shannon sign off

home made lovely book on table with get it now text button

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180 Comments

    1. His timing is perfect. And yes the pool – all the heart eyes for that! We have many cosmetic updates to make the home more our style. And we’re looking forward to our brother in law’s input on the landscaping. He has such vision!

  1. Oh Shannon! I’m so thrilled for you, how wonderful to have found exactly what you want in a floorplan. I can’t wait to see you make it your own. Have a smooth move!

    xox

    1. It’s crazy good, Anne. I kept walking into houses like, nope this isn’t it, nope, not this one either. When we found it, it was such a great feeling.

  2. Congratulations! So exciting… I can hardly wait to see your transformation of the new place. I know living in Toronto – well about 1 hr East of the T.O. In Uxbridge – How ridiculously expensive it is here. crazy to say the least.. The bidding wars on homes and houses going for way over asking price. Not he “coming soon” sale signs – to find out by the time they remove that size – the house is already sold. Super tough for the first time buyer anywhere with 1 1/2-2 hrs of the greater Toronto area . I wish you and your family all the best in this transition & cannot wait for pictures. ?

  3. Congratulations! I am so very happy for you! Yes, he does have a plan and he does know what’s best. Happy House Loving!

  4. Congrats! So happy for your family! You had a beautiful home – seriously loved what you did! But your new home looks like it will be gorgeous – good bones to work with! – especially once you add your special touch! Looking forward to following along on the blog!

  5. So, SO exciting! Your new house is already great, but I look forward to seeing how you make it your home. All that AND A POOL! Congratulations!

    1. I adore this house and all we’ve done. It’s tough to leave. But the new house will be great too. And so long as my family is there it will be home.

  6. Congratulations on your new home! Seasons of life lead us to need new spaces! Growing families make a more “entertaining friendly” home a necessity! I just hope you leave the old photos up on your blog from your previous home, as I’m just getting started working on my home and love what you did with that one!!! 🙂 Blessings to you in your new home!

  7. Couldn’t be more excited for you, knowing God’s plans are THE best! He always surprises us, doesn’t he? This new home is going to be knockout gorgeous when you’re done with it!

  8. So happy for you and your family and can’t wait to see what you do with your new place. I love how you put things together mixing in some unexpected twists. I know what style I like but putting it into reality never seems to happen, but I can live vicariously through you and some of the other great designers out there now .

  9. You know the saying about not having a pot to piss in? Well you’re gonna have four, enough for all but one in your family to sit at the same time! That detail alone makes me excited for you.

    1. Lol. Hilarious. I literally would have been totally cool with only two bathrooms. Four is a bit much. I’ve joked with the kids that if they don’t learn to clean them, I’ll “close” one or two and forbid their use!

  10. This is perfect timing for me. We are looking for a home too, and I just seem to have so many doubts about each one. We just made an offer, below what the sellers are asking, and I prayed, ‘Lord, if this is the one for us, let it happen. If not, I will move on and know there is something better.” Our house sold in 4 days, so now the search is on! Thanks for letting me know I am not alone!

    1. It’s tough to do. I’m big on “feeling” it in a house. So if it’s not the one and I love it, that’s confusing. You can do it and you’ll find a good one!

  11. Beautiful
    Very happy for you. Thanks for sharing your story. Since I retired about 4 years ago I’ve been having lots of fun with learning more about design, feng shui etc. I’ve taken several online courses and actually changed the entire style of my home, something I hadn’t done in 20 years. What used to be traditional is now a blend of mid century/ contemporary. My husband and I are very handy so we are able to spend more on materials because we do the labor ourselves. Never a dull moment.
    I really appreciate reading your blog and getting inspiration. Thank you again

  12. Beautiful, You and your family are brave. Well you are young so have energy for moves, I moved in 2011 and it was an ordeal. I am not sure that my body could do it again however my head is saying something else. Well have bountiful Blessings in your new place.

  13. How truly wonderous is our God!! Congratulations to you both and I’m wishing you years and years of happiness in your new home. Fill it with Much Love and Tons of Laughter and make the best memories ever!! I’m so happy for you all!

  14. Congratulations on the new house. It seems to me that whenever we stopped looking for something we want “so much” and just leave things in God’s hands, then our hopes and dreams are realized. Have fun with all the decorating, etc. and enjoy every moment.

  15. I am SOOOO happy for you!!! Yes, God is always so good to us, especially when we wait on Him to make the way!! When I signed up for your emails, I did so because I like your style. Then I began getting to know you through your posts and began to like you, for being you—you’re the kind of lady I could be friends with. And after today’s post, I realized why—we are Sisters. Be blessed in your move and may all things work together for your good.

  16. Congratulations!! It’s already beautiful, but I can already imagine some of the changes you’ll make!
    I hope it has a gigantic pantry, because with that pool, you’re going to have 5,483 teens gathering there regularly! ?

  17. Congratulations! Looks like a great home with lots of room and potential! My next home will definitely have to have a pool!!

  18. It’s so nice to read a happy post. I love all the decor tips and house tours but sometimes reading a post like this is what we all need. I am so happy for you and your family. I love how many times you wrote you were blessed and how much though you put into your home for future family events. I am looking forward to many updates and pictures…

  19. Hi Shannon,
    I am so happy for you and your family . I can’t wait to see what you will do to the house to make it your own . I agree it is wonderful to have such a GOOD FATHER who knows are needs wants and desires better than we do . So wonderful to hear someone say they were blessed so many times. Enjoy your new home what a blessing.

  20. Congratulations! Isn’t it great how when you find the ‘one’ you are calmer, happy and excited! All those other houses just weren’t right for you nor did they need you and this house needs you. I LOVE your style and can’t wait to see what you do! Let the adventure begin!!!!

  21. Amen and congrats! The old home and new home are both beautiful blessings! We do have a good, good Father! Best wishes on your new lovely home!

  22. Congratulations! We’ve been in the home looking stage for about a year. More in earnest the last 4 months. We’ve narrowed down on an area and that we likely don’t want a brand new home (we would miss mature trees). Now we wait until the “perfect” house comes on the market. Looking forward to seeing the personal touches you put on your new home!

  23. It’s like having a blank canvas to start over and continue with all of your new and i’m sure beautiful designs and creations. Good luck and i look forward to what’s to come!

    1. Lol. Yes. I will be starting with a good cleaning (it’s not gross, we always just clean when we move) and some paint (just not our colors). 🙂

  24. Your new house looks perfectly lovely, although is it wrong of me to be excited to see some of your new decorating when you put your own touches to this new house?

    I’m looking forward to seeing your style develop all over again.

  25. Congratulations! What an exciting time for your family. You’ll be thankful there doesn’t appear to be a need for major renovations. It’s a long tiring but rewarding process to say the least.

    1. LOL. Yes, this one is in pretty good shape and has all the spaces we need, so it will be cosmetic work mainly. And a bit of a kitchen expansion.

  26. Wooohoooo! Congrats! Home buying can be such a crazy experience. I can’t wait to see what you do with the place. It has a ton of potential!

  27. Shannon, this really spoke to me. My husband and I are going through something similar and all I can saw is wow. God really spoke to me in this message.
    Warm regards,
    Regina

  28. Congrats on your new home, Shannon. I happen to have the same Good Good Father that you have and He delights in giving His children even more than we can ask or dream of. I will be anxiously waiting to watch the progress as you transition to your dream home.

  29. Congratulations on your new home! Isn’t it wonderful how things work out when we wait on Him? I’m looking forward to seeing the beautiful things you will do with all that space!

  30. Hi Shannon – I have missed your regular posts and was wondering if something had happened. I know the family of your *saint* of a realtor (I’m from Peterborough!), and I saw your home pop up one day on Becki’s listings and knew instantly why you’ve been absent! So happy for you and your family – can’t wait to see the updates!

    1. Lol. I was pretty burnt out earlier this year too. So I sort of pivoted and refocused a bit. And yes getting a house ready to sell is no joke! 🙂

  31. Congratulations! Really happy for you and your family. Can’t wait to see pictures how you will decorate this one. Love your style!!

  32. Congratulations! And I have missed you but I can see you have been very, very busy. Very excited for you and your family. The house is beautiful but I know you will make it home with your trademark Shannon style. I can’t wait to see each and every change.

  33. Wow that is fantastic. Your new home looks so much bigger and roomier. Good luck with shifting, I think the worst part about shifting is packing up and unpacking, but I am sure you have lots of willing hand. Cant wait to follow your projects in your new home.

    1. Yes! Not looking forward to packing and unpacking. But I am SO looking forward to the space and new decorating projects. Dean has so many DIY projects planned already – like wainscoting and coffered ceilings!

  34. That is so cool! The new home is lovely and I know it will be even more so when you and your husband paint and DIY it! Congrats!

  35. You go girl!!! Congratulations! Patience did pay off and I am so excited for you and can not wait to see you put your touch on the new house which you will make into your home. Wow!!!

  36. Hi Shannon, congratulations on your new house! It’s funny but when I first saw that you bought a new house I thought “Oh nooo, it won’t be as cool as her current house” and I was a little sad! I guess your blogging friends and followers get just as attached to your houses as you do! :o) I’m sure this new home will be so beautiful though once you guys put your spin on it! I’m looking forward to the move in and projects!

    Tania

    1. Aw Tania! I hear you. There are definitely things we’ll miss about this house too. But we are looking forward to the challenges a new space brings to Dean and I for decorating and DIY!

  37. So happy for you Shannon! Is amazing when we asked God for the desires of our heart and then patiently wait for His answer according to his will.

  38. So happy for you and your whole family!! God is a good good father! Can’t wAit to see how you will make your new home your own!

    Blessings ,
    Mandi

  39. Perfect timing is always God’s way.
    Cant wait to read about your decorating adventures! So look forward to your new decorating plot!

  40. Congratulations Shannon & Dean:) It’s a very exciting time for you all and I hope it all goes well, good luck and God bless!

  41. Yay, Shannon and Dean!! I am tickled pink for you guys and wish you so much joy in your newest adventure! I have come to really enjoy your blog and your home that has rewarded you so fully. You are so very talented and your home tells a beautiful story! Also. just want to thank you for having a blog that is NOT monetized…that is so very rare and I can’t thank you enough…well done! I’ve had to turn away from MANY blogs I enjoyed for this reason because constantly closing out all the ads that obstruct the beautiful pictures is something I will no longer fight against because it is far too frustrating! Don’t like it and will not do it for any blog. Thank you so kindly for being as you are!

    1. I agree with Connie — I get so tired of all the pop up ads on some of the blogs I read! Your blog is so refreshing and is one of my favorites.

      I absolutely love what you have done to your current home — it is beautiful and welcoming! I can hardly wait to see what you do to your new home! Congratulations!

    2. Thank you Connie. I’m glad you’re appreciating the changes we’ve made! Blogging is tough when you do it as a business and ads are often the simplest way to earn income from blogging. Dean and I just decided to change our business model. We give lots away for free – like tutorials and how to’s – but we do offer products and services too like our upcoming decorating handbook and course. But we designed those things so they’re helpful and hopefully our readers will want to buy them because they meet a need. So happy to have people like you in our corner!

  42. Wow. It’s amazing. And I know you guys will make it a beautiful home. I love what you do and only wish I was half as talented in the decorating department but I am slowly learning. Congratulations!!

  43. Congratulations on your new home!
    I thoroughly enjoyed looking at the photos of your last home. It made me think, “I want Shannon to decorate my home!”. It was a treat to see and an inspiration.
    I am new to Pinterest and look at so many pins, but you always offer something fresh and interesting. I get your emails, so I don’t miss anything.
    My husband and I are moving from New England to South Carolina in a week. I pray we get a new place quickly. I am excited to use your inspiration to make my new house a home.
    Thank you.
    God bless you and yours,
    Jaclyn

  44. So excited for you and your family. And yes He is a good, good father in our blessings and our struggles. Can’t wait to see what you will do with the all that space! The kids are going to Love it!

  45. Wow! I’m so happy for you and your family. The pictures of the new house are amazing. I can’t wait to see your new touches! God closed a door but opened a new window for you! Congrats!

  46. What a blessing your story is!!! It is so awesome when we wait for God to move in His time and in His way. He wants us to have our dreams fulfilled but He has a plan…..”I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and future” Jeremiah 29:11 Be BLESSED in this new home!! I sure look forward to all the DIY’s you & Dean will come up with. Thank you for sharing your heart and this story with us.

  47. SHANNON,
    I am so happy for your family. I just completed a fall home tour. After shooting the photos and editing I realive my style looks like my remodeled bathroom and a few decor items in the rest of the house. Time for a change too. I am not moving but I am finding me at home.
    Congratulations & Happy Creating,
    Karen Marie

  48. Congratulations on finding your new home, Shannon! I’m really happy for you and your family and can’t wait to see all that you do with it. A similar thing happened to us when we purchased our current home. I’ve told so many people, over and over, that God blessed us with the perfect house. A house that fulfills the desires of our heart. But, like you, I had mixed feelings. I worried about being ungrateful with the blessings of our other homes – but, I’m so not! In the end, I decided that God knows my heart better than me and He knows that I am thankful for each and every blessing – even if it is something as big as a house. 😀

  49. Congratulations on your new house ! It is tough when you have three kids and one bathroom. I know because I have four and they were always in the bathroom fixing their hair. Your new house looks great and I cannot wait to see how you are going to transform it and make it your own.

  50. I just found your blog and LOVE it! We are building a home and I am in the process of sifting through a gazillion paint colors. We are going with rustic cedar beams with stained tongue and groove ceilings gray rock/with some brown fireplaces and pillars and so forth. I want to incorporate a light gray as our last home was primarily gray . Cabinets will be maple. I had a quick question on the paint color chart. In the top pic of the view from the entry to the dining room…your walls look like the beige depicted in your sample, however in a similar pic where you have use the dark gray drapery…the walls look gray. I love that color and was wondering if you perhaps changed the paint color or is it just the lighting?

    Thanks so much!!!

    1. Glad you’re here!!! Your new place sounds great. To answer your question, nope we didn’t paint the dining room. The grey is just reflecting a bit. 🙂