On her 30th move this military spouse’s forever home was unexpected.
By Marguerite Cleveland
After my 29th move, my husband and I began to seriously discuss where we wanted to live after retirement. This was surprisingly stressful for me because unlike most people I had literally moved every few years and sometimes twice in one year since I had been born. I had lived in so many amazing places the thought of just picking one and not moving again was quite scary to me.
The nice thing about moving so many times is that I had lived in everything from a tiny studio apartment to brand new homes built to our specifications. I lived in barracks rooms and historic mansions. Early on I envisioned my forever home to be one that was modern, upscale and large. Over the years, testing out all these homes and watching countless HGTV shows about renovating my vision changed. I knew I wanted an older home. They are just built better. We are soon to be empty nesters so we also wanted to downsize.
As we began our search we narrowed the location down pretty specifically to a small historic town near the base we currently lived at. Unfortunately we began shopping when it was a seller’s market with limited inventory and massive bidding wars. There were so few homes that we ended up putting in halfhearted offers on a few and were almost relieved when they were rejected. Then one day a home popped up. From the front it was very unassuming and looked like a squat log cabin. We almost didn’t look at it because we didn’t want the maintenance of a log cabin.
We decided to check it out during an open house. When I walked into the house and out onto the expansive deck with an incredible view of the Puget Sound, I knew I was home. I can only equate the feeling to what I felt when I found my wedding dress. I got pretty teary eyed I have to admit and tried to maintain my cool so the listing agent didn’t know how excited we were. The house was tiny but had enough room for our family and a large detached two car garage to hold all our stuff so we could downsize. It was at the top of our budget so we put in a lower than asking price knowing in this market we were unlikely to get the home. Much to our surprise, the counter offer was lower the asking price. We gladly accepted.
We have been in our forever home for three months now and it fits. Our big renovation plans are on hold as we discovered we are comfortable as is and don’t need more space. Downsizing fits us and it’s nice to know we are settled for retirement. Every time I step out on my deck and watch the sun set over the water I feel at home and finally after all those moves at peace.
What do you think your forever home will look like? Do you think your plans will change as the years go by? Whether big or small, you’ll know it’s the one because it will feel just right. Tell us your experience or thoughts in the comments down below.
Marguerite Cleveland is a freelance writer who specializes in human interest and travel stories. She is a military brat, a veteran and now a military spouse. Her military experience is vast as the daughter of a Navy man who served as an enlisted sailor and then Naval Officer. She served as an enlisted soldier in the reserves and on active duty, then as an Army Officer. She currently serves as a military spouse. She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two sons. Visit her website www.WanderWordsWine.com