In 2001, my husband and I had just gotten engaged and like a lot of people, we were brainwashed into thinking that the next major step in life was to buy a house with a white picket fence and live happily ever after. 🏡We were in our early 20’s and had no clue what we were doing. Our parents were very hands-off with advice and helping us to navigate the world of real estate. Looking back, I can’t really blame them. They had lived in their homes since the early 1970’s and none of them had plans of moving until they had to. They didn’t know any more about buying a house than we did.

I don’t exactly remember how we found our realtor, after all, it was 2001, Google wasn’t really yet a thing and no one that we knew had recently bought a house that could refer us one. Our realtor was nice, I don’t remember her name 😬, but I do remember she only showed us homes that fit our budget and the criteria wanted. We liked that.

After several months of house hunting, we decided on a four bedroom, one acre home in Caln Township, which was not originally in our search area, but that’s another post. I fell in love with it the moment I walked in and saw the view through the wall of windows and sliding doors at the back of the house. The home sat on the top of a hill, in a quiet cul-de-sac neighborhood. Looking east to west you could see the 30 Bypass off in the distance across the valley. Before the pine trees at the edge of our property grew taller, we could watch cars traveling from Rt 113 all the way to the hill before the Brandywine Hospital exit. It was views of trees, sunrises and sunsets for days and had the feeling of a mountain house. It overlooked our kingdom.

We poured our heart, soul and bank accounts into the house for 19 years. For me, moving was never in the plans. I loved that home. It was where we celebrated every little milestone with our two kids. It was where I got the news about both of my parents deaths. It is where we had massive holiday get togethers with family and campfires with the best neighbors on the planet. It was filled with love, heartbreak, happiness and perseverance. It wasn’t a big, fancy house in a million dollar neighborhood, but it was HOME.

Which leads me to today….

As I sit here in my new kitchen, in my new house, I started thinking about what lead us to our move and to this weekly Blog I will be writing. Everything is not all “white picket fences” and “happily ever after” when it comes to homeownership. I hope you will join me on this journey as I take you through lessons learned, mistakes made and what went right. Owning a home is not for the faint of heart, but it is so worth the ups and downs that come along with it. To have something that you can design, create and call YOURS is worthwhile. 🖤

Amanda Ashbee

Disclaimer: Although I work for a real estate agents, I am not a realtor. I am not an appraiser, not a contractor, and I certainly cannot offer solid financial advice. I am just a homeowner jotting down my random thoughts, sometimes disastrously stupid home improvements, and occasionally good decisions. Any advice given is not necessarily shared by the Fonash Shelton Group or by our brokerage RE/MAX Direct. It’s just me, babbling. 👩🏼‍💻