Tuesday, January 13, 2015


I ended the final post of 2014 by saying that I hoped 2015 would lead to us feeling more settled than we have in a long time. I'm pleased to announce that we've made some major strides in that general direction as we are now homeowners!

After spending many months looking at properties all over town, we were starting to feel somewhat discouraged. Our criteria were all over the place and essentially impossible to fulfill - walkable, close to family, a bit of land, near good schools, near parks, in a safe neighborhood, new-ish and reasonably nice or maybe older with a bit of character but not in need of major renovations - you get the idea. We even considered buying a bus and traveling around the US for a while but the whole starting a business thing won out for now :)

In the end we got several of the things on our wishlist. This house sits on a quiet cul-de-sac street and is in a good school district, is near both the Cuyahoga Valley National Park and the Cleveland Metroparks, borders a wooded lot, has about half an acre of usable land and is very near the homes of both Brian's parents and his brother.

Once upon a time ago, Brian and I proposed the idea of a McMillin Ranch where we'd all buy a plot of land and build our own homes in our own little corners of the property. We envisioned common areas, local and low carbon energy sources, gardens, etc. but the logistics of bringing four families together in this way proved to be insurmountable for now. So we figure this new arrangement is a close second! (Some of you might be cringing at the thought of living so close to the in-laws but I can assure you, as many of you will know firsthand, that the McMillins are a pretty awesome bunch).

What's interesting about this house is that it never even went onto the market. Carl mentioned to some of the neighbors that we were looking to buy and one mentioned that he was thinking of listing his house in the spring, about the time his son would graduate from high school. He invited us over to have a look and we liked it right away. So we managed the negotiations and closing all without a realtor and everyone was happy!

The house is in very good condition but we're considering some upgrades to the kitchen and master bathroom before we move in along with a few coats of paint here and there. I'll be sure to keep you posted and I might even take you along on our renovation journey (which I have a sneaking suspicion may evolve into a creative do-it-yourself endeavor).

Little by little, bits fall into place. We just hope they're in the right places! One thing is for sure, the kids are elated to live within a stone's throw of their grandparent's and cousin's homes. We figure that after being away for most of a decade and deciding to return home to be near family, that it makes good sense to go ahead and be near family!

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