Sunday, December 11, 2016

Happy Holidays - And Big News!

Happy holidays everyone! This year we have one more thing to be thankful for...and that's our FIRST HOME! If you were wondering what we've been up to for the better part of the last year, we've been house hunting. And between work, travel, and open houses every free weekend, there sadly wasn't much time to dedicate to this little blog. But with our home search coming to an end and a long list of renovating/decorating projects to tackle, I really do hope to get back to sharing here more regularly.

Between all the houses we've looked at over the past year, I feel like I could write a book. I actually wish I had kept a journal and taken notes on all of the good, bad and the ugly after walking through each home! We saw a lot of houses, but this part of the process was so important in learning what we wanted, what we definitely didn't want, and what we weren't willing to compromise on. Here were the three things that were most important to us:
  1. Space: We absolutely love our current apartment, so to us there was really no point in moving if we weren't going to get more space. We've been eager to finally have enough room for all of the amazing wedding gifts we received, so we narrowed out anything that wasn't at least 2,000 sq ft or didn't have any storage space like a garage or basement. 
  2. Location: To get more square footage and stay in our price range, we quickly learned we wouldn't be able to find anything in the city or the immediate surrounding areas. Due to Josh's family being in Vermont and the amount we drive up there, we also eliminated any towns south of the city as options. So from there we were left with west of Boston or north of Boston, and at the beginning of our search we did look at a few homes in towns west of the city. However, since we have no affinity there and know very few people in those towns, we found it pretty hard to get excited about moving outside the city to a place we knew so little about! Because of this, the majority of our search was spent on the North Shore, where we cast a wide net across Beverly, Danvers, Hamilton, Wenham, Manchester, Marblehead, Ipswich, and Essex. This summer, as we got into the thick of our search, it became more and more clear that the North Shore made the most sense. We could afford a home with more space, we had so many friends and my family in the area, and we found ourselves up there almost every weekend anyway. Plus, through growing up there and through this home search, Josh and I know the North Shore area and communities well, and all of the traffic patterns that come along with them. ;) Proximity to the train and the city were also key given our jobs, which made towns like Manchester, Essex & Ipswich a bit more daunting. 
  3. Land: Being from Vermont, Josh associates having a house with having land. He quickly learned that we weren't going to to be able to get a 10 acre farm in Massachusetts, but he couldn't really get excited about anything that had less than an acre. This was one part of the home search that we really had to compromise on, and there were several houses that I fell absolutely in love with but that we passed on simply because the land piece wasn't there. Whereas the interior of the home was the most important thing to me, the exterior was the most important thing to him, and so it took a lot of looking to find that perfect mix (and some slight heartbreak on my end in walking away from all those charming little right-in-town homes with no yard). It a way it was helpful though, in that it narrowed out A LOT of properties in our price range, including almost everything in Marblehead. Manchester-By-The-Sea or Beverly Farms. 
So this seems like a very vague must-have list, but those were the major things we were looking for! We are both fairly creative and handy people, so we knew that as long as we had the space, location, and the land, we could turn any home into our dream home. Of course there were a million more specific things on my wishlist (hello farmhouse porch, wide plank floors, and reclaimed wood beams), but those are all things that could really be added anywhere. When Josh and I sat down and really talked about what constituted our "dream home", these were the houses I was pinning that fit that description! After growing up in Hamilton (horse country), I have always had a soft spot for charming farmhouses with lots of surrounding green space. And given our location in New England, I have also always loved the shingle-style houses that line the streets of places like Westport, Nantucket, Newport and Cape Cod. Aren't these dreamy?
And this is our where we settled! After a long search, we found the perfect compromise in this farmhouse/cottage/ranch (we aren't sure what to call it) in Hamilton/Wenham. It has almost 2 acres of land and a huge barn/garage for josh, and a charming blank canvas of a house for me. And of course we can't forget about the most important member of the family - there's a big yard, tons of nearby beaches, and beautiful walking trails across the street for Mac! We can't wait to make this house our own.
And finally to get to the question I know the question you are all asking: "WILL THE BLOG NAME STAY THE SAME WITHOUT MARLBOROUGH?!?" And the answer is YES! Marlborough will always be where this blog started and I'm so glad to have captured the city chapter of our lives documented here. If anything, Mac & Marlborough is only going to get better as we start making this new space our own. I'll be sure the share a peek inside our house (as well as our detailed future project lists for each room) very soon. Let the decorating/renovating begin! xx

1 comment:

  1. Hey, you guys make a great couple and I just love your article and good to hear everything about your life. Keep posting and sharing.