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Back of the house still under construction
Back of the house still under construction

It has often been said that home is where the heart is. I never thought that much about home until this past 6 months of travel and then returning to San Diego to our new home this week. Well, I’m not sure it’s my new home just yet. The house that I am in right now we purchased back in 2012. We decided to rent it out for a few years and stay in a rental property while the kids continued in the school district that they had entered just 2 years earlier when we moved from NY. The new house was only about 4 miles from our rental property, but it was in the next school district. It made sense at the time not to move so the house became a rental property for the first 2 ½ years we owned it.

First sunset at the new house
First sunset at the new house

Two years ago, after our first tenant moved out, we had renovated half the house. We destroyed the exiting kitchen, living room and dining room area, added 400 sq ft to that side of the house and added a bathroom and bedroom. We opened up the floor plan to have a great room instead of separating the kitchen. In the end we took a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house with a closed in kitchen and turned it into a 4 bedroom, 3 bath with an amazing kitchen, living room/dining room. In addition, we rearranged the entrance of the house to take advantage of the ocean view.

View from the new roof deck
View from the new roof deck

For this latest phase of the remodel, we worked with our friends, who are the architect/designers, and their contractor remotely for the past 5 months. We would video over Skype or FaceTime at least once a week and sometimes more. The process was amazing, watching a home being built from thousands of miles away. Each time we would receive pictures or watch a walkthrough of the house it was just amazing. I love construction projects and felt that I would have enjoyed being here more than watching from afar, but I’m here now and enjoying watching them finish the project.

On Monday evening I arrived back in San Diego and went straight to a friend’s house to sleep and arrived at the new house around 7 am on Tuesday morning. I had a key to the house so I walked in and looked around. It was exactly what I had pictured. The house is so nice and everything looks new. There are still floors to put down and bathrooms to finish, but it looked as good if not better than the video, but something felt off. I wanted to sleep at the house, but since there are no floors in yet and all the beds are in storage I decided to camp up on the new roof deck.

New master bath
New master bath

The kids and I did a lot of camping when we first moved to San Diego and I had purchased some nice camping cots at REI. So, I found a nice quilt in one of the closets of the house and had my pillow from when we traveled and set up my bed on the roof deck. We also had an 8 ft x 8 ft pop up tent so I put that over the cot just in case it rained, which it did on Tuesday evening for a bit. Even after spending a night on the roof and another day in the house I can tell you that it’s still not home yet. It’s more of a construction project than a home. To make it our home I need the love and care that comes with it, along with the rest of the family.

For the past 5 months we have called 26 different AirBnB apartments and 2 hotels our home. Over the coming months

I look forward to turning this construction project into our home, a place that we look forward to being all the time. It’s not just the construction that needs to be completed, which is part of it, it’s more about the feeling of being in a home. There are so many design elements that will make it a great home, but we’re not there yet. So, I will work with the designers and the contractor to make sure that the construction phase is completed properly, which is why I’m here, but it will probably be a few months before this property starts to become our new home.

To a life well lived!

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