Money Matters, Tidbits About Us

Closer to Closing

September 23, 2014

For the past five weeks or so, we’ve been navigating a new path here in Portland, Oregon. I’ve mentioned it here and there, first as a flippant sort of “here goes nothing” over on Twitter (#twoOhomesearch), then again briefly on the blog, and now tonight, it’s official: after long season of preparation and a short flurry of real estate drama, we’re buying a house!

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I remember the trepidation of clicking “submit” on those first few purchases in preparation for our trip around the world. One way flights to South America. One way boat tickets across the Atlantic. Tying our finances to our dreams and hoping the deal would fly…

I remember, too, a few shady characters along the way: crusty old toll booth operators and bus terminal ticket sellers, (near-?)drunk drivers and seedy border guards. Times when we put our collective fate in dubious hands and prayed exasperated, trusting prayers that we’d make it on to safer, calmer legs of the journey.

Our home buying process surprisingly brought up a familiar pangs of frustration over communication breakdowns and poor customer service not-too-unlike the grittiest missed-the-mark transactions of Bolivia, Laos, and Macedonia.

But, hey…looking up from the little circumstantial irritations to see the big, wonderful picture: we’re so grateful and excited to soon call a little piece of Portland “ours.”

IMG_9318.JPGTed and Lucie: a ball of nerves and a ball of energy at the title company.

Today, that same pre-adventure tremble rattled Ted and me again. Pushing pens and making life-shifting commitments, we set our course.

Soon, tomorrow after tomorrow after tomorrow of settling in, making a home, and returning the favor: opening our doors to the world.


Over the years of connecting with rooted friends at home and wanderlust spirits on the road (and wearing both shoes, so-to-speak), I can see that there’s no one size fits all approach to housing. Where are you at with it? Does committing to your own spot sound wonderful, or would you rather sell your place or ditch your lease to roam?

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10 Comments

  • Reply CJ September 24, 2014 at 8:44 am

    Congratulations, lovelies!! Such exciting, terrifying news for you both.
    I love your question at the end, and being who I am… wanting roots and wings… I would probably choose both! :-) (I’m not altogether sure that it’s possible?!)
    I love our house, but it’s missing the character of an older place, so I’ve been eyeing up some old houses. I’m hopeful, but it’s probably not the ‘right’ time for us to jump, plus there’s the joy of airbnb that we wouldn’t be able to do if we left this place.
    Things to pray about.
    Meanwhile….. I can’t wait to come and visit you in your new place. :-) A coffee is long overdue. xxxxx

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 26, 2014 at 2:32 pm

      You understand completely! (Am I surprised, though? Of course not. Such a kindred spirits despite the miles/kilometers and years…) The thought of you eying up old houses makes me wish (even more!) that we could meet up for coffee and then gawk our way through listings and blog posts and magazine photos together… (Side note: This past year, I’ve loved perusing the NZ Home & Garden site. So many gorgeous precedents.)

      I want to hear more of your Airbnb stories, too! That’s another piece of the puzzle that I’d love to see come together for us one day. I can imagine that you are just one of the very best hosts around. :)

      Sending so many hugs! xx

  • Reply Carmel September 24, 2014 at 9:36 am

    I used to never want to own a home, but now that we’re starting a family (soon!), I can definitely see us buying a house. I also keep looking at rental prices in Portland going up and feeling a little woozy, so I’d rather just buy. It doesn’t intimidate me anymore. Of course we’re still a couple years from actually buying, so ask me then. ;) Congratulations!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 26, 2014 at 3:01 pm

      I know what you mean, Carmel. It was initially really hard for me to switch gears in my mind; I’d spent so long resisting any kind of tether. The dreams of travel kept me happy to pay rent and get a comparably great bargain for housing. (Spending $6,000/year total on a little two bedroom duplex in an old 1890s Portland house — that was the best! No mortgage, no repairs, no dramas…) But yes, coming home and finding that housing prices have continued to spike, and knowing that we’re in a very different season of life (and that’s *okay*!)…I think I’m ready.

      Once it started becoming real, the other side of my brain kicked in. Late-night Pinterest binging on ideas for making a place our own…you know the bit ;)

      It’ll be fun to see how the stories unfold, yours and ours, and how the legacy of travel will impact the way that we settle. Thanks for the congrats! Maybe we can host an in-person travel-story swap someday soon…

  • Reply Jane Luthy September 24, 2014 at 3:07 pm

    That is so exciting, Bethany and Ted. I’ve been waiting to hear about this move.
    You guys are going to have so much fun!!!

    Love to all three of you,
    Jane xxooo

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 26, 2014 at 3:12 pm

      Jane! Oh, you know the dramas ;) And there were so many more, even after the last update I gave you. But hopefully, it’s all water under the bridge now.

      Can’t wait for a dinner party at the new place — we’ll treat you to a riot of food fun. (Nothing like Lucie getting to throw pieces of her dinner on *her very own* dining room floor.) Hugs xx

  • Reply Edna September 24, 2014 at 9:57 pm

    Congratulations, what a huge step! I hope you meet lots of intrepid new travelers in this exciting next move!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 26, 2014 at 3:13 pm

      Thank you, Edna! The door will be open should you ever find yourself in the Pacific Northwest. It’ll be great to return some of the hospitality that so many people shared with us while we were out on the road. :)

  • Reply Heather September 25, 2014 at 10:43 pm

    You guys are going to rock this home-ownership thing. Can’t wait to start creating some memories together at your new pad! Yay!

    • Reply Bethany ~ twoOregonians September 26, 2014 at 3:17 pm

      You know it! I think there must be some saying about how it takes pretty awesome friends to make a house a home…? Can’t wait to have you over for shenanigans.

    What say you?