INTERIORS / LIFESTYLE

I Think I’ll Head Home

Aug 30, 2016 | By New Darlings
New Darlings - Robert and ChristinaHis: Topman shirt and jeans 
Hers: Sloane Rouge blouse c/o Sisters of Nature | Urban Outfitters shorts | bag c/o Sezane | glasses c/o EyeBuyDirect

We’ve been talking a lot lately about house hunting, as it’s pretty much the only thing on our minds these days.  We figured it was time to get a little more real about the process and where it all started. So here we go…

New-Darlings-Home-Tour-1stApartmentNew Darlings-1st ApartmentOur first apartment in AZ, where we lived for two years.

When we first moved to Phoenix, three years ago, we lived in an apartment in a part of town that we didn’t really love.  It was a very nice, quiet, suburban area which was great for running errands and going for walks at the local park. There was everything we needed right there, a minute or two away, but there wasn’t much culture or many interesting places to check out.  We had to typically drive anywhere from 15-45 minutes to go to the places we have come to enjoy so much.  The first two years here were tough as we were transitioning from our New York lifestyles, to our new jobs, and our new neighborhood.  It definitely wasn’t easy and at times we really second guessed ourselves.  We had moments in the first eight months where we really thought we might have made a mistake.  Back in NY we weren’t living in the city…we were in the suburbs, which we didn’t love. We considered moving to the city or Brooklyn (where many of our friends were moving to), but after a lot of back and forth we decided we needed something completely different…and what’s more different than the desert? Even though we (accidentally) found ourselves going from a NY suburb to an AZ suburb (more on that another time), there were a lot of changes that were difficult to get used to in the beginning. It was a total culture shock, not a single thing was familiar, but we quickly reminded ourselves that’s what we originally wanted. That unsure feeling slowly went away as we started to find places we loved and people who felt like friends we’ve had forever.  It kind of all came at once.  It rushed over us and one day we just knew we didn’t want to live anywhere else.  Phoenix was the place.

New Darlings - Boho Living RoomNew Darlings - Office - Midcentury BookshelfApartment #2: Our little casita!

In July of 2015, we moved in to the first place that really felt like home.  We were in our ideal neighborhood.  It was a casita-style apartment with no one above us or below us, and we were only attached to our neighbor by a brick wall that ran along our dining room and living room.  It was great.  The complex was built back in the 60’s; it had character and great light and we’ve come to learn that it’s not always easy to find those qualities in an apartment.  We really enjoyed our space, but not the issues that came with it.  As one could imagine, an older apartment doesn’t always feel so charming when you have water leaking from your ceilings and maintenance pretty much living with you from 9-5.  Despite how much we loved the apartment and how much time we put into making it feel like our own, the issues really took a toll on us.  We work from home and need a space that feels creative and most of all clean, and for two months we just didn’t have that… there was dry wall falling from the ceiling some days and during the last few weeks we were there, pots were constantly on the floor full of leaking water. With just six weeks left in our lease, we decided to leave. It was tough, because 1) we had already created so many wonderful memories there in such a short time and 2) it all happened way too quickly. We had some travel plans coming up, so we felt like we just had to make a decision fast.

New-Darlings-Phoenix ApartmentNew Darlings - Dining Room - BasketsApartment #3!

We found a brand new apartment complex which was pretty appealing…we knew the likelihood of water and ceiling issues would be a lot less, and we would still be in the part of town that we loved spending our time in, so we figured we’d give it a try.  So here we are… three months later… and this brand new, cookie cutter, not so bright apartment is not exactly the place we hoped it would be.  It’s clean and safe and we’re super thankful to be here, but it doesn’t feel like it’s ours and well…that’s probably because it’s not.

Vintage HomesHow awesome are these advertisements from the 40s and 50s? (via Pinterest)

That’s when we really started talking about houses.  We’ll be honest.  We never saw ourselves owning a house.  We like to travel and never saw ourselves with a huge family, so we always thought apartment living was the way we were going to live.  It’s great to have a maintenance team on call if anything goes wrong, we have a fitness center, and a pool.  It all sounds great, but at the end of the day it doesn’t belong to us and we’re starting to understand all the fuss about being a home owner.  We know nothing is going to be perfect, and hey, what fun would that be? But at the end of the day we would feel so much better knowing that the money we’re putting towards where we live, will be for a place that we will own and can create memories in for years to come. So… we’ve been looking… A LOT!  We started looking many months ago, when we had some family in town.  Mostly out of curiosity and let’s face it, it’s fun showing out-of-towners different neighborhoods and discovering new areas for yourself, too. We are on the hunt for a charming, historic home here in Phoenix.  We have seen some beauties out there, but apparently so has everyone else, because they are going quick!  We mentioned it a bit on instagram. We’ve missed out on a few already, but we are staying vigilant and waiting for the right one to come along.  We would love something from the 1930s to 1950s with little touches from those decades.

We’re excited, a little nervous, and hoping to find something before the holidays roll around, but the beauty is there’s no urgency, like in the past. We can really take our time and enjoy the process, no matter how nutty it may make us at times.  It’s pretty crazy how life works…how you end up in places and walks of life you never thought you would, but this journey has been so incredible so far! So, here’s to the next part of our lives. We’re so happy to be able to share and document it here.  Stay tuned!

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21 comments on “I Think I’ll Head Home”

  1. Good luck guys! I’m sure you’ll find somewhere you adore. We had the same thing happen to us, we both work in London and we lived in an apartment in Wimbledon for three years. Our landlord wanted to sell which forced us (in a good way) to consider getting our own place. We eventually discovered our cottage by chance while out looking for a place that sold bbq coal! Your house will make itself known 😉 L x

    1. Oh wow, what a fun story. We love when things just happen at the most expected moments…kind of like when you stop looking for that lost piece of jewelry and then it suddenly pops up. Thank you so much for the well wishes! xo

  2. Hey there! I’m not sure exactly which area in Phoenix you are looking to buy a home, but my boyfriend and I currently rent the most adorable home from the 1940s in the Central Phoenix area. However, our landlord is putting the house on the market in a few weeks. (We actually were interested in buying it ourselves, but decided to make the move to San Diego instead.) It’s in a charming neighborhood that is close to everything (Upward Projects, St. Francis, Uptown Plaza, etc), and it has the most amazing, green (yes, real greenery in the desert!) backyard. If you’re looking in that area, I highly recommend checking it out!

    Just thought I would pass the heads up along, in case it’s helpful at all 🙂

    Allie | LunaVida

    1. Thanks Allie, that is really helpful. We love the St. Francis area, so we’ll definitely take a look. Good luck with the move to San Diego. We loved the La Jolla area when we were there! 🙂

  3. I have my fingers crossed for you guys we bought a 1950’s bungalow not to far from St Francis actually it took nearly two years to find [ my husbands a architect so needless to say he is extra picky] hang in there I promise you will find something perfect for you guys and it will be worth the wait! I adore your style your apartments look incredible I know any house you get will look great too!!

    1. A 1950’s bungalow sounds beautiful, especially around St. Francis. We love that area! Thank you so much for the kind words…it really means a lot to us. We’re really looking forward to the next step and hopefully sharing some interior design posts down the road. 🙂

  4. I was in the same boat as you two! I knew someday I would want to buy a home but I really felt comfortable living the apartment life with so much less responsibility (in terms of maint. fixing everything for us). But my husband really wanted to buy a home so we started searching and almost gave up. It’s so hard to find something with character, in your price range, and in a great neighborhood. We were totally there. But we ended up finding our sweet little home, and though it’s not perfect, I’m so happy that it’s ours!! Everything we do to it makes it feel more and more like home and I love that. Sorry for the novel 😉 Can’t wait to continue watching your journey unfold 🙂

    1. Hi Nicole, no need to apologize for the “novel”…we love it! 😉 It’s so great to hear about other people’s experiences and how happy they feel in their home now. It makes us that much more excited for what’s to come! 🙂 Thanks so much for following along! xo

  5. Hi guys! Hope your search is going well 🙂 I also happen to live in the Mesa/Gilbert/Tempe area! My husband is a realtor for the Pheonix metro area so if you guy need any help looking feel free to email him! brysonmt@gmail.com Can’t wait to see how cute your new home will be!

    1. Hi Lauren! Thanks so much for the well wishes. We are already working with a relator, but definitely appreciate you passing along your husband’s info. We’ll keep you guys in mind throughout the process. 🙂 Hope you had a great weekend! Thanks for following along!

  6. My fiancé and I decided to take the plunge and start house hunting three months ago. We looked at about 8 houses and none of them really fit. We were about to give up and rent a little bit longer but our realtor finally found the perfect house for us. We’re still in the closing process. It is a mixture of emotions for us. We’re excited and nervous to be homeowners. Wishing you the best of luck in your hunt.

    1. Wow! Congrats Kayla and good luck with closing. We hear the process can be a bit daunting, but obviously so worth it in the end. So glad you found that perfect place. Thank you for the well wishes. 🙂

  7. How exciting!
    We are Chicagoans who now (as of march) live in LA but transitioned for 1.5 years in PHX. We love it there as we both have family year round – holidays are going to be perfect – and will be going back often.
    What we learned was its such a great market to buy there. Good for you 2! The ranches I just die for!
    And if you haven’t been there yet you must check out The Hermosa Inn off 44th. Its the classic beauty for AZ and adobe vibes (the artist who is featured in the ‘Stetson hat’ built this old home). I worked there and The Upton (now closed) when we lived there + its wonderful being surrounded by so much beauty.
    Looking forward to hearing more.

    xoxx Ruthie

    p.s. if you stop by Hermosa Inn next time tell em I sent you. 🙂

    1. Thank you Ruthie! We are really excited for this big step and are keeping our fingers crossed. So glad to hear you enjoyed Phoenix while you were here. There are a a lot of charming homes around. Thanks for suggesting The Hermosa Inn. We just looked it up and it looks so pretty! Maybe a little staycation is in order, 😉 Hope you have a great weekend!

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