Baldwin Building Adventures

There is so much happening in the world right now and so much of it is so, so heavy. I have never felt less Christmas-y- ever. People are really hurting right now. If you are friends with Amanda on Facebook, then you already know that Demetrius is going through hell in the form of a concussion followed by an extended stay at Children’s Hospital. I’ve just lost two friends to cancer, one who mentored me and changed my life and one that while I haven’t spoken to her in many years, had an impact on some of my hardest years. We have a new president in our country and no matter how people feel about him- they fall on one side of a fence that has divided us as a nation AND as Christians. People are hurting right now and it’s no fun.

But….in the midst of all that, we’ve been on a grand adventure. It started less than 6 weeks ago, when being the protective neighbor that I am, I spotted someone with no business in our neighborhood driving around aimlessly and looking at my neighbors houses. I asked if she was lost and she said, “no, I’m a realtor looking for a house.” Done being neighborly and now just being nosy I started to ask more questions.

Turns out, the house was for her and her husband and they were looking to purchase a house in our neighborhood and scrape it to turn it into a modern home.


They had purchased two lots just a few blocks from us (closer to downtown and on a cul-de-sac and next to a stream and walking trail) and wanted to build their dream home there, but being in a historic preservation district, they could only build a Craftsman style home (or similar). Do you guys know anyone who writes on this blog who likes Craftsman style?

In a “hey, just for fun” moment, I invited the realtor to our house just to check it out, but told her the only way we would consider selling is if we could buy those lots from her, knowing the real estate market and knowing if they put them back on the market they would be gone to a cash buyer in a minute. When he got home that night, I told Andy the story of me being a nosy concerned neighbor and really played it all as just being for kicks, because we were not planning to sell our house, but when I said “craftsman home” he stopped what he was doing and said, “OK. Now I’m listening.” In inviting the realtor over to see our house, we were very much like, “whatever happens”. When I say we had no expectations, I couldn’t mean that more. So many things would have to happen for this to work, so we didn’t expect anything.

Stacy (the realtor) came over on a Saturday and within 14 days we were under contract with her. We had agreed on fair pricing- she and her husband buying our house and us buying the lots.

This has been one of those crazy rides that can only be God. As Amanda said to me, “God is giving you something you could have never been bold enough to even pray for or know you wanted.” And she’s right. This is all so far beyond my imagination and expectations…it’s mind-blowing.

After so many things falling into place for us the remaining piece was a place to live while we build our home. Last night we noticed our neighbor (5 houses down from us!!) is renting out his house. He had put up his sign no more than 2 hours before we drove by. It will be available exactly when we need it in mid-February.  He is a friend of ours – someone we have gotten to know through being neighborly, who is renting his house for way cheaper than any house I have looked at. It’s another link in the chain that we can only see as God saying: “I got this. I’m doing this!”

This morning, we closed on both properties and all four of us left the closing table happy. Stacy and Eric are getting to create their modern dream home and Andy and I are getting to create what we didn’t know we wanted.


Buyers, sellers, buyers, sellers

Here’s the start of the plans we will be using. We’re building a duplex first and will live in half of that while we build our home on the larger lot. We are beyond excited and also beyond terrified, but just like getting married (ten years ago yesterday!!) we know it will be exciting and scary and there will be great moments and not-so-great moments. We just know it’s from Him and so we’re moving along…..and all I can say right now is “WHAT THE HECK IS HAPPENING!!????!!!!”