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Many of you have wondered what I’ve been up to lately. I’ve been playing my cards close to my chest and supplied only generic updates when asked. It’s now time for me to share more detail.

I bought a house.

I purchased a new-construction home in South Raleigh. 1600 sq/ft, three-bedroom, two-bath, open floor plan, on a half-acre lot. I closed on the house this past Wednesday (March 7th). I could not have done this without the support from my sister, parents, my two best buddies, Roy and Matt (my extended family), and my realtor, Jimmy Connell. Below are some pictures of the house if you want to skip the rest of the reading. You’ll note there isn’t any furniture in the house. That’s because I haven’t moved in yet. That’ll happen over the next couple of weeks.

This was a long, hard road. Two years ago, the person that I vowed to share my life with told me she didn’t love me anymore. While that hurt to hear, the devastating part was what followed. I believe love is fluid—people fall in-and-out of love. Committing to a person means that you’ll always try…but that cannot be a one-way road. It takes both partners. So, when my ex said, “I don’t want to try anymore,” I knew our marriage was over. Sometimes the forest burns, and your think: Well, that’s it…I’ve lost everything—but given some time, the forest regrows. Things will never quite be the same, but they can still be beautiful.

My recovery was slow. I was depressed and full of anger for a long time. While I still have emotional scars, I’m in a much better place now (thanks to the support of my friends and family). This house is the manifestation of my mental health and wellbeing. I began my house search back in October. I visited around sixteen or eighteen different homes and reviewed several dozen more online. I was scooped twice because I didn’t act fast enough! The rest of the homes always had something off. It was the right location, but the house was in shambles; or the house looked great, but the location was sketchy; or the house and location were both decent, but there was no yard for Bender. I refused to compromise. This made the house search more difficult, but my realtor, Jimmy, was very patient with me. He knew me well enough to know when something would irritate me.

“Kyle, I like this house, and I love the location…but I know this [insert teeny-tiny issue that would not bother normal people here] is going to drive you crazy. I don’t think this is the right house for you…but if you want it, you’ll probably spend [insert thousands of dollars here] to fix this.” --Jimmy

When I saw this house, I knew it was the one. The day I looked at it, it was still being built! A construction crew was installing trim work, and carpets. A layer of dust settled all over the floors, counters, and window sills, and the appliances were not installed yet. I made my decision on the ride home immediately after leaving the house. Two hours later I put in an official offer. They accepted, and we moved forward.

The loan process was not exactly smooth (a story for another time). I had to jump through a lot of hoops…and a few of the obstacles made me feel like the Universe was working against me—like the Universe didn’t WANT me to have this house. A friend told me: “sometimes obstacles are just obstacles and nothing more…don’t read into it too much.” That really helped me. The lender, Wells Fargo, was a little slow with verbal updates (I was in a perpetual state of stress not knowing if the loan would go through or not), and they dropped the ball on a couple of things that almost killed this deal. Fortunately, it all worked out. I have to give it to Wells Fargo in two areas. First, their online form submission is top-notch. Very easy to upload forms and track progress. Second, the rate they provided me and the closing deal they gave me were fantastic. No complaints with that at all.

The builder, Gemstone Homes (Instagram, Houzz, and Facebook, where you can see a picture of me) is great! Honestly, I can’t say enough good things about Ken and Chris (the owners). They built a beautiful home, and its quality built. You can see all the details throughout the home­—from the nine-foot ceilings, to the extra deep eat-in countertop. They didn’t take any shortcuts, and it shows. On top of that, they are good guys (smart, honest, and nice). If anyone is thinking of building a home, definitely talk with Ken and Chris from Gemstone. 

Also, if you need a good Realtor, contact Jimmy Connell

And now for some pictures…

 This is the house.

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The fenced back yard (still growing grass).

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Master bedroom

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Another shot of the master bedroom

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Master bedroom from the other side of the can see the bathroom

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Master bathroom

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Master bathroom, shot of the bathtub and the shower.

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Living room.

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Living room with a shot of the front door.

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Gas fireplace

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Kitchen (with eat-in kitchen counter), dining area, and a shot of my favorite boy, Bender.

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Kitchen, pantry, and laundry room.

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Screened in deck.

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First spare bedroom (this will be the office).

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Second spare bedroom (the guest bedroom).

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Guest bathroom.

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