Writing this post from our brand new single family home in Burbank, CA (with a YARD!). I can’t believe we actually did it! While it feels incredible to be in our new space, moving in has unfortunately been far from easy. We experienced a few unexpected situations that added SO much extra stress to the move and we’re not out of the woods yet. Sharing a quick family update below as well as the last photo we took of the girls running through the courtyard of their first home. Framing this one stat! Topping off this post with some of our favorite photos of the fam enjoying our first home (and courtyard!) over the years. Now, onto the next chapter!
Selling Our First Home
Four years ago when I was pregnant with Naiya, Phil and I bought our first townhouse in Valley Village. We were SO proud of this place since it allowed us to become home buyers for the first time. But, in expanding our family and trying to keep our kids entertained throughout the Pandemic without a yard, we were busting at the seams!
We started seriously looking for a new home back in October of 2020 (more here). Since EVERYONE in LA also seemed to be looking for a single-family home (thanks to the Pandemic!), the competition in the marketplace was absolutely NUTS. In fact, we learned that the LA housing market had the lowest inventory since the 1950’s. Soon after, we woke up one morning and saw that the entire downstairs of our townhouse had flooded thanks to our washing machine malfunctioning. We were devastated. Fixing the damage took at least a couple of months. We had to put selling our home on hold temporarily.
Once everything was fixed, we were ready to move forward again with selling our home and buying a new one. This time, we REALLY had our game faces on. After a LONG search full of what would have been tear-downs, homes that looked like they were lived in by hoarders and other homes that ended up going for $200K over asking price, we FINALLY found an off-market home that we fell in love with.
After a rollercoaster of an escrow period (that’s a whole other story), all FINALLY went well and we were ready to move into our dream home.
The Night Before Moving Day: What Went Wrong
The night before our big move, Naiya fell asleep on the couch right before our family was about to bring a couple car loads of boxes over to the new house. Since we didn’t want to wake her, we made a last minute decision to have Phil drive his car over first. Within seconds of arriving, he noticed smoke pouring out of our new home’s windows. He rushed inside trying to piece together where the smoke was coming from and he immediately called the Fire Department.
Long story short, we were redoing our hardwood floors prior to the big move. There was a shop vac within our home for this purpose that was left unplugged. While no one was home, the shop vac was somehow still hot enough that it continued to heat up and ultimately started to melt from within. Thick smoke was pouring out throughout the entire home. Once the fire department arrived, they quickly found the source. Firemen shared that if Phil had come to the home 5 minutes later, our entire home would have most likely gone up in flames–especially because the floors were freshly varnished. SO thankful we didn’t wait for Naiya to wake up before we left! Timing here was EVERYTHING!
Completely separate of this incident, the day we moved into our home, there was also an insanely horrible smell in the backyard between our fence and our new neighbor’s yard. It took us days to figure out what it was but apparently there was a dead possum in our neighbor’s yard who was out of town. A number of phone calls and days later, we figured out a service that come remove it.
Until yesterday, our entire home smelled like fire mixed with varnish mixed with decomposing possum. Nothing like a warm welcome to new home owners! We had to take a deep breath and just laugh; we can’t write this stuff!
Now, we’re in the midst of figuring out next best steps through our home insurance. For starters, we’ve learned that we will need to vacate our new home for about two months while everything is fixed. The floors and walls smell so much like smoke, it’s really hard to breathe inside. Everything we own–from our clothing to our bedding and even Sadie’s crib are affected.
That said, the BIG TIME silver lining here is that no one was hurt, our home was not affected structurally, and anything the smoke affected can certainly be replaced or fixed in time. And that’s where our story lands today. Needless to say, what a week it has been!
I can’t wait to share home updates here and of course photos of our new home as soon as we can get back inside. I was hoping that would have been today but life had other plans. Right now, we’re on the hunt for a home to rent for the next couple of months which is actually really tough to find. If anyone has any recommendations, please let us know! We’re all ears!