I actually bought a house! With the help of the Housing Land Trust of the North Bay (see below for information about land trusts). What a HUGE process this has been. Hurdles, happiness, joy and overwhelm all mixed together. I am done so much to get here and yet there is still so much to do.
For those of you who know me well, you know I have always wanted to own a home. I have searched high and low for opportunities, made offers, watched, waited and dreamed for years. But it never happened. Years ago I applied for an opportunity to purchase a home through the Sonoma County Housing Land Trust. I was not a match for any of the homes, until now. On October 10th, 2022 they drew my name for an opportunity to buy in a new community being built in Petaluma. Four walls, three bedrooms, two and a half bathrooms, could be mine.
A few years ago, I heard a voice in my head say "Be ready" and I have been listening to it. I have been saving. I have been getting ready. Even then, it was daunting to dive into this opportunity. I left my marriage with very little in an effort to keep that home in tact for the kids and their dad. This has been a from scratch endeavor. I had to purchase all new furniture, appliances, even kitchen items from the ground up.
But here I am, reporting from the other side. It actually happened. We have been in our house since February 7th, 2023 and step by step it is feeling like home. The current project is getting the backyard landscaped. Who knew that new construction does not include the back yard so you get a dirt patch rather than a yard. It's coming along and hopefully I'll have it mostly done before the rains roll in.
Thank you to all who have supported this dream, held my hand, in person and from afar and who knew that I could find a way to forge a new path, even when I doubted how it was all going to happen. Step by step, that's the only way forward.
I bought a house!
First walk through....
What an amazing experience to go from under construction to living in this house as the first owner. In some ways it is not where I imagined I would be and yet, it is home and it is perfect. Walk through with me on the first day I saw the inside of the house and then come with me as I give you a tour of our home now.
Land Trusts makes home ownership possible for middle income local families. The purchase price is a percentage of your income. Financing 100% covers the cost of the home. The land is in a trust for perpetuity and the home is owned by the individual. There have been land trusts for decades, doing important work and yet many people I speak with have never heard of this wonderful community resource. I feel like part of this gift is to share what is possible with others.
I am now part of the Housing Land Trust of the North Bay. They are celebrating their 20th year of fostering community in the North Bay. You can learn more about their work here: www.housinglandtrust.org
I have been following the work of the Bolinas Community Land Trust and I am so impressed with how they are fostering community in this magical little town that I grew up near. They are keeping the heart of "old Marin" alive and well. Learn more about their work here: https://www.bolinaslandtrust.org Or follow them @bolinascommunitylandtrust
California Community Land Trust Network is a larger organization that supports and educates us about the land trust movement in California. Find out more here: https://www.cacltnetwork.org And follow them @ca.clt.network