The Next Big Step in Adulting

It’s been a little quieter than usual around these parts lately, but for a very good reason. I know I’ve been holding out on you guys, but I’m excited to announce *drum roll please* I’m officially a homeowner! Ahhhh!

The next big step in adulting. Officially a homeowner!

Let me rewind a little. I’ve been living in the same apartment for the past four and half years, but each year the rent has gone up a bit (including the additional monthly “pet rent”). After about two years, I started looking around at other places for rent in the area, but the big kicker was the non-refundable pet deposit that seemed to be tied to every property for rent, both apartment and townhouse/house. While I could live with the $300 I had to put down in 2012 when I moved in, by 2014, the going rate everywhere had gone up to $500 (non-refundable), which is absolutely crazy to me! I didn’t want to shell that out, so decided to stick it out a little longer since moving would be even more of a hassle.

In April 2016 when I renewed the lease again, I decided that would be the last time. And that it was. I started watching real estate sites to see what kind of houses were going up, how much they were, how long on the market, etc. in the fall, and by early January, began to officially go look at properties. And within a couple weeks, an offer was made and accepted! Next came the mortgage process, inspection, packing, and the move (along with lots of furniture assembly)!


It’s been quite the whirlwind. And of course, all of this happened in the middle of our busiest time of year at work AND in the midst of a huge surprise birthday party weekend my mom, sisters, and I had been planning for months for my dad’s 50th!

I can’t wait to share more with you on this BIG step in adulting! But for now, bear with me as I get settled into the new digs. I’m hoping to be back in full swing with regular programming here on Small Towns & City Lights soon!



  1. March 6, 2017 / 10:56 AM

    Congratulations! Buying a house is such an achievement!

    • April 5, 2017 / 10:10 PM

      Thank you! It really is, I still can’t believe it!

  2. March 6, 2017 / 10:56 AM

    OMG YAY! Congratulations! So happy for you :)

    • April 5, 2017 / 10:11 PM

      Thanks, Bri! I’m not sure how I’m adult enough for this… I still feel like I’m back in college some days, haha.

  3. Sirri McNeil
    March 6, 2017 / 10:58 AM

    Congratulations! How exciting!

    • April 5, 2017 / 10:11 PM

      Thanks, Ashley! I’m so excited about it!

  4. March 6, 2017 / 12:02 PM

    Congratulations!! That’s so exciting! Sheba is clearly settling in nicely ;)

    • April 5, 2017 / 10:12 PM

      Thanks, Steph! She most definitely is. She’s loving her new big backyard too – she hasn’t looked back on apartment life once :)

  5. Molly Gibson Kirby
    March 6, 2017 / 12:09 PM

    Yay! Congratulations. A new beginning.


    • April 6, 2017 / 1:45 PM

      For sure! So excited for this new chapter :)

  6. Abbey Phipps
    March 6, 2017 / 12:10 PM

    So exciting! Congratulations!

  7. March 6, 2017 / 12:37 PM

    That is so exciting! Congrats. :)

  8. March 6, 2017 / 12:58 PM

    Congrats! That’s so awesome!

    • April 6, 2017 / 1:46 PM

      Thanks, Ashley! So excited to have this new big space!

  9. Candy Kage
    March 6, 2017 / 2:47 PM

    Rent is getting out of control and even harder when you have pets. Happy you found a house and can enjoy being there for sometime.

    • April 6, 2017 / 1:45 PM

      It really is! I’m so happy that we have this space now and don’t have to worry about all of the little things with an apartment!

    • April 6, 2017 / 10:44 PM

      Thank you! I’m SO excited about it! It’s worlds better than apartment living, haha.

  10. Jamie Fray
    March 6, 2017 / 3:50 PM

    Congratulations on your new home!! Good luck with getting settled in. And enjoy it–don’t get frustrated with everything not being perfect immediately. You only get that FIRST home one time in your life. It will always be special :)

    • April 8, 2017 / 10:02 PM

      Thanks, Jamie! You’re so right. I’ve definitely been trying to slow it down, especially since the budget won’t allow for me to buy all the things at once anyway ;)

      • Jamie Fray
        April 24, 2017 / 10:11 PM

        Haha! We can always count on the budget to slow us down a bit ;)

  11. March 6, 2017 / 5:12 PM

    Congrats!!! I’ve been meaning to text you about this since my mom told me the great news! I’m so excited for you!!!

    • April 6, 2017 / 10:43 PM

      Thanks, Kristin! I’m SO excited about it! You’ll have to plan a trip down to visit + obviously trek over to the theme parks :)

  12. March 6, 2017 / 6:21 PM

    Congrats! Can’t wait to here more about this and read more about your updates on it here on the blog!

    • April 8, 2017 / 10:00 PM

      Thanks, Kiara! I’m excited to share more about it all. It’s been a crazy process!

  13. March 6, 2017 / 6:41 PM

    Congrats!! So exciting! I know the place we are moving next week will be our last place before our home purchase! The rents i swear just keep going up up up!

    • April 10, 2017 / 7:58 PM

      Thank you! The rents really are insane, ugh. So exciting that your home purchase isn’t too far away!

  14. Kelsey Caroline Nagel
    March 6, 2017 / 7:14 PM

    Congrats! Your dog is adorable I love it.

  15. March 6, 2017 / 7:27 PM

    Congratulations! I can’t wait to hear/see more.

    • April 8, 2017 / 10:02 PM

      Thank you! I can’t wait to start sharing more :)

  16. March 6, 2017 / 7:37 PM

    Yay that’s so exciting! Congrats lady. We actually put an offer on a home a few weeks ago and it was accepted but it had 11k worth of issues after inspection so we ended up backing out. Here’s to hoping next year we have a better outcome.

    • April 10, 2017 / 8:01 PM

      Thanks, Jenny! Ugh. So sorry to hear things didn’t work out with that one. $11k of issues is quite a bit :( That must mean there’s an even better one out there waiting for you guys! Keeping my fingers crossed for you!

    • April 10, 2017 / 7:59 PM

      Thanks, Alix! I can’t wait to share – it’s certainly been busy!

  17. March 6, 2017 / 7:51 PM

    YAY! Congratulations!! So exciting and can’t wait to see what you do with it :)

    • April 10, 2017 / 7:58 PM

      Thanks, Monica! It’s a work-in-progress but it’s getting there. Can’t wait to share more about it!

    • April 8, 2017 / 9:52 PM

      Thanks, Rach! I’m so happy about it!

  18. Sarah Camille Hipp
    March 6, 2017 / 7:53 PM

    Woo hoo! That is super exciting. Homeownership is a huge step towards adulting. Congrats!! :-)

    • April 8, 2017 / 10:04 PM

      Thanks, Sarah! It definitely is. It’s still crazy to me that I’m adult enough for this to even happen, haha.

  19. March 6, 2017 / 8:07 PM

    OMG congrats! Homeownership is a huge dream of mine! You go girl!

    ​xx katie // a touch of teal

    • April 8, 2017 / 10:03 PM

      Thank you! It all happened so fast, it’s still hard to believe! Can’t wait for you to make the move to homeownership too!

  20. Robin
    March 6, 2017 / 9:00 PM

    Congratulations!!! It’s such a big accomplishment – even getting through the process of BUYING the house at all is a huge deal. Can’t wait to see the pictures!!

    • April 10, 2017 / 8:02 PM

      Thanks, Robin! It’s definitely been crazy! So glad everything went smoothly though and that it’s all over with! Now the fun begins :)

  21. March 6, 2017 / 9:18 PM

    Wow! Congratulations!! That’s a huge deal!

    • April 6, 2017 / 10:43 PM

      Thanks, Rachel! It’s still hard to believe!

  22. March 7, 2017 / 6:41 AM

    Awww I love your dog. Congratulation and I remembered when i brought my house how exciting it was. xx

    • April 7, 2017 / 4:54 PM

      Thanks, Anna! It’s very exciting + my pup is loving life and her big backyard!

  23. Sam Rosenfeld
    March 7, 2017 / 7:45 AM

    I love this life update, buying a house is a crazy process- I just did it in January. Congrats! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • April 8, 2017 / 9:52 PM

      Thanks, Sam! It definitely is. Congrats to you on your new home as well!

  24. March 7, 2017 / 8:01 AM

    That’s amazing! Congratulations! I totally know what you mean about pet rent. It was so hard to find a place that didn’t charge that!

    • April 7, 2017 / 4:54 PM

      Thank you! I think the pet rents/deposits are insane! It’s become a business in itself!

  25. March 7, 2017 / 8:34 AM

    How exciting! Congratulations! I got my condo years ago for the same reason – the rent kept going up at a ridiculous rate, and so did the pet deposit. It was one of the best decisions I made. You will be so happy to have your own space that you own!

    • April 13, 2017 / 10:52 PM

      Thank you! I’m already loving it! Renting life really is crazy. They pretty much force us out with the price hikes!

  26. Sarah Jean
    March 7, 2017 / 9:13 AM

    Congratulations!! I think it’s cool you decided to move for your furbaby too. Enjoy your new home!

    • April 8, 2017 / 9:51 PM

      Thank you! We’re definitely loving all the space now vs. what we had before!

  27. Ashley Stephenson
    March 7, 2017 / 9:19 AM

    Congrats!!! Moving can be so dreadful but so much fun!

    • April 6, 2017 / 10:43 PM

      Thanks, Ashley! The moving process was crazy, but it’s nice to finally be (mostly) settled in! I love organizing + setting up new spaces!

  28. March 7, 2017 / 10:39 AM

    Congrats! What an amazing accomplishment! I’m excited for the day I finally own something :)

    • April 7, 2017 / 4:53 PM

      Thanks, Allison! Hopefully you’ll be able to make it happen soon!

    • April 8, 2017 / 9:51 PM

      Thanks, Crystal! I can’t wait to share more about all of it!

  29. March 7, 2017 / 12:36 PM

    My husband and I are on the fence about moving to a bigger apartment because we remain on the lookout for houses, too. Our lease will be up soon, so we have to make up our minds sooner. Congratulations on this milestone!

    • April 13, 2017 / 10:53 PM

      Ugh, getting the timing right with a lease ending + moving elsewhere can be stressful. I hope you’re able to figure it out (fingers crossed you can find a good house you love in time)!

  30. Ayana
    March 7, 2017 / 1:34 PM

    It’s a lot of work, that’s for sure!! But congratulations! So exciting!

    • April 6, 2017 / 10:42 PM

      You’re not kidding! It is very exciting though :)

  31. Sheila Jo Spencer
    March 7, 2017 / 1:44 PM

    Congrats on the new home! It’s a BIG step, but so nice to know that the place you live is YOURS!

    • April 13, 2017 / 10:54 PM

      Thank you! Such true words. I’m so happy to have this new place of my own!

  32. Hannah Palamara
    March 7, 2017 / 2:45 PM

    Congratulations! Thats so exciting!

  33. Taylor Mobley
    March 7, 2017 / 2:45 PM

    What an adventure! Adulting can be so tough sometimes but so worth it! best of luck!

    • April 7, 2017 / 4:55 PM

      I couldn’t agree with you more! So excited about this new chapter!

    • April 13, 2017 / 10:54 PM

      Thank you, Kusum! So excited about this new chapter!

  34. March 7, 2017 / 8:58 PM

    Congratulations! Home ownership is huge, but so wonderful. I can’t wait to hear more about your journey. Your dog is adorable, by the way :)

    • April 13, 2017 / 10:54 PM

      Thanks, Shann! It’s been quite the learning experience, but I’m loving it overall!

    • April 8, 2017 / 10:00 PM

      Thanks, Dara! I couldn’t agree more!

    • April 9, 2017 / 11:03 PM

      Thanks, Jackie! I’m pretty excited about it!

  35. JP
    March 9, 2017 / 5:52 AM

    Congrats! I wish you all the best in your new home! Love you! Aunt Johanna

    • April 7, 2017 / 4:55 PM

      Thanks, Aunt Johanna! You guys will have to plan another trip down – I’ll throw a party! Plenty of room for everyone :)

  36. March 10, 2017 / 7:41 PM

    Congratulations! That is so exciting. I’m currently looking for my first home so I really cannot wait to hear about your whole process!

    • April 13, 2017 / 10:55 PM

      Thanks, Leanna! I’m hoping to get some posts out on it soon. There’s so much info to share + digest! How’s the process going so far?

  37. Jordyn Upchurch
    March 10, 2017 / 10:49 PM

    What an exciting big move! I can’t wait to hear more about the process and see the house!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

    • April 6, 2017 / 10:42 PM

      Thanks, Jordyn! So excited to share it all soon! It’s been a whirlwind!

  38. March 14, 2017 / 12:10 AM

    Congrats Rachel!! We just bought our first home in October and it is definitely a whirlwind but it’s so great to own your own place! Can’t wait to hear more about it!

    • April 13, 2017 / 10:56 PM

      Thanks, Shannon! I couldn’t agree more :)

  39. March 14, 2017 / 4:57 PM

    awww congrats girl! you go! the pet fees apartments charge are ludicrous.

    • April 8, 2017 / 10:01 PM

      Thanks, Kristen! It’s crazy to me too how much they charge + how much its gone up over the years! So glad to not have to deal with it anymore!

  40. March 15, 2017 / 7:19 AM

    So exciting, congrats!!