We’re Home!

As the last article in this series, I want to skip to the good part since we’ve finally moved in. But this series of articles is for helping those considering building or going through, not showboating. So here’s how we brought ourselves home in one piece.

Daily Check-Ins Before Closing

We started mentioning the importance of visiting the building site back in month 6 of the house building process. Occassional drive-bys, semi-weekly walk-throughs, getting to know with your building team, etc. But your final month is where daily check-ins see you through to home. It’s finishing touches time.

By check-ins I don’t mean being a pain-in-the-butt micromanager. I mean being friendly and personable with the building team, and being a part of the process. Problem solving, not overlording. If something seems wrong, don’t fly off the handle, instead do a little research, ask questions, and express your skeptism in a mature way. Ultimately it is your house, but make sure that the choices you make and the actions you take don’t hurt your investment. If you treat the people helping to build your house with kindess and an openness to be proven wrong, they’ll be more apt to work with you and you probably won’t feel like you’re working against a tide.

It helps if you live close enough to do a morning jog or bike ride over to your building site. My husband for instance would do a daily bike ride every morning for 2 months up until our move-in date. And his checking-in saved us quite some grief by catching small surprises early or before they became costly to undo. Like the height of our oven vent (strangely low), the missing ceiling light in the master bedroom (mistakes happen), etc.

He also learned the placement of important facets of the home, which is very helpful for future reference. For instance, for our family the Internet is pretty crucial to our livelihood. Our family’s digital agency needs a high performing internet connection for our work and communication, so getting familiar with the location and organization of our home’s wiring and electric system informed us on where to place our internet router and so forth.

Moving in Tinley Park

Our moving process was not easy, but it was the most rewarding way to do it, and gave us more control over our destiny.

Instead of simply moving from our townhome to our new house-house as I’d call it, we first sold our townhome and temporarily lived with my in-laws in their house, while the house was in its final stages.

The big pro of selling your home before moving into a new one is having a zero debt-to-income ratio. It makes you look very good to your bank and mortage lender, simplifies your finances, eases the mortgage process, and gives you such a sense of calm being so fiscally powerful.

The cons of selling before the house was move-in ready though I would not like to repeat.

What would we have liked to have done differently? Kept our townhouse on the market a little longer. Being conservative by being locked into one buyer and taking ourselves off the market, we didn’t give ourselves enough breathing room. And in short, I think we would’ve been able to move closer to when building ended.

We didn’t think we would be staying with my in-laws for 47 days. But we also didn’t forsee a 7 months delayed due to impacts from the pandemic either. Our builder’s estimates for the closing date kept moving, and before we knew it, it was moved two weeks later than projected.

For reference, we signed the contract to start building our forever home on April 16th, 2022. Digging began on November 21, 2022. Our closing was August 7, 2023, and our first night sleeping in our forever home was August 9, 2023.

The other con of moving out before the house was move-in ready was paying moving fees twice—and paying for storage during the waiting period. So it both is and is not the more costly way to approach moving. Everything depends on how you look things. Fortunately for us, my in-laws let us move boxes into their basement so we had our most important possessions with us and lessened the amount of things for the moving company to store and move.

How long did it take us to move out of our townhouse? 3 and a half hours. We moved out on June 24, 2023, from 8:30 – 12:00 PM. Moving again, into our forever home took almost an hour longer. It simplyalways takes longer to build than destroy


What can one say or give advice about unpacking that hasn’t already been put out into the world?

All I can say is that when inspiration to unpack and organize strikes, don’t stop until you’ve had enough. Moving and building your own home takes a lot out of you psychologically as well as physically, so allow yourself the grace to be product in spurts. Don’t feel rushed to get completely unpacked in your first week. But don’t let 3 months get away from you.

One thing I didn’t think of before moving was getting rid of moving boxes!

During our move out from the townhouse, we learned that there was (may still be) a box shortage. Every month of our home building process we were hearing of some sort of shortage going on; lumber, sand, labor, you name it. So we just laughed when we heard that there was now a box shortage.

Then fast forward two months when we’re completely unpacked, but stuck with a big mountain of moving boxes in our garage. Life is full of ironies.

We got lucky though when my husband learned of an old high school classmate of his who was moving and needed boxes. The rest of the boxes I was able to get off our hands through people who needed boxes, after a post I made in the Facebook group I created back in 2017 called Tinley Park Moms. I also learned through this process that non-profits and charities are good alternative options for donating empty boxes too.

Getting Fencing, Landscaping, and Blinds

All that’s left to do once you move in and get your utilities in order, is getting companies to put in your fencing, landscaping, and window treatments.

I don’t know that we could’ve gotten our fencing and landscaping started any sooner than we did. Technically we didn’t own our property until the closing. Also, it was so difficult to get appointments in those first two weeks in our new home. It seemed to us that early August was a busy season for fencing and landscaping—then all of a sudden we got all these callbacks and the ball started rolling.

We learned that it is ideal to get fencing in before the sod (grass). Remember, you’re in a new-build home, and that means you are surrounded by dirt-clay, weeds will start to grow too.

We interviewed almost a dozen companies from a long list of recommendations from my Tinley Park Moms group, neighbors, and family. Ultimately we went with Northwest Fence Company for our fencing, and A Touch Of Green for our landscaping.

Now all that’s left to get before our housewarming are window treatments. Admittingly it has has taken us longer than we thought to find a company that offers motorized window blinds that work with Apple’s Siri system. But after as long as we’ve worked and waited for our house, waiting for blinds hasn’t been bad at all. We have had to get creative with how we get dressed and undressed in the mornings and evenings, but we’re so happy here. Every space gets flooded with light during the day, and it’s easier to wake up early in the morning with the natural rising of the sun in the sky.

Thank you for following us for all these months. We hope what we’ve shared has helped you by some measure and wish you lots of luck on your own home project. Take it easy and take your time, it’ll all turn out alright.

For you Pinterest users: PROCESS OF BUILDING A HOUSE Month 12 - Final Month - 1. Daily Building Site Check-Ins Before Closing 2. Moving 3. Unpacking 4. Home Utilities  5. Fencing 6. Landscaping 7. Blinds
For you Pinterest users: PROCESS OF BUILDING A HOUSE Month 12 – Final Month – 1. Daily Building Site Check-Ins Before Closing 2. Moving 3. Unpacking 4. Home Utilities 5. Fencing 6. Landscaping 7. Blinds


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