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Rebecca and I returned to Grand Rapids in late 2004 after a few years away at Michigan State, living in Spain and then Petoskey. Both our families were in Grand Rapids and we wanted to make it our permanent home. We rented for a while and just before the housing crash, we purchased a home on the west side of Grand Rapids. We thought we would have a few kids, have a wonderful home to raise them in and continue in our career paths.
Over the past decade though, things have changed. The housing market fell apart just after we purchased our home and we were upside down in our home's value, unable to sell. We still have no children, that has not changed. However, we have realized that many of our favorite times in the past decade have been spent while working or visiting urban neighborhoods. We first figured this out a couple of years ago while visiting a high rise condo complex in the heart of downtown Chicago. As we walked through the property, we decided that urban life was something we wanted to try.
Fast forward a couple of years, we tried selling our home (which obviously didn't sell that time). Our businesses continued to grow as we dreamed of being in downtown Grand Rapids, somehow. Then one day we had an unknown realtor contact us. It was amazing how God worked out the introduction to Kevin Lee, which happened because of my wonderful in-laws. Kevin contacted us and we had several discussions about selling the home. But because of the soft housing market, we decided to hold off for the moment as we didn't think we would sell for our asking price and didn't have anywhere to move to.
Enter The Morton.
Rebecca originally walked through the property during ArtPrize 2014 when Rockford Construction showed Grand Rapids what it was doing with the former hotel property. She fell in love, but realized we probably couldn't sell our home because of the higher sale price in a less than stellar housing market.
This past July, once again God stepped in and put Rebecca in contact with Rockford Development for another project where she inquired about The Morton. They said it was going great and they were scheduled to open during ArtPrize 2015. We called to setup an appointment and were one of the first to walk through the property when non-construction tours were available. This was mid-July.
Then Kevin contacted us again (out of nowhere), letting us know how the market continued to climb from the spring and now into the summer. He suggested we meet and talk about our plans for selling and moving downtown.
After lots of prayer and a "Geronimo!" moment (spurred on by a marriage message at Matt and Lily's wedding in July 2015 as well), we decided to get the house ready to sell. Paperwork was drawn up, photos were taken, our home was listed and we had offers within the first two weeks! We officially closed on the home sale today!
We have since packed up our home, sold our furniture, moved into one of the "Urbaneer" units at The Morton, which is a fully furnished, ready to move into space. It's very similar to a tiny house design, where storage units are built in and hidden, space is designed with specific intent and even our bed is an efficient 'Murphy bed'. We are now residing in downtown Grand Rapids, experiencing the true meaning of city life.
We have enjoyed sharing this journey with you and would obviously welcome you to our new home if you're interested in seeing what the urban lifestyle in Grand Rapids is all about. We are sure there are more great things to come from this new adventure and we simply praise God for His guidance and direction in bringing this all together in such a short amount of time!