As suspenseful, excruciating, and stressful as house shopping has been, I think we’re in the “easy part” now – all the work we can possibly do is over. I know anything can still happen, and it’s not over until the escrow officer sings, but we are 100% packing boxes, considering paint chips, and generally living in a state of disarray. We had a garage sale, where I got sunburned and we emptied our garage (sort of). I hate moving, and I did it just one year ago. I am a little bitter. Krista keeps promising this is the last time we’re doing it for at least a decade, and I’m focused on that.
How did we get here? I remember the day this house came on the market. It was in our price range, in the neighborhood we liked, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (luxurious), built in 1934 on a generous city lot. I called our real estate agent immediately. I left work early, and we all met at the house to check it out. I think we were the first people to look at it. Other buyers were circling the block like sharks while our agent showed us the house.
It had an attic & garage for storage, mature fruit trees in the yard (apple, plum, cherry), and all of the major systems (electrical, plumbing, furnace, water heater) are newish & energy efficient. There is a bay window in the living room, antique glass door knobs, a fenced yard for the dogs, and a master bathroom. Two of the bedrooms have very generous, walk-in closets. I love big closets. There is absolutely no carpet in this house. There is some tile we will replace with bamboo someday, there is linoleum we will re-tile someday, but there is no terrible carpet that needs to be ripped up immediately. It’s the dream of allergy-sufferers around the world. We sniffle, sneeze, and get red-eyed in solidarity, but we will rejoice in our carpet-free house and magnetic air purifying system.
Also, you know, we cook a lot. The kitchen is big, with room for a kitchen table, tons and tons of cabinet space & fortunately – god bless them – the sellers did not chose to makeover the kitchen before they put it on the market. I don’t know, maybe it’s all those real estate shows on cable tv, but everyone seems to think they need to put in ugly cabinets, expensive ugly counter tops, and ugly paintjobs. Just because you CAN make over your kitchen quickly before you put it on the market does *not* mean you should. I would much rather suffer through a 1970s-1990s kitchen until we can afford to remodel it than try to live with the guilt of ripping out a perfectly adequate and totally hideous hurried kitchen make-over. Turn off the cable tv and back away from the Home Depot.
So this house met all of our criteria for a house. It really did. Amazing!
“You will know as soon as you walk in,” everyone told us. “It’s like magic when you find the house that is supposed to be Your House. You’ll know right away.” We know a lot about magical connections. We’re practically experts. We fell in love with a half dozen houses before this! We found each other, for chrissake, against most reasonable odds. But this house? We didn’t feel it. So we walked away. We fell in love with another totally unattainable, impractical house, which inevitably broke our hearts.
We sort of kind of mostly didn’t think about this house… until we did. I mentioned it one day, “You know, I feel like we might be really happy in that house. It’s got everything we need.” We talked and talked about this house. For almost four days, we just bounced ideas around. Things became more and more clear to us… we needed a place with good bones, potential, space, and a solid foundation. We needed a house we could make our own. The house we really want to live in is in the future – it has our hand prints, style, paint colors, garden beds, window casings, grout, and love all over it. We weren’t finding The House because it didn’t exist yet.
So we’re buying a house, and we’re making a home. The reality of it has not totally sunk in. Homeowners!! Next thing you know, we’ll be real grown-ups or something crazy like that.