June 24, 2013

This Old House

Patio Play
Patio Play
This post has been a long time in coming, but since my blogging time these days is limited between macaroni and cheese and weeding my way through the flower beds in the backyard, it's only now that I've been able to finish writing this epic story. For me, it was important to have a written record of how we got from there to here- a way to look back now that it's said and done. So without further ado, here is the story of this old house.

When we first discussed moving, Jonathan and I sat down and made a list of things we wanted in a house. We wanted something old and character-filled. We wanted to find a house that had a family-friendly layout. We knew that living on a quieter street was a priority to us, so much so that we decided against several amazing houses that didn't meet that criteria during our search. And finally, we knew that it had to be The One, the place we felt we were supposed to be as a family.

Those of you who have been reading for awhile know that we searched high and low for months. Our poor realtor was put through the wringer every time that we saw a new house listed online that met our criteria- we would all drop everything to go see it immediately, fully conscious of the cutthroat real estate market we were facing. To that end, my in-laws were regularly looped into the process via my speed dial. Going to see a potentially mold-filled house with the kids? Absolutely out of the question. Needless to say, there were more than a few nights of impromptu babysitting.

And then we found The One and I wrote this post about it. It was everything we wanted in a house and more. It had the character, the location, the layout, the yard; it was perfect... except for the price. Being the math geek that he is (love you for that, babe), Jonathan had created a spreadsheet to detail our house budget. We had things worked out down to the dollar and no matter how we played with the numbers, it seemed like the house we had fallen in love with maybe wasn't the right one after all.

Despite it all, we put in a very low offer and I wrote a letter to the sellers, telling them about our family and how much we loved their home. We knew that it was a long shot and, in the end, they couldn't afford to sell for what we offered. We let it go and kept looking.

It was Friday and Jonathan and I were out in Hastings, considering a house we had seen awhile back. While beautiful and in a great neighborhood, that house would have meant a half-hour commute every day to send the kids to the school we had chosen for them. We gritted our teeth at the prospect but we knew that our time was getting short and we put in an offer, going back and forth with the sellers a few times. Within 24 hours, the deal fell through. The irony of the situation was that the house in Hastings was beautiful and completely within our budget... but it didn't feel right. Every step of the way there were roadblocks from the sellers. So we walked away and wondered where we would land.

Monday arrived and I fielded a call from our realtor who told me that the family that was selling the house we loved, The One, had another offer on their home- but they wanted to sell it to us instead! They couldn't afford what we had offered but they gave us a new price- could we afford that?

I went to Jonathan with the news, knowing that the price was still out of reach when we got the good news. His annual cost-of-living increase had finally come through on his paycheck! Jonathan plugged in the new numbers on our spreadsheet and I did a double-take- barely believing what I saw in front of me on the computer screen.

Down to the dollar, it was exactly what we needed.

There have been moments in my life where it was clear that there was direction. Where all the prayers we had prayed were being answered in a clear and vivid way. That was one of those moments and we knew that it was The House.

The rest of the process wasn't an easy one, but it couldn't have gone any smoother. There were issues with our inspection and problems with the garage. The appraisal caused more problems and a ridiculous amount of stress for both us and the sellers (though quite ironically, we were all on the same side of that stress). But through it wall, it was clear that this was where we were supposed to be and we felt so blessed to be working with the sellers through the entire process. Even the monotonous process of closing on the house was fun- being able to sit and talk with the people who were happy to be passing the house onto us was such a joy.

So this is where we are now- a beautiful old farmhouse built in the 1930's, surrounded by a newer neighborhood. It's exactly the gem that we had hoped to find but didn't dare believe that it existed. We couldn't have asked for anything better and we know that this is such a gift.

Right now, we're focusing on settling into our home, meeting our neighbors, and wading through the floor-to-ceiling boxes that are entrenched in our basement. I figure that we'll get around to unpacking those someday... but right now, there are adventures to be had, backyards to explore, and trees to climb. Unpacking can wait.

2 comments:

  1. So excited for you guys! Can't wait to see more. And what a great brick background for pics :)

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    1. Thanks Marlana! It feels so good to be able to look back on this process instead of being in the midst of it. We are never, ever, ever moving again ;)

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