It’s been awhile, faithful readers! I hope there’s still one or two of you left. I was going to post about settling into our new life, but then work got crazy. Then I was going to post about looking for a house to buy, but we were spending so much time actually looking for a house to buy that I couldn’t find time to post.
And then you know what we did? We bought a house.
What the frack, folks. We bought a mother-flippin’ HOUSE. OK, it’s still technically “under agreement” and they’re doing inspections later this week so we’re crossing our fingers that the reason the current owners are leaving isn’t because it’s got radon-infested termites chewing cisterns in the rafters, but it’s totally a house. With a backyard and a view of the river and trees and bedrooms and a new front-loading washer and dryer. Which I totally threw in the bargaining process, they weren’t going to throw it in the mix but I was so badass and all, “Can we get the washer/dryer, too?” and they were all, “Oh, OK” and I was all “Thanks!” so that teaches you to never bargain with me, because I’m tuff.
Everyone says house-shopping is like dating, and I’m going to jump on that bandwagon and say the same thing. We were in a longish relationship with a gorgeous arts-and-crafts that would have required 25% of its cost to replace the roof, paint it, update the kitchen and find out if the basement would still hold it up. But it was really, really beautiful and we just kept seeing other houses that didn’t match up to it. So Friday morning, on our way to seeing two more houses–these being midcentury, not turn-of–I said, “Unless one of these houses really knocks our socks off, let’s just offer $60k below the asking price on the arts-and-crafts, and see where that gets us. Because I don’t think we’re going to be able to move on until we make a decision on that house.”
And then we went to Vegas and eloped with a perky girl-next-door type while our moody arts and crafts rock star just sat at home, looking forward to our next phone call and writing poetry.
How do you go from a gorgeous fixer-upper to a split-level mid-century? With an open floor plan and updated kitchen with original metal cabinets, that’s how.
Or perhaps the private backyard with a patio just waiting for a lanai, overlooking a river, and property that extends down a hillside?
It’s definitely not the bedroom wallpapered in leather, I can tell you that. But every marriage takes some work.
They’re not even apples and oranges, as our real estate agent said. They’re more like “choosing between ice cream and salad.” My parents thought we wanted “older.” His parents tactfully said it’s “not to their taste.” But we walked in and saw the semi-suburban version of the TARDIS: it’s bigger on the inside. Modest on the outside. It’s this close to being done–just needs a gas cooktop and maybe we’ll get around to un-leathering Gilli’s bedroom eventually. But it also has room to grow, long-term; who wouldn’t love an extra sliding glass door to the patio? And it’s in our current neighborhood–a little further from the store than we are now, but did I mention the basement game room?
I think the thing that really got me, though, was the current owner’s DVD selection. First I saw the full collection of Buffys. And then Supernatural. And also Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Harry Potters. I had to keep re-alphabetizing the DVDs because Eliza kept pulling them out, saying, “Star Wars! Flying car Harry Potter!” (Harry Potter comes in three movies: Monster Dog, Flying Car and Bus.) They have a little decorative shelf on their wall displaying a butterbeer mug and magic wand.
To quote a friend of mine: “You’re buying a house from yourself?”
Yes, folks: our far-more-outdoorsy, slightly younger version of us bought the house seven years ago, fixed it up to our as-yet-unspoken specifications, and then were kind enough to sell it to the first bidders who came along: us.
They must have known about our new dining room set and starburst clock.