Just a little glimpse of our first walkthrough after closing. Yes, we bought a house! A home to call our own. It was always our hope and intention to do so; it just happened a bit sooner than we thought it would.
We spent an afternoon viewing three different homes with our realtor Charlie. I joked with John that I felt like we were on an episode of HGTV's House Hunters. All we were missing were the camera crew and Suzanne Whang. "Did they choose House #1 with its interesting floorplan and updated kitchen, House #2 with its walkout basement and log siding, or House #3, the three-story fixer-upper log cabin?" That particular day we chose House #3. After going through Hurrican Ike and its aftermath (another story for another day), we weren't afraid of a fixer-upper, but House #3 came with all sorts of hidden costs and repairs that our realtor started uncovering that week. It was a moneypit. Forgetaboutit. And we weren't crazy about House #1. It wasn't a good fit for us.
The kids L.O.V.E.D. House #2, and told us so every chance they got, but parents have to consider yucky grown-up stuff, like budgets. I walked through House #2 thinking it was a great house for somebody, but not us. I put it out of my mind. No sense getting attached to a house I would never live in. Little did I know.
A week later we were talking with Charlie about all three houses, and we told him our impressions. Yes, we really liked the second house, but..., and so he encouraged us to put in a really low offer. I figured, why not? What have we got to lose? They aren't going to accept it anyway. Turns out, they needed to accept it. Or at least an amount that was very doable. The next thing we knew, we were sent a contract. WHAT?! For reals?! I told John, "This is crazy! I don't even remember what the bedrooms look like! What did the master bathroom look like?" But I reasoned that if we could make our little 2 bedroom "Vacation Condo" work, we could make that house work. (Besides, I didn't remember thinking anything negative about the house during the showing.)
This is completely backwards to how I imagined finding a home. In my mind we would find THE house. Our Dream Home. It would be love at first sight. The perfect home at the perfect price. A rustic log cabin with a big giant greatroom with vaulted ceilings and plenty of room for everything and everyone. Yada, yada, yada. We tried that a couple of times, but it never worked out. I got so disappointed when other houses didn't pan out for various reasons. I decided to try to stay emotionally disconnected with the process of House #2 just in case it didn't work out. It wasn't love at first sight. It wasn't our dream home. I couldn't even remember the floor plan in my mind once we'd made the offer. But once things started unfolding, I got the chance to walk through the house again with a fresh perspective, and it all made sense. Every time I have gone over to look or clean or work, I get more and more excited. It's a great house! I can't wait to fix her up and add our personal touches to her. Yes, I am bonding with our home!
During our final walkthrough with our realtor, we were listing off the many things that the house needed. "It needs a deep cleaning." "It needs paint." "The flower beds are overgrown and need attention." "The log siding needs to be restained." "It needs some repair done to the driveway." "It needs some serious work done on the lawn." Then Charlie said, "It needs a homeowner."
"Me", I said. "I'll do it." She's not perfect, but I do believe that she is perfect for us. And if I needed any more convincing, all I had to do was walk up and down along both sides of the house and see the bushes. Sarvis berries.