Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Dream House

After 1+ year of searching and making offers and getting denied, I'd started to wonder if I should give up on my dream of having a little land, and just settle for a house with a little more space and sunlight to grow a garden.  The market is so crazy right now that houses are going to so fast, and there just aren't many out there.  And I wanted to be close to the schools, and I wanted Reid to be able to bike into work.  The houses that we were looking at didn't offer all of our criteria, and I was giving up.

In early February we'd made an offer on a house in the boondocks and it was, yet again, rejected.  I was so discouraged, and so sick of hearing myself talk about all of this.  And then i checked the MLS for the 14th time that day, and voila!  There was a house in a great location in the little town of Foxfield.  It's on about 3 acres, and close to the schools! I called immediately and set up a showing to go see it the next day with the whole fam.

Now, for better of worse, we've included the kids in this entire process. They've seen more houses than Reid, and know more about mortgages and septic systems than most kids their age. Sometimes they loved the houses, sometimes they inexplicably hated the houses.  But at the end of the day I knew that if I was going to pull them away from their friends and classmates here, I was going to need their stamp of approval, or I'd hear about it for months, maybe even years.  And honestly, apart from one house last summer, there hadn't been a house that 100% of us loved.

When we walked out of the house in Foxfield, Reid asked everyone who loved the house to raise their hands.  I will never forget the thrill and excitement as i looked around and saw everyone, including James, had their hand in the air.

Everything about this house (well, almost everything) is perfect for us.  And the things that aren't perfect can be changed (like the carpet).  The house is charming, with wood burning fireplaces, exposed brick and beams.  It's a little bigger than I'd wanted (have I mentioned that I don't clean?) But  Reid loved the size and the vaulted ceilings (which i hate, but can live with). Reid can bike into work on trails, not busy roads!  The kids can walk, bus or drive to school!  And there's a SuperTarget and Sprouts about 1/2 mile away, along with a 24 hour fitness...where I believe I have a long-forgotten membership!  It's zoned for 3 large livestock and 12 poultry, including a rooster.  There is ample area to plant our orchard, and a big old garden.  It's everything we wanted.

We prayed about this decision, and felt really, really good about it.  We made our offer and found out that there were 5 other offers that came in with ours.  So in our offer we included a little letter about our family and what we love about the house and how long we've looked for the perfect house, yada yada.  We even included a family photo :)

 Then we waited. and waited. Two days felt like two years! The girls would come home from school and shout "have they accepted our offer yet???"  And Reid called about 100 times from work because he couldn't think about anything else.  I spent countless hours reading about goats and chickens and pasture and fences and fruit trees and bees.  It was a very unproductive few days.

And then the call came.  The broker told me that they'd received an offer quite a bit higher than ours, but they're choosing us!!  The screaming in the house was unlike anything I'd ever heard.  We called Reid on his way home to tell him the news, and at first he couldn't even hear what we were saying--only screams.  He was thrilled, and we all were elated.

And then the reality of it all set in.  I started to think about our life here, and all the millions of memories we've created in this home.  I started thinking about our neighbors and church friends and my girlfriends and all the people who've seen my babies grow from infants to sassy little kids.  I started looking around at our little home and missing everything about it.  I started to cry.  And cry.  Then the girls joined in.  And by the time Reid walked through the door, ready to celebrate with us, we were all a mess.  He was, of course, speechless.

And so have been the past 6 weeks since we went under contract.  An emotional roller-coaster.  I have doubted this decision and freaked out and wanted to back out ALMOST as much as I am in love with the house and the area and our future there.  It's been exhausting and exciting and scary and thrilling.  The sellers needed some time to find a place so it's been a long process, which I've actually been grateful for. I've needed this time to go thru my ups and downs.  Not to mention that our kids want to finish the school year at their school here, so the later we close the better!  Right now the closing is set for the end of April, but I wouldn't be surprised if that got pushed back a bit.

Our house is going on the market in 8 days.  The count-down is on.  Homes in my hood are selling like hot-cakes, so i shouldnt feel too stressed...but i do.  The list of to-do's is slowly shrinking.  I've painted all the baseboards upstairs (why didn't I do that earlier? it looks awesome!) And I've had my brilliant designer friend over to stage the rooms.  I'm stressed about all that is left, and I needed every single minute this week.  Which is why it was particularly bad timing to catch grace's awful stomach flu today.  My fever won't break, and my subconscious won't let me expel the contents of my stomach. In fact, i'm not sure I'm in a state of mind to be blogging right now, but I'm so bored out of my mind that it seems like a good idea.  Thankfully Reid was able to work from home and be the dad and mom.  He's amazing, he really is.  We're in the middle of the world's worst Spring Break, and the kids have been at each other non-stop.  Yet today?  they did great.  He really should be the stay-at-home parent.  And the bread-winner.  Is that asking too much?

Anyway, here are a few photos of the house. Maybe it's not everyone's cup 'o tea, but we love it :)