Guess what, folks?
The suspense is killing me!! I’ll just tell you.
Mark and I bought our first house!!! We thought it might be about time we grew up, just a bit. We are approaching our 40’s, after all. Although, Mark is approaching faster than I am. In fact, he’s turning 40 in September, so I went big and surprised him with a house…OK, I’m kidding. We did buy a house, but it wasn’t a surprise. I was just hoping this would get me out of buying him a birthday present.
Side note to Mark: Kidding, babe. What do you want for your birthday? Socks?
Alright, back to the house business. We were eager to find a home, but not in a rush. We had a couple of non-negotiables (decent sized yard and a safe neighborhood), otherwise we were realistic with the rest. We didn’t have the budget for a “perfect” home, nor did we want one. I enjoy projects and making a space our own. I credit my realistic views to my years of watching House Hunters.
Side note to parents: AND you said I couldn’t learn anything valuable from the T.V.
Our good friend, who also happens to be our broker, set us up with a tremendous realtor and the house hunt began. We spent a Friday morning looking at 4 homes. The last one we looked at was the winner of the day. The yard was huge and surrounded by trees. The rest of the house was decent enough, but the yard was what I truly loved. We were set to make an offer on this house, UNTIL I drove away. Mark met me from work, so we were driving separately. My excitement of seeing the house caused me to ignore the surrounding neighborhood.
Well, I noticed on the way out. It was less than desirable and left me feeling unsettled. I couldn’t visualize walking the area with my kids and feeling safe. Maybe after living in Tacoma, WA for years has left me a little paranoid and bitter. Don’t get me wrong, Tacoma has some redeeming qualities, but the growing crime I witnessed daily from my living room window grew old. The final straw was when homeless individuals were camping out at night on our front porch. One morning I found drug needles as we were leaving for the school bus. HELL NO! It was time for us to move out of Tacoma.
Side Note to readers: For some reason Tacoma is yearning to be Seattle, where they cater to indigents rather than those who contribute to society. Anyway, that’s a whole other subject. I digress.
The pit in my stomach about the neighborhood wouldn’t subside, so we had to pass on the house.
When we got home, we hopped on the computer and started looking again. There was one Mark had showed me before on Redfin. Honestly, I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it was the red carpet OR the 70’s paneled, carpeted bottom level of the house that turned me off. BUT I’ll admit the location and yard were a huge upside. Those were my non-negotiables after all.
I reluctantly agreed to take a tour.
Side note to self: Work on stubbornness
A couple of days later, my in-laws watched the kiddos and we headed to see the 70’s house.
As we approached the home, I was enamored by the neighborhood. I saw kid bikes in lawns, established, well-kept homes, but not to the point of living in a Stepford Wives’ kind of neighborhood. Then we pulled into the drive way.
OK, I’ll confess, the house was charming. The front yard was quaint with what seemed to have simple maintenance. Score. It had a lovely tree, just on the verge of blooming. I thought, “Oh, that would be a lovely view.”
Our realtor warned us this would happen. We would start envisioning ourselves in a home. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I told myself I wouldn’t allow this to happen until the keys were in our hands. What a chump I am.
Side note to reader: Have I mentioned I hate when other people are right?
So, there I was envisioning the view of the tree from our living room. Yes, I said “our.” I’m such a sucker.
Next, our realtor opened the door. As soon as I walked in, I knew. Red carpets and all, I knew THIS was our home. I was already coming up with ideas of what to do to the cupboards and the floors.
Oh vey. I was doing that thing I told myself not to do.
I was already set on making an offer when we made our way to the backyard. Inwardly I was saying, “show me the papers. Where do I sign?” It was big, maintained, but not overly groomed, just what I wanted for our kids. I dreamt of a yard they could go wild in and this was it. I was standing in the yard I dreamt of. On the right side of the house, there’s a perfect place for a garden. In the right corner, there is a little workshop. Then, the left corner was another structure. Mark and I looked at each other and almost unanimously shrieked, “This could be a playhouse for the kids!”
Side Note to reader: Yep, still envisioning
I fell hook line and sinker. My heart belonged to THIS house.
Apparently, the planet’s aligned and believed this was our house too. We didn’t encounter any problems during the house buying process. Seriously, it couldn’t have gone smoother. Which was further proof it was meant to be for us.
Side Note to Mark: It went especially smooth for me, since you did all the work during the process. Thank you and I love you! You are truly the best.
Today, we received the keys.
We are home owners.
Let the madness begin.
P.S. Stay tuned for AFTER shots of our upcoming house projects