Archive for the ‘Dream House/ Money Pit’ Category

Dream House: The Courtship of We

I meet with our realtor today to sign the purchase and sale agreement for our new house! This is the last big step before the closing. The Bear and I have to run to the bank and withdraw our down payment.  I have to say that it is somewhat overwhelming (but terribly exciting).

Last week I decided to meld our bank accounts together, rather than keeping my own private accounts. This might seem like a “given” for someone who has been married two years with a baby on the way, but it was my last vestige of independence. My financial competence. I needed to do merge our finances as a personal acknowledgement that I am part of a WE now.  Sure, there will be time for a “mad money account” later, but now, I need to know we both have access to this in case of an emergency.

I can’t lie here. This was really hard for me to do. When you have been single for so long you are used to being self-reliant. It is hard for me to be vulnerable. To know that family decisions will now override personal ones. But it’s time.

Here are some more pictures of the Dream House. I am still going bonkers with ideas for paint, nursery, and period details. It’s been a pleasant distraction. A real focus on  the future. 

The front of the 1850's colonial


The backyard at dusk


The Beech tree stands vigil.


The long driveway from the road.


Dream House-The mating dance


The Dream House!


I’ve begun to realize that buying a house is not unlike choosing a mate. It’s all about fit and timing. Sometimes, the most beautiful person on the outside, might have some “dark corners” on the inside. Sometimes, people (and houses) can be high maintenance, demanding time and a financial commitment that goes well beyond one’s comfort level. Sometimes, albeit imperfect, things are also just meant to be….

I can say that all of the above are true about our dream house. Once we went inside, we were somewhat surprised by the condition some of the rooms. (It was, after all, built over 100 years ago!) The basement has water damage from an earlier spring flood. The attic is loosing its insulation like an old woman looses her hair. Nonetheless, the house SHINES. It’s big and rambling, with eclectic little built ins and tons of windows and hardwood floors.

But back to my mating dance analogy. The buyer was surprised to get an offer so soon, particularly when he had the house on the market for a year last season. He knew we were the couple stalking him and were interested before (OK, we just wrote him one letter of inquiry, but stalking sounded so much more FUN!). He sat on our offer for the whole weekend, trying to see if he would get a counter offer and ensue a bidding war. I had a feeling, on a rainy 3 day weekend, that there would not be a ton of offers at or above the asking price. I also knew that we should not start “outbidding ourselves” and offer him any more than what he had, which was exactly what he had originally asked for.

Finally, on Monday, he accepted our offer. I was starting to get really turned off before this, and began looking at other prospects to see what was available. After a little conversation with my husband, who suggested that we just look at the photos and “think about it,” I agreed with the Bear that we should move forward!

Had this been a mating dance, it might have seemed less frustrating and more comical. A tired older man has crazy and unrealistic expectations when he begins looking for a partner. He is too demanding, and expects far too much. He gets rejected for a loooong time, so he stops “looking.” He finally puts it out there, and is a little more authentic and real. Immediately,  a BEAUTIFUL woman finds him, WANTS HIM, and starts making immediate overtures his way! Surprised by his immediate success, he awkwardly rejects her, thinking a MORE BEAUTIFUL woman might come along. He waits, and realizes that she is the one, and he’s been stupid to play these games! They fall in love and have a happy relationship for ever after.The end.

Maybe the owner is the tired man, and the beautiful woman is us. Maybe the relationship, in this case, is the house. Hopefully a happy ending!