Have you ever met someone that looks better far away than up close? Some might call them “a Monet”. Well, she certainly was one (yes, the house is a she). We could see past the pictures online and see the potential that this house had. However, what we couldn’t see was all the peeling paint, cracked plaster, water damage, overgrown ivy, unattended landscaping… we could go on, but we’ll just leave it at that. You’ve heard that a picture is worth a thousand words… these pictures left out all the important parts.
We should have realized that since this house is older than our parents, that the house would have its fair share of wrinkles. Truthfully, this house wasn’t completely love at first sight. We loved all the character, but all the things wrong with it were staring us straight in the face. We originally set our sights out on a home to fix up, but now we had to have a “Come to Jesus” moment of, “Is this really what we want?” But who had time for that? Because we were about to be homeless!
When we left the house, we left a little disappointed.. After all, seeing a house full of cracks and peeling paint doesn’t put most people in a mood to sign an offer. Two days later however, we still couldn’t stop thinking about the house, even IN the shape that it was in. Where, previously, we had checked out a couple of homes and left saying, “My heart just isn’t in it.” This one was different. We still didn’t know much about the neighborhood, except for noticing families walking on the sidewalks together, children riding bikes with their parents, a few people jogging. Not a chicken coop or a hula hoop in sight. This was the opposite end of the spectrum from where we had been living for seven years. This almost seemed like it was from the show “Leave it to Beaver”. With the closing of our old house coming up soon, we knew we had to make a decision and we just had the feeling this was the right fit. Besides, we were still young so what the hell. Plus… we found out that an open house was scheduled for the upcoming weekend. So, we decided to jump and to make an offer. If it wasn’t meant to be, it wouldn’t be.
We’ll spare you the bore of the details pertaining to the offer, only asking one question: How does a realtor not really use or check their email? It still blows our minds to this day. Ultimately, we came to an agreement with the seller and the contract was signed. On the day of the open house, a friend of ours wanted to see it, so we took her along. It was the perfect day for an open house; The first beautiful day of Spring. The house was packed! Carloads of people were getting out to take a look. It was clear that people were interested to see what this house looked like on the inside. Avoiding an awkward situation with the listing realtor, we decided to play along as nosey neighbors instead of the people who “just signed a contract on the house”.
We found out that a lot of families who were already living in the neighborhood were checking this house out because it had tons of room and a big yard that was appealing to families that were expanding. And here we were– no kids, with a lawnmower that plugged into an outlet, and wanting to downsize–buying a more spacious home with a larger yard that all these families were interested in. We felt bad that we might be jumping on someone’s dreamhouse, but we realized that in the end, this house was probably perfect for many families, except they needed a house that was move-in ready, and we had our sledgehammer in the trunk.
photo via shaunring.com