I bought a condo in Frisco, Colorado instead of the book I went into the book store for last summer (reference “How’d I Get Here?” post) and as I’m sitting here on my screened in porch in Kansas, I realized that although I had never bought a house instead of a book, the behavior is not new for me. Actually, I bought the house I’m in now in Kansas because as soon as I stepped into the front room (yep, when your house was built in the 1930’s, that’s what you get to call the room at the front of the house…), my eyes were immediately drawn to the stone and windowed screened in porch that french doors in the living room led out to. Literally, I bought a screened in porch that luckily for me, had a house attached to it.
Upon stepping into the front room and at first glance into the porch, I looked at my daughter, Emery, and it’s possible we both said it at the same time…
“You/I LIVE here!”
I have to add here that I wasn’t actively looking for a house at the time, as the house I was currently in was fine, but this house was in a very charming, treed neighborhood with a strong sense of history and appreciation for local merchants. It was a neighborhood I had wanted to live in before I got married (in 1985), but hopes were set aside when it didn’t have the appeal to my then husband that it did for me.
How ironic that when I walked up the stairs of the condo in Frisco and saw it for the first time, Brooke said the same words to me, “You LIVE here!” yet I don’t recall making the connection… or maybe I did but didn’t dwell on it as I had already fast forwarded myself right out onto the deck and what I’d look like living there while I looked out at my view of Mt. Royal. Both my daughter and my daughter in law seem to have an uncanny knack of of seeing me live in places that aren’t quite mine.
After Emery and I had both declared our intentions for the house, I told my real estate agent, Nina, that I wanted to buy it. I’ve got to add that Nina and I have been friends for decades (over 4 to be accurate… geez we sound old…) and she knows me and knows that my default position leans more towards impulsive than methodical. Obviously she thought looking at the rest of the house would be a wise idea before we started writing up a contract, which we did, both of us knowing full well that it mattered little what was behind that front room and screened in porch because short of dirt floors and plywood walls, I was going to make it work for the sake of the beautiful porch (the treed lot that the porch looked out onto was also a big plus for me). After a relatively quick walk through, I told her once again that I wanted it and was ready to write up an offer.
“But it’s the first house you’ve looked at…you can’t just buy the first house you look at!”
“OK… then show me another one, THEN we’ll make an offer…”
And so she did. There was a house nearby for sale and as lovely as the garden was driving up to the front door, I knew it wasn’t going to be the right house, regardless. After a quick walk through the main level (I didn’t even bother to go upstairs), I told her Nina that I had seen enough and was ready to make and offer.
I had an extended trip to Peru coming up in a matter of weeks and fortunately Nina was able to convince the sellers to delay the closing until my return, a few months later. The whole process from contract negotiations to the inspection went off without a hitch. I truly believe, and experience has confirmed this for me, that when something IS meant to be things seem to fall into place nicely. It’s when you’re met with obstacle after obstacle that I think the decision should be questioned. Besides, I was meant to live in that house and sit on that porch.
About a month later, and from an internet cafe in Villa el Salvador, Peru, I sold the house I was currently living in (when I impulsively bought the screened in porch house). So, while sitting at a computer in a dimly lit, hot, small room with a handful of teen-aged boys enjoying computer games, I muddled my way through the process of signing a contract, then faxing it and waiting for confirmation of receipt, with a very limited Spanish business vocabulary and a growing line of impatient school boys waiting their turn for the computer I was using. Short of earning my pilot’s license, graduating from college (finally) and birthing my three amazing children , I do believe that this was one of my prouder accomplishments, especially given that short of email and some photo and music storage, I really wasn’t all that computer savvy.
By the way, the house I sold to buy the screened in porch house, was the first and only house I looked at shortly after filing for divorce. Maybe it was beginners luck (that continued?), but I knew right off that it was the right house for me. My real estate agent at the time did the same thing that Nina had done and showed me several similar houses, after my proclimation of wanting to buy the first one I saw because “you simply can’t but the first one!” I ended up returning to the original house, as I knew I would, made an offer and was signing contracts by the end of the day. I’m just now realizing that there’s a pattern here and now understand why my sister wouldn’t let me go house hunting in the Adirondacks with her husband, John, “just to look…”
But when it’s right it’s right and you know it in your heart of hearts and your gut of guts. Seriously, I’ve given more thought to a pair of jeans while sitting in the dressing room at the GAP, a situation that rarely seems to be spot on right or has me saying “you LIVE in these jeans!”
And in the time it took me to type this, I would still be deciding on the jeans. I’ve bought houses in a shorter amount of time…
|The porch that I bought and was lucky that a house was attached to it…|