Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Back to the beginning.

It's been a horribly long time since my last post. No excuses - although I have many. It's probably just easiest to go back to the beginning of September and start the story there...

Once upon a time (well, September) I was looking at local real estate listings. We'd been looking for the past five months, and visited countless open houses, and between the stained beige shag and the tiled counter tops, most of the houses were beginning to blur together. We'd carefully given our realtor a list of hopes and desires for a new house, and in spite of it allegedly being a buyers market, were not finding anything that even gave us a twinkle of excitement.

Then this little funky cottage popped up. Way too small, too much garden. Even in a town we weren't looking in. And yet, the pictures spoke to me. It had something that nothing else so far had. I marched off to find husband, to show him the photo's, declaring,

"Now that is my idea of a house."

I was joking. Or kind of.

Sure, it was cute. But we were looking for at least 2,000 sq ft, and this was 884.
We were looking for a 3/2. This was a 2/1. Husband viewed the many pictures quietly for a moment, then said,

"Let's do it." 
Just like that.

He picked up the phone and called our realtor, and before we knew it, we were walking through the house.

"Let's do it." Husband repeated after the walk through. I was torn. It was even cuter in person. Oozing with a character that had been completely missing from the other houses, but it was small and needed work.

That night we sat at the kitchen table with the numbers. We had been looking at another house, which perfectly fitted the list of our 'wants': 3/2 large garage, small garden, ranch style, room to grow etc. Then there was the cottage.

18 months before all this we had sold our house and moved to a rental. Like so many others, we lost 12 years of accumulated equity, and came away with nothing. And we knew we were the lucky ones, compared to so many. The ranch house required a huge 30 year mortgage, and the cottage was less expensive enough that we could consider a 15 year mortgage. The numbers swung it. I just turned 40, and the thought of still having a mortgage at 70 terrified both of us. 

So we made this crazy leap into something that isn't what we thought we wanted, and yet feels so right. Funny how that happens.

Well that is probably the end of chapter one, but only just the beginning of a whole new adventure! Here are a couple pictures of the house and yard as it was in September, when we got the keys. I will continue the story and try to catch up to where we are today. A lot has happened!