As my loyal readers know, my husband and I have decided to downsize.
A primary factor in the decision is the realization that our two children no longer live under our roof, with no plans to do so in the future. Why live in (and have to clean) sixty-four hundred square feet? A second reason is my increasingly annoying round-trip commute to work. The forty-five minutes to over an hour each way in bumper-to-bumper traffic gets more frustrating from month to month and year to year. Why waste so much time and gas? Lastly, I simply want a change…a different style house, new furniture, fresh décor, and in-town versus suburban living. Why not? And so, we are doing everything our realtor has advised to prepare to put our house on the market.
In the meantime, after defining acceptable geographic areas, we started looking for a new home to purchase. (Perhaps we shouldn’t have started this process until we actually sell our current domicile, but I simply don’t operate that way.) We began to explore the possibility of only building or buying a brand new house…one that has never been lived in by others…one that doesn’t have to be renovated or redecorated. At this phase of my life, I just don’t have the time or patience to deal with a fixer-upper (or cope with my husband never finishing projects that he starts around the house). And so, the hunt was on.
I didn’t expect it to happen so quickly. I fell in love, almost instantly, with two homes. It was surprising how they “spoke to me;” challenging me to imagine the new life I could live there. Even more shocking was the fact that, after a lifetime of living in very traditional homes, these two were modern. Really modern. Never before had I even considered a residence with stained concrete floors, floor to ceiling windows, high quality appliances, and only top-notch materials. I’m sure that some would say that these houses are impractical, hedonistic oases. I don’t care. I’m crazy about the new possibilities that lie ahead.
After much back and forth, and with some drama along the way, we decided to make a serious offer on one of the homes today…a newly built thirty-five hundred square foot house with a cute little fenced in yard. My husband spoke with builder, learned a lot about the materials and construction of the home (he was impressed), and even came up with a solution to permit our dogs free in-and-out access to the house when we are at work. With all questions asked and answered, we submitted our bid and terms this afternoon. And then we found out that “a single young lawyer” made an offer too. Aaarrrgggghhhh!
Unable to patiently wait for the response, I decided to stop by the house on my way home from work (allegedly to time the commute). We had learned that the developer/owner of the property actually lives next door to the house we want to buy. I kept my fingers crossed and planned a “chance” meeting…
As luck would have it, he actually was outside and walking his dog on the street as I pulled up and parked along the curb. I boldly approached; hand extended I introduced myself as his prospective neighbor. He invited me inside and I gushed, telling him why I love the house and want to live there. He, in turn, told me all about the architect, the building process, the neighborhood, the custom cabinetry, the extensive number of windows, the reclaimed wooden doors, the unique roof design, the stone tub, how he strove for perfection with this residence and how it deserved the “right” owner. We talked like old friends about potential furnishings, artwork, and the fun parties we could throw – utilizing the back patio and decks on the upper floors. He also shared his plans for the two houses he will build directly next door. His pride was palpable and I did my very best to justify it.
After almost an hour together, I offered my thanks for his time and sincere hopes that we soon will be neighbors. I walked away wondering…Did he like me? Did he believe my good intentions? Could he feel my enthusiasm and excitement? Would he pick me? Would I be the “right” owner?
I now await the verdict.