Thursday, April 28, 2005


A few weeks ago we found a house we were interested in buying (we're leasing this one for a year to give us time to look around.) It wasn't perfect (smallish bathrooms) but it was the right size, in a good neighborhood, and in our price range. Pretty property, scrupulously maintained. Everything said buy me.

We've been looking at houses every week for months, so I didn't get my hopes up but made the appointment to go see the place. The owners were an older European couple who were a delight to meet, and we quickly discovered that their home was their pride and joy.

Gorgeous place. Immaculate. A kitchen in which I could do some serious cooking. Big rooms, wonderful gardens, custom architectural features, the works. A little formal for us -- we're more country than town -- but not enough to make us uneasy. The bathrooms were on the small side, but we saw possibilities in future renovation. In my head, I began arranging my furniture in the rooms, painting my terrible watercolors on the lanai, and watching my kids run around the yard, and I loved what I saw.

If we didn't get this house, it wouldn't break my heart. I've lived a gypsy's life and I don't let myself get attached to real estate. Still, I suspected losing this house would give me a bigass bruise.

We don't make snap decisions, but that night we decided once and for all that the house was the house. For us, that's lightspeed. We did a market analysis, saw that the owners were on the high side with their asking price, and debated our offer. We ran the numbers every way but upside down. We consulted with our agent. We looked at everything else we'd been considering. Finally we decided on our offer and went to the agent to make it.

Sometime during the 72 hours we took to put together our offer, the owners took the house off the market. They decided they loved it too much to sell it. And, weirdly, we were happy for them. It's a great house, but it's also a home.

Now I have to get back on the MLS and find one for us.


  1. Good luck. The right place will be there--at the right time.

  2. We were upset when a house we placed an offer on ended up having all sorts of problems which the owners refused to fix. We backed out and were very disappointed because it seemed like the perfect house for us. But a few months later we found the one that made my heart flutter when I saw it. When we looked around inside, I just *knew* this was really the house. It was like love at first site, and I felt so comfortable in it, like it was where I belonged. Also, it had sat empty for 10 months so the price was waaaaay down and we could afford it. So I see now in retrospect that the other house deal falling through was a blessing in disguise!

    Your house is waiting for you. It just takes time. I guess inside you knew it was still their house :)

  3. Anonymous9:11 AM

    Bill them for your time! It may seem sweet the 1st time that sort of thing happens, but you wait until your three or four prospects (and months) down the line. You'll be breathing flame and satirising the whole process in a space opera.

  4. Anonymous11:23 AM

    You'll find your place. One with a great kitchen and decent-sized bathrooms. :)

  5. Good Luck. Just passing through, you have a great blog by the way..

  6. "It's a great house, but it's also a home."

    What an interesting thought... I guess that I have never considered this as I have shopped for homes before. This comment of yours was cause for me to stop and think for a bit before I moved on in my reading. A simple statement with with a tireless undercurrent of preceptions. Thank you for that inspiration. I have enjoyed reading your blog.


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