Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Behind the scenes at PBW, we've been house hunting. You might remember me whining about one we really liked but lost back in April.

You know that annoying thing your mother always said about nothing bad happens without a reason?

Time is running out for us; to get into a new place before the kids start school, we had to buy before June 30th. I've been house hunting heavily, but I kept driving over once a week to eat my heart out over the house we lost (and wonder if the owners would change their minds, in which case, it would be mine.)

One day I saw another house for sale right around the corner. It looked beautiful from the outside, but really, how good could it be? I'd already found the best house in the neighborhood and lost it. Not too optimistic, we went to see the house for sale over the weekend. And I was right; the house wasn't as nice as the one we lost.

It was better.

Better, bigger, more flow to the living areas, great kitchen, immaculate, more space, and gorgeous lawns and gardens. As near to perfect for us as I will ever get. This was the house I've been looking for since we got here.

Like any great house, it was market-hot. We were the first people to see it, but a long line of buyers immediately came in after us. We learned our lesson from the last time and put together an offer in 24 hours. Someone still got to the table the same minute we did.

Instant disaster. We couldn't match the other buyer's offer. However, there were certain advantages to taking our offer over the other one, so we held our breath. Nothing was guaranteed. The owners could sit and just watch the offers pour in and take their pick. We had to be firm on our offer, so if there was a bidding war, we wouldn't win.

I didn't want to jinx it, so I only told a few people we made the offer. Then I worked on giving myself a new ulcer while waiting for the call. We haven't slept much since we made the offer. One part of my mind was decorating the place, the other was convinced we were going to lose it, never find anything decent and end up living under a bridge.

This morning I got a call from the owner's rep. She didn't sound too excited, and my stomach shriveled. Obviously we'd lost the house. She told me how the owners felt about the offers, and how she had presented them, and then waited as the owners went out to dinner to talk about it before they came back, signed the contract offer and told the rep that they were accepting ours.

We hadn't lost. The house was ours. Is ours, I should say, as I just put down the deposit.

My heartfelt thanks to all of you who said prayers, lit candles and sent good thoughts our way. They worked.


  1. Wonderful news. My dh's grandmother had a saying, 'What's for you, won't go by you'. (Add thick Scottish accent to the words.) Congrats on the new home ownership.

  2. Anonymous4:30 PM

    Buying is always tough. I used to be a loan officer and, before that, I was a mortgage processor. I've watched a lot of people go through a lot of Real Estate induced pain. It's never easy, but all the difficulties of the buying, loan application, closing, moving and unpacking will end. The joy of owning it will go on and on and on...


    -- F. O'Brien Andrew

  3. Anonymous4:52 PM

    oh, Sheila!!

    Yaaaaaaay!! Woo hoo! Congrats hon!

    Does this mean I get to make a quilt as a housewarming gift? ;)

    Congrats again and happy packing!

  4. Congrats on the house! I had a very similar experience when we bought our house, and I'm glad it all worked out for you ;)

  5. Yay! I'm so glad this one worked out! We faced a similar situation several years ago and still occasionally drive by the house we lost. Honestly, we're MUCH happier here. I'm glad everything worked out for you! (I've been lighting that melon-colored candle I dreamed about for you!)

  6. Anonymous5:35 PM

    YAY!!! Bigger, better, more flow. You can't go wrong!

  7. Congratulations, Sheila!! May you creat many happy memories for years to come in your new home. :-)

  8. Conga Rats (the comments don't allow image tags, unfortunatley)

  9. Congratulations. So glad you found THE house. May you have smooth sailng from here on out.

  10. Anonymous6:26 PM

    Congratulations!! I'm glad you found what you were looking for. I hope the sorting, packing, and all that stuff goes really easily, but I'm not holding my breath. (Can you tell I've moved a lot? lol)

  11. Did you do the thing we always do when viewing ‘the’ house – lying on your back in the middle of each room and starting up at the ceiling? Well, I say ‘we’, but it’s really just me, Fiona gets hella-embarrassed when I do it, but I do it anyway. It’s important.

    May you have many years running around the place in your underwear, dancing to the Barenaked Ladies or anything else that takes your fancy. But preferably the Barenakeds.

  12. I was on pins and needles as I read this post.

    Did she get it? Did she get it?


    Congratualtions and many happy years in you bigger, better home!

  13. Crap. Please excuse the above typos. I was so excited!

  14. Anonymous6:53 PM

    Congratulations!!! How exciting!!

  15. Anonymous8:25 PM

    What a super story! I'm so pleased for you. Happy living!

  16. Congratulations and many years of happiness in the new house!

  17. Congrats! I wish you happiness and peace in your new house!

  18. Congratulations! Do you get a bigger office/library? I know that's what my top priority will be on my next house.


  19. Anonymous10:17 PM

    Yay! That's wonderful! And a great story to go with it. (I'm of the belief that anything worth having has a story to go with it.)

  20. Ahh, a moving story ;-)

    Glad it had a happy ending. I've only bought two houses in the past 12 years or so, with one near miss (The owners decided to stay there, but like you we found a better place.)

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  22. That's wonderful news, Sheila. Beth and I still think about you a lot, and it's nice to hear things are going well for you.

  23. Anonymous12:10 AM

    Congratulations and it's clear you were meant to have it. I'll bet the agent didn't sound happy becuase, by accepting your offer instead of the higher one, the owners are costing her some comission.

  24. Anonymous1:08 AM

    Congratulations!!! That's wicked exciting!

  25. Anonymous1:44 AM

    You found THE house! Thank God!
    I thought we'd have to make room under the bridge!



  26. Wow! Congrats! So glad you got the house! (And what Beth said ... antsing in the chair the entire post!)

  27. Anonymous8:00 AM

    Jim wrote: We might need some hand-holding if you're available for it.

    Always available for hand-holding. It's the market analysis that drives you nuts.

    Bill wrote: There's not much at stake, considering it's only a place where you may spend the rest of your lives.

    I told my man to brush up on how to care for our new rose bushes, as I now plan to have my ashes sprinkled around them (another effective slug deterrant there, Stuart.)

    Tam wrote: Does this mean I get to make a quilt as a housewarming gift? ;)

    That's not a question to ask me as I contemplate moving the 297 that I already have.

    Joely wrote: I've been lighting that melon-colored candle I dreamed about for you!

    That had to be the clincher, Joely. There was just no way we should have gotten this house.

    Stuart wrote: Did you do the thing we always do when viewing ‘the’ house – lying on your back in the middle of each room and starting up at the ceiling?

    I do the "sit in three places in the room" thing to get a feel for the light and space. I also walk through making a meal in the kitchen to see how workable it is. Usually when the agent is showing my guy the yard.

    Michelle wrote: Do you get a bigger office/library?

    This is the really disgusting, selfish part of buying this house. I not only get my own office, but a book room and a loft, too.

    Dreamweaver wrote: I thought we'd have to make room under the bridge!

    With the way the industry is going? You might want to save me a space. You guys like to read, right?

    Seriously, my thanks to everyone for the congrats and kind wishes, and please excuse the big goofy grin I wear until 2006, or the movers drop my Tiffany lamps, whichever comes first.

  28. Anonymous8:45 AM

    That's fantastic! *-* Congratulations!

  29. That's great news! Now comes the yucky part...the packing up and actually moving. You have my complete symphathy.

  30. How fantastic. Yes, I'm among those who believe in fate and that things happen for a reason, but it never makes it easier when you're in the middle of it. Wow, your own office space sounds sweet, not even considering the book room and loft. Loft's are cool :). We might be moving too and even as I contemplate the good things, I can't help but tremble at the thought of the accumulated THINGS we have...though I might finally rediscover my favorite blanket that we've tracked as far as this house because it appears in a picture. :).

    Anyway, congrats and may this house give you every joy. It sounds great.


  31. Wild cheering! You got it!

    And this is what I get for not looking at any blogs yesterday. I had to wait an extra day to find out.

    Huge hugs,


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