Monday, September 19, 2016

Going Home: Part 2

"Interesting Property," the subject line read.  I opened the email and there was a link to an old MLS listing.  "The house isn't on the market yet, but it looks promising.  I know the listing agent.  It's a good property."  I clicked the link and flipped through the pictures from when it was listed a year ago...

First impression: "It... is... beautiful" I thought.  It almost looked like too much to be our house. Fancy wood trim, beautiful front porch, four full bedrooms, second floor balcony... I'm a simple person: clean lines, minimalist style, no frills.  This house has frills.  I couldn't help be excited, but... this house, mine?  I can dream, but there's got to be a catch.  This house is beautiful, but... there's got to be a but...

It's in town.  We don't want to be in town.  It means a switch in schools for the kids.  We don't want to switch schools.  It's only a 1/3 of an acre.  We want more.  Did I mention it being in town... it's in the borough of Macungie.  We wanted to be up on the mountain. We wanted to be away from everyone... in town isn't for us.  Busy street, no thanks.

The beauty of the house sat in my mind though.  "Ok, let's just see where it is..."  Still not listed, we decided to do a drive by.  We piled in the car and headed 5 minutes into town.

"There it is, guys!" I said.  If there is one thing I can say for the house, it has a presence.  The house stands proud against the street.  It holds the beauty of the era in which it was built and stands tall amid the younger townhouses and churches on the street.  We took a side street to see the back of the house and the yard flows from the back of the house, begging to be run on by little feet.  The garage and shed look promising for storage space.  My heart thumps as I soak in each detail as we drive past.
"Let's drive around these side streets," Jim says.  We take a left and meander through the borough streets.  The street the house sits on is well traveled, but these side streets are quiet.  "Hmmm... there's places to ride bikes... places to run... places to push a stroller... nice houses, no commotion."

We go home and are both agree that the house is worth seeing once it's on the market.

Joel warns us "If you like this house and want to make an offer, you need to be prepared to list your house immediately."  No pressure, right?  The following weeks are filled with small tasks like painting the front door, wiping down grime, and thinking about selling.   We don't do anything drastic, because we could walk in this house and turn right back around, but we mentally switch to being prepared to sell and being prepared for things to move quickly.  We don't really know what it's like inside and it may not be worth an offer, but if it is, we want to be ready for that too.

Weeks pass and the house remains off the market.  Did something change?  Are they going to list it? What's the hold up?  "Patience..."

During those weeks I pass the house every-so-often.  I call the house "my house" when I go see it and I stare at it with majesty each time I pass.  There's just something about this house.  Finally in late June, I drive past and there is a for sale sign out front.  I text Joel...

We end up going through during an Open House and decide to go through privately later that week.  It's deemed to be worth a second look.  When we get back in the car after the private showing, Jim asks me what about it.  What do you think?  How do you feel about the house?  My response "It feels like home."  That response miffs Jim, but it's all I can think.  It feels too overwhelming to put words to how I feel.  I mean.... it feels different.  It feels big.  It feels real and surreal at the same time, but mostly, it feels like home.  It feels comfortable. Jim isn't so sure and he just stays quiet.  As the rest of the day passes I get excited and Jim stays skeptical.  That evening we have Elizabeth's family birthday party and all I can think about is the house.  I annoy Jim because its my sole focus.  

For years we have thought about finding our house and we very well just could have just found our house.  How can we operate in normal life right now?  How can we be unsure?  We need to decide! 

We talk throughout that weekend.  Jim's thoughts become clear and mine don't change.  Sunday driving to church, his decision comes.  "I think we should put an offer in on the house. I think it's what we need."  

We contact Joel about proceeding, knowing that things may kick up into a whirlwind from here.  Also knowing that any step could end the process and put us back at square one.  We need to buy and sell at the same time.  We need to work within our budget and make a certain amount from the sale of our house.  There are offers, counter offers, inspections, mortgages, and many other things that could throw this process belly up.  But we are ready and one thing is clear... those weeks, months, and years of "Just wait..." have turned into "It's time..." 

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