HGTV has a show called House Hunters that I used to love. In it, families tour three homes that are for sale and the show ends with them picking one. Pretty simple. We don’t have cable anymore, so I haven’t seen the show in a while, but I remember often being surprised by the family’s pick, when another house seemed to OBVIOUSLY be a better choice.
Well, now I’m experiencing firsthand the surprise of how things pan out.
We signed a sales agreement for a house today. We picked House #2 (despite my previous conclusion: “I’m not convinced it’s the place for us.”). When we first toured it, we were less than impressed. Things seemed dingy. The place was dated. It seemed like “a lot of work.” We were (eponymous of another HGTV show with the patronizing host) “property virgins.” (Ugh, it kind of pains me to use those words.)
We walked away from the first tour of the house feeling like House #2 was not really an option.
Then we checked out House #3. We started really considering House #3. And doing so made me realize how much I actually DID like House #2.
Then P’s parents expressed interest in seeing the available Land Trust properties. So we showed them the houses that were available. They were very impressed by House #2. Suddenly the things that seemed like they were dealbreakers or would take too much work to fix up didn’t seem too bad, after all. One room of bad carpet can be easily replaced. Being beside a busy street seemed like a worthwhile sacrifice to be within walking/biking distance of everything. We realized that with how much company we get, more space isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Ultimately, we saw that the bones of the house are good and really, only one room needs work before we move in.
So House #2 became a serious consideration. Having this house in mind and knowing how quickly some Land Trust houses go, we accelerated our part of the Land Trust application process. Last week, we visited two banks to get pre-approved for a mortgage, which was the last step before being allowed to officially “claim” the house.
Before signing the sales agreement, I wanted to tour the house one last time (we are, after all, going to buy it–it seemed wrong to only have visited twice before making a commitment!), this time seeing the house as “our” house instead of just as an option. We invited our friends M & O, who also bought a house from the Land Trust, to get their opinion.
They loved it. And we started to love it more and more each minute we were there. The living/dining room area in the first floor is bright, open, and perfect for larger groups. We love all the storage options. The dingy ground-level room suddenly seemed open to all sorts of potential.
Ultimately, it’s not THE perfect house. I never, ever imagined buying a split-level. But we knew all along that we’re not in the place in life (or the town) to buy something perfect. And really, the fun will be making the place our home. (And the challenge lies in doing that within a very tight budget.)
We close mid-October. We’re excited.
In the meantime, here’s a glimpse:
(Apologies for the less-than-stellar pictures.)