We walked into the first house and I fell in love. It just felt like home and it was so very "us." It had so many of the things we were looking for, things that were hard to find like a detached garage that would do as a shop and enough bedrooms for the money, a bathroom on the upstairs floor … this house had bedrooms for all of us plusan office for me and a shop for Matt. It's got character in spades, late 1930s with enough updates to make it comfortable It's got things we didn't have in our first house, neat things like heat and new windows. It needs some new floor coverings in places and some cleaning up, a few hours with a pressure washer and a few other things.
We both loved it. That's been a very hard thing to find. Sam even kept referring to it as "Sam's house." Which, to be fair, he also did with the first house we offered on but not in any of the other ones we've looked at.
Then we went to look at another house, just because we already set it up and might as well. I walked into this house and it was the very definition of "move-in ready." As I said before, I wanted everything but this lady's clothes. The yard was immaculate … which Matt later pointed out would be our responsibility to keep up and that's honestly not likely to happen.
After walking through this second house I started thinking of the other one as more of a fixer upper than it really is because by comparison it needed some work before we moved in while the second one didn't. The more we talked about it though, the more I think the second one would feel like a really nice rental rather than our home.
I knew when we headed home that it would be a long night of back and forth. When we finally agreed to put it all in black and white on paper I started to label the list: "my house" and "Matt's house." That didn't seem like the best way to approach it though so I scratched that out and wrote the addresses instead. At times during this process though it did seem like the only solution would be a "his and hers" house situation.
After looking at everything on paper, it was clear the first house was the best decision for us and I was happy about it, but not as thrilled as I would've been had I never seen the second house. So I spent some time thinking about why and realized the things I loved about that second house were really superficial. Hello? I could get some black paint and paint the kitchen cupboards like she had them and get some cool, funky dishes. I didn't need to buy a whole house to have that. And I could commit to getting our new house, wherever it is, decorated in the first year instead of seven years after moving into it because our new one will not be a fixer upper!
Speaking of which … I had a skewed mental picture of that first house. So the next day Amy and I walked over to it with the kids and (police friends stop reading here) as we walked around the property, I think it's called trespassing, I fell in love with it again.
I wrote the earnest money check with hope in my heart. This house isn't a compromise, I just took a different path to the same front door.
p.s.I love that I live in a town where our real estate broker can't get me on the phone, but can still drive up from McMinnville, take a lap around town and find me at the park to sign papers and write an earnest money check while I watch my kids play at the park.