Simon and I are making an offer on a house today. To celebrate all the scanning and emailing I did this morning, I edited a picture of our maybe house with various effects.
We looked at a few houses while we were in Florida. It turns out that one of my closest friends, Kristen, whom I met on the first day of high school (and have remained consistently in touch with for the last almost-13 years) is a realtor in Lakeland, Florida.
I had never been to Lakeland before this last trip to Florida. Well, my mom claims I have but I don’t remember. Simon and I were looking at houses online in Brandon and Tampa and Valrico and other areas I knew of for a LONG time. Years, probably, now that I think about it.
Then one day earlier this year, frustrated with the lack of older charming homes in Brandon, I decided to see what Lakeland had available. I knew Kristen had moved there after getting married last year, so maybe it didn’t suck.
Simon and I immediately found some houses we liked in Lakeland. Old, charming houses! We looked at a few while we were in Florida a few weeks ago, and fell in love with one.
Simon fell in love with this house in an understandable “Let’s buy this house!” kind of way. I fell in love with this house in a worried “I don’t feel adult enough to make this decision, WHAT IF IT IS A BAD DECISION??” kind of way.
See, the house was built in 1927, but a builder lived in the house and updated the entire thing for himself. As such, the quality of the work done on the house was great, and the house was ready for a renter. But, the floors were wonky. Old-house wonky. Some parts were higher than others, and some rooms you got the feeling wheeled things might roll around.
So while I fell in love with things like the mailbox next to the front door…
… and details throughout the house,
I was still worried about the floors. I was worried about buying a money pit*.
So I had my entire family come see the house one day. My dad is an electrical engineer and I had this idea in my head that I needed for him to sign off on the house we chose, because he knows house stuff. He’s never made a bad house choice, and can do almost anything in the building/electrical/handy categories.
He and the rest of my family worried about the floors. There were a few half-hearted “it’s your decision”s tossed in my and Simon’s direction, but their uncertainty made me REALLY uncertain.
Simon talked me down. He made me feel better about the house and our choice. My friend of 13 years gave me a boost of confidence about the house. I trusted she wouldn’t sell me some piece of crap. We made plans to celebrate the 4th of July, then meet the seller/builder himself the following day so he could then offer me yet another dose of security.
The morning that we were to meet the builder, then presumably make an offer, Kristen called with the sad news that the house was gone. Some other luckies put in an offer while I was dragging my feet.
I wasn’t that disappointed straight away, but as time went on I started to really feel heartbroken about it. I had started picturing Beesly playing in the backyard, Simon and I remodeling the kitchen (which already had two ovens and two dishwashers!), and sitting next to the fireplace in the winter (yes, it does get cold in Florida sometimes).
I think this is the hard part about being a fan of older homes. If you lose out on a new home, you’re bound to see a dozen more like it for sale soon enough. No house will be the same as this house that we lost.
But, who knows. That wonky-floored housecould have been a money pit. And it didn’t have a screen room or covered porch, and I know we desert-dwellers are going to appreciate eating outside while it’s raining when we move to Florida one day.
So, this post marks me burying the grief over losing The [Street Name that I will not publish incase you try to buy this house next time it goes on the market before I can] House.
And I think it marks me learning a few things:
- I am an adult now (what?!), and it really is our decision. I love my family and completely understand and appreciate their concerns and worries. But now I finally feel comfortable making decisions like this even if I don’t get a 100% approval rating from the fam.
- Simon loved that house too, maybe even more than I did, and he continually tried to get me to see that we should buy it… but he’s not bitter towards me or resentful now that we lost it, even though he could be. I love him for that.
- I like glass doorknobs a LOT.
Now here we are, a few weeks later, making an offer on another house, sight unseen. It’s still an older home (from 1968), and it’s charming too. I feel more level-headed about this one. I’m trying to be positive about buying this house so I don’t drag my feet till it’s gone, while also not growing too attached incase we don’t get it.
I am excited and anxiety-free today. Wish us luck!
(Ok, that one might be a little *too* abstract.)
*great movie, I don’t care what you say