02 December 2015

Good News

A few weeks ago, Matt and I toured a 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom ranch in the downtown area of our rural city. Then a week later, we checked it out a second time - without the girls so we could concentrate. Then a few days later, two days before Theodore was born, we put in an offer. On his birthday, they countered. We debated, then accepted. On Monday, all the necessary paperwork was signed and we had officially started the process of purchasing this particular house.

I'm in camp, "WE JUST BOUGHT A HOUSE! EVERYONE, LET'S PARTY!" Matt, more sensibly, is in camp, "Don't count your chickens," so while family knows, I'm not making our news "Facebook public" just yet. We still have to do the inspection and the appraisal and get a mortgage, and while there are no foreseeable problems, stranger things have happened. Assuming everything goes smoothly, though, we'd be looking at closing at the end of January, exactly when our lease on the apartment expires.

After the other house we liked fell through, we decided to keep an eye on the market, but wait until January or February to get serious about home buying. But we wanted to keep an eye just in case the perfect house popped up. When Matt brought me the tablet in late October with a new listing pulled up on Zillow, "What do you think of this one? It's pretty nice..." our first impressions gave us to believe that it was damn near perfect.

The home is just under 1500 square feet and has three bedrooms on one floor (like I said, it's a ranch). It was built in the 1950s, but has been well maintained. The kitchen was very recently redone and it's totally in my style: white cabinets with dark hardware, subway tile backsplash, hardwood floors, peninsula with raised bar. Two large windows, the (carpeted) basement stairs, a mud area, the half bath, and a screened porch (!!!) are all off the kitchen. On the other side of the bar is a dining area with hardwood floors that opens into the large living room. Again, hardwood floors, and also a wood burning fire place with large brick hearth. A short hallway leads to the three bedrooms and the full bath, along with two formal closets and a built-in linen closet. One of the closets is plumbed for a washer and dryer, so we could put a small stackable upstairs in addition to the full laundry room downstairs. (Alleluia!)

One full bath upstairs services all three bedrooms and it has not been updated. It's 1950s BLUE! Not a cool, modern blue or warm, cozy blue, but milky 1950s BLUE! tub, 1950s BLUE! tile floor, 1950s BLUE! ceramic tile half way up the wall. But the thing is, the tile is in immaculate condition. No chips or cracks! This stuff must be seriously high quality, so I did some research online and we can easily have the tub and all the tile reglazed whatever color we want. The counter is huge but only has one sink, so when we are at a point to redo the bathroom, I think they only things we'll need to do are reglaze the blue and add a second sink!

The closets are all very typical small, awkward 1950s closets. Matt and I would really like to add a 100 sqft addition on with master bath and walk-in closet. We priced it out with a contractor and it's very feasible, so if we get the house, that will go on our 5 Year Plan list.

The basement is half finished and includes a second wood burning fireplace in a huge carpeted area, a laundry room with counter and shelving, a rather thrown-together full bath with cheapy shower stall, and a storage room with shelves. The second, unfinished, half of the basement is one big space. The current homeowners have a large desk in there, which tells me that it stays warm enough to be comfortable. Matt and I would turn part of that space into a work-from-home office. The space is walled off and accessible by a lockable door, making it a great place for him to get some work done so he doesn't have to go into the office on Saturdays.

The lot includes a two-car garage, a shed, and a lot of mature trees. It's partially fenced, so finishing the fencing would be our first priority. It's walkable to a community park with huge play structure and walking trails, the middle school and all its soccer and football fields, the library, coffee shop, ice cream shop, bookstore, and a deli that makes delicious sandwiches.

I want this house so bad, I can taste it. It's damn near perfect and I'm really hungry to settle my family in our forever house.

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