Finding Stability and Home – Part Three, My Dream House
In early March, after losing out on a property that Cal really liked, he pointed out another new property that had come on the market. I had already shown him the listing for the property before our last trip up north to look at houses, but he had immediately told me it was old and overpriced, so he wasn’t interested in seeing it. Apparently he hadn’t paid much attention the first time I showed it to him beyond the age of the home and the price.
Now he was excited about the house. It was a beautiful, well-maintained home in an absolutely perfect location. There is not another property anywhere in town that would have a better location to me. We had just lost out on two other properties, and houses in good condition seemed to be selling pretty quickly in this town, so we were eager to make it up and look at the house before someone else snatched it up. Unfortunately the next few days, were weekdays and rough weather (it was an hour and a half drive each way from where we were renting to where we were looking, so we couldn’t casually look at houses on weekdays). Cal was also about to leave for a business trip and would be gone for a week.
As much as we really wanted to see this house, it just wasn’t going to happen before Cal left town. So we agreed that we would make another house hunting trip up north the weekend after Cal returned from his business trip. I eagerly watched the status of the house every day while he was gone, and happily the house stayed on the market. We arranged to see three houses on our next trip, including the house in that perfect location. As much as I liked the house from the pictures, I was almost certain nothing would come of it, but I was excited to get a chance to go look. Of the other two houses we were looking at, one was much cheaper (which appealed to our desire to save as much money as possible) and one was practically new construction, looked beautiful from the listing, and was on a bunch of land. I would have bet money that we would have ended up making an offer on that last one. Newer construction and land were both high on Cal’s list of priorities.
When that Saturday came, we dragged both kids along to look at the houses. Previously we had arranged for family to stay with them, but that wasn’t an option this weekend. It was St. Patrick’s Day and I joked with Cal that maybe we would get lucky and find a house that actually worked out this time. There had just been a big snowstorm (not the best weather to view houses in) so everything was blanketed in snow. This made it a little harder to assess houses, because we couldn’t really see the yards, but I also think it worked to our advantage because not many other people would be looking at houses that weekend.
First we looked at the much cheaper home, which turned out to still be overpriced based on condition and a poor location. Second, we checked out that perfectly located older house. I fell in love. Cal is big on not getting invested in houses before we buy, and I have stuck to that as well. I had already seen plenty of other houses that I really liked that we lost out on. Yet, with this house, I really couldn’t contain how much I loved it. It was easily the best house that I had seen out of all the houses we had looked at over the years (for me anyway). It was my dream home, though I held off on calling it that until Cal pieced that together himself. Cal loved it too, despite its age. Ryan was distracted by a fish tank and never even made it upstairs to see the bedrooms, but he did make sure to check out the “inventing space” in both the basement and barn and wanted to set up and begin inventing immediately.
As much as we all liked the house, I was sure that Cal would love the next house even more and expected that that would be the house we would put in an offer on. We drove out of town to see the final house of the day. The land and the exterior of the house looked amazing. We trudged through a lot of snow because no one had plowed the driveway, but eventually we made it to the door. The inside “looked”beautiful. The house had an HGTV touch, everything looked pretty and high end. The layout was a little unusual, but not impossible to deal with. Cal surprisingly was not impressed. The layout and structure were not going to work, no matter how nice the finishes. The stairs were winding and he pointed out that the house seemed to be leaning. When we made it to the top level, the ceiling was slanted as you entered the bathroom so that Cal had to duck. He immediately declared that there was no way this house was a contender and amazingly we agreed that the older house I loved was the one to put an offer on.
We made our offer and negotiated back and forth. We went a little bit higher than Cal wanted to, because he wanted whatever house we got to be a great deal, but I persuaded him that the location made it absolutely worth the price (and it also still appraised for just a little more than we paid). During the inspection, we found out that the sellers had a back up contract signed in case our deal didn’t go through. That hurt our negotiating position a little, combined with the fact that we absolutely loved this house.
Finally we closed! I have been living in my dream home for almost two months now. It is an old house and there are plenty of old house projects for us to do over time, but we are all so happy here. I am so grateful that every other house did not work out because this was the perfect house for my family. Every day I look around and am so happy that I get to live here. We live in an amazing home, in an amazing location, in an amazing town. I finally found my place where I belong and my kids can have roots.
Ryan asked me the other day if he was from New Hampshire, since he was born in Massachusetts. I assured him that as long as wanted to consider himself being from New Hampshire he was, especially since he will be spending the vast majority of his childhood here. I am so happy to finally have a hometown for myself and my kids.