Wednesday, May 9, 2007

The sale, as they say, is pending

So it hasn't been much fun to blog lately, as I was trying to keep my trap shut about something very big because I didn't want to jinx it. And keeping my trap shut? Not one of my best talents. But I think the coast is finally clear, and I can declare with a reasonable amount of certainty that my husband and I have found ourselves a house.

A house! A house! It's true! I'm so glad to say it here, finally. We actually made the offer several weeks ago, so I have been dying to write about it, but I wanted to wait until we completed all the paperwork and inspections. Assuming a bolt of lightening didn't crack down just now and set the place ablaze, we'll move there early next month.

Let me tell you about my new house. It is just the prettiest house! It's a Craftsman with two bedrooms and one bathroom, built all the way back in 1916. It has a front porch with a swing, and a back yard that is mostly shaded by a giant peppercorn tree. A tree! For Chickens to pee on! In the living room, there's a fireplace, built-in bookcases, and a picture window topped with little panes of green-colored glass. There are beautiful wood floors, and a kitchen with so many cabinets I could weep tears of joy. And guarding the entryway to the back yard are two little stone statues shaped like lions. I get the biggest kick out of those!

But besides all that neat stuff, it is an unspeakable relief to shed a little of the fear and anxiety that has kept me awake many a recent night. Turns out selling property and buying property, simultaneously, is no fun. Especially if you are a rookie like me. For one thing, you have to study and memorize an entirely new vocabulary. Want to see? Flashing! Contingencies! Soffits! Disclosures! MLS, and DOM, and PITI! Impressive, no? For another thing, the uncertainty of this process was making me bonkers. Like, the day our condo went on the market, I was thrilled. I just knew someone would scoop it up immediately, and probably for a LOT more money than we were asking. So when it didn't sell the first weekend, I was devastated. Then we get an offer. (I'm thrilled!) But we don't like it. (Devastated.) Then some more people want to see it. (Thrilled!) But days pass and we hear nothing. (Devastated.) That has pretty much been my pattern for weeks, and let me tell you, I'm exhausted.

Then there's the search for the new place. See, what would have been perfect is to sell the condo right before we found the house, avoiding complications like getting a bridge loan, or temporarily living in a park. But since we didn't know when the heck our place would sell, it seemed smart to house-hunt all the friggin' time, just in case. So that's how we spent every spare minute of our lives. And poor Sal kept having to peel my finger off the trigger every time we'd find a place that was even remotely tolerable. I'd be like, "Ohmigod! THIS! IS! IT! I just know it!" Now, of course, I feel foolish, because none of those houses could hold a candle to this one. But man, I just had no idea what I was doing. I got so worried that we wouldn't find THE perfect house for us. And I feared we'd sell our condo and have nowhere to go and be forced to buy a place we hated or couldn't afford.

Well, about a week after we accepted an offer on the condo, we visited this house. And though Sal was stoic and unimpressed with virtually every other house we saw (and I'm talking maybe 50 places), he did not hesitate about this one. We crossed the street to the car after that first visit, and he turned around to give the house a long look before calmly declaring, "That is the house we are going to buy." (This, by the way, is such a Sal moment. This man is the very definition of calm, cool and collected. Completely the opposite of his rather excitable and noisy wife. And it's only because of his patience and composure that we didn't end up living across the street from the ocelot lady.)

The moment he said this, my incessant yapping during this long process finally ceased. I was speechless. I stared at the house and couldn't possibly believe I'd be so lucky that I might get to live there. I mean, don't get me wrong, it's not some huge fancy mansion. It's actually quite modest. There's just one potty, and one of the bedrooms doesn't even have a closet. It's also a century old, meaning it'll need a lot more TLC than anything Sal or I have lived in before. But there's such a good vibe in this house. It's comfortable and charming, and something about it just instantly felt very right for us.

Anyway, check out a couple of photos, which I pilfered off the MLS listing:

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