HOUSE HUNTING

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Throughout a large portion of our relationship, I lived in Springfield while Eric was in Oklahoma City finishing his degree. This not only is hell on your vehicle but allows for you to accumulate a lot of STUFF to fill two homes. This all was fine until Eric finished school and moved to Springfield into the teensy 800 sq ft house I’d been renting for the past two years. Add in wedding presents arriving on a daily basis and I started worrying that we might lose our Yorkie in all the stuff. We literally had NO room for all of our things, two dogs, and two full on adults who liked to collect. Needless to say, almost the day we returned from our honeymoon, we were actively looking on Zillow pretty much daily for a home.

Did I mention that it was the beginning of February, a notoriously terrible time to look for homes?

By the age of 33, ya girl has lived in just about every type of home and apartment in the greater Springfield area, so I knew the neighborhoods that I loved, with a couple of spots high on my list. One particular neighborhood near one of the local universities was at the top, with tons beautiful historic homes. Like every other 30-something female in the US, I’ve always loved the charm of craftsman style homes with adorable built-ins, hardwood, lead glass windows, and nonsensical nooks. This neighborhood hit every one of checkmarks… but not my husbands.

Now he’s on the same page as me on how freaking cute a craftsman can be… but my he's a very practical man. All he saw in those 100+ year old houses that I kept falling in love with was teensy tiny rooms, no closets, all new wiring, new windows… we’re talking sometimes major dollar signs people. So we were back to the drawing board.

This time we made a list together. Some of our stipulations included:
·2 car garage (Eric is a vehicle hobbyist and wanted to have plenty of places to work.
·3 beds minimum
·Mature trees and decent sized (fenced) yard for the puppies
·Single level. Now this one was a tough one, because actually we both really like 2 story homes. But true story, I have fallen down the stairs of EVERY HOME I’VE EVER LIVED IN. I once even went through a plate glass door at the bottom of the stairs of my apartment in Boston. So I’d like to avoid that if possible. Crazy I know.
·Character. This is hard to define I know, but basically, I wanted an older home that had some quirks and soul.

And the hunt was on. There was another established neighborhood that we’d been interested in, but honestly didn’t know if we could afford. Wide streets lined in giant oak trees, mid-century homes of my Mad Men dreams… but literally EVERYONE was moving there, so the market was very competitive and we knew we’d have to be decisive if we found something that we liked.

Now I love snooping at other peoples homes. When I lived in Boston, I loved walking down the street and being able to see inside the beautiful brownstones. I wanted to see their d├ęcor, their architecture, the DEETS inside those beautiful old homes. So having the ability to walk into empty homes and imagine their possibilities is pretty much my favorite thing ever. We also quickly learned that mid-century homes can have the WEIRDEST stuff in them. Those Mad Men era homes were BUILT for entertaining, and if that means a room covered in floor to ceiling red marble (yes that was there) or a hot tub in the living room, then there you go.

We’d been stalking one particular home online for a while and set up time with our realtor to check it out. It was surprisingly HUGE, with all kinds of add ons, a crazy garden and a legit treehouse on top of the garage. I was very into the weird. But it was VERY dated and would take a ton of work. So Eric wanted to think on it. As we were leaving the area, we passed a home down the street that was also for sale and Eric said “Man I wish we could see THAT house.” Our realtor told us he could probably just get us in then as it was unoccupied.

I’m telling y’all now,in the driveway, I wasn’t into it. I’d seen that particular listing online several times, and it just didn’t stick with me. So I was unenthused.  But I love my husband, so I’m willing to look. We walked into the entryway and Eric announced that he loved it. WE HADN’T EVEN MADE IT 4 STEPS INSIDE. We wandered and chatted about the size (it was good for us) the backyard (which has giant amazing trees and landscaping,) the updated kitchen, and the wall of shallow closets that Eric thought would make a great built in bookshelf. Eric wanted it bad, and the more we wandered, the more I could see how this house would be a great fit for our lives and our budget. And I couldn’t get those built-ins out of my head. We put an offer on it that night. Which they denied and broke our hearts.

Over the next few weeks we looked at other houses, and kept comparing them to the house that got away. We talked to our realtor about it, who happens to be one of my best friends, and he agreed that the house was perfect for us, but wouldn’t suggest paying more than our first offer. But not to be dissuaded, he continued to get comps, sent them to the homeowners, and basically worked his ass off selling our offer as the best one for their home.

And miraculously, it worked. (He’s pretty cute, so maybe that helped. He’s also single ladies.Just saying.)

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