Monday, March 24, 2014

House Hunters: a brief history

Once upon a time, the man formerly-known-as-Boyfriend became Husband, and we started looking for a house in which to start the next chapter of our lives together. In order to do so, we enlisted the services of a very nice man named Steve, who happened to be both a realtor, and the spouse of one of my co-workers at the time. Husband and I were in no particular hurry, as we were renting a perfectly acceptable condo in a very nice area. The only thing we'd nailed down with absolute certainty was the town we wanted to focus on, so Steve began selecting and showing us properties, to form a picture of what we'd like. Basically, we were all getting to know each other...while traipsing about other people's homes and playing the super-fun game "What I Like/Loathe About This House".

Now, Husband is an extremely practical, logical-minded individual. (Hellllooo, his job title is--not making this up--"Manager of Data Management"...he apparently lives for organization, numbers...and redundancy, but that's not relevant to the story...) Therefore, he approached this process with the idea that we would critically evaluate each candidate; weigh the pros and cons (I swear I could almost see him making the columns in his head); use some kind of, I don't know, "mathmatical formula" to determine the desirability of the abode; and come to our decision in a completely objective, rational manner. (Hahahahahaha! Silly man--he was shopping with MEEEE, shouldn't he have known better?) Let's just say my natural tendency is to be a bit more..."organic" (intuitive? touch-feely? whatever)...about the whole adventure. This means that each time we strolled into a potential homestead, and it didn't...feeeeelllll emotional reaction was met with (early on) a blank stare and (after a few repetitions) frustrated incomprehension.

"But...but...what's wrong with it?" Husband would sputter. And I would gamely try to verbalize--in a way that might get through the Male Reason Sensor--that my GUT was telling me the house we were standing in "just wasn't the one for us." (That went over so, so very well, let me tell you...) Finally it dawned on me--that he would be much happier and more satisfied if I just started making up excuses as to why the house wouldn't do at all. "Um, the layout of the rooms is...weird," I improvised. Or "there aren't!" I can only imagine how Steve--a low-key, observant guy--was taking all this. My guess is: quietly chuckling on the inside. But evidently he was also recording mental notes from all of our comments and discussions, because he began whittling down the options on his own at his office, and only contacting us when he thought there was already a good chance we'd like the offering in question.

This was how it came to be that one bright, sunny afternoon, we met outside our current house to have a look-see. It was 5 months into our search, so we were--while not quite anxious or stressed yet about the fact that it was taking a while--definitely ready for a breakthrough. We meandered through the rooms....upstairs...downstairs...basement...and even the garage and yard...and looking back now, I remember the growing sense of excitement. And yes, that intangible feeling of it being the perfect "fit". I don't recall a single word of what went back-and-forth between Husband and me during our visit. Nor do I have a specific memory of whether Steve's actions were any different than they had been for the other dozens of houses we'd examined together. All I can say is, when we went back outside into the driveway, our prescient agent spoke before we did, asking "Should we go back to my office and draw up an offer?"

And, of course, the rest is history...and I don't just mean that metaphorically, at this we prepare to turn Casa WestEnders over to its new owners in a few short months. The whole thing occurred in a crazy whirlwind of activity, barely leaving me time to breathe, much less to process. But I've had a little bit of downtime in the past few days, and certain parallels have crystallized for me, between what happened 15 years ago and what transpired last week. For example, when Husband and I bid on the house, it had gone up for sale that very day. (Sound familiar so far?) The market at that time was extraordinarily competitive, and after lots of traffic (also eerily similar to our situation) the owners received several offers, along with ours, immediately. Fortunately they chose us, first-time homebuyers. Back to present day: when reviewing the contract over the weekend with our realtor, we found out that our buyers will also be first-time homeowners. I like that very much--it gives me an undefiinable "warm fuzzy feeling" (which Husband probably wouldn't "get", but that's okay).

So, it feels like things are falling into place the way they're supposed to so we have to hope that our house-hunting process goes smoothly as well...this time with my instincts...Husband's concrete mental tendencies...and two highly-opinionated adolescent boys...Ay yi yi...I'd better start resting up for this coming weekend's trip!

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