While last night may have been all about lighthearted fun and games, today we geared up for what we all secretly--or, well, really quite openly and vocally--hoped would be our final day of house hunting. We began the morning as one tired Team WestEnders...but although we may have been dragging our tails, we were also motivated-as-heck to plow through the available offerings. We figured that we had laid the "groundwork" on our last trip and solidified our own vision of what we were seeking in a residence. Therefore, we would be able to--as Husband so colorfully put it--"pull the plug quickly" and move on to the next property if we judged that something didn't meet our needs. And if I'm being completely honest, I have to tell you that before we came down this time, I had what I can only describe as a..."good feeling" about our impending efforts. I can't really describe it any better than that, but my gut--for lack of a more specific term--was telling me that success might await us on this Chapel Hill excursion.
So, off we went, armed with the ever-so-helpful printouts provided by Agent C. It quickly became apparent that the boys (bless their little pea pickin' hearts) must have become resigned to--and therefore subsequently adopted--the Official Real Estate Evaluation Lingo. What that means is, we heard such phrases as "This one doesn't speeeeaaak to me" and "I just can't see us living here" out of one or both of their mouths at some point during the proceedings. (Hey, at least they're accepting my feminine touchy-feely input with more grace than they did last time...) Anyway, we hit the ground running and visited...a veritable bonanza of houses. Seriously, Husband got in the habit of recording brief, pithy phrases on each fact sheet as we finished a tour, to remind us in as few words as possible of what we really thought of the place. Here's a verbatim sampling of his notes: "too rural" (it was seemingly out in the middle of nowhere); "too rustic" (it resembled a farmhouse); "too close to main road" (self explanatory); "lot not good, small and cramped" (ie teeny-tiny yard); "columns--eww" (pretentious living-room entrance); "neighborhood too small" (it felt very isolated).
And then, believe it or not, we got even more colorful as the day wore on. Here are some later comments: "aged...and not well!" (very dated interior)..."too much character" (odd layout)..."TOO MUCH" (about 2,000 square feet more space than we truly need...or particularly want to pay for...). Finally, it degenerated into this sort of low-blood-sugar goofiness: "Dad's not feeeeling it" and the ultimate brush-off "NO--dead deer heads in garage" (not kidding about this...but don't ask me for specifics, because I was glazed at this point and perfectly willing to take their word for it...)
However, in the midst of all this...nonsense...we came across a house that--miracle of miracles--we could ALL imagine making our home. It's in the neighborhood that we absolutely loved the last time we were down here--on a gorgeous, quiet, tree-lined street, in a neighborhood across the road from what would be Riley's middle school, with access to walking trails in a serene forest setting oh, about a hundred yards away. The house itself has all the rooms we would need, plus a deck and screened-in porch. It's in pristine condition, including new paint and an upgraded kitchen, so we wouldn't have to do anything to it...except move in, of course. At one point I turned to Derek and said--completely seriously--"I have a tingly feeling about this house". (Yeah, he's a boy...he stared at me for a second to make sure I wasn't pulling his leg...then just shook his head wryly...)
The upshot is: unless we see something tomorrow on our short list of "what's left" that astounds us and blows this one out of the proverbial water, we're making an offer. As we prepare for some much-needed head-clearing rest tonight, we will keep our collective fingers crossed that this is, in fact, the end of our house hunting journey. Stay tuned for what will hopefully be the post-game wrapup...