The impossible dream

I think it’s time for a housing recap, because unless you’ve been keeping a running scoreboard, you have probably lost track by now.

So, first there was the big, charming yellow house with seven bedrooms, no dining room, termite eaten support beams, and knob and tube wiring that the owners had no money to fix.

Next there was the big, charming, six bedroom house backing onto the wooded parkland that we did not have enough money to buy.

That house was followed closely by the architect’s house, perfectly restored on the first floor but in dire need of work on floors two and three.  We loved that house and made an offer, whereupon the architect decided she loved her house too much to sell it.

So, we made an offer on another house, which the owners rejected, probably wisely, because shortly thereafter they got a much higher offer.

Moving right along.  We went back to House Number Two – the six bedroom backing onto wooded parkland.  We loved the house.  It was not my dream house, as my dream house would have a model train running along the ceiling through several of the rooms, but it was a charming old house.  We dug under our sofa cushions, found some loose change, and upped our offer a tiny bit.  The owner accepted, and we went under contract.  Only to be undone by knob and tube wiring again.  When the owner of that house discovered that she had knob and tube wiring, she decided not to sell her house at all.

We seem to have that effect on people.

Then there was the big faux pas.  Up until that point – Houses One through Four – we had been Virtuous Buyers, never at fault when the deals fell through.  House Five, however, was the Big Fuck Up.  We came to an agreement on a house that had been on the market for a year.  No one wanted to buy it because it lacked a master suite and a lot of the charm had been snuffed out.  We would need to put on a master suite addition in order to ever sell the house again.  We were through inspections and seventeen seconds away from going under contract when J decided he just didn’t love the house enough to go through that kind of a major project.

OK, sixth verse, same as the first.

House Six was a smaller house, still in need of work, but at the low end of our price range.  Awesome.  I like spending less instead of spending more.  Except the owners have delusions of grandeur and think the house is worth 10% more than it actually is, which might be why it has been on the market for over a year.  So, no deal.

Then came House Seven.  I wandered off to an open house down the street from where we are living now.  The house was 15% over our price range, but I just wanted to see it.

This one was a giant ranch house.  We are not, as a rule, big ranch house people.  This ranch, however, is stunning.  Perfect floors, master suite, office for me, rooms for the kids away from the main living area, giant finished cellar, brand new kitchen with an eat-in sunroom.  The works.  This house had me at “hello.”  As I turned to tell the listing agent that I’d send my husband back to take a look, I happened to glance up and see it.

A model train running along the ceiling, going through the kitchen, sunroom, and laundry room.

So, we put in an offer.  There was already another offer on the table, a very, very low offer.  We figured maybe we had a chance if we came in with only a very low offer.  I wrote an impassioned letter, and our agent put the model train as an inclusion.

Well, today we found out that they accepted our offer.  There doesn’t seem to be anything wrong with the house, so hopefully we will pass inspections.  The house is too new for knob and tube wiring.  Barring termite eaten beams, seller cold-feet, or a typhoon that engulfs the entire town, we might actually have a chance of fixing a closing date.

A girl can always hope.

16 responses to “The impossible dream

  1. I am crossing all my fingers and toes for you. And for the model train, too. That has to be a sign or something.

  2. Good luck, Emily!

  3. crossing my fingers……. house hunting is so stressful!

  4. Model train, sunroom in the eat-in kitchen (glee!), perfect floors (well I am picturing gleaming wood)-

    I literally have goosebumps for you!!

  5. This house must be meant for you if it has the model train! Good luck!

  6. Hope it all falls into place! I wrote an impassioned letter to the former owners of our house to accompany our offer. Their first names happened to be the same as my very dear paternal grandparents. Aside from loving the house, I thought it was kismet and that they would feel the same too. I think, in the end, we just made the best offer.

  7. Fantastic! I hope it all works out. The train is awesome!

  8. I wouldn’t have pegged you for a model train kind of girl. But it’s a charming addendum to the picture you’ve painted of yourself.

  9. The train, too? Nuh-uh. Really? Wow! Hope this works out for you!

  10. The model of train sounds awesome, but, as a mother of three, I must say there is nothing as awesome as an eat-in kitchen.

  11. Congrats! It sounds amazing!

  12. When you move in, I am sending you an engineer’s hat to celebrate!

  13. It does sound like you’ve found Your Home – and the train sounds utterly charming! Good luck, and do think about posting pictures of the train, you know, just because…

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