Sunday, January 17, 2010

Out With The Old…In With The New

So, I've Facebooked a few hints about the new house we bought, but I didn't necessarily want the "official" news there; too many students I'm "friends" with, and I thought this was info that should only be shared with those who are truly friends…or, outright random strangers who might read the blog. Either way: hi! And thanks for coming over.

And, yes, it's totally true: we are now renters in our beloved house. We got an offer in early December…what I felt was a fairly lowball offer, truth to tell. Those of you who have been here (or read the blog over the years) know the kind of work we did to our 110-year old house, and while many of those upgrades were indeed labors of love, nevertheless I had hoped that we'd put SOME equity into the place! Still, the same market conditions that were making it possible for us to buy a home that we would otherwise never be able to afford were also making it tough to justify getting a sales price on our place that I thought it deserved. After hemming and hawing and going back & forth with counter-offers, I finally asked our real estate agent what she thought. She paused for a moment, then said "I think…you should treat this offer like it's gold." (Her emphasis.) And, she was totally right, of course: the market, Christmastime, etc. etc. We accepted after a tearful night of inner wrangling, and the next day put in an offer on the very first house our agent had shown us. At first we thought it was rather characterless and plain, but of course we soon discovered what every home-buyer finds: the ones we really liked were just out of our price range, and those that were comfortably in our price range were not a step up from what we already had. So, we made our move, and two days later had our offer accepted.

After all of the legal wrangling, what with inspections and assessments and financing and all the rest, we came to closing week. Last Thursday we met our buyer and sold him our house. Feels like such an anonymous process, really…the fact that you're basically agreeing to sell the house containing all of your blood and sweat and good family chi to someone who might be, for all we knew, a total douchebag. But he turned out to be very cool, somewhere between my age and Miss Tessmacher's, a teacher of high-school English right here in town. While we were chatting with him, he said the magic words: "After looking at tons of houses in town, I walked through the front door of your place, and it felt like coming home." Ahhh. That's what we wanted to hear! Because, of course, we totally felt the same way when we first walked in.

For a few scary hours we were solely renters, praying that the people we were buying from wouldn't suddenly have a change of heart. But, the very next day, we met them and discovered that they felt much the same way we did: they were selling a house they loved in order to get the money to build the place of their dreams, and they were thrilled that we felt like their place was perfect for us. He's a doctor (a doctor-doctor, not like me and Tess) here in town, with two pre-teen girls. And, that's it!

Now we're living among hundreds of plastic tubs (cheaper, in the long run, than buying cardboard boxes from the moving company), because of course you still have to pack all your shit, whether you're moving two miles or two thousand. We get possession of the new place on the 22nd, and we'll spend a furious weekend moving over everything that I'm willing to lift (couch pillows: yes, 75-lb. tubs of books: no) in order to shave some bucks off of the estimate from the movers. The official move is the next week, the 29th, and after that…a new place is home.

The details: the house we've been living in has two bedrooms, one bathroom, a Michigan basement, and is about 1500sf. The new house has more or less the same square footage on the main floor, but ALSO has 1500sf. of fully. Finished. Basement. WA-HOOO! So, room for drumsets, and (dry) comic book storage, and all kinds of good things. Three bedrooms, three full baths, a great open design from the living room to dining room, and a studio in the basement where Tess can teach. In the photo, it looks like a 2-storey, but the dormers are merely architectural niceties.

To the people who have been here: thank you. We've loved the potluck nights. The help with drywalling the dining room ceiling. The rewiring. The wallpaper stripping. The smokes on that wide front porch. The overnight stays. If you've never been here: my apologies. I'm really not as bad a friend as my rare contact might make you believe. Please trust that life, in all its busy-ness, is my sole shitty excuse for not having you over. Meantime: know that we're planning a series of housewarming parties, where the only gift you need to bring is yourselves. Either way, I hope to see you all in the coming months as we get unpacked and settled in. And with that giant basement, those legendary Halloween parties of our Ville Montee past may yet live again. Party on, Wayne! Party on, Garth!

The "old" place…

…and the new one.


The back yard and deck…future site of many happy lazy hours.

Dining room, looking into living room. (Not our stuff.)

Basement, looking one way. (Again…not our stuff.)

Basement, looking the other way.


Blogger Gknee said...

Congratulations on the new house!

6:07 PM  
Blogger Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Congrats on your new home. I want to see pics of you and Roz's side-by-side drumsets! Wish I lived close enough to be invited over to finally meet you someplace other than cyberspace. It's a long damn way from Texas to your neck of the woods!

7:43 PM  
Blogger Animal said...

Thanks, Jen! Hey, I don't know if you do blogger-meets, but I'll actually be in San Marcos at the end of February for a conference there. Just…FYI.

8:58 PM  
Blogger Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Awesome! I could swing a trip up to San Marcos. It's less than an hour away! Send me the deets if you want to meet up. Will Tess and/or Roz be with you? Send me the deets to jenn (underscore) hacker (at) satx (dot) rr (dot) com

10:54 PM  
Blogger Fun Guv said...

Looks awesome! Congrats on the new place...can't wait for the first of many par-tays!

7:07 PM  
Blogger Steph said...

Woohoo! Congratulations! I SO wish I could come visit and see it. Maybe this summer...

8:40 AM  
Blogger Jenn-Jenn, the Mother Hen said...

Are you still headed down this way in a couple of weekends?

4:52 PM  

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