We are currently on a quest for a new home. Due to our family’s needs and financial …complications… we’re searching for a very specific kind of home in a very limited area. Since it’s hard to spot that “hidden gem” on paper, we see our share of houses. Sometimes these prospects make for interesting stories. These are those stories.
We knew before we looked at this house that it was probably a long shot. It had recently dropped into our range, but the description suggested it was going to need a significant of work. The room dimensions were irresistible, the location (although at a relatively high-traffic corner) was perfect. We had to take a look because if we’ve learned anything in this search it’s that you never know.
I fell in love the moment we crossed the threshold.
Completely unlike the haunted house from a few weeks back, this house felt beyond welcoming. Like it had thrown us a surprise “Welcome Home!” party in preparation for our arrival. The more we wandered through the giant rooms, the stronger the feeling grew. I was giggling. This wasn’t a house. This was a home. Whether it was our home remained to be seen, but it definitely wasn’t the sort of place you lived in for a few years and then walked away from. This house becomes the center-point for your entire clan. Christmases, Easters, Summer Barbecues, Wakes. It all happens in this house. You could feel it. This house had seen so many celebrations and was ready for more.
As we walked through the giant kitchen (complete with a butler’s pantry and the original ironing board carved into the wall), wandered through the gorgeous dining room (large enough the 10-person dining room table in it looked almost small), and made our way upstairs, I could see my family living there. And not just “oh, this would be fine” acceptance. For the first time really ever, I could effortless imagine my tiny children as teenagers running through this house. I felt myself age into the grandmother that hosts thanksgiving dinner for the clan. Usually thoughts of growing old make me shudder, but not here. It was amazing. I wanted to live there for the next 50 or 60 years and die there.
And that was the problem.
It was an amazing house, but everything was going to need to be updated. Plumbing, electric, the floors, the kitchen. It was livable, but it wasn’t livable. You’d end up spending 50% of the asking price again before moving in. That pushed it far out of our price range. We aren’t shopping for our forever home right now. We’re shopping for a home that can hold us for the next 5-10 years while the market recovers and we can buy our forever home. Oh sure, we could try to make it happen, but even if we could, it would be at too much of a financial risk.
We had some tough conversations but in the end we decided to pass on this opportunity. It just wasn’t the right house at the right time.