Living in a 1200 square foot house with four children, one of them a newborn, a 78 pound dog and a husband-man may be tolerable for some, but this mama was losing hope of ever having a private moment in the bathroom again, let alone a quiet moment in any room. We could hear the children constantly, no matter what room we tucked them into.
But our effort to find a larger and affordable alternative seemed futile. Every one of our Zillow searches produced the same results. McMansion A or McMansion B. Same houses, different suburb and nothing at all appealing to us.
Seth and I both grew up in century-old houses with solid wood floors, creaky doors, quiet nooks and massive wooded yards. In our childhood homes, imaginations could run wild and we were constantly entertained. A newer house without history, solid floors and a private yard was out of the question.
So, refusing to settle, we waited.
When Foster arrived our online searches became more frequent. 1200 square feet now felt like 800 and we were literally tripping over each other. And then we found it.
The big, yellow house.
We were both shocked that it was actually available. It has to be sold, we thought. This listing can’t be accurate. We scoured through the listing, trying to figure out why no one had snagged her up. Yes, the rooms were old. Yes, it needed work – but “Hello, World!” would you look at her?
When we walked in for a showing, the realtor didn’t have much of a sales pitch. “I’ve shown this place 30 some times and everybody walks out scratching their heads. No one knows quite where to start.” And then his conclusion, “I think it should be a Bed and Breakfast.”
“They probably just lack imagination,” I said optimistically.
“Uh-huh,” then his attention went back to his phone while he crossed his legs and leaned back into the lone chair sitting in the empty kitchen. And there he remained while Seth and I went exploring through room after wallpapered room. I walked slowly behind him, climbing up the stairs and working my way through the narrow hallways. The house, originally built in 1807 has several add ons. Each one quirkier than the next. There were secret passages between the children’s rooms – all completely separate from the “adult” side of the house. And the playroom was ridiculously awesome. Complete with a winding, princess staircase, a library book ladder and secret nooks in every corner.
Seth whispered, “This house is crazy and different and awesome. Like our family.” And when he said that. I knew. It was a done deal. He was right and this was it. This was our forever home. But how could we possibly make it happen? Foster was barely three weeks old and the price was way out of our range. We would also have to sell our house, of course.
Within a few hours of our walk through Seth went into Super Dad mode and didn’t stop until closing day. While I stayed on newborn baby and business running patrol, he listed our house for sale (and sold it by owner), negotiated the sales price on the new house down by over six figures and met with contractor after contractor to get estimates on necessary fixes and updates we’d need to make when we moved in.
In spite of the odds and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, we moved in last month. And now you know why we have been so quiet… we didn’t want to jinx anything and have been unimaginably busy.
So, there you have it! The space is here and we’re not quite sure what we’ll do with it all.