You know you’ve been living as a student for too long when you tell your real estate agent that your basic criteria for a house is 3 bedrooms, 2 bath with washer/dryer hook ups and a parking space. I actually said this this weekend and our agent laughed out loud at me. “Where would you live that didn’t have washer/dryer hook ups?” she asked, laughing her head off. Obviously this chick has not lived in student residential areas before where washer/dryer hook ups and a parking space are equivalent to living it it up Vanderbilt style.
This weekend we met our real estate agent for the first time and actually went looking at homes. I had so much fun! If you find shopping of any kind amusing -dress shopping, shoe shopping, grocery shopping – house shopping will put you over the edge. I wanted to make offers on every house we saw. Including the first house, which in hind sight is just plain insane.
The first house she took us to was this adorable cape cod in a great neighborhood. The landscaping was perfect, the backyard was perfect, the back deck was perfect. The inside? Not so perfect. But I saw potential. When I originally spoke with our agent and told her what we were looking for, I mentioned that Chris was a carpenter and so we were not afraid of something that needed a little TLC. This house was the poster child for TLC. It was owned by what one could only assume to be a crazy old couple who were professional yard sale shoppers. The entire contents of their home looked like one giant yard sale in backwoods Alabama. There were paintings of every president from Abraham Lincoln on up stuffed in one corner. There were three fake fire places that hung on the walls by a nail and plugged into the wall so that they glowed like a real fireplace. There were baskets handing from the ceiling in almost every room.
But being the HGTV addict that I am, I reminded myself to look above all of this junk and see the real potential in the house. And I saw it. Despite the fact that there were about 1,000 rooms in a little over 1,000 sq. ft. Despite the fact that the only entrance to the half bath was through the garage. Despite the fact that the front door opened into a tiny, private office instead of oh, say, the living room. Despite the pink tile bathroom and avocado green shag carpet. I saw potential.
I walked around saying things like, “We could just knock these two walls out here and make this one giant room” or “We could just close this doorway here and add sliding glass doors to the other wall” or “We could easily finish this attic and make it a nice reading room if we just put down a floor, added walls and insulation, and put in a couple windows.”
Once we walked out of the house, we stood on the front lawn and the real estate agent asked if we wanted to keep this one on the list. “Definitely,” I said. “I think it has lots of potential.” At which point Chris turns to me and says, “Then I’m leaving you.”
In the end, Chris was right. Why go through all that effort when we could just buy something that’s ready for us to move right into? I guess I got all caught up in the excitement of looking at houses. I have to say though, Chris was a rock star. He asked all kinds of questions that made me feel like a 10-year-old kid. I would ask something like, “Where are the grocery stores around here?” while Chris would ask something like, “When was the roof replaced?” He suddenly seemed so much older to me. At one point he asked something about a property line and I had to literally fight to urge to laugh out loud and punch him in the arm saying, “OOoohhhh….PROPERTY LINES…. Aren’t you smart…”
I looked at him instead and thought, “This is the same person who used to steal his dad’s car and sneak out on school nights to see me and now here we are talking to a Connecticut real estate agent about property lines and recessed lighting.” Its funny that I should realize today that I am actually married to a grown up because tomorrow is our 9 year dating anniversary (not to be confused with our June wedding anniversary). 9 years ago tomorrow we were sitting on his dad’s porch swing and he asked me to be his girlfriend. We were 16 years old. And, ironically enough, tomorrow, 9 years later, we will be meeting with our mortgage specialist at the bank for approval to buy a home. Time flies when you’re having fun, doesn’t it?
We’re going out again later this week to see more houses. At the end of the email that our agent sent us, she made sure to note: “And every one of these houses has washer/dryer hook ups and parking.” Boy am I glad. I mean, I do have my limits.