Sunday, February 26, 2006

A Tale of Two Houses

We looked at three houses yesterday. It comes down to two of these three.

Pictures are in the House Hunting Set on Flickr if you're interested.

One of them, the one on the Dead End Street near the conservation lands, which I was most excited about, was a new view to us. We'd driven around it a million times, scoping it out. I love the location, love the dead end street. mls 70326056 geoff enteringBut, we're ruling out totally. It needs way too much work. It has subflooring, no real floors for one... There would be benefits to moving over there like dead end street, conservation lands, nice and quiet, but the amount of work we need to do over here is far less than what needs done over there. We'd be better off staying here and fixing up this place and staying.

We went to see busy street house again, because Geoff wanted to see the interior. He "100 percent loves the house" in his words. He picked his bedroom. He is totally stoked for the house.

His enthusiasm helps me see beyond the busy street. I know he'd be very happy there. I actually began to really think about layout, furniture, where stuff would go, backyard, front yard... and the price is absolutely right for us. We could swing this one and live there forever, drinking pina coladas in the pool for many summers to come.

So then we went to see a brand new house to the market. It is still under construction. A 19th century farmhouse on a dead end street, right up behind the one I fell in love with in the first place.

All I have to say is:

Oh, my, God, Becky. Look at this house. (Bonus points for the reference there kids).

mls 70333482 exteriorIt is, by far, the nicest thing on planet earth.

It has a dead end street with a hill down to scary main road, which makes me nervous but I need to give my bike-ridin' son more credit that he can handle that. So I get my dead end, less traffic life choice. Okay. The house is pink. My husband can handle that. And so can I, without singing John Mellencamp songs.

The place has been carefully and lovingly restored with period details, while being completely updated for the 21st century. The laundry room is up in the second floor kids bathroom. So I'd never have to go outside to go to the basement to do laundry again, nor would there be any schlepping upstairs of baskets of laundry. Can you Imagine THAT!?

There are two staircases -- one to the "master suite" off the kitchen, and one up to the kids area. When I was growing up, my friend Jen H. had two staircases in her house, and I thought that was the coolest thing I'd ever seen in my entire life. I loved their house.

They also had a formal livingroom with a baby grand piano, but. That's neither here nor there.

One bedroom has very high eaves so Jess could live in it and not bump her head. It has a large walk-in closet, and is laid out beautifully. The front bedroom has 2 nice sized closets and is a lovely size. Bigger than what Geoff has now.

The "master suite" kicks bedroom ass. It has a gorgeous high ceiling and windows that are up five feet in the air for great privacy. I can totally see my bedroom set in there, whereas at the busy street house my bedroom set doesn't match the walls and I'd so have to paint. It has a 3/4 bath, which I've never seen before -- a HUGE shower stall that many people can dance in, and a lovely tiled floor. The entire house is wide pine flooring, except the master bedroom which is bamboo flooring. And it is just simply gorgeous.

The supports in the basement are trees. Old cedar trees. The originals. They're amazingly cool.

The kitchen is totally fabulous, with a wicked island and stainless steel appliances. A dishwasher, y'all. I've never had a dishwasher. I've been married for going on 15 years and have washed dishes that entire time, with a little help from the other three people in my family. I'm ready for a dishwasher.

There is a livingroom, an office/den, and dining room in the house too. The dining room is directly between the kitchen and livingroom, and we'd need a really pretty table and chair set in there to make it pop... What we have now would be okay for the eat-in area of the kitchen, but this house needs some nice furniture

See, it's like the whole "orgy friends" thing I wrote about when we bought our bedroom set last month. I'm already buying the couch, the area rugs (because the wide pine HAS to show or it wouldn't be worth it) the tables, the artwork, the everything.

There are so many beautiful little details in this house.

The only fly in the ointment is: There is a large lot next door, which comes with the house. The builder is working on plans to put in 2 more houses on this lot. Whoever buys the house would sign documentation agreeing to "sell" the builder back the land in 1 or 2 parcels. He may or may not be permitted to put up two houses. He may only get permitted to do one. May get permitted to do none. That's still up in the air. But. If he gets permitted to do both, we'd have a .23 acre yard. If it worked out that he can only put up one, or none, the huge lot is ours.

That would be my preference.

I love this house. It is more than I wanted to spend though. And that makes me somewhat anxious.

And it comes down to this, like a bad 80s John Cusack Movie, I'll make my analogy in the form of possible boyfriends for our heroine:

Busy street house --This place is like the best friend from elementary school you've known your whole life, but he wears that stupid hat and rolls up his pant cuffs to show off his Chuck Taylors (which are two different colors) and wears suspenders and a sport jacket with a T-shirt. You've known this person for a long time as and are really comfortable with him. He just told you he loves you, and you're scared but you are on the verge of being ready to take that next step into relationship. He will never betray you, he treats you right, and you fit together perfectly. He is attainable, it is just right for you, in fact - better than you initially thought, but it took some time to see the great qualities. (ie: fourth bedroom and a finished basement to get off the analogy). No one else wants to hang out with this friend because they can't see past the flaws they've discovered on first impression. But you see past those, and you really like this friend.

Pink house -- is like that guy you fall in love with in high school who is just perfect, but out of your league. You have all the same things in common. In class you crack jokes and he laughs, he likes Monty Python and Death Cab for Cutie, and so do you. You worked on a project together and he showed you his vulnerable side, and you gave him support because his dad is such a jerk! But. He's in with that group of people who hate you, the popular and perfect crowd. So he doesn't pay attention to you outside of class. You dream about this guy. You know that you'd make a perfect couple. But he is just out of reach.

Which one do you pursue? Do you try for that John Cusack or do you fall back on Jon Cryer?

Doug and I crunched some numbers and we could make pink house work for sure. But if something happened where either of us lost our jobs we'd be screwed. Busy street house we could live in forever. It's attainable immediately.

So much to think about.

Anyway -- there is an open house today and I'm going to go and take Jess and my girl C will join us because I want her to see this one. I wish my mom and sister could come see these right now. I hope the open house isn't too crowded. I don't want to get in there and be all "Squeeeeee!" with other potential "Squeee-ers" around me.

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