We have a contract! ...and now we will rush headlong into a flurry of mulching and power washing and steam cleaning in order to get our house on the market ASAP. Good gracious.
We've been entertaining the idea of moving for 2-3 years, and started taking it more seriously at least a year ago, at which time I started browsing through listings now and then. Then this summer we decided to actually get a little more serious about it, watching the listings more avidly and considering calling our Realtor and letting him know that we're casually looking. A week and a half ago I saw a listing that looked kindof cute - probably nothing amazing, not the one, but it seemed like as good a time as any to actually call Cy, get reacquainted, and cut my teeth on touring houses. Gotta start somewhere, right? Even if this one was inside the city limits, where we'd previously said we wouldn't live...at least take a look.
But then I really liked it. And Dan, who had come along on the spur of the moment instead of staying home with the kids, liked it, too. But, you know, it's in the city. And would the bedrooms work for us? Lots of wallpaper, older kitchen...but all in very good shape, and easy to change, and the house was just...so...us. It has wood floors and nice moldings, a side porch, a huge old fashioned attic, big sunny windows, a screened back porch, a large basement, and a beautiful yard with enough sun for gardening and enough shade for playing, even in August. Gas cooking, radiators for heat, a/c for the summertime. It has a 1950s feel (parts of it remind me of my Medon grandparents' home, which I loved) and is really well-maintained. It has "secret" stairways, according to Griffin, and the kinds of nooks and crannies that make it a great home for creating childhood memories. It is smaller and certainly less ostentatious than our current abode, which is good. It sits in an adorable neighborhood, one of the quaint West Endy ones that I would sometimes drive through and wish I could live there. It's walking distance (sidewalks!) from a great elementary school with a wonderful playground as well as from at least one good friend's house. It's a long walk, short bike, minutes-long car ride to Carytown. Much, much closer to Dan's office, Reese's preschool, and our favorite museums and parks. The price is perfect - less than I was expecting to pay, but not so low that you wonder who they buried under the basement floor. This is a house that can fit our lifestyle...but can we fit into it?
I spent the weekend obsessing over it (let me tell you, anxiety + sleep deprivation + husband out of town + housing concerns = bad combo!) and moving things into it in my imagination. I realized that I was finding places for Griff's art supplies and my great-grandmother's glass bottles - well, not finding places, knowing where they'd go. I needed to see it again. (In the meantime I looked at four other homes, two of which were nice and fit our needs, but none of them called to me at all, unlike this one.) So on Tuesday, we went back. Every room was twice as big as I had remembered, and with those "where do we put the piano, and will our fridge fit?" worries settled, I only loved it more.
The house feels like it's full of stories, and I can completely see us adding our own stories to them.
So, after studying comps and talking to the bank, we put an offer on it last night, fully expecting a counter-offer, and willing to pay their asking price, if it came to it. It was a fair price, after all.
They accepted. We're moving! Our closing is scheduled for October 31, and we will move in after a couple of cosmetic touch-ups (floors/walls), probably in mid-November.
Next step: talking to Mary Munford about Griff starting there on Sept 2 instead of starting at Shady Grove and switching mid-year. Cross your fingers for him/us. We are also having to step up our formerly leisurely plans to spruce up the Burberry Lane house and get it on the market. No stress, eh?
And can I tell you how AWESOME it is that we have enough of a "tribe" here now that we had people rooting for us to move close to them? During all of my college drives past Richmond, I never imagined that someday this would be home