We "house hunted" unconventionally. Five years ago, we wanted to buy a house and met with a realtor. We saw one house -- a dilapidated three-family foreclosure and thought "hmm, let's rent instead". After we got married, we wanted to buy a house again. We called up the same realtor and went to see two houses -- a split-level short sale that was, at the time, "owned" by hoarders and a teeny tiny shack that wouldn't allow us any room to grow. Again, we thought, "hmm, let's rent instead". In October, I was browsing Trulia (as I normally did) and one particular house caught my eye. I told Sean that it was adorable and kept admiring the pictures online. The next day, I looked at Trulia again, at the same house, and told Sean, once more, that this particular house was beautiful. On the third day, I looked at Trulia again, at the same house, and told Sean, once more that this certain house was quite possibly the best thing I'd ever seen. On the fourth day, I looked at Trulia again… do you see where I'm going with this? Basically, I looked at it every day -- and after 11 days of being totally obsessed with it I told Sean that we needed to call up our realtor and see the house in-person. I thought, at least if it's ugly or bad or too old or too "something" -- I'll know that we didn't miss out. But ignoring the feeling I had about this house that I had never seen… just couldn't be done. So, we emailed and requested a showing. Our realtor's name was Sue and she got us a showing after work a night that week. I think it was a Wednesday.
You know how on HGTV they always talk about the peoples' "must haves". Well ours were: three bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, outdoor space, a screened-in porch and a garage. But the biggest thing was that the house had to be in a certain town. That was the one criteria that I wouldn't budge on. In addition, I always told Sean that my dream house would be a white house with black shutters and a red door. He always said that our first house may not look like that in the beginning but it could probably be changed. So in October when I saw this house online and saw that the house was white I was pretty excited. The shutters looked dark blue in the pictures. So imagine my surprise when we pulled up to the half-moon driveway and saw a white house with black shutters (check!). I was pumped. We walked up the stone pathway into the screened-in porch (check!). Once through the porch and into the house we were in a great sized in-eat kitchen. The wood cabinets gave it a cabin feel (one that I could do without) but Sean really enjoyed the look. It was a relief to hear that all the mismatched appliances were staying with the house since those are less items to have to factor in financially. The window looked out onto a nice sized yard (check!).
Walking through the kitchen, down a short hallway we noticed a walk-in pantry on the left through a set of double doors. Across the hall was a full bathroom (wait until you see the fancy wallpaper) and the following door on the left was the door down to the walk-out basement (that's a major selling point around these parts, by the way). The next room we entered -- the living room. A huge room -- that went from the front of the house to the back of the house and had 4 pretty large windows (original windows -- sure, but the pretty 24-pane windows that make you remember you're in New England). The living room also had a great fireplace with a true mantle.
The next room we saw was an addition and not a part of the original 1957 house. It was being used as a family room and had a beautiful set of doors leading out to a deck. My wheels started turning as I thought about when we'd use this room for: a room for Sean's instruments was the first thing that came to mind.
Back tracking through the living room we circled to the front of the house by the front door (a quick look at the door would have revealed that it was in fact RED (check!) although we wouldn't notice that until the morning we signed papers). We entered the dining room -- a nice room with vibrant wallpaper but the nice hardwood floors continued just like in the rest of the house so that was a plus. The second door in the dining room led us back into the kitchen and we realized we made a complete circle through the traditional Cape Cod style home with wainscoting in nearly every room.
The showing continued upstairs (pictures to come) and downstairs (that's not all that photogenic) and outside and we stayed in the house for over an hour. At the end of the visit we discussed putting in a back-up offer since the house was already under contract. And so when we went back to our apartment we hoped for it. And we thought about how we'd decorate it. And we talked about how much we loved it. And it worked out. After a month and a half of insanity and stress. It worked out. Crazily and completely unexpectedly and totally unconventionally. It happened. We didn't look at a million houses. And we didn't let our realtor choose houses to show us. We saw two houses in October. The one we wanted, and one other one just to say "we looked". That's what I did when I bought my wedding dress and I never regretted it. :)