CJDaily's Blog

August 26, 2009

If I say I’m not getting my hopes up, maybe it will be true…

Filed under: Uncategorized — cjdaily @ 5:51 pm

Jesse is in the market to buy a house.  He wants my opinion on these houses he’s looking at because, well, chances are good (he assures me) that I’ll be living there too at some point.  (Like maybe after he asks me an important question, cough cough…).

So this weekend we got into the car around noon on Saturday and spent the following six hours looking at houses.  Jesse had been combing the online listings of houses for the past month or so, and had 3 folders of houses for me to peruse.  One folder had houses he loved, one had houses that might be ok, and the third had houses that were ugly or small but were in the right location or at a good price.  So I went through them all and made a pile I thought we should look at.  Then he made a pile of his own, then we put them all together, mapped out each one from closest to farthest, and set out on our adventure.  We stopped only once that day, to have lunch and give poor Belle a chance to stretch her antsy little legs. 

At some houses we stopped and lingered, some were having open houses so we went in and looked around.  Some we pulled up to and immediately said “No!” and kept driving.  Jesse’s biggest concern for a house is that it’s within a half an hour drive to work, and my biggest qualification is that it have two bathrooms.  He thinks I’m crazy, having grown up with one bathroom and not knowing the sheer joy of not having to wait outside the door while someone takes their sweet time and you contemplate peeing in the garden.  I told him that no matter how long people are married, everyone deserves a chance to poop in peace and private.  Not that I poop.  But if I were going to, you know, I’m sure I’d want to know that no one will waltz in to brush their teeth mid-defecation.  And won’t it be nice for guests to have their own toilet?  He says it’s not important, but I am holding firm. 

Anyway, it was nearing five o’clock and we were down to the last house.  I pulled the printed pages out of the folder and passed them to him so he could see the address and he looked down and frowned. 

“Did you put this one in the pile?”

I looked at the picture of the house more closely, and shrugged.  “Maybe?  I don’t know.  I thought this was one of yours.”

He shook his head, but turned the car in the right direction.  “Well, let’s go check it out since we’re nearby.”

We drive up a winding gravel road that we can only assume is a back road of some sort, and it puts us on a long paved road called Riverview Drive.  We are pretty sure there’s a river following the road, but the trees and foliage are so dense that we can’t tell.  The road comes upon a more open space, with forest on one side, and an open field on the other. 

“There it is.”  Jesse points up ahead, and through the trees we see a tall, plain brick house.  We pull up into the gravel driveway and park.  With the engine turned off, it is suddenly very quiet.  It looks as though no one lives here, but we can’t be certain.  We roll down the windows and just take it in.  I can hear a cricket chirping, IT IS THAT QUIET.  No cars, no dogs barking, no music or lawnmowers.

“This looks nicer than it does in the picture,” Jesse notes, and I agree.  Even Belle is quiet, looking out the window from her carseat with interest.  It’s a tall brick house, (two and a half floors, the printed listing tell us) with white painted posts on the porch.  We get out of the car and start walking slowly around the house.  I can see Jesse mentally noting improvements we could make.  He cups his hands around the glass in the side door and looks in.


“What?”  I hurry over and peek in beside him.  In an old house like this I’m expecting to see holes in the floor and moss in the corners so I am nothing short of shocked when I see a totally new kitchen, with nice maple cabinets and a clean white tiled floor. 

“Huh.”  I am beyond pleased and Jesse is too.  We hurry around to the front, noting the size of the porch with pleasure, making comments about how we could add a railing, put rocking chairs here, a swing there.  The front door is new, the windows look sound.  We can’t see anything past the closed lace curtains and we are itching to see more of the inside.  We keep exploring, roaming the large grass lawn (2/3 acre, says our paper) and are stunned to find an actual gurgling stream on the property line.  One the other side of the stream is a fence, and a very large hill that looks like a cow pasture, or maybe a horse farm.  Across the street on the other side of the house, maybe a quarter of a mile away, is another house; our only neighbor. 

We get back in the car, looking at each other with trepidation.  We are both afraid to admit out loud how much we like this house, for fear we’ll jinx it. 

“Oh man,” I sigh out loud.

“Yeah,” he agrees.  “Should we call Fran?”  His boss at the restaurant is also a realtor.

“Oh yeah,” I assure him.  “Like now.”

As we pull out of the driveway Jesse confesses, “I really thought this house was going to be a waste of time.  I figured we’d just come see it for the heck of it.” 

We laugh at the irony of it all—neither of us is sure who put that house in the pile, and it is the farthest away of all—an exact half an hour from Bethlehem.  But the price is low, and the taxes are half what we’d been looking at on other houses.   Twenty-four hours later we are back in the car with Fran, headed back out to this farmhouse built in 1856.  When Fran lets us in we admire the new kitchen, the new carpets, the fresh paint.  The stairs are steep and narrow, like most old houses, but it adds to the character.  We could always knock them out and put in new ones, with the money we’d save by buying a house this cheap.  The “half  floor” turns out to be the attic, which could be finished and made into another bedroom or playroom.

The fireplace alone makes our jaws drop—it comes up to my chin, and both Jesse and I could sit comfortably in it.  Of course, fireplaces were pretty big during The Civil War, and we could roast a whole pig in this one.  To finish it all off, it’s even in a great school district, despite its remote location.  Maybe we’re nuts for loving this tiny, antique house but it has charm, is a good price, has laughably low taxes, and can be added onto if need be. 

SO… we’re going to put in an offer.


1 Comment »

  1. my requirement was the 2 bathrooms too:)…and as I always tell ian, girls don’t poop or fart :), good luck!

    Comment by Tammy — August 28, 2009 @ 5:32 am | Reply

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