Thursday, August 16, 2007 in House stuff

The story of our house – part 2

Boy, I left you all hanging for a long time, didn’t I? Part one is all the way back here. When last we left, we had just sent our initial offer in.

It took two weeks for them to get back to us. This was during the same time the doctor was telling me my girly bits were all rebelling against me.

I have to pause here and insert a bit of recent history of the house. The people who actually lived in it before us were not the people we bought it from. They had lived here for a few years, fixing up the place after buying it from some old man who had lived here for years. Eventually, cable access came to the area and the cable company needed a spot to put the huge satellite dishes and towers. They are in a spot next to the house, and in return for access, the previous owners got free cable. At some point, the former owner became not very well. I think I mentioned previously that I was told he had some sort of mental breakdown. It was after this he informed the cable company to either come get the equipment off his lawn or buy the house from him.

So they did.

We were trying to buy the red house, not from the previous owners who now live within full view, but from a massive corporation with people who had actually never even set foot in the house and looked at it from the perspective of how much it would sell for in Montreal. They hadn’t drained the water pipes, hadn’t heated it over the winter, or even bothered with basic maintenance in the yard. And they thought it was worth a fortune. Top that off with a Realtor who didn’t seem interested in marketing it. Considering the initial price they were selling at, it was obvious they weren’t listening the the realtor anyway.

By the time they got back to us, I was a mess. They counter-offered. Sure, they had come down, but it was just over what we felt was the very top end of what we could afford. And by top end, I mean even after scraping the barrel, borrowing money and stretching ourselves to the breaking point. I was even making a list of items I could sell, not quite realizing it would leave me with an empty house. Ron broke it to me gently, “We can’t do it, honey,”

I hadn’t cried that hard since my grandmother died. Here I was about to lose a house I loved and some body parts to boot.
I let myself wallow for a bit, sniffed hard, and pulled up my bootstraps. We didn’t send anything back about the counter-offer and set off to look at a few more houses, some of which were deplorable and workable if we were desperate. And I thought we just might be. We could buy a dump and move again in a couple years, right? Right?

I packed up the kids and went over here with Ron to look at houses. He had asked if I wanted to look inside the red house, as I still hadn’t been in it. I refused, telling him that if there wasn’t much of a chance of us getting it, I didn’t want to torment myself. The pictures & just driving by it were enough for me to know I wanted it.

A week or two later, we finally settled on a house we thought we could manage. It wasn’t a dump, but it was small. And from another era. Not even a good era. The old couple that had lived in it had kept it in pristine condition since 1978. I had just started getting used to the idea of my stuff crammed in that little house that was one bedroom short of what we really needed, when the Realtor said, “Oh, the cable company got back to me and asked if you were going to counter-offer on the red house.”
Ron looked at me and my heart stopped before I dared to hope. “I was looking for sign,” he told me later. We tentatively put in a counter-offer, creeping upwards just a bit, and we set in to wait. Anything more would break us.

I was still recovering from the first round of surgery, and we had been looking at houses over here and trying to enjoy each other’s company as much as possible while we could. My aunt cooked us a lovely anniversary dinner at her house when our cell phone rang. It was our Realtor. She had been trying to call us all afternoon, but because I am cell phone stupid, I did not hear the ringing in my purse. Ron talked to her with a series of “uh-huh” and “okay” and even, “cool.”He hung up and grinned at me stupidly.

“We got the house.”
“We got the house?” I asked, not wanting to get my hopes up.
“Yeah, we got the house.” The light was gleaming in his eyes.
“The red house?” I wanted to make sure.
“Yes, the one you wanted.”

I burst into tears again and buried my face in my hands. My poor Aunt Boo and her husband. They were so confused. We didn’t say we had put an offer in on any house. We hadn’t said anything to anybody because if it didn’t work out, I wanted to suffer in silence. Besides, I hate crying and avoid it if at all possible.

“Is she okay?” asked my uncle Leroy, “Should we do something?” Both Sarah and Ron assured them I’d be fine in a minute. Aunt Boo wanted to make sure they were happy tears. By then I was ready to recover, and I let the news wash over me in relief as Ron cradled & comforted me.
“This is a better anniversary than last year,” I muttered.

And we left so I could finally go see inside my new house. I love my house almost as much as I love my husband.


  1. Wow, that was serendipity.

  2. What a touching(and funny) story. We are about to start looking for a new house (what happened to my old one is posted on my blog today) and I am excited and nervous. I hope I find just the right house too.

  3. Reading this made me cry.
    Why is it that some people don’t understand that a house is more than just four walls…it’s a member of the family.