Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Reality: (Potentially) Buying a House is Scary....

I'm a very tired Monkeypants today. That's what I get for staying up too late. Truth be told, I don't think I could have gone to bed any earlier. I had a very busy evening and I was a little bit wired. Besides I had decided to bake bread in my bread machine at about 11:15 p.m. and I wanted to ensure that it rose so I couldn't go to bed any earlier until the bread was actually baking.

I went house hunting last night, as I mentioned yesterday. I put an offer down on a place. It's a terrifying, overwhelming thought. It's also an exhausting process. I looked at six places last night. Of the six, three were very great houses. The first one I looked at was cute, had an awesome little yard and was on a nice street. It also had a converted garage that I loved for the fact that it was a room that could be anything I wanted it to be. The kitchen was small though and the laundry room was the kitchen. I have a feeling, in summer, that kitchen must get awfully warm when the dryer is on. I put that on hold in my mind. There were things I loved about that house. It also helped that the current owner is clearly a younger man into graphic novels and comic book type stuff, rather like me. My realtor is quite nosy which is fun. Plus he'd left some of his art on the kitchen table; he had some tattoo sketches and some panels from graphic novels. He was really good. I actually wanted to meet him because just looking around his place, he seemed very interesting. And clean. The house was...very clean.

We looked at a couple of other places that were ok but nothing spectacular. Then we got to see a house I'd wanted to see the last time I was out. Since it's still occupied, it makes it harder to get in for a look. On the porch, last night, sat this little old lady, waiting for us. The front yard was immaculate, the house clearly well-taken care of. We talked to her for a while and then we went in.

This house felt like home immediately. It was clear from the pictures on the walls that this house belonged to people who had loved it. There were photos of the lady with her husband. He wasn't there which led both my realtor and I to think she'd been recently widowed. The house itself was lovely. It just needs a little updating. Without trying to sound like an age-ist, it was pretty obvious that the house belonged to old people. Just a replacing of the curtains would make the house seem a lot more modern. But, overall, it felt like a home to me. It had the big kitchen I wanted, a laundry area, a garage. It has a big yard, nice sized bedrooms. All the appliances come with the house. The price was low. The taxes are low. Long story short...I felt like this was my house.

My realtor agreed that it seemed like a great buy. Afterwards, we talked to the lady for a while. Sure enough, she was widowed three years ago. I was relieved to find out she'd only been living in the place for twelve years. I would have felt horribly guilty wanting her house if she'd been there, say, thirty years or something. Twelve years is long enough to feel like a place is home and I felt for her because she was clearly sad. Yet because the driveway had a little slant, she said she had trouble with it and her son wanted her to move to Alabama to live with him.

By the time I was done talking to her, I knew that the neighbourhood was great, the location was great and I'd be getting more than a good buy: I'd be getting a place that was well loved, treasured, even. Also, you'll be happy to know she's not the "Derron Lady" although I will confess for a few seconds when she first spoke, she sounded a little like that lady. On a side note, she's still calling. I've discovered that Derron is her grandson. She always calls when I'm not home now and leaves Derron messages on my machine. I almost feel like I should offer to help locate Derron next time she calls. She just sounds so irritated that my answering machine is answering the phone and I still have not yet transformed into Derron.

I digress, as usual. Anyway, so, after looking at a few other places that didn't compare, I knew I had to move forward. My realtor took me to dinner and talked me through the process. I will tell you that just making an offer on a house is exhausting. There are hours worth of paperwork to be completed. I can't even imagine the amount of paperwork if I actually get to buy the house.

So, it's been just over a month since I decided I wanted to look into buying. Now I might have a place. I'm trying not to hope too much because if my offer isn't accepted, I'll be disappointed. However, like everything else in life, if it doesn't work out, I'll adjust. However, if it does work out, I will cross their scary bridge of thinking about being a homeowner and becoming one.

So, you see, last night was an adventure. I got in late. I knew I couldn't sleep. So I decided to try again with the bread, attributing the previous night's failure to bad yeast. This time, I knew I couldn't fail: I found Mario Batali's recipe for basic bread. With Mario behind me, what can go wrong? However, I did read the comments below and discovered the recipe has a typo: use 1 and a half cups of water rather than just the half-cup that is printed.

By the time I'd made the bread, I still wasn't tired and so I'd chatted on the phone to my friend in California. By the time I was done, the bread was rising and almost ready to start baking. This time, it looked like bread, at least.

I woke up this morning to a loaf of lovely crusty bread. I just had some for breakfast and have to say, once again, Mario Batali is my hero. It is delicious. I have my ham sandwich for lunch. I will find out this afternoon if my offer is accepted. I'm terrified. But I'm also excited. I'll keep you posted. Thanks, as always for reading...

Happy Wednesday!

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