And oh man, did that place do us in. We were completely in love. It was in many ways, a dream house for us both. We're both total suckers for old houses, and the more charming little features the better. This place had it all: lots of stained glass, four (working!) fireplaces, moulding, carved banister, built-ins, French doors between all the rooms, a storage window seat under a big window, a flat backyard...seven bedrooms! We could tell it needed some work (and some tearing out of ugly wallpaper), which didn't scare us, and it was being sold for significantly less than it's value.
|We were Mary from It's a Wonderful Life, head-over-heels for a big old house that was nothing but a money pit|
We still didn't want to let ourselves hope it could ever be ours. This is the sort of place we always fantasized that we could *maybe* end up in eventually...but never as a first home. But we mentioned it to our parents, and I feel like things just took off from there. Before we knew it, we had an offers of gifts/loans from the parents to help with the downpayment and a pre-approval for a mortgage from a bank (one which doesn't require the entire downpayment to come from the buyers themselves!). For a moment there, it looked like we might actually possibly be able to own this amazing house.
But then the realtor brought us through the house again, this time in the daylight when we could see the flaws more easily....and with a contractor. Now, Tom and I are both willing to do a lot of fix-ups ourselves in a future home. But there are only so many things we have the ability to do. The contractor pointed out so many things that would need to be repaired - many of them as soon as possible - which we just aren't capable of doing ourselves (mold removal, re-bricking the chimney, etc.). And he gave us estimates for each job, "You're looking at $15,000-$20,000 for this", "Probably $20,000 for that"...Oh my. It's a shame. I wonder who will buy that house. It has the potential to be absolutely stunning, but it needs a lot of money to get there.
|Yes, the rest of the house is in shambles, and you can't even get upstairs because the stairway fell down...but isn't this one corner so cozy and nice?|
After that, though, it was easy to let go. It reminds me of one of those shows on HGTV...I think it's Property Brothers? The realtor always takes the couple to their absolute dream house first, and then when they see the price tag, it knocks them back to reality. Then they can start looking at more realistic places. I guess that's what we'll need to do as well.
Tom thinks we need to "cool it" for a while on the search for a house. Reluctantly, I'll try to do that. But I think my nesting instincts are making me long to be settled in a place of our own before the baby comes at the end of March. Our current place works. We have enough room. Sigh.
|Mary Bailey fixing up the dream house|