Saturday, November 12, 2011

How house hunting REALLY happens... The one that got away.

I looked at the first house in my search last March. I started looking pretty casually, and found a place at a great price, in a great neighborhood. So I clicked on a a link that would put me in contact with a Realtor so I could go see it. It turned out to be a really cute house, on a tiny lot, in really bad shape. Pretty much a total gut job. And what I thought was a good neighborhood was actually a little sketchy pocket within a better neighborhood. It seriously felt like I was in a whole different part of town.

So the first place was a no-go, but it officially marked the beginning of what turned out to be a very loooong process. I went out with my realtor multiple times over the next several months, but my price point made it difficult to find something in the area I wanted that wasn't a tiny box or in need of some serious renovation (which, because of my budget, is not something that I'm able to undertake).

I found a house in mid-summer that I was really excited about. I saw pictures online that were really cute, and when I went to go see it, it was pretty apparent it wasn't like the others that I had seen. I seriously started tearing up while walking through it. My realtor told me that she had never had someone react to a house like that. It was very small, but had everything I wanted, and had an amazing screened porch that led to a patio in the back yard. The yard was fenced, which was on my "list", and the house was in great shape. Even the paint colors were cute.

We left to go look at a few other properties, and after a little while I asked if we could go back to the first house. My realtor left a message for the owners to let them know we were going back in (it was vacant and for sale by owner) and we went back and I took a bunch of pictures and fell even more in love. We went back to her office to look at comps in the area, and I left her office brainstorming when I could get my parents into town to look at it. It was very important to me that they see something before I put in an offer, and since they only live about an hour and a half away, it wasn't impossible. My realtor called me on the way home and we met in a parking lot a few blocks from her office, and that's when I got The News. The house was under contract already. Cue devastating-plot-twist music.

Why they didn't tell the realtor that when she arranged the showing to begin with, I'll never know. But needless to say, my heart was broken. I had, in the course of a few hours, arranged my furniture, planted a garden, made thanksgiving dinner, and decorated a Christmas tree all in my head. I guess this is what it would feel like to fall in love with a guy only to find out he's married. Or gay.

So long story short, I went home and cried. Like a sad puppy left out in the rain while his family sits inside all warm and snuggly. It was pretty pathetic. I looked at the pictures I had taken for weeks after that, and compared every subsequent house I looked at to that one. I needed to take some time off from the hunt, so I could 'heal'. I really believe that everything happens for a reason, and it turns out that I didn't get that house for a very good reason. Because I found The One a few months later.

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