I never thought I'd move back to my hometown, but after I realized that I could get a house less than an hour away from my job for half the cost of a house 20 minutes from work, I decided it wasn't such a bad place. So I started the grueling task of house hunting with my partner. After a lot of internet searching and a couple of days out on the town with our realtor, he and I took the dog for a walk while we discussed our options. We were resigning ourselves to the best of the bunch we had seen so far. Not a house we were thrilled with, but it had most of what we were looking for.
Then we turned a corner and saw our realtor standing on the porch of this house. It was serendipity. It had a notice in the window that it had been foreclosed on and our search was immediately over. It was the neighborhood I'd wanted to live in my whole life. It was walking distance to my mother's. It had sidewalks for my partner's daughter to ride her bike on. It had kids. It had my favorite Chinese restaurant and a 24 hour drug store and a grocery and an antique dealer. It was simply the best location we could ask for. At the best price we had seen so far.
And once we were actually able to get in to see the house, it was exactly what we wanted. We both love older homes. I grew up in a 1920s home with a pantry and creaky floor boards. And since then I've lived in 40s and 50s houses that are great, but they're mostly little cracker boxes.
This was no cracker box. It had casement windows, and a gas log fireplace, a mud room, a window seat and a bathroom that had been redone in the fifties in pink tile. Hardwood (somewhere under the carpet), big porch with a screened in area and a red brick patio.
However, it also had 1920s knob and tube wiring, floor furnaces and window units, some roof problems and some bad patch jobs in the floor (our first indication of the termites). And the godawful ugliest kitchen (fruit-themed sheet-vinyl faux tile backsplash, anyone?) And that's just what we could see on first inspection.
But we bid and we got it. And we love it. And some days we are in over our heads completely. We spend hours online trying to figure out one problem or another, turning ourselves into plumbers and sheetrock hangers and floor refinishers. And someday we'll actually get to move in.