the house on Jefferson Street

That perfect house I talked about? We found it. And I can finally, FINALLY tell you about it with only a sliver of terror that I’m jinxing everything.

We close at 2 pm today, but you’ll understand my superstition.

So there was this house. It was way out of our price range, but we looked at it anyways. It was definitely overpriced, but of course, it had everything. “Now remember,” Aaron tried to caution me as we stood in the back lawn and I clasped my hands in rapture, “you can’t get your hopes up.”

Too late.

We looked some more, but nothing fit. Nothing even came close. Meanwhile our closing date was looming ever closer, and we hadn’t even made an offer on another house. Then the Jefferson house dropped a little in price, and we contacted our mortgage broker just to crunch the numbers. Just to see. Curiosity, you know?

And the numbers worked out. We suddenly had a fighting chance.

So we submitted an offer, a low one. That met with a resounding NO. So we countered and we haggled and the answer came back the same stubborn no, No, NO. After what felt like a million years, the seller finally accepted an offer. We celebrated giddily, until we began to think about how many things could still go wrong. Like the inspection.

The inspection happened, and the house had a high level of radon. We sat with knots in our stomach, positive that the seller would refuse to pay for radon mitigation. But then he did.

“Alright.” We said. “Maybe he’s not so unreasonable. Now we just have to get past the appraisal.”

The appraisal happened, and the numbers came back $32k lower than the price we had agreed to pay. Our stomachs dropped again as our realtor tried to find some sort of compromise with the seller, who was steadfastly refusing to drop the price. The appraisal was sloppy, so we challenged it, but the appraiser also refused to budge. That’s when the seller started threatening to put the house back on the market, and suddenly our dream house was slipping through our fingers.

As a last resort, we ordered a second appraisal, hoping it would come back higher. The odds were not in our favor, and we had to face the reality that we might lose this house. I sat on the couch and tried not to panic as I looked for other houses on the market, but there were none. Not a single one that matched our criteria. So instead I panicked because obviously if we didn’t get this house, we’d never find another house and we’d end up homeless and we’d have to give away our animals and then we’d DIE.

The closing on our old house had been scheduled for 9 am on a Friday and the closing for this new house had been scheduled to follow directly afterwards that same day. But as we waited for the second appraisal to come through, it was clear that we would not be able to move out of our old house and into our new house like we’d planned.

So we started researching storage units and long term UHAUL rentals and short term apartments and extended stay hotels, all the while having no idea how long we’d need them. Or if we’d need them at all.

Spontaneity is fun in regard to road trips or hair colors. It’s a lot less fun when you have a house full of stuff + 3 cats + 1 dog and nowhere to put any of it. This is adulthood, kids.

The day before we moved, we finally got an answer. The second appraisal had come back at a mere $2k lower than the price. The seller agreed to match the appraisal and suddenly we had our dream house again. But twice bitten, thrice shy, we didn’t dare celebrate or talk about it or even breathe.

Moving day came, and we loaded all our belongings into a UHAUL and then into a storage unit. We said goodbye to our little house, and pulled out of the driveway for the last time. We packed one cat up and left him at my sister’s apartment. The other two and the dog came with us to a friend’s house where we all squished into a tiny room. “It’s very bohemian.” I said from our mattress on the floor. The cats sat and stared at us, unamused.

We got the notice the next day. Our closing date for the new house had been set for Wednesday.

We had a closing date. As in, we might actually get to move into this house. As in, this might actually happen.

Last night we had our final walk through, and we finally let ourselves breathe. This was going to happen. We were buying this house, our dream house.

“I want to go to bed as soon as we get home so tomorrow comes faster.” I said giddily in the car. Aaron laughed at me, but that’s what we did, two adults giggling in the dark like children on Christmas Eve.

Today. Today we are buying our new house. Our dream house. The house we plan on living in for the next 50 years. And I am so ecstatic, but…

I will uncross my fingers only after the final papers are signed.

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