For the two and a half years that Janet and I (and our three cats and one dog) lived together under the roof of a much-too-snug 900-square-foot rowhouse, we would talk in far-off, dreamy tones about our "grown-up house" yet to come. For example: "In our grown-up house, we'll have enough cabinet space to store all of our pots and pans, instead of stacking them on top of the stove and storing them in the basement." Or maybe, "When we get a grown-up house, the master bedroom will have closets for both of us!" Yes, Janet's closet was in the spare bedroom/cat room/baseball card storage. Are you getting the picture?
Finally, enough was enough. We'd been talking for some time about growing our family, and the rowhouse was already too small for us and our four-legged creatures and all of our
Early on, we zeroed in on a completely renovated rancher with a fully finished basement that Janet and I both loved. After comparing and contrasting it to a few dozen more available homes, we decided to act; our agent had told us that there was another offer pending. After the three of us scrambled all night to put together a competing offer, the seller accepted the first offer - apparently without knowledge of our offer. Exactly what happened is unclear, but at the very least it was a breakdown in communication, and it was very discouraging. Have you ever been sniped on eBay? Well, it was like that, only with much higher stakes. I don't recommend it.
Though we might have found it hard to believe in the moment, our new home was still out there waiting for us, and we uncovered it just a couple of weeks later. This isn't just sour grapes, but the new place is a much better fit for us than the near-miss. It's a roomy two-story house with a finished basement, and it's not as ultra-modern as the other potential new house, but it was well-maintained by the previous owners. They lived here for thirty years and raised three children. There were little touches all over the place that made us feel like this house was meant for us: the slate patio, the storage nooks in every corner of the house, the wet bar in the basement, and of course the cat door cutouts. This is home.
(Tomorrow I'll tell you all about the joys of moving. I'm probably being sarcastic.)