Mike and I have now bought four houses and lived in many more. I adored three of our homes, disliked one, and tolerated most. I did learn over the years that as a renter with no long-term commitment, I could overlook shortcomings. There were times that I liked the house but not the location. Other times I have liked the location but not the house. Both situations are tolerable for short periods but tedious for over a year or two. Usually, though, when searching for a place to live, I know as soon as I walk into the house if this is The One.
Our first house in Arizona (and the one we were preparing to leave) was love at first sight. I told my realtor that this was It as soon as we walked in the front door. She suggested that I walk through the house and look at the yard. Being pre-cell phone days, we had to race to my sister’s house and call the listing agent to let her know we were preparing to make an offer even as the agent was in negotiations in the kitchen with another buyer. I never tired of that house.
This current house was not love at first sight. Having looked at many other houses, though, we were clear on what to look for. The location was perfect: walking distance of a good school, close to shopping and access to highways, and in the neighborhood of my sister and big bro. What impressed me on the original walk through was the size of the kitchen. There were plenty of cupboards and counter space. The house was working toward 30 years old and had not been updated but appeared cared for. The yard: well, we had owned the largest lot in our subdivision at 11,000 sq. ft. We never counted on nor wanted anything that large. This new lot was 16,000 sq. ft.
We would also have to adapt some space to accommodate a second bedroom en suite for ED. We were about the enter the exciting world of renovation.
ED had previously sold her home but the sale had fallen through. The good thing was that her house was ready to put on the market or, as she decided, to rent out. Mike and I prepared to move March 1, 2014, and she would follow at the end of the school term in May.
The real work was about to begin!