The first time i saw the place, my jaw dropped. It was HUGE! Five bedrooms? An extra kitchen downstairs. Full dining room, with hardwood floors through the entire upstairs. There was NO WAY that this was going to be my home – it was amazing! More house than i could have ever wanted… “We’ll NEVER be able to fill it up*- we don’t have enough stuff!”
That feeling washed back over me as i watched the face of the young woman, carrying a baby, as she entered the home for the first time since she and her husband offered to purchase it from me. Her jaw was very nearly on that hardwood floor.
When i moved to “The Barbie Dream Condo” almost two years ago, i kept the old family home as a rental property – waiting for the housing market to recover at least a little. The house represents my savings, and i wanted to optimize the cash out of it. The tenants moved out last weekend, and i put the place on the market again last Sunday. On Wednesday morning**, i was stunned when my realtor brought me three offers…
Reviewing the offers over coffee that afternoon, i grilled him about the people who wanted to buy the house. He described the young couple with five kids (four under the age of 10 plus a 21 year old from a prior marriage), who are currently living in a very small three bedroom home nearby. He even remembered to check my most important criteria – yes, they have a dog!
Sure, i wanted to know their credit scores, ability to come up with the down payment, and timing (whether the sale would be contingent on the sale of their current home). But it was the five damn kids that sealed it for me. And the dog***.
It was a great house for our family. A closed neighborhood with very little traffic, it was safe for kids to ride bikes. Trees. A creek full of crawdads and tadpoles. Good neighbors. The kind that look out for each other, without getting nosey – a delicate balance.
After i accepted their offer, The Boy and i decided to drop by and walk through it – he was headed back to school, and wouldn’t have a chance to see it again before closing. Twenty years of memories. Scrapes on the concrete ledge in the garage where The Boy perfected edge grinds. The artsy-fartsy light switch covers in The Girl’s old bedroom. The ceramic tile in the kitchen, installed by my niece’s first husband – as he tried to earn money to pay his legal fees after his arrest. Goofy stickers on the dartboard in The Boy’s old bedroom.
As The Boy and i drove home, he said “That chapter is closed. Nice to have seen it one last time.” It’s almost closed for me, too. If all goes well, that will happen Tuesday morning, after the paperwork is completed and i hand over the keys and garage door openers.
It brings me tremendous pleasure that there will be little kids in that home. And a dog.
* Stumble forward 20 years. We filled it. And then some… dumped a couple tons at the garage sale.
** Happy fucking birthday, by the way! It sold in three days. My advice: listen to your realtor.
*** The husband told me it’s a Doberman, who is afraid of climbing stairs. She’ll either get over it, or spend a lot of time downstairs!