What happens when the house you were sure was supposed to be yours ends up being an obvious dud?
We toured *that house* again on Monday with a contractor and heard all about the issues, mainly lots of water damage, termites (!), and a pool that is non-functioning. Needs some work on the sewage (ew), gutters, a roof, and perhaps a new garage.
We walked away feeling satisfied that we gave it the ole' college try, but neither hubs or I felt like going down that road with that house. The ruined pool pretty much sank the ship. And I was totally ok with it as I drove away. It was an interesting part of this journey, and I learned important lessons, honed my instincts more, even thru the ups and downs....the excitement and the disappointments. I felt relieved when we closed the door on this possibility, knowing there are others out there waiting to be discovered.
See, here's the thing. I get all excited and see all the possibilities and believe and hope and dream about a new house every week. I'm wicked good at it. Hubs is my grounding force, but sometimes he comes off as a wet blanket. We had some frank discussions (ok, we argued) about how I need him to dream with me sometimes instead of trying to protect me from falling from too high when reality hits.
Maybe that happened years ago (pretty sure it did), but in my midlife, I can disconnect pretty quickly from the hopes and dreams so long as I'm presented with cold, hard facts. I don't throw too many tantrums over broken house dreams anymore.
So we're moving on. Actually I had already found another property with awesome potential before we even went on Monday. I think it was my way of having a back-up plan in case things don't go according to my dreams. :)
Having passed on *that house*, I again went back to my cottage instincts, our priorities, our wants and needs. Hubs says our intuition simply pushes us in a direction with no specifics....but our brains engage and take over, assigning specifics that may or may not be where our intuition was leading. Hmmmmm......
So what if I told you now we're looking at a property that would give me both old and new for even less than *that house*?
Tomorrow we'll check out a one acre property in the city that includes that cape cottage up thar on half and an empty lot on the other where a home had previously lived. Not sure if it burned down or what, but an empty lot with trees is an empty lot with trees. And a driveway :)
My brain says, live in the cutie-patootie cape cod and build something smallish next door. Then rent or sell the cape to our kids. Way out there, yeah? I'd get to enjoy the character of the cape, help the kids make it theirs after ours was built, but mosey on next door to my new house with lots of windows and my soaking tub :)
But there's potential....that's how my brain works. I believe the impossible until it proves it ain't possible. And so many things would have fall in line for this property to work out. I'm not going into this completely blind to the improbabilities, but I don't let them squash the hope in possibilities.
Just for funsies, we'll be looking at 4 other newly built homes, one that is $100K more than that cute little cottage up there. I need to step inside and 'feel' them too. It would give me an idea how 'new' strikes my instincts.
But hold up. I thought my intuition said building wasn't our style. Upon further digging, (and seeing the reality of an older home) I think I could live in new OR old....it's just a new neighborhood that cramps my style. The cottage/lot is not in a neighborhood....no restrictions, no one making sure our lawn is perfect, no association dues. No Jones to keep up with.
And the lot is deep, but narrow, so it limits the type of home we could build there, meaning smaller, which is fine by me as all the homes along there would qualify as either ranch, cape cod or farmhouse. I'd build something to blend into the landscape...which means cheaper, by about 50 grand that what we were previously considering. And yes, I've already found another floorplan that would work....the graph paper has already made it back to front and center on my desk.
I was also reminded how this journey began...but visiting a friend whose new home 'looked' old. And realizing we could afford it. Which doesn't mean that's what we will do, just that the idea of building shouldn't be completely abandoned if the right lot/style/price can be found.
So I suppose I'm saying my cottage instincts don't lead me down a path to a particular place...but that they keep me true to what I love. And oh how I love cottages....beachy, craftsman, farmhouse, capes, both new AND old. I love 'em all. I'm not gonna get stuck on a certain place thinking it's the 'only one'....like some folks do with spouses. I believe we become 'the one' after we risk and take a leap. I'm looking for a home that will support our over arching priorities (not spending the upper limits of our income on housing is the biggest). I'm looking for the potential that it will BECOME 'the one'. And for every dream home that falls thru, there are always other fish in the sea, yeah?
Mumford & Sons is my favorite band right now (my brother happens to be their booking agent). This refrain is in one of their new songs:
"'Cause I know my weakness, know my voice
And I'll believe in grace and choice"
I still believe in magic (grace). But I believe we create that magic by staying open to the possibilities that line up with our priorities (choice). I also believe signs are real, but that they don't necessarily mean specific things....more like general leanings. I think we have to create our realities after we've done the hard work of understanding ourselves...what we like, what we love, what makes us unique.
Then there are all kinds of opportunities, each with gifts and each with issues. Kinda takes the pressure off. No need to worry and fret that we've missed out on 'the one'. I believe in 'the many'....and for this season, we're gonna hope to make the best choice out of the many, trusting that we have the vision to make any home we buy or build 'the one'.
I hope sharing our windy path toward our next home is helpful to you guys. I know it can sound like I have no idea where I'm going....but as I navigate my way thru this, I'm learning so much about myself, and I hope it can encourage especially those of you who feel like you can't trust your instincts to guide you. Even in that moment when I thought "I missed it again" after our second visit to *that house*, I knew my cottage instincts could be trusted...that there must be something else out there for us.
And I believe we'll find it.