Today, we went open housing with kids… I know what you’re thinking… “Why the hell would you bring your kids to open houses?!”
Well, my theory was to use them to expose all of the potential problem areas and accident hazards of a house immediately! … Drew on the other hand handed down strict instruction to the children to not even think about touching anything.
We are not ready to buy yet because we have to prepare his house to sell, get it listed, get it sold – we are already making good progress! … but this process of open housing is important to us to learn what we both like… and for me, its about feelings… and how homes feel when I go inside.
The first house we went to is one that is relatively perfect for us, a really spacious unique ranch house, big back yard that backs up to the elementary school, with potential for Drew, who is a carpenter, to completely finish most of the basement and make it nice and add rooms. (We are not ready to buy, like I said, dreaming and learning — and if these houses are still on the market when the Affton house sells…then…. ???)
Boy Child, who is 5 remember, immediately went in and found the realtor with candy, and hugged her…. Little Homie has game! The kids found the family cat and were occupied for some time while Drew and I explored. Drew really liked the house and felt like it would be a better fit for us than the second house we would later look at… I was no so sold. The entire house had Terrazzo flooring. No wood. No tile. No carpet. But it had a ton of detail work and lots of potential, a little private formal dining that was more modern with stone walls all the way around.
We get into the car and as a Mom and as a parent I saw things that I felt I should point out and Drew offered a carpenter’s perspective, which makes us a phenomenal house finding time, when the time comes.
I add, “Any house we find that has solid tile or stone or marble flooring throughout is going to need carpet with a solid amount of padding underneath it, we plan on having babies and babies don’t mix with concrete floors.”
He adds, “You know, that kitchen is already completely updated….we would just need the hardware that fits our taste and a couple newer appliances. Done.” (Kitchen and bath guy doesn’t want to come home and do kitchens and baths.)
The second house we looked at, Matt Lawrence from the Mizzou Tigers football team, former, and his significant other were looking at the house, too, even though we found out it was under contract the moment we walked in. Bummer. I didn’t know who Matt Lawrence was but Drew did because he is a pretty serious sports guy. We thought, “Hey! If it’s good enough for Matt Lawrence to look at! It’s good enough for us to look at!” Just kidding….
It was designed to be less of an open floor plan… but lots more detail work, built-ins, crown molding, an all seasons formal dining, big two car garage, nice sized backyard, perfect. AND it had a lime green door and tons of potential for rooms for Drew to build in in the basement for our older children.
However, the kitchen was lacking a bit in the detail… first thing would be a full gut and remodel of the kitchen – no questions asked. So much lovely detail but the kitchen just did not match all of the amazing personality of all of the charming Webster homes we like.
When we left everything and headed out to continue our door and run our errands… I turned and looked at Drew while he was rattling off about how he liked the first house better because it was much more open and there was so little that needed to be addressed by a potential buyer. One con – on the corner of a somewhat busy street — but in a fantastic neighborhood – and since we are only buying in one city and one city only… our options are more limited…. Anyway, I turned and looked at him and said… “Isn’t it the same as when I met you?… You know? … That feeling… That feeling of meeting a person and you just know… you spend a short time with someone and you just know that they have the potential to fall in love with that person and that you would miss that person if they were gone? Doesn’t it feel like that when you find the right house? I want to wait for that feeling… What if that feeling doesn’t happen?” And while he is cultivating his response – my brain goes to “It has to feel like that…because that is where we will raise our existing kids and add in our own kids… and where our little babies will take their first steps….Where Girl Child will bring home her first prom date…”
He interjects, “Yes. I do. I think that feeling can only happen when we have pre-approval papers and we are ready to buy, but I do believe that feeling will happen.”
So… we’ll wait for it. We have a handful of things to do at the Affton house and while Drew is out of town next weekend I intend to get some painting and such done… the window people are coming the week after that… and so we march onward.
But much like meeting Mr. Right… (or Mrs. Right)… when we find the house we’re going to just know.