On Sunday, we headed to Montclair, crossing our fingers that we’d find something we loved that would turn our eyes from the Maplewood fixer-upper. We saw five houses, and, alas, none were perfect the way that the (unperfect) fixer-upper is perfect. We saw one beautiful home that had an inground pool (terrifying to me, with babies around), no garage, and no playroom. We saw a large, newly renovated home that was on a very busy road and had a tiny yard. We saw an interesting farmhouse with nice woodwork and a great yard, but the ceilings were low, the upstairs felt very tight (no hallway), and the whole place smelled intensely like the dog that was barking at us from the screened-in porch. (Note to future self: When selling your home, get it thoroughly cleaned first.) We saw a gorgeous, charming Victorian that had everything we wanted—but it was surrounded by apartment buildings and two-family rentals. It’s been on the market for six months, so clearly we’re not the only ones scared off by the unstable neighborhood.
When we discuss these homes, I feel like we’re on an episode of House Hunters. Will we choose house #1, busy road? House #2, smells like dog? House #3, toddler death trap? House #4, unpredictable neighbors?
And we choose…none of them. We came home from our day more certain than ever that we want the dreamy Maplewood home. After seeing almost thirty houses, we have a very clear picture now of what's available, and what we want. We spent the evening fervently discussing logistics and poring over Andrew’s insane budget spreadsheet. And tonight, at 9:00pm, we put in an offer. The seller has twenty-four hours to respond. We’re already not sleeping—Greta, our perfect sleeper, has been getting up every three or so hours for too many days to count—and surely we’ll be lying awake tonight, waiting to hear if this beautiful house is meant to be our home.