Monday, September 14, 2009

Hoping For No Hills Between Here and Happily Ever After

During Labor Day Weekend, we drove up to Northampton and stayed with Annie for the night. It was a short, 24-hour stay, but we managed to spend quality time with Annie and to check off our list all of our favorite rituals and routines: A walk through Northampton; dinner in Amherst; a visit to Smith for a stroll. I even took a power walk with Annie in Belchertown and, at night, after the girls went to bed, Annie introduced me to Family Guy, which made me laugh so hard my stomach hurt. The next day, Nicole and I collected our children and their many accoutrements and after a stop at Sylvester’s to get coffee and one of those real estate books to flip through on the drive home, we were on our way back to NYC.

Back in the car, Nicole driving, my feet slipped out of my shoes and pressed on the window. We are slouching back to NYC at about 60 miles a hour. We talk about the type of house we would like to have. The type of neighborhood it would be in. Basically a giant wish list; a conversation we revisit again and again during which we build dream homes and then tear them down and start all over. We talk about the realistic-ness of braving 2.5 hours every weekend to drive up to another house. We talked about condo vs house vs two family, near town vs far from town. A lot of talk. Nicole and I are nothing if not very, very thorough.

What we both agree on is that we regretted not buying a house we saw three years ago. It was a classic A Frame house, walled in gorgeous wood throughout, with soaring ceilings and a wood burning stove to add extra coziness. There are two bedrooms, two bathroom and two acres, plus a three car garage with a hu-u-u-u-u-uge attic. Bird feeders and woods and bears. There’re trees, so many trees. We loved that house. We lamented it.

We get back to New York City and on Monday, Nicole receives her weekly email from our real estate agent in Northampton and buried in her current listings is our house! The house that got away, the house we decided was the perfect house for us. It was back. And it was in foreclosure and for sale almost 100K less what they were asking three years ago. Fate?

That was Monday. Tuesday Nicole made phone calls to the real estate agent and our mortgage broker. Wednesday Nicole drove up to Northampton (and back) to look at the house again and make an offer. On Thursday the offer was accepted. And then, suddenly, we are in contract and scheduled to close the day before our one-year wedding anniversary. It is still sinking in.

All this happens over the span of three days. Now many balls are in motion. Inspections and lawyers and checks and water tests and closings. Nicole is excited in a way that I have never seen her excited: This has been a dream of hers for a long time. And I am excited too. But it is just the beginning and a lot can happen between here and happily ever after. But for now, I am lingering in the glow of This Might Happen.

Pictured above, the house from the side and the windowed view from our bedroom. I really don’t like that glaring white cement foundation and want to paint it to match the house. And on bottom, our apple cups floweth over. We went picking on Sunday and I have already made apple bread, an apple cake and apple upside down cake and we still have 346 apples to go....


CD and SP said...

HEY! Welcome to the neighborhood. Congrats on the house. Hope to see you around.

K J and the kids said...

What ? WHAT ?
I-I-I I'm stunned. I guess I don't understand. One second you are moving to your mom's/your house and then you are staying in the city because of the comute and now you are buying a house in the woods ?
Now is this your house ? the one you'll live in forever ?
Is this close ?
I am just so damn stunned that the happiness is jumping around in the background screaming, "tell them we said we are thrilled. tell them we are so happy for them. tell them we hope it all works out."
So thrilled and happy for you girls.

GREAT ! There goes our connection in the city. ;-)

robertrory said...

Beautiful house with a wooden furnished. Love the locations very much.Gorgeous.Happy wedding Anniversary.

Jennifer said...

CD and SP...we will be up there on the weekends, so we def. need to make playdates! : ) And Karen, we are not leaving the city. I don't think I ever could. But now we have a place to go to the get away from the city!

Amanda aka MamaRobot said...

What a twist of fate! Good luck!!

Steph said...

congratulations!!! I'm so excited for you guys. Hmmm... when can we come visit? You can visit us in FL and we'll trek upto western Mass. (Oh yeah, guess we have to get to FL first).

calliope said...

oh wow
this is awesome and I am so excited for you guys!!

Kerry Lynn said...

I love it when things fall in your lap like that. you really can't ignore it.
I'm so excited for you. It's so beautiful there.

Kerry Lynn said...

I love it when things fall in your lap like that. you really can't ignore it.
I'm so excited for you. It's so beautiful there.

amy said...

how exciting; it sure sounds like it was meant to be!!

tessa said...

the new house is so exciting! i'm so happy for all of you that it has worked out that way (so far - fingers crossed that everything continues to go smoothly).
have you ever been to chez albert in amherst? - a friend of mine just started working there last week.

Malea said...

yeah!!! Now you don't have to deal with the mother_in_law who likes to make her liquir bottles wear clothes.

A nice peaceful place to take stock in the present instead of being forced to relive the past.

Shelli said...

a WONDERFUL house - oh my, it's so so so lovely.

Swoon, and all that.

Can we come up for a visit? :)

Susanica said...

How awesome! The fact that you both always regretted not buying it, and then suddenly there it was available is so cool. The best of both worlds it sounds like for you and your family. And it's nice to hear that Nicole is so fired up about it. Isn't it wonderful when someone you love is that happy? Best of luck you guys! -Monica