You know you think you may have found The House when you open up your laptop in the morning and see that your husband has been shopping for Giant Televisions.
Last night's house tour did not quite go as planned, but was pretty exciting anyway. The thing was, we saw a 3300 sf house built in the 80s before going to my top choice house, 2600 sf built in 1947. With a large chunk of that square footage down in a basement with poor light and leopard print carpet. It looked... a little different.
For one thing, it was abundantly clear how 1) old and 2) need of fixing up it was. I mean, I LIKE old houses and none of the fixing up was crucial. But it was so clear how much work would need to be done to get it all NICE one day, and after seeing the newer house it was a little bit overwhelming.
PLUS, Phillip just did not FIT in that house. I'm not saying he couldn't fit through the doorways (which is what my MOTHER assumed when I said this) but he just... like he probably would have to hunch over in the shower, and two of us in the kitchen would be annoying, and the basement ceilings were lower than I realized.
For the record, the backyard is still pretty kick ass.
Please don't sue me, Redfin!
However. The 3300 sf house? RATHER TEMPTING.
The biggest thing it has going for it is space. And I know a lot of people are all, "More to clean!" But for us it means hosting giant parties, having my entire family over for Christmas, having lots of kids over to play, places to KEEP ALL THE TOYS, room for people to stay when they visit, maybe more kids! (JUST JOKING, PHILLIP CHEUNG!) What I'm saying is: we like hosting things. We like being able to offer our space when someone else needs it. It's possibilities and options and flexibility and room to grow. For us it's a big fat huge plus, even if it makes us sound like big fat huge spoiled Americans.
The other things I like: it's on a very quiet cul-de-sac with lots of trees and other big houses. It's not the fanciest/most expensive and definitely not the oldest/ugliest/cheapest on the street. It has a backyard big enough for a swingset, gardening and a patio, but not so big we have to buy a riding mower. It has ginormous windows and balconies and a giant deck in the back. The living space is super bright and super open. It's got the 80s kitchen and bathrooms, but obviously we don't have to DO anything to use them - it's all cosmetic stuff - and the kitchen has TONS of workspace and floorspace. (It also has a big cabinet with sliding trays/drawers like I had in my townhouse, probably the number one thing I miss!) It's in a better part of the older house's neighborhood - on a quiet neighborly street, but SUPER close to a main drag and the freeway. Also a brand new Safeway. It's also (and this is just something to CONSIDER) within walking distance of a Catholic church and Catholic school.
The biggest drawback is the layout. There are two bedrooms upstairs and two bedrooms downstairs. It's like a split level where you have to go upstairs to the living space, but NOT like a split level in that you don't go downstairs and the entry way is huge. So I've spent most of my House Considering Time wondering how we would do bedrooms. Because the two bedrooms downstairs have difficulties: one has a door to a patio in the front - cute, but NO WAY am I putting two kids in that room - and the other is in the far back corner of the house. So if we were sleeping upstairs I'd feel like my kid is way far away. Right now of course we could have the master bedroom and put two kids in the definitely large enough second bedroom upstairs, but what about Third Baby. EVENTUALLY Third Baby needs a room.
Right now the way I've worked this out is: Phillip and I would take the bedroom with a door downstairs. It's just as big, has a bathroom, and is actually a little more private than the bedrooms upstairs. We'd put J and M in the master bedroom and also make that a playroom. And Third Baby could have the second bedroom upstairs, whenever Third Baby gets around to needing it. Years later I see the two girls or two boys sharing, the one boy or one girl with his own room, and later on I won't feel so weird about a kid in that back room. I just think there are different options and we may have to move around as the years go by. Problematic, but not a deal breaker?
The other thing is this bizarro fireplace that's in the middle of the room. As in, it sticks out two to three feet from the wall, and you can walk around it. I have no idea what you do with that space/wall behind the fireplace. And the chimney goes all the way up, so you have this big wall/post making the back wall of the living room sort of confusing. Right now I see us lining that back wall with bookshelves. Still not a dealbreaker, but definitely weird.
The bathrooms - one up, one down - have doors into certain bedrooms AND the hallway. So even the master bedroom bathroom upstairs is the bathroom for the whole living space.
But it has a great dining room, an extra little space on the other side of the kitchen for a breakfast table or toys, a flex space downstairs that'd be great for Phillip's office and my treadmill, and a giant laundry room.
Except for the layout, all the things we don't like are cosmetic. It's also the most space I've seen in Seattle proper at this price - the same price as the older house. So.
I'm going to see one more house this morning, mostly to tell my FIL I saw it, and then, barring anything new on the market, we will probably put an offer on the big house. And then hire a painter to get rid of the minty fresh pistachio green the owners slathered all over the living room because WHO WANTS THEIR LIVING ROOM TO BE THE INSIDE OF A TOOTHPASTE TUBE???
I can't believe we "found" a house. I HAVE been praying for a house for TWO YEARS, so it shouldn't be SURPRISING that we found a house when we needed to find a house, but we're still sort of "do we LIKE it or are we talking ourselves into it?" Right now we both think we like it . A lot.
P.S. I have not forgotten those of you who asked about Disney - just no time to write the email yet!
P.P.S. I wrote about house stuff and SHARING ROOMS OMG at Parenting. It's insane! My kids are sleeping in the same room! It's a HOUSE MIRACLE!