Monday, August 22, 2011
Getting to this next post took longer than I would have liked. I've been traveling quite a bit and feeling run down. Time to get going again...
I mentioned that while we were in the process of looking at the house in Bothell that we had also looked at another home, the one we are in now. So, going back a little, we did look at this house and at that time no one had been living in it for over a year. We first looked at in April or May. It was musty, dirty and a little creepy.
One of the first things that became obvious to me was that the basement was a pot growing operation at one time. There were a lot of extra walls, the distinct odor of cannabis, and the reroute of the house's 220v line. In the the back where the laundry and furnace were, there was extra insulation, sound proofing if you will. Probably because the generator was so loud.
It was in rough condition, smelled bad and the property was this long weedy jungle. All in all it was not inspiring.
After the demise of the other opportunity, we discovered that this house had been reduced. Surprisingly, we took a fresh take on the house and began to really look at it. After going through the inspection, we started evaluating things about this house and saw that it wasn't in nearly as a bad a shape as we thought. In fact, this house felt pretty sound.
We went ahead and made an offer and got accepted. We ordered an inspection and went through the whole process all over again, but this time we kept feeling better and better as we went. There were some definite problems: leaky pipes and drains in the bathrooms, someone stole the hot water heater right before the inspection, the deck was rotten, the carpet was soiled heavily, there were rats and ivy and black berry vines were swallowing the house, it was a short sale and...well, you get the idea.
After all that, we agreed to buy the house. I think Nick was more on board even before the offer. It took me awhile to really find my inspiration. I think I was hung up on the scope of the property. I could see that it was huge, but the shape of it daunted me. Our last house sat in the middle of the property, providing me with garden rooms. I had all these little zones to play in. This one has all the yard in one place. I remember driving up to the house on my days off and staring at the back yard from the deck and sitting down below for like an hour trying to visualize my new space. I'm still trying to find my vision, but I've made some progress a year later.
The most unexpected thing out of all of this was how quickly we would a)buy and close on a new house (that was in short sale) and b) sell and move out of our old house. Short sale houses were taking up to six months to close, let alone take possession. We figured that our old house would take at least that long if not longer to sell, and considered the possibility of it becoming a rental until it did sell. Our old house sold via word of mouth. We never did list it. In fact, within a six week period we bought and sold and moved. We were in a total whirlwind the whole time. Our emotions about selling our first home together completely caught us off guard. Everything was happening so fast and before we knew it, were here.