We have found it, it is perfect . . . and it is ours.
There is definite chemistry with this house. I ran by it a few weeks ago, on one of my favorite blocks — a classic Cleveland Heights street where the trees on either side form a canopy over the road so you feel as if you’re driving through a quiet, green tunnel. I hurried home and looked for it online but found nothing, so called the office to learn it had gone on the market a mere five days prior. I arranged for us to visit and the papers were signed exactly one week after we first stepped foot in it.
It is so perfect for us. SO much better than the other one, which would have had much unused space. This one gives us everything we’re looking for: big yard, a master suite and what will be a mudroom that Pottery Barn Kids would die for. There’s room to grow, but we’ll fill it up nicely and use every bit of it. The yard is almost three times the size of our current yard, partially wooded and green from every angle. It’s also right down the road from a great public elementary school that parents and kids alike are satisfied with. My own alma mater in fact. I wonder if my mom still has my brother’s Fairfax Falcons t-shirt (I wonder if they’re still called the Fairfax Falcons!).
It’s a major fixer-upper though, that’s the bigggest difference from the other one. The woman who is moving out has lived there since 1964! She raised four kids there and is now widowed and much too old for a five bedroom, four bathroom home. It’s been well-kept, the systems maintained and upgraded, good roof, some new windows, all that, but the kitchen is stuck in the 60s and the bathrooms a few decades earlier. I’m thrilled with this actually because as anyone who lives in a hundred-year-old house in the Heights will tell you, once a kitchen has been remodeled, it’s hard to justify doing it again even if you don’t love it. In our current house, the kitchen was redone before we bought it and while it’s very nice (by hundred-year-old house standards), it’s certainly not the cabinets or flooring or countertops I would have chosen. So this new house gives us the opportunity to create exactly what we want. And I can’t wait.
But I’m gonna have to wait. The woman is moving into a condo that won’t be available until mid-September and then we have about three months of work to do before actually moving in. So this will be a long slow process (which very well might drive me crazy), but I am excited enough with this house that I’ll just have to deal. We’ll register Braedan at Fairfax and start him there before we move in (let me know if you’re a Fairfax family — or one on the fence, maybe I can convince you to go public with us!) and hope to be living there by the end of the year.
All of the qualms and issues we had with that first house — whether it felt right to us, if it really represented who we are — have completely dissipated with this one. This is our house, this will be our home.