Remember what I said about waiting to find a routine? I'm starting to wonder if no routine is the new routine. The plan, as it stood, was to settle into a routine quickly after the wife started working again. Life has a way of messing with your plans.
Some background: We have been looking to buy a house. We started looking in February, though we slowed down in late May and pretty much since then due to the new kid. The area we've been looking in had been getting us down. While it is not an especially expensive area, it is surrounded by higher tier neighborhoods. It is also where my wife works and where I grew up. You can see it had a lot going for it. Unfortunately, we were not the only people that thought so and we were seeing 30-60 offers being made on every house we thought might work. Meanwhile, the number of new houses coming on the market slowed to a trickle.
Suffice it to say that we were starting to accept that we might have to look in other neighborhoods.
Visiting some friends last week, we noticed that the house right next door was for sale. We called our realtor (who, coincidentally was also their realtor and even more coincidentally lived on the same street) to ask about this house. "Couldn't hurt to find out the situation," we thought.
"Riiiiiiiiiiight..." he says now through a haze of stress and lack of sleep.
At first Tom (our realtor) looked up the data about the house and found that it was a short sale and though the asking price was in our range, it appeared to have an offer and be working its way through the bank labyrinth. He left a message with the selling agent.
Now, as you probably can tell, based on my mad writing skillz, we are reaching the breaking point of the suspense. The story is about to get crazier and I don't want you to miss it. So keep reading.
While visiting family last Saturday Tom let us know that he had heard back from the selling agent. "She told me that if you want to make an offer that is better than the offer they have there is a pretty good chance you could get in," he said "but you probably want to see the house first, oh and she thinks the bank could wrap up it decision making in the next week so there might be a time limitation."
"Are you free now?" we asked.
It is those four simple words that brought about this whole whirlwind.
We looked at the house and liked it enough. It didn't blow us away, but we could see the potential underneath. Not to mention the potential around it. I mean, it was literally right. next. door. to some of our good friends. This part was a big deal. I'm not ashamed to admit that while I can be a very sociable, jovial and extroverted guy when I'm around people I know, I do have trouble meeting new people. To have a jumpstart in building a community to live in would be an incredible stroke of luck. Not to mention that our friends had been talking about starting a family, an endeavor that we had recently undertaken ourselves. Talk about building a community!
Of course, this probably wouldn't be a whole long story with out a downside. This house is slighter farther from the wife's work than where we live now. Any other problem or question could be argued or answered away. Crime in the area? No more or less than everywhere else we've looked. Child Molesters? Only really one to be concerned of and that is an extremely low probability anyway. Are the schools good? Turns out they are. Isn't it hot there during the summer? Two part answer: 1. The house has newer double-paned windows and a whole house fan. 2. You are going to spend most days in A/C at work, and I can handle the heat.
I refused to take on the commute problem though.
See, I work at home. I watch the kid. I don't drive the commute. I would look up the data she asked for: how far is it? what are the traffic patterns like? how long does google maps say it will take? but she needed to decide it was worth it herself. If she spend every drive home hating her commute, it was going to ruin at least the first hour she was home (the kid does WONDERS towards brightening your mood) and slowly poison her against the house. However, if she came to the conclusion that it was the "price of admission" for this house and this community then she might view the drive more charitably and that would vastly improve her overall mood and happiness.
Like they say: "Happy wife, happy life."
It is at this point I would like to remind the reader of what we had planned to do this week. You forget? Go ahead and scroll back up to the top, I'll wait. Yes, that is correct we were supposed to be finding a routine.
Meanwhile, back in reality, we are trying to get a handle on our new roles (her a full-time working mother, me a full-time caretaker) and also make what might one of the biggest decisions of our lives. This causes lots of stress and a lack of sleep. Not ideal conditions for routine.
And not a good way to try to work your still recovering body into the rigors of the 40-hour workweek. You see, I love my wife. She is intelligent, talented, beautiful, great company and fiercely loyal. She can handle stress. She can handle a lack of sleep. Unfortunately, she has trouble handling stress while lacking sleep.
So what and how did she decide on the commute issue? Basically we punted. We knew that if we put down an offer we could back out if we decided this wasn't the right place for us. We also knew that we couldn't put in an offer once we made the decision, if we made that decision too late. So we decided to make and offer and forget about it until we learn whether the offer was accepted. If it is, then we will make a final decision then. Of course the real adventure happens to be the manner in which we acquire the paperwork to sign and get it turned in to the realtor.
Stay tuned for part II where the real adventure takes place.