A Series of Fortunate Events #4: In which we buy a house

I don't know if you've gotten this impression yet, but Captain America likes to be prepared. He is also extremely fiscally responsible. Before we were even ready to buy our first house, we made an appointment at the bank. We thought maybe in a year we'd be ready to buy a house, and we just wanted to know what we needed to do in the meantime to make that happen. We were at our Lake Wobegon bank, talking to one of the VPs. I don't think he dealt much with people asking about loans they might like to get a year from now. But I'll tell you what, it made the process an absolute piece of cake.

After a while, we started house browsing, so we'd know what was available and to get a better feel for what we could get for the amount of loan we were comfortable with taking out. We looked at many, many houses. Big houses and little houses. Starter houses. Two bedrooms. Three bedrooms. Two levels. Ranch/rambler. In town. On the edge of town. Just a lot of houses.

We finally got to the point where we were ready to actually think about buying one. After much, much looking, we found one we thought we liked. We didn't love everything about it, but there were a lot of things we liked very much. Of course, being Lake Wobegon, we knew the people who owned it. That added a little extra comfort because we knew they were most likely taking good care of it. It had shiny wood floors. And new cupboards. But it was also old, and had a tricky staircase that made it so you couldn't get more than a full-size bed upstairs. It had a nice porch. And a cute backyard. But no garage that you could really park in. Pluses and minuses like every house. We'd checked it out a few times. We were doing our final pre-offer walk through and were very nervous because we just wanted to make sure we made the right decision. When we were done, the realtor said, "Well, just so you have another comparison, another house just came on the market that we can check out."

So off we went. It was a rambler (or a ranch - I think it's a regional thing like soda or pop). It was the most outdated house I'd ever seen. It had dark green, inch-long shag in the living room. There was burnt orange linoleum in the kitchen. The bathroom had old gray carpet, and flocked red velvet wall paper. It was really awful. But we saw some potential. If you looked past the decor, it was a great little house. The backyard was ginormous (which seemed like a great idea at the time). It had a two car garage.

Just like that, we switched everything and put in an offer on the new house. After the usual negotiations, we bought our very first house. We gradually made some updates. My first babies were born while we lived there (not actually at the house - I'm not a Duggar for petessake). And when it was time for Ella to go to kindergarten, we lived right across the street. I watched her walk home every day.

But what if we hadn't made just one more stop? I'm sure we would have been perfectly happy in the other house as well, but this one really was a perfect fit for us.


LuAnn said...

Hi - I saw you leave a comment on another blog and you said you were headed to LaCrosse. Figures must be WI. You are the first blogger I found from my state. I live about an hour north of Milwaukee.
Glad you finally found a place and good schools for the kids.
We drive through LaCrosse quite a bit when we head to MN to visit family in Lewiston, Mankato and New Ulm.
Enjoy your day !