Thursday, April 21, 2005

The full story, in case you were wondering

Tuesday at 3:05 pm, our realtor emailed us a listing that looked promising, mostly because it included an indoor pool. Since that time, "It has a pool!" has been the beginning and ending statement of practically every conversation we've had. Pukka was scheduled to leave town Wednesday morning and not return until Friday evening, but we decided that we didn't want to wait until the weekend to take a look at this house. We've been having trouble moving fast enough to get what we wanted, and this time we wanted to do everything we could to make sure someone else didn't buy it before we had a chance to even decide what we wanted to do.

So we asked our realtor to set up a showing for just me. Our plan was that I would take a look at it, and if it looked OK, we would schedule a second showing this weekend when Pukka was home so he could see it as well. We figured that way we could at least get our foot in the door. She asked if I could come over at 9am on Wednesday (yesterday). I said I would be there. Then I asked Pukka what time he was actually leaving for Chicago. Turned out he wasn't leaving until 10am, so he would be able to come along. I don't even want to think about the number of times "It has a pool!" came out of my mouth that night.

Yesterday morning we arrived at the house at the specified time. It's in a nice, quiet part of town, only a block away from the Jr. High and a couple of blocks from a big park with a rec center (including another pool!). From the outside, the house is a dark brick one story house (it's a ranch, but it doesn't really have that long skinny look I typically associate with ranches) and there's nice big mature trees in the yard. As we walked up to the front door, I pointed out the lush old-fashioned rose to Pukka, and it grabbed at my hand with thorny fangs because I just couldn't resist touching it on our way in.

Inside, things were essentially as we expected them. There's no basement, so everything is on the one floor. There are three bedrooms of varying sizes, but all fairly usable with a good amount of closet space, especially for a house that old. One bathroom of decent size. Separate living room, dining room, kitchen and family room areas. And of course, there's a pool. The pool is indoor in-ground. It's supposed to be 3.5 feet at the shallow end and 5 feet at the "deep" end (we did not test that out!). It's not really big enough to swim in -- I would probably hit the far wall on my second stroke -- but it would be excellent for pool parties and just generally cooling off in the summer. Also, there's a fireplace in the family room, so we'd also have special features for winter entertaining as well. The kitchen is a little small, mostly because it's filled with appliances, including the washer & dryer, but it should be workable. The dining room has one wall filled with built-in bookcases/cabinets. There's nice patio and garden spaces in the back yard and the back hedge is lilacs that were all in bloom (just for us, of course).

We stood in the kitchen and talked about it, I wandered back through the house while we talked about it, we sat in the dining room and talked about it some more. Overall, we really liked it. It will probably not be suitable for us in the ultra-longterm, but for the near future, it will be really nice. I always thought I needed to live in a house with a basement, but did I mention that this house has a pool? Finally we decided we wanted to make an offer.

I drove Pukka back to work so he could leave for Chicago and then I drove over to the realtor's office to start signing papers. I left there around 11:30. I went home and waited. Then I got tired of waiting, so I took a nap. At 2pm, I woke up because the phone rang. It was our realtor, and she said our offer was accepted.

I was so excited! I couldn't wait to start telling people, but I thought Pukka should know first. He was going to call me that night, but I wasn't sure I could wait that long. So I called the hotel to see if they would pass a message to him at the convention. The woman that answered the phone said he hadn't checked in yet. So I asked if they could give him a message when he checked in. She said they would and so I explained that we had made an offer on a house this morning and it was accepted. She said, "Oh, that's great news!" and told me they would give them the message.

So imagine Pukka, checking into the Hyatt, and they tell him he has a message. When I talked to him later he said that initially made him a little concerned. Then they gave him the message, and he was so excited too! He told everyone who would listen about our new house (and swimming pool, of course!).

Barring any unforeseen difficulties, we'll be closing June 21st, so there should be a pool party before the summer's over! Woo hoo!!

Around five last night, I stepped out to get our mail and saw that there was a piece of paper taped to our door. It said that the property management company was planning to show our unit tonight at 6 pm. Now, I probably haven't mentioned this before, because it's not really something I'm proud of, but both Pukka and I tend towards the slobbish end of things, especially when we're stressed, which we have been lately. And I'm a giant pack-rat in a human body. Suffice it to say that our place was nowhere near ready to be seen by other people.

I called the property management guy to hand him a clue, hoping he'd have an empty unit to show or some other backup plan. He just told me, "I'm sure it's not the worst I've seen." It was all I could do to keep from snorting in derision.

I just bought my first house. My husband's out of town. All I wanted to do was go out and have a little fun and celebrate. Instead I got to spend my night panic cleaning. Fortunately, Tigger's girlfriend was kind enough to stop by and lend her assistance and we got the worst of things taken care of.

Yesterday was quite the day. I'm really looking forward to the weekend.