House TalkN is a fun lookiloo at houses, houses, houses. It will answer pressing questions like, "When folks build a McMansion on a small lot, what are they compensating for?" or "Was the real estate agent drunk when they staged this house?" or "Why don't the Smiths' ever leave their drapes open when I am on a harmless walk-by?"

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Perfect House...Or, not.

*Update: This house just sold. Would it be creepy to ask the new owner if I could hangout on the porch?

Remember my oh, so patient real estate agent, Steve Fox
Well, I am testing his patience...again.
Here is my dream house checklist that Steve has been charged to find for my family:
-Brick colonial
-Center hall, open staircase
-Back staircase to the kitchen
-5 bedrooms
-Basement man-cave
-Attic kid-cave
-3+ bathrooms
-Wood floors
-French doors
-Big windows and lots of them
-Front Porch
-Eat-in kitchen
-Butlers Pantry
-Vintage charm (original chandeliers, glass doorknobs, etc)

Last week, Steve showed me a home that had every single thing on that list. (See listing here)
I brought a friend/neighbor along to confirm that yes, indeed, this was a fan-freaking-tastic house. She texted our friends "Kerry (finally) found a house that she loves! Get.here.now!"
At every turn, I shouted "SHUT UP! SHUT UP RIGHT NOW!" 
I showed my husband, my kids, my mom, my dad, my friends and I even raved about it to a few folks that were passing by during my 83rd visit.
I used my phone to snap this shot of my dream entryway.
This is the stairway that each of my house fantasies begins and ends with. There it was in real life.
After 24 hours of mentally arranging my furniture in this house, I had an epiphany. 
In order to buy this house...I would have to leave our current home. I would have to leave our neighborhood.
That night, our kiddos were romping around our neighborhood, gathering kids for "Ghost in the Graveyard." I stood in the street, yukking it up with neighbors. 
Could I give this up? 
-I remembered writing "It Ain't The House." 
-I remembered our lemonade stands.
-I remembered my neighbor, Donna, showing up with a shopvac when our basement flooded. 
-I remembered that while my friend and I were touring this house, our kiddos were running back and forth between our houses.
-I remembered my neighbor, Becky, taking care of my babies while I rushed my son to the ER for stitches.
-I remembered my neighbor, Chris, leaving cookies on my doorstep. 
-I remembered our block parties.
-I remembered bringing our babies home.
To my own shock, I texted our agent that it was a no-go. The one thing that I forgot to add to the dream house list? It has to be in a 6 block radius of where we currently live.
Super Agent Steve may or may not be taking my calls. He may or may not have my face on a dartboard.

Link Par-taay at:
http://youaretalkingtoomuch.com/
http://www.alderberryhill.com/
http://www.iheartnaptime.net/
http://too-much-time.com/
http://sixsistersstuff.com/
http://www.funkyjunkinteriors.net/
http://www.serenitynowblog.com/
http://chiconashoestringdecorating.blogspot.com/
http://www.commonground-do.com/
http://frenchcountrycottage.blogspot.com/
http://www.504main.com/
http://romantichome.blogspot.com/
http://www.atthepicketfence.com/
http://www.the36thavenue.com/
http://www.houseofhepworths.com/
http://www.savvysouthernstyle.net/
http://www.notjustahousewife.net/
http://myuncommonsliceofsuburbia.com/

57 comments:

  1. Shame on you, you made me tear up! *sniffle*
    That was beautiful. It really isn't the "stuff" that makes a home--or even the house itself-- it's all the other things. :)

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    1. Sorry for the sniffle! When we bought our house, we hit the jackpot of neighbors!

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  2. Oh this is indeed a dream home and one that would be fabulous to live in, but you just can't replace a neighborhood. Hugs, Marty

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    1. That's right! We love our neighbors so much. Now, to find a big ole house in our 'hood!
      Thanks, Marty!

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  3. Replies
    1. Location, location, location is right! Thanks, Jenny!

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  4. There's a time and place for everything, but I don't think it's time for you to leave your friends. They mean much more than a place to lay your head at night! The day will come when you will be able to move on, and then it will be ok. Not yet! But that WAS an awesome house! ;0)

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    1. Oh, Marianne. So true. I know that we need a bigger house but you are right- this just wasn't the time.

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  5. There is alot to be said about a wonderful neighborhood, friends etc. You can't replace that. Priorities. Make a lust of yeas and nays.

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    1. While this house had a lot of "Yays", our neighborhood trumped them. Thanks, Pinky!

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  6. Renovation: go up and out!!! You have the space.

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    1. I have been kicking the renovation idea around, fo' shizzle.

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  7. Just go back and look at that first itty bitty bathroom. You know, the one where you can wash your hands while you're still sitting on the toilet for convenience. Whenever you get sad about not jumping on this house, think of that bathroom. Seriously, I love everything about that house except for that one little thing. LOL I didn't think there could be a bathroom smaller than the one in our last house ;)

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    1. That teeny bathroom cracked me up! Older houses often have those teeny tiny "powder rooms!"
      Thanks for popping by, Micki!

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  8. You make me laugh, and sometimes you make me cry.

    Crying this time, Oh Kerry............

    And some advice - the kiddos stay little for a minisecond - after that you may feel quite differently about the neighborhood - just sayin.

    Hang in there.

    And send an apology card to poor Steve-o.

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    1. Poor Steve-o must be ready to kill me! I give him an impossible dream list, he delivers, and I balked!
      As always, thank you for your kind comment!

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  9. Kerry, I enjoy your posts a lot!
    I understand your dilemma....good luck with your search!
    Besos from Argentina, Silvina
    Give my regards to poor Steve.

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    1. Thank you so much! My search carries on!

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  10. Neighborhoods are irreplacable WE use to live in the type of neighborhood you describe and it broke my heart to leave it. Our next door neighbors and very close friends had moved out of state nearly a year earlier which made it a bit easier to leave.

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    1. Please tell me that you have new neighbors that are just as fabulous?
      Thanks, Robbie!

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  11. IT looked perfect till the bathroom where you can sit on the toilet and wash your hands at the same time! Although it would be a perfect place to perch your camera for your toilet vlogging! You do not find neighborhoods like that easily, we hate ours because we don't have many people our age and it stinks for our kids!

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    1. So funny, Kelley! I actually thought of a powder room vlog when I saw that teeny bathroom!

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  12. That is an amazing staircase. You must have an awesome hood.

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    1. For a lover of old houses, this 'hood is heaven!
      Thanks for popping by!

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  13. Proof that is the people that make a house a home and people that make a street a neighborhood. xo

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    1. That's right! You can always remodel but the neighbors don't take kindly to personality makeovers!

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  14. We have a similar problem...love our neighbors but now with the kids grown our house is too big...I just can't bear to leave though my husband really wants to downsize. All of the neighbors kids are grown too and so we have quite the fun empty nest neighborhood...you could just wait it out...your house gets bigger when the kids leave.

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    1. When it comes right down to it, I don't think we can leave our house. We are sentimental fools! Thanks, Carol!

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  15. Wow. Seriously, just about everything you listed is on my list for the perfect house,too. I really didn't think it actually existed. Tell Steve to call me. I don't like all of my neighbors.

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    1. A house on my street just came up for sale? Call Steve asap.

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  16. oh girl I hear you on this 1 I could never ever leave my neighbors. it will all workout I just know it

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    1. I'm feeling much better about our decision - especially after a day with our neighbors!
      Thanks, Kristin!

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  17. I can so relate to this! I'm always dreaming of different houses I'd love to have, but the truth is that it would be really hard to leave this one in this neighborhood after all these years and all the memories we've created here.

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    1. I love your house! Maybe you should move here and we could stalk houses together?!?
      Thanks, Julia!

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  18. Love it! BRAVO!! It's beautiful, but a good neighborhood family is SOOO hard to come by! You made such a good decision.*hugs*

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  19. I can so relate! We have been wanting to build & anytime we mention moving my son actually cries because he can't leave his best friend! It's so hard to know what to do...we found a lot close by our neighborhood, put in an offer & so did three other people that day! I guess it wasn't meant to be, but I'm still dreaming of my porch, white open kitchen & a craftsmen style exterior. I guess I'll keep dreaming for a while longer! :)
    Sally

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    1. Did you lose the bidding war? Wouldn't a front porch be dreamy??
      Thanks, Sally!

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  20. Our home is on the market. We listed it the end of July. Right now we are seriously thinking of taking it off the market if it does not sell by the end of November, when our contract ends.

    Our reasons for not selling are similar to your reasons for not buying "the perfect house".:-) We are already thinking of "things to do" with our present home.

    We are nearing 70 and have only lived here 9 years. Reasons for selling? Thought we needed to be "closer to the kids". They are just a short drive from where we are now. We said from the beginning, if it is meant to be it will happen.

    After writing this comment I thought, watch out Pat...our house will sell next week!

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    1. There is going to be a "SOLD" sign in your yard, now! I would sell my soul to have family live closer to us. Keep me posted, Pat!

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  21. Hi Kerry!!

    WOW!!!!! What a gorgeous house!!!! To find a house that has everything on your list is amazing, but, I hear ya about all those memories. Living in a great neighborhood is hard to find.

    I hope you can find what you're looking for in your neighborhood!!

    THE SEARCH CONTINUES.......
    Pam
    xox

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    1. There is one house in our 'hood that we are holding out for. It makes it hard to look at other houses...I'm always certain that it is going to come on the market any.day.now.
      Thanks, Pam!

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  22. It is the neighbors. We've had so many wonderful job offers for more money and better weather. We turn them all down...great neighbors are hard to find and we just wouldn't trade ours for anything.

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    1. So true! I had no idea what a role our neighbors would play in our daily lives.
      Thanks, Linda!

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  23. You made me snort with laughter when I hit the line about the house being within 6 blocks of where you live. Thank you for a great read. And as I look upon my "messy" house, and listen to my 18 month old upstairs refusing to take his nap. I know that my best friend lives in the house behind me and that though it's a little tight, this house is JUST RIGHT.

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    1. That sounds so familiar! Having neighbors that I call "friends" has made our life so much richer! When someone needs stitches, or I need milk (or booze) I can count on my 'hood!
      Thanks, LaTrisha!

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  24. I just came to your blog from The Shabby Creek Cottage and loved this post. I'm a real estate agent so it's fun to see this from the buyers (or not buyers as the case is) eyes. If there is a house you are waiting for to come on the market, knock on their door and ask them if they will consider selling, sometimes it does happen and it doesn't hurt to try.

    I love that house you were considering and in Toronto, Canada in a good neighoubrhood which yours sounds like it is, that house would be about $1.5 million +

    Good luck with your dream home.

    Julie
    http://renew-create-restore.blogspot.ca

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    1. Hi, Julie! I bet you have "crazy client" stories! I'm sure that my agent will reach sainthood, dealing with my shenanigans!

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  25. All great points. It's so tough isn't it. My husband & I have been having this debate forever, but there are somethings you just can't replace.

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    1. I have to admit that this house is still in the back of my mind. It hasn't sold and I am so tempted!

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  27. Kerry,
    I have lived in small houses and the one we live in now is huge. Trust me the kids grow up so fast and are gone and off to college before you know it. A big house is so much more to clean and maintain. The thrill gets old fast. You spend a lot more time together as a family in a smaller house. Enjoy it for now and before you know it you won't need all that extra space.

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    1. That's right! We spend so much time together because we have to!

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  28. We finally moved back to our small town 3 years ago...I can't imagine moving out of it, even for the PERFECT house, so I understand how you feel! At first it was hard to leave my previous house because even though it wasn't my small town, it was where I raised my babies and it was our first house full of memories. Fortunately the neighborhood turned ghetto which made it easy to get over my emotional attachment and we got the eff outta there.

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    1. That is exactly my struggle- I became a mother in this house. I'm turning into a sentimental mess!

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  29. My only advice would be either move or make peace with your current house because you will blink and your kids will be gone and you won't need such a big space. My oldest just finished his first year of college. It becomes a blur when they hit high school.

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