Friday, June 17, 2016

Hello, Linden!

Kyle and I looked at many homes in the fall, but most were not very great upon actually seeing them.  As I mentioned, there was a house we became pretty excited about, but eventually went to someone else.  Although we were frustrated and heartbroken at the time, we now see that it was for the best that we didn’t get that house.  If we didn’t get that house, we wouldn’t have gotten ours.

Our Linden house was on the market for about two days when Kyle and I went to see it.  We put in an offer the next day, (a Thursday) but found out we weren’t the only ones bidding.  We were asked to come back with our highest offer and just to wait.  

Please excuse the fact that these are all screenshots...I wanted documentation of how this house looked before we got our hands on it.  So far, we have re-seeded the front lawn, as you can see that it's a little patchy.  The front of the old garage here looks white, but it really is yellow...the exact color of the rest of the house.  The flowers are wonderful I just have to keep up with them!  It certainly is a lot more to weed!

We were sick with anxiety.  Every time my phone rang, I thought it would be our realtor.  The sellers' realtor was supposed to meet with them on that following Saturday to go over all the offers, so we hoped to hear that evening.  What actually happened was the other realtor had something unexpected come up and had to postpone his meeting with his clients until Sunday afternoon, so it was going to be another terrible day of waiting.  I felt like I could throw up all day that Sunday.  It was awful.

I woke up Saturday evening at about 11:45 PM with an idea that I should do more to help us get that house.  I had no idea what to do though, so I rolled over and went back to sleep.  I woke up again at about 4 AM with the same impression.  I had just had a lesson the previous morning with the Young Women about following promptings of the spirit so I got up out of bed and went to our half-packed dining room to think.  

Without really knowing what I was doing, I opened my chromebook to Google docs, thinking I would just type something up about what I was thinking, and I ended up with this:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

To the homeowners of XXXX Linden Street,

My name is Megan, and after my husband Kyle and I visited your home for a showing on Wednesday, we were immediately impressed.  We visited lots of homes that day and throughout the last few weeks, but yours stood out to us for several reasons, all of which were on our original wish list when we set out to purchase a new home.  After the heartbreak of seeing a few “potential” forever homes slip through our fingers within days of coming on the market, we knew we had to act fast so that we could be considered buyers of your lovely home.

It’s hard to say what we love most about the home.  My husband and I couldn’t stop smiling as we toured it and found new things to be excited about.  He and I have very different priorities.  I want ample space for our family to grow, and your home has it in spades.  We have one daughter named Audrey who will be two tomorrow, and we plan to start adding to our family very soon.  If we get your house, Audrey will be staying in the green bedroom, and she will have plenty of room to grow up there.

Audrey's bedroom--the biggest bedroom in the house!  That's alright, though, because eventually it'll be shared.  That's a king-size bed in there, folks!  Not bad for a house built in 1959.

We have since painted Audrey's room a very pale blue and ripped up these carpets to reveal the original hardwood floors underneath.

This was used as an..exercise room?  It houses our computer and desk right now, but it will be baby's room in October.  We removed the carpets and the walls are now a light gray.

Our bedroom.  We haven't done much in here except accidentally scorch the carpet (oops).  That's okay though because, guess what?  Original hardwood floors underneath.  We're thinking of covering the paneling with shiplap, but haven't gotten to that point yet.  All in good time.

Everyone told me that babies come with a lot of stuff, and they were right!  I wanted a designated playroom for Audrey and her future siblings because in our home right now we have to put several things in storage just to have enough living space, which is frustrating to all of us. We intend to make your formal dining room/piano room our play area because it has easy access to the backyard and is easy for me to watch the kids from the kitchen area.  After it’s done being a playroom, I could easily imagine it being a room to hold our future piano--I very much want our children to have lessons.  

The previous owners used this room to house their piano and as a formal dining room.  It's the playroom now.  Still not painted, but that's in the plans for this summer.  Carpet is newer, so it will be staying.  This is an addition, so there's no hardwood floors underneath.  We also plan to replace the light with a ceiling fan.

This room is actually quite huge!  It could be a living room in its own right if we wanted it to be!

I don't have very many pictures of the house right when we moved in, but I tried to capture Audrey's enthusiasm for having a room for just her toys.  Look how small she looks!

Audrey pointing out to Daddy that there are skylights in this room.

I also wanted to have a bathroom separate from the kids’, which is hard to find in a 1950s and 1960s style home.  None of the homes we have seen so far in our budget had double sinks in the heart almost bottomed out when I saw yours!  And as I continued through the bathroom into the master closet...let me just say I wanted to stay in that closet forever.

Our bathroom (you can't see it, but our master closet is just off of this and it's HUGE).

You see how there are even carpets in the bathroom?  Yeah, that's getting removed in a couple of weeks.

My husband of course is very particular about the yard, garage, and parking.  He also was not disappointed.  Your yard is very beautifully kept, and he fell in love instantly.  The yard is wonderfully big for a Muncie home, and he commented often on the deck space in both the front and back of the home.  Last weekend we had our daughter’s second birthday party with all of our family over, and we barely squeezed in (we have only a small strip of grass for backyard right now at our home, so going outside was not an option).  At your home, we could easily visualize having family over for cookouts and allowing the kids to play in the yard.  One of the best things about the home is that everyone would have a place to park instead of having to walk several blocks to our home.  

We're now the proud owners of a riding lawnmower to make this all easy work for Kyle.

Kyle also wants (but never dared dream he would actually get) his own little office, too, which he could have here.  One of my husband’s favorite things about your home?  The fireplace mantle, which he pointed out to me could hold our stockings at Christmastime.

What we use as our actual living room.  Probably this will get made over next summer.  Not pictured behind this room (about where the person taking the photo is standing) is another small room, used originally as an office.  Kyle wanted it for an office at first, but we're going to make it a mud/laundry room instead.
Audrey actually sitting in front of the fireplace during December.

Wanna know where our laundry is right now?  In that closet with the white doors.  Yep.  Since this room used to be a garage, and the laundry was originally in garages when houses were built during this time, our laundry is in our living room.  It actually hasn't been as weird as I thought...I'm actually a lot more on top of laundry because of it and can do laundry and watch TV at the same time! is going to get moved eventually.

We had this extra room at the front that we didn't know what to do with.  We decided to make it a library.  We have ripped down the bookshelves that were previously attached to the walls, painted the room a light brown, and taken up the carpets in favor of the original hardwoods.  The piano the previous owner left for us will go in this room.

And Audrey’s favorite thing about the home?  We told her we could eventually get a dog if we moved to a house with such a big yard.  She adores dogs.  

We both love that your home is in a safe neighborhood and everyone obviously cares for their homes.  We originally wanted a dead-end street or cul-de-sac but never imagined that we could get something like it!  I am a teacher, so a good school that is close by is important to me.  Your home literally ticks off every item on our wishlist.  If you select our offer, we would be excited to make it our forever home.  We intend to be in our next house into old age, raise our children there, and spoil our grandchildren there.  

The thing I like least about the house is the kitchen.  It's in the middle of the house (since additions were put on after the original construction) and gets zero natural light.  But, I do like that it's sort of in the middle of everything.  We will be adding more cabinets and re-configuring some appliances, I think, replacing cabinet doors and floors, lights, new appliances, year, when the budget will allow it.

As of right now the only things we've done in this room is rip out the appliance garage and take down the border.  But paint is coming soon.

Please understand that our offer might not be your best offer, but it is ours.  The home is at the top of our budget, but we will gladly spend it to get all the things we want in a home.  We close on our home at the end of this month and are moving out mid-October, so I know how important it is to be reassured that whoever purchases your home will take care of it and respect the memories made there already.  Even if you do not choose us, I wanted to compliment you on the beautiful home you have created and wish you the best of luck on your new journey as well.

I signed the letter and ran upstairs to snatch if off the printer before I could lose courage.  I hopped in my car (at this point, about 4:45 AM), went to the house on Linden, and snuck up to the front door and stuck it in the screen door.  Then I tore out of there like I was being pursued.  

Kyle didn’t even know I had gotten up at all until I came back.  When I explained what I had done, he thought I was crazy.  It might actually have been one of the crazier things I’ve ever done…

I’m not sure if the letter helped us get the house.  In fact, I’m not even sure if the previous owners saw it before they selected our offer.  But I do know they saw it.  They knew I was a teacher when I met them for the inspection, and that Audrey loved dogs, and what room was going to be hers.  They even let us have one of their pianos for when we got Audrey lessons.

I about died of relief when our realtor Kathy called us that evening with the news.  

Now that we’ve lived in the house for about six months, I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.  Sure, it needs some work, but we love it.  We truly do.  When we pull in, Audrey loves to say, “Hey!  It’s my house!” and that’s exactly how I feel every time we come home to it.  When I look out on the backyard and see how much space we have, I still can’t believe it’s ours.  

And every time we change something...even something small...I think to myself And here’s to the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

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